DESIGN AND DURABILITY
The overall design of both is similar to that introduced with the iPhone 6. Apple hit home the new “seamless” design that further blends the glass on the front and the rear case, and that’s partly due to a relocation of the antenna bands — they’re now on the top and bottom edges of the devices.
The buttons are in the same place, but the home button is no longer a button. The new Force Touch home button acts like the Force Touch track pad on the newer Macbook Pro — you’ll feel a Taptic vibration whenever you push down on it.
The camera, which still juts out a bit, is where you’ll find the main design difference between the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (aside from size). The 7 Plus has a new dual-camera system, whereas the 7 only has a single rear camera. The iPhone 7 Plus’ rear-camera setup looks somewhat similar to the LG G5, which also uses a dual-camera setup.
Both models come in rose gold, gold, silver, black, and a high-gloss jet black variant.
The jet black model brings us to durability. Due to its high-gloss nature, it’s the only color option that Apple recommends you get a case for, because it’s prone to scratches. That’s right — the company showcased and praised the jet black finish, but now wants you to cover it up with a case. Go figure.
Still, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are IP67 rated, meaning they’re water- and dust-resistant. You can take them underwater up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, though the rating’s intent is to protect the device from accidental water damage.
This is the meat of the comparison between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, and the bigger variant wins it easily. The iPhone 7 Plus is the phone you should get if you want a better camera experience, and that’s because of its dual-camera system.
That’s not to say the iPhone 7’s camera isn’t good — far from it. The 12-megapixel rear camera features a 28-mm wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture. It’s 60 percent faster than the camera on the 6S, while also 30 percent more energy efficient. Even the True Tone flash has gotten an upgrade that offers up to 50 percent more light.
The cameras can identify faces and bodies, and they also offer wide color capture. There’s even support for RAW image format, allowing for more control when editing photographs.
The front camera has a f/2.2 aperture and is packed with 7 megapixels. It has automatic image stabilization, whereas the rear is optically stabilized.
Take all of that and add it to the iPhone 7 Plus, except add another 12-megapixel rear camera. The second camera on the rear is a 56mm telephoto lens with a f/2.8 aperture. It essentially lets you zoom in on images, up to 10 times, with spectacular clarity and quality. Still, optical zoom is utilized until the 2x mark. Anything higher than that is digital zoom.
There’s also an exciting blur feature, or bokeh, coming via a software update. It uses the dual-lens and some software tinkering to recognize the subject in a photo and blur out the background, like on DSLRs with wide apertures. It offers more depth to images, but you can turn this feature on or off. You’re also able to see a live preview before you take a shot.
The iPhone 7’s camera is great. But if you’re looking to choose one over the other, and photography is a top factor, get the iPhone 7 Plus.
Winner: iPhone 7 Plus
PRICING AND AVAILABILITY
The iPhone 7 starts at $649 for the 32GB model. You can choose from two more storage options — 128GB, and 256GB. The jet black color only has a 128GB and 256GB internal storage option.
The iPhone 7 Plus costs $769 and also has the same storage options. Both devices are available in stores and online now.
All carriers have various deals and trade-in offers for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and Apple has its very own iPhone Upgrade program. You can read up about all the different ways to order the two devices here. Carriers share the same monthly price across the board, and we’ve listed the base price of the 32GB variant below.
- AT&T: The iPhone 7 costs $650, but you can opt for monthly payments of $21.67 for 30 months. The iPhone 7 Plus costs $770, and a monthly payment plan will set you back $25.67 for 30 months.
- T-Mobile: The iPhone 7 costs $650, but you can opt for monthly payments of $27.08 for 24 months. The iPhone 7 Plus costs $770, and a monthly payment plan will set you back $32.08 for 24 months.
- Verizon: The iPhone 7 costs $650, but you can opt for monthly payments of $27.08 for 24 months. The iPhone 7 Plus costs $770, and a monthly payment plan will set you back $32.08 for 24 months.
- Sprint: The iPhone 7 costs $650, but you can opt for monthly payments of $27.08 for 24 months. The iPhone 7 Plus costs $770, and a monthly payment plan will set you back $32.08 for 24 months.
||Available. Released 2016, September
||158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 in)
||188 g (6.63 oz)
||– IP67 certified – dust and water resistant
– Water resistant up to 1 meter and 30 minutes
– Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)
||LED-backlit IPS LCD, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
||5.5 inches (~67.7% screen-to-body ratio)
||1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
||Ion-strengthened glass, oleophobic coating
||– Wide color gamut display
– 3D Touch display & home button
||iOS 10.0.1, upgradable to iOS 11
||Apple A10 Fusion
||Quad-core 2.34 GHz (2x Hurricane + 2x Zephyr)
||PowerVR Series7XT Plus (six-core graphics)
||Dual 12 MP, (28mm, f/1.8, OIS & 56mm, f/2.8), phase detection autofocus, 2x optical zoom, quad-LED (dual tone) flash, check quality
||1/3″ sensor size @ 28mm, 1/3.6″ sensor size @ 56mm, geo-tagging, simultaneous 4K video and 8MP image recording, touch focus, face/smile detection, HDR (photo/panorama)
||[email protected], [email protected]/60/120fps, [email protected], check quality
||7 MP, f/2.2, 32mm, [email protected], [email protected], face detection, HDR, panorama
||Vibration, proprietary ringtones
||Yes, with stereo speakers
||– Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
– Lightning to 3.5 mm headphone jack adapter incl.
||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, hotspot
||4.2, A2DP, LE
||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
||Yes (Apple Pay only)
||2.0, reversible connector
||Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer
||iMessage, SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
||– Siri natural language commands and dictation
– iCloud cloud service
– MP3/WAV/AAX+/AIFF/Apple Lossless player
– MP4/H.264 player
– Audio/video/photo editor
– Document editor
||Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, Red
||1.19 W/kg (head) 1.19 W/kg (body)
||1.24 W/kg (head) 1.00 W/kg (body)
||About 830 EUR
OVERALL WINNER: IPHONE 7 PLUS
It really comes down to size preference and the camera. If you want a compact phone, the iPhone 7 is cheaper and offers a great camera experience.
If you’re a photographer, chances are you want to take advantage of the dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus. That’s really what dazzled us at Apple’s iPhone launch event in San Francisco, and it’s something we’re excited to test out. The additional hour of battery life and 1GB of extra RAM is a plus too.
Of course, if you want a smaller screen, the iPhone 7 remains the way to go. Otherwise, the iPhone 7 Plus is superior.