iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus new features and when you can get yours

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    iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 plus launched

    As expected, Apple launched its latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in a San Francisco media event and according to SVP Phil Schiller, it’s the best iPhone Apple has ‘ever made’. “iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus dramatically improve every aspect of the iPhone experience, reaching a new level of innovation and precision to make this the best iPhone we have ever made,” he added. Once again, the leak news about the new iPhones were spot on and there were hardly any surprises. Here are 10 new changes you need to know:

    ‘New’ design

    In terms of looks, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is not very different to that of the iPhone 6. Gone are the ugly antennas on the back of the phones and new colours are mainly the highlight to the design. The new lineup now comes in silver, gold, rose gold and two new black finishes, an anodized matte look and an high-gloss finish Apple calls jet black.

    iPhone 7 Plus lineup and colours
    iPhone 7 Plus comes in five colours and two new black finishes: matte black and a high gloss finish Apple calls jet black.

    NO headphone jack

    Perhaps the biggest shock for us is that Apple really went ahead to remove the headphone jack. For audiophiles with high-end sound cans, the absence of a jack doesn’t mean you have to give up the beautiful sounds (or the new iPhones). It just means that it will be a little more work connecting both devices. Your headphones or earphones will be connected through the lightning port with an adapter. So, if you forget to slip the adapter into your bag, no one will be able to help you. The last time Apple changed its ports was from the 30-pin connector to the current lightning port and it remains to be seen if this would be stop fans from upgrading.

    New Home button

    The Home button on Apple products, be it the iPhone or the iPad, must be one of the parts that breaks down the most due to usage. Apple has swop it out for a solid-state button that is force sensitive that will be more durable and responsive. That means, it is no really a button but will feel like one with vibrations similar to the Force Touch from its Taptic Engine.

    Finally! Water and dust resistant

    For the longest time, iPhones are not protected from water and dust. More a ‘hygiene’ upgrade, the latest iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come with water and dust resistant rating of IP67. In layman terms, it means the iPhones are dust tight (thanks to the redesigned enclosure) and can be survived submersion in water up to 1 metre and for 30 minutes.

    New advanced camera systems

    One of the most anticipated and biggest updates had to be the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cameras. Both phones will spot the 12-megapixel camera and for the first time, optical image stabilisation technology on the smaller iPhone 7 as well. The new cameras will come with a larger f/1.8 aperture and 6-element lens to capture brighter, more detailed photos and videos. On top of that, the iPhone 7 Plus now comes with the much rumoured dual-lens element that combines a wide angle camera and a telephoto camera that have a 2 times optical zoom and and up to 10 times digital zoom for photos. To squeeze optical zoom into a phone as slim as the iPhone is an amazing achievement!

    According to Apple press release, the dual 12-megapixel cameras will add features like depth-of-field effect, dual-lens photo-taking and Machine Learning that separates the background from the foreground for portraits later this year.

    Optical image stabilization is now available on both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cameras.
    Optical image stabilization is now available on both iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus cameras.

    Quad-LED True Tone flash

    On top of the advancements in camera optics, the new iPhones will feature Quad-LED True Tone flash that is 50 percent brighter than iPhone 6s and includes an innovative sensor that detects the flickering in lights and auto compensates for it when recording videos and photos.

    Better audio speakers

    For the first time, the iPhones will ship with stereo speakers, offering volume two times louder than iPhone 6s, increased dynamic range of sound and a higher quality speakerphone. Although gone now is the 3.5 mm headphone jack, Apple will still provide the EarPods with Lightning connector as well as include an adapter for your old headphones and accessories.

    A10 Fusion chip

    With every iteration of the iPhones, Apple upgrades its chipset to deliver better performance and experience. The new iPhones will come with a new custom-designed Apple A10 Fusion chip and a new architecture that delivers 120 times better performance than the original iPhone. The quad-core A10 Fusion is also more power efficient and thus, giving users a longer battery life.

    Better Retina HD

    We love Apple’s Retina display. According to Apple, the new display will be 25% brighter and is also the most colourful Retina HD display ever in an iPhone. Other than offering a wider colour gamut for cinema-standard colours, the new Retina HD will also have better colour saturation and colour management. There is no change to the screen sizes – 4.7-inch for iPhone 7 and 5.5-inch for iPhone 7 Plus.

    AirPods

    Apple also showed off its new wireless earphones called AirPods at the event. The AirPods, that have to be charged before use and last approximately 5 hours is Apple’s offering for a new wireless experience with its products. AirPods are compatible with Apple’s family of products like iPhones, iPads, Macs and Apple Watch. You can also summon up Siri by double-tapping on the AirPods. The AirPods will go on sale this October and is priced at S$238(US$159).

    AirPods from Apple
    The wireless AirPods will go on sale in October 2016

    Prices

    Gone are the 16GB models and the base model for the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come with a minimum of 32GB storage. Both iPhones will be available in 5 colours, silver, gold, rose gold, matte black and a new jet black finish that will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models from apple.com/sg, Apple Stores, Apple Authorized Resellers and select carriers. Pricing ranges from S$1,048 for the iPhone 7 32GB model to S$1,588 for the iPhone 7 Plus 256GB model.

    When can you get it

    Pre-orders for the new iPhones starts this Friday, 9 September and is expected to arrive in Singapore the following week on 16 September. Other countries selected for the first wave of rollout includes Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK, US Virgin Islands and the US.

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