The Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in India exactly a month after its global unveiling at the Bill Graham Centre in San Francisco. When sales start on October 7, the iPhone 7 model will become available for prices starting Rs 60,000 for the 32GB version. We still don’t know the pricing of the iPhone 7 Plus. We spent some time with the two new phones in the crowded hands-on area behind the venue to find out more about the devices. Here is what we thought:
iPhone 7 first impressions
The iPhone 7 is the same size as the iPhone 6s, but the new jet black version makes it slicker. There are no bands, and it is one pure block of black, shiny but not slippery. There is another black version with a matte finish that is more my style. The sides of the phone now remind me a lot of the Apple Watch. The camera on the Apple 7 is now at par with the iPhone 6s Plus, maybe a bit better. The front camera is surely better.
The display hasn’t changed in pixels, but it has more vibrant colours. The company claims the battery life is at least two hours more in comparison to the earlier versions. The haptic feedback on the home screen is good and very similar to the 3D Touch. But we will need to wait for third party apps to put it to better use. Like with the watch, the phone now wakes up as you turn it towards you.
Also, with stereo speakers, these should be the best sounding iPhones ever. However, in the noise of the hands-on zone, there was no way to test this out. I think the iPad is the best sounding mobile device and the iPhone would be an earful even if it achieves a fraction of that.
iPhone 7 Plus first impressions
This phone is all about the dual camera. For me, the ease of zooming on this camera was really awesome and the first bit that awed me. It is fast and it doesn’t pixelate when it gets to 10x. The 1x switch is also real fast. I had the good fortune of testing it on Tim Cook himself in the hands-on area. I could go from wide to long shot in a jiffy. But we will need more time with the device to really put the Bokeh effect to test. The devices I tried did not have the software that gives you the portrait option. That will need to wait a week, I guess. Also, the demo photos suggest the low light capability will be much better than before. But again more on that after a proper hands on.
However, with what I have seen I am convinced the iPhone 7 Plus is better than the iPhone 6s Plus, which in my book is the best smartphone camera around. Also, I don’t think the threat from this phone, or for that matter, the Huawei Honor P9 or Samsung Galaxy Note 7, is to other phones as much as it is to the entry range of DSLRs.
Disclaimer: The author is in San Francisco at the invite of Apple India.