Following their announcement on September 7, Apple’s new iPhones, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, are now available to buy. As usual, both handsets were the subject of massive speculations in the run-up to launch–some correct, and some wrong. So in this article, I am going to take a look at the 7 Plus and see how it compares to its predecessors, the 6 Plus and 6s Plus.
iPhone 7 Plus: design compared
Its predecessors are almost identical in size, with the 6s Plus coming in at 158.1 x 77.9 x 7.3mm and the 6 Plus at 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm. The 6 Plus is 20 grams lighter than its sibling at 172 grams compared to 192 grams. The iPhone 7 Plus’ overall dimensions are the same as the 6s Plus at 158.1 x 77.9 x 7.3mm. However, it is slightly lighter than the 6s Plus at 188 grams.
Although all three handsets are manufactured from high-grade aluminium, with each successive model, Apple has improved the strength and durability. This means the iPhone 7 Plus is significantly more durable than its predecessors.
Other differences between Apple’s latest and the earlier models include the Home button. While the 6 Plus and 6s Plus featured a traditional mechanical button, the 7 Plus has a solid state replacement. And while all three use Touch ID, there has been an improvement in each successive generation. This has led to Touch ID being much faster and more responsive on the iPhone 7 Plus.
One additional difference is the lack of a headphone jack, if you didn’t know already. Apple decided to remove it and instead use its Lightning connector for all external accessories. However, many believe the real reason for this was to push its wireless Bluetooth headphones.
As for available colors for the 7 Plus, gone is Space Grey, and in its place are Jet Black and Matte Black, plus the more traditional Silver, Gold, and Rose Gold. The 6 Plus was available only in Silver and Space Grey, and the 6s Plus comes in Silver, Space Grey, Gold and Rose Gold.
At Apple’s event on September 7, Tim Cook took to the stage and announced that the two latest handsets are 40% faster than their direct predecessors, but what does this really mean. They’re fitted with the very latest A10 Fusion chip, and the iPhone 7 Plus has a four-core 64-bit processor with two high-performance and two high-efficiency cores. This gives the A10 a performance increase of 40% when compared to the A9 chip in the 6s Plus.
Apple also says the A10 chip offers twice the performance of the A8 chip found in the 6 Plus across the board. Additionally, if you’re an owner of the original iPhone, the A10 is 120 x times faster.
The A10 chip also provides the iPhone 7 Plus with improved graphic handling, meaning improved in-game frame rates and less lagging. Compared to the A9 in the 6s Plus, the improvement is in the region of 50%, and in comparison to the A8 in the 6 Plus, the increase reaches to three times.
The iPhone 6s Plus has a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. Both sensors have an aperture of f/2.2, but the front has a retina flash, and the rear is capable of shooting in 4K. The older 6 Plus’ rear camera has 8 megapixels, while its front is 1.2 megapixels. Again, the apertures are f/2.2, but there’s no flash, and the primary camera is capable of recording in full HD.
The rumors about the much talked-about iPhone 7 Plus camera ended up being correct. It does feature dual-lens technology. In fact, Apple has completely redesigned the camera for this handset.
On the rear of the device, there’s not one, but two 12-megapixel sensors, one wide-angle and the other telephoto. As for aperture sizes, the telephoto lens is f/2.8, and the wide-angle is f/1.8. This means that the iPhone 7 Plus has an optical zoom of 2x, and a digital zoom of 10x. Additionally, there’s a True Tone flash, wide color capture, and body and face detection. The front camera has also been improved; it now has a 7-megapixel sensor with an f/2.2 aperture.
iPhone 7 Plus battery power
Most people often mistakenly consider an increase in processing power to mean a reduction in battery life. While that may be the case for certain manufacturers, Apple has gone to great lengths to make the A10 efficient. In fact, Apple has openly stated that the A10 Fusion chip uses one-fifth the amount of power consumed by earlier models. This is where the conservation comes in, thanks to the A10‘s power performance controller.
So even with a more powerful chip, overall, the A10 is considerably more efficient than the A9 in the 6s Plus, using two-thirds the power and half the amount used by the A8 in the 6 Plus. But what does this equate to in real world battery times? Compared to the 6 Plus, you should see an extra two hours of battery time, while compared to the 6s Plus, that’s reduced to an extra one hour.
iPhone 7 Plus vs. iPhone 6s Plus vs. iPhone 6 Plus: specs compared
Has Apple done enough?
So having read through my brief, but definitive guide on how the three iPhone Plus models compare, which one wins? Personally, I think it’s clear to see that Apple has done enough with the iPhone 7 Plus to make it the winner. The performance increases alone would be sufficient for me. But with the inclusion of entirely new camera tech and a new starter storage size of 32GB, Apple has created something great.
And if this is considered to be a minor update, I cannot wait for the iPhone 8 Plus next year.