There is nothing like a perfect smartphone. This is the largest product category in the world by volume and hence it is tough to nail what everyone wants and keep everyone happy, especially in these demanding times. So the iPhone 7 series is not perfect either, at least not at first sight. There are a lot of good things about these new phones which stand out, a good design, a great camera, and performance that will not leave you wanting. But there seem to be some areas for improvement too, given that this is still supposed to be the benchmark smartphone.
Here are a few areas where I thought Apple could have offered more with the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Battery life: The battery life of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have improved, according to what Apple is claiming. So the iPhone 7 will give two hours of juice more, while the iPhone 7 Plus will offer one more hour. And this is not happening because Apple has added a larger battery, but because the A10 Fusion chip should be able to reduce power consumption on some functions thanks to its two high-efficiency cores. Apple could well have added a larger battery this time, or at least fast charging given that power is still the biggest pain point for most iOS users, even as Android seems to be packing larger cells and getting more out of smaller ones.
Display: The display of both the new devices are the same as the earlier series, and underwhelming when you compare it with Android rivals. Well, a Full HD is all you need as a regular user, but regular users will also be looking at the 2K screens the competition is offering at cheaper price points.
One thing Apple has done is the wide colour display, which makes most images look richer and vivid, but again it could easily offer more. Also, at a time when a 720p display is looked down upon when it comes to a $200 Android phone, Apple iPhone still has one of these despite being a flagship.
The unattractive 32GB: Apple has done something really good by offering 32GB as the basic storage in all its new, and older, devices. You now get 32GB at the same price as the earlier 16GB versions. But then you look at the rest of the price sheet and see, 128GB against the price point of the earlier 64GB. Suddenly, the 32GB looks less attractive, unless you have some way of raising the extra $100. Across the iPhone range, the 32GB has become less attractive, because you now get much more value for money buying a 128GB version. Apple has given you a good bait to spend more money, instead of settling for lesser.
Bokeh: The Apple invite suggested a bokeh, Phil Schiller showed us the bokeh, but the bokeh is not there on the iPhone 7 Plus yet. Yes, the portrait feature that lets you exploit the best of the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual camera, but users will have to wait for a later date to see the light of the day. It is not there in the camera app yet, and that is a very un-Apple-like thing to do. We wonder why.
Disclaimer: The author is in San Francisco at the invite of Apple.