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Apple iPhone 7 Plus initial review: Better camera, battery life but not the best

tech Updated: Sep 24, 2016 12:13 IST
Anirban Ghoshal
Anirban Ghoshal
Hindustan Times
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“The best iPhone ever made!” This is what Apple has to justify to all its loyal and prospective consumers to make up for its sliding profits, which are a result of shipments slowing down and a massive failure of iPhone SE to impress customers from emerging markets. The company has also thrown in some other bonus chips such as keeping the price of the phone same and doubling the memory from an unsatisfactory 16GB. But is this the best iPhone ever made? Kind of, sort of, can’t be sure is what I feel right now after using the iPhone 7 Plus for a few days.

The 7 Plus is definitely a cool phone to have, although there are minimal differences in design when compared to the 6S Plus. My peers and colleagues barely noticed that I had the 7 Plus with me. And only when I told them that I was using a 7, they flipped the phone to check the dual camera at the back to check if it had the dual-lens camera. Now, this could be a really sad for anyone who wants to flaunt his new iPhone to the world. Earlier, Samsung was also criticised for coming up with phones that had the same design with subtle changes in material and design which would miss the public eye.

Read more: Apple cuts iPhone 6S, 6S Plus prices by Rs 22,000 ahead of iPhone 7 launch

Also, the Jet Black edition will give you heartache, as it smudges easily on the surface and will, in some time, force you to have a cover that defeats the idea of buying the Jet Black for an extra price. If your cover is transparent, the Jet Black will still retain some of its shine.

Having said that, the new iPhone will not give you any chance to complain about storage spaces. The starting variant, which comes with 32GB, will be able to take care of all your space requirements, but I would recommend a 64GB. That is simply because some breathing room in storage spaces can be healthy for the phone and the user (you might never know when you might want to carry more songs for a trip or have those photos handy).

Apple has said that the phone is water-resistant. It can stand pressures up to nearly three feet of water for about half an hour. In fact, the company had to redesign the Home button to make the phone water-resistant. However, thinking about giving a bath to the iPhone 7 or the Plus is a bad idea. More so because Apple will not change or repair the phone for free if it acquires liquid damage.

Read more: Apple may have lowered margins with iPhone 7

With sweat running down from my forehead, a racing heart and deep breaths, I edged my iPhone 7 Plus under the tap and then submerged it in a small tub (replicating a size of a puddle on Indian roads) to check if the water resistance works. To my heart’s content, it works but, again, it’s not recommended.

The iPhone 7’s water fighting skills can’t be compared to a Sony or Samsung. The company has just added the feature so that consumers don’t have a heart attack after the phone falls into a puddle or a sink or the toilet (happens more than you think). And even if it does, wait for a couple of hours for the phone to dry out completely before trying to charge it. I gave it a good four to five hours to shrug off the tiny droplets.

Talking about charging the device, the iPhone 7 and the Plus can easily pull of 24 hours easily with the Plus adding another three hours to the cycle. Definitely, the battery life has improved but not by miles. Heavy users, like me who listen to music and play games, still might have to bear that extra weight of a power bank and the lightning cable.

Read more: Seven things about the new iPhone 7 that really matter

However, the camera on the Plus is better than all iPhones ever made. The zoom on the phone is impressive. I am yet to test the selective focus feature, but photos seem to be sharper, detailed and better than ever. The addition of the optical images stabilisation is also a plus. So even if your hand shakes while trying to grasp the little bigger iPhone 7 Plus, the phone will handle it. The Plus also now includes four flashes instead of two, meaning that, yes, you can have twice as much flash to take pictures as before.

If you are someone who cannot keep his fingers from the digital shutter, then the 7 PLus is a better choice. Apple has now made it possible for ‘clickaholics’ to zoom in up to 10x with the camera for photos, and 6x for videos at a much higher quality. You can also take panoramic photos at 2x zoom for the first time.

Read more: iPhone 7: Apple removing the 3.5 mm headphone jack is not bad news

Apple has improved the audio properties of the device. And if you already used an iPhone before, you will immediately notice the change once you attend a call on the new phone. The iPhones are now capable for producing louder sounds so that users can still sound in any format at noisy outdoor environment.

Having said that, the new Home button takes some time to adjust to and the removal of the 3.5-mm jack was an inconvenience for me. I continuously had to switch between listening to music and charging the phone (just like any paranoid iPhone user). But the phone’s performance is better than ever, I noticed no lags while using the device.

Read more: How heating, hissing and intruding have put the Big 3 of tech world in turmoil

So if you are ready for a faster and a water-resistant iPhone, planning to buy wouldn’t be a bad idea. However, keep checking our site as the detailed review will follow soon.