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At first glance, you might not think anything special of the iPhone 7. Afterall, it looks strikingly similar to its predecessor, the iPhone 6. And with the 6S and 6S Plus variants performing relatively similar to the latest in Apple's line of smartphones--and for a lower price--why bother with the iPhone 7? In this case, judging a book by its cover is a critical mistake.
The exterior design of the iPhone 7 is nothing groundbreaking, but it's what lies beneath the surface that is revolutionary. With an overhauled processor and graphics system, an improved display, and an entirely new camera system, there's a lot to impressed about. And with the iPhone 8 and the 7S and 7S Plus variants releasing, there's no better time to snatch up this particular model now.
Let's dive into what makes the iPhone 7 so special.
But first, let's tackle the elephant in the room. There's no headphone jack.
This has been a major site of contention for customers and critics around the world. The outcry was so great, that Google taunted Apple about it when during the announcement trailer for the Pixel. Is it a deal breaker? For some, sure. Instead of a dedicated headphone jack, you'll now have to use dedicated lightning-port compatible earbuds (that Apple bundles with the phone) and sacrifice the ability to charge while jamming out.
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On the other hand, cell phone manufacturers have taken notice. Surprisingly, many major cell phone manufacturers are following Apple's risky move. The latest Samsung Galaxy models and, ironically, the new Google Pixel 2 do not have 3.5mm headphone jacks. Clearly, it's just something we will have to deal with.
Despite this, there's a lot to love about the iPhone 7. The quad-core A10 Fusion chip under the hood is a powerhouse. Apps launch quickly, updates install quickly, and the camera is ready to shoot seemingly the very instant I swipe to it from the lock screen. I didn't notice any difference in performance in a resource-hungry app like Instagram compared to the lightweight Mail client. Everything is faster.
Read More: Interested in the iPhone 8? Read our iPhone 8 review here.
The screen has also improved. The 4.7" LED display is brighter and runs a wider color gamut, allowing web pages, pictures, and videos to render brighter and in greater detail than before. Even in direct sunlight, you can still read articles without complication.
The 3D Touch feature has also been improved, with added integration into more iOS apps, enabling more shortcuts and neat capabilities that get you tapping, swiping, and touching more. Other changes include the replaced physical Home button and Touch ID fingerprint sensor with a haptic button that mimics the sensation of clicking with vibration.
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The iPhone 7 camera has seen a major overhaul from last year's design. The 12 MP rear camera and 7 MP selfie camera take stunning photos and render colors more naturally compared to other devices. Snapping in low-light and darker conditions have also improved. You can also record video in 4k at 30fps.
Beyond the lack of a headphone jack, another negative against the iPhone 7 is the shorter battery life. It's a little strange: all of these great features let you do more with your iPhone, but the smaller battery needs constant topping off--sometimes twice a day. Despite that, you can't go wrong with the iPhone 7.
Apple proves once again that it makes insanely popular, insanely good handsets.