Apple has taken the wraps off its 2016 flagship handset the iPhone 7. Here's everything you need to know about the new smartphone.
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Few things in the technology calendar are as reliable as the annual Apple iPhone launch. Since the iPhone 5 launched back in 2012, Apple has captured the attention of the world with its new flagship iPhone unveilings in the month of September. 2016 was no exception. Tim Cook and his band of Apples have closed the curtains on the official event announcing this year's flagship device, the iPhone 7. The new smartphone promises to be one of the best iOS devices yet, with some interesting new features that will help it join the ranks of the world's best phones. It wasn't all iPhone though - there was also the iPhone 7 Plus reveal, the arrival of the Apple Watch Series 2 and perhaps most important of all, confirmation that Nintendo is going to launch a Mario game on iOS before the end of the year.
Apple iPhone 7: What is it?
The Apple iPhone 7 is the 10th version of Apple’s iconic smartphone. Ever since the launch of the iPhone 3G back in 2008, Apple has worked on a tick-tock release pattern, with major design updates on the tick and more subtle improvements on the S-variant tock. Last year saw the arrival of the iPhone 6S, so it was always destined that Apple would continue the tradition and launch the Apple iPhone 7 this year. For the past two generations, Apple has also launched a plus-size variant of the handset with a bigger screen, better battery and slightly improved camera, a tend that the company has continued in 2016 with the launch of the iPhone 7 Plus. Like previous years, Apple has dropped the price of the previous model, and offered a reduced capacity lineup, although for the first time the company is offering the previous year's model at two capacities. For users not interested in buying the iPhone 7, the iPhone 6S will still be available. What's more, Apple has doubled the capacity of its 6S models, and is offering the 6S and 6S Plus in both 32GB and 128GB versions. The iPhone SE also continues to supplement the iPhone family.
Apple iPhone 7: Australian Release date
Apple is also one of the few technology companies capable of delivering a new product to a massive global market within weeks of its announcement. And that's exactly what it's doing with the iPhone 7 – Apple has confirmed at its launch event that the new handsets will go on sale from 16 September, with pre-orders opening on 9 September. All four major Australian mobile carriers are likely to range the iPhone 7 family on the mobile plans, though at this stage there isn't any word on how much the new phones will add to the monthly price of a contract. We'll keep this page updated with all the information as it happens, though, so stay tuned for iPhone 7 plan details in the coming week.
Apple iPhone 7: Price
As we anticipated, Apple has kept the pricing for its iPhone 7 models static compared to the iPhone 6S launch last year, despite doubling the included storage capacities across the board. Here's a full run down of the new iPhone 7 pricing:
|Apple iPhone model||Price|
|iPhone 7 (32GB)||$1,079|
|iPhone 7 (128GB)||$1,229|
|iPhone 7 (256GB)||$1,379|
|iPhone 7 Plus (32GB)||$1,269|
|iPhone 7 Plus (128GB)||$1,419|
|iPhone 7 Plus (256GB)||$1,569|
|iPhone 6S (32GB)||$929|
|iPhone 6S (128GB)||$1,079|
|iPhone 6S Plus (32GB)||$1,079|
|iPhone 6S Plus (128GB)||$1,229|
|iPhone SE (16GB)||$679|
|iPhone SE (64GB)||$749|
To give you some historical background, here's the launch pricing from the past few generations of iPhone launches. There was a significant jump up from the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 6S, but that can largely be attributed to the significant fall in value of the Australian dollar compared to the US dollar that year. There hasn’t been a similar shift in the exchange rate since last year’s iPhone release, which explains why pricing hasn't shifted for this year's iPhone 7 release.
|iPhone 6s||$1079 (16GB)||$1229 (64GB)||$1379 (128GB)|
|iPhone 6||$869 (16GB)||$999 (64GB)||$1129 (128GB)|
|iPhone 5s||$869 (16GB)||$999 (32GB)||$1129 (64GB)|
|iPhone 5||$799 (16GB)||$899 (32GB)||$999 (64GB)|
Apple iPhone 7: Specifications
|Apple iPhone 7||Apple iPhone 7 Plus|
|Processor||Apple A10 Fusion||Apple A10 Fusion|
|Battery||Lithium ion, "up to 2 hours more than iPhone 6s"||Lithium ion, "up to 2 hours more than iPhone 6s"|
Cupertino always does its best to keep the official announcement of new hardware under wraps until its launch event, so official specs for the iPhone 7 were thin on the ground prior to the launch event. But now that the specs are out in the open, we know that the bulk of leaked information was fairly accurate across both the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus. Most notable was the confirmation that the iPhone 7 has ditched the 3.5mm headphone jack, although we're not quite sure we agree with Phil Schiller that it was "courage" that led them to make the decision. As expected though, Apple is bundling a pair of Lightning earbuds and a 3.5mm to Lightning adapter in the box. The company has also developed a new set of wireless earbuds dubbed AirPods, which work as a new standard for Bluetooth wireless, and will go on sale in October. The iPhone 7 also received an IP67 splashproof and water resistance rating as expected, thanks to the newly designed body. You probably don't want to go scuba diving with it, but it's probably going to survive a drop in the pool. Apple has boosted the camera, introducing optical image stabilisation, while the front-facing FaceTime camera is now 7MP for even better selfies. An updated Home button does away with mechanical parts and instead takes advantage of Apple's Force Touch technology and a new haptic engine for impressive feedback. The screen has had an update, as have the speakers, with Apple claiming impressive stereo sound. Meanwhile, the A10 Fusion processor powering everything features 4 cores, including two low power cores that allow you to do low-intensity functions like check email without burning through the battery life. Speaking of battery, while we don't know the exact capacity yet, we do know that Apple is claiming a two hour boost in battery life over the iPhone 6S.
iPhone 7: Review
Apple’s iPhone 7 isn’t quite perfect, with the battery life being particularly average for a premium device, but it is exceptionally powerful for a phone at its size, and it’s hard to argue with that sleek black finish.
"This year’s inclusion of Black and Jet Black iPhone models really helps them to stand out. The iPhone 7 is fast and responsive across multiple applications in use, taking advantage of the effective "dual dual core" approach that the Fusion processor offers."
The iPhone 7 Plus does solve for the battery issue thanks to its larger size, but the iPhone 7 is still a powerful and compelling phone in its own right.
Also worth considering
Apple may be one of the biggest brands playing in the smartphone space and the iPhone 7 is sure to be a huge success, but it’s far from the only game in town. If you can’t wait for Apple’s launch or you prefer the OS workings of Google’s Android operating system over iOS, consider getting one of these devices instead. On the plus side, a lot of them are now appearing in our weekly cheap phones roundup, so you could save a heap of money on your next phone purchase too.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Samsung’s 2016 flagship lifted the bar for all smartphones when it launched earlier this year. With it’s incredible screen, impressive camera and fantastic battery life, it’s easily the phone to beat when it comes to 2016 smartphones. It also has a bit of competition from it’s slightly edgier brother, the Galaxy S7 Edge.
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HTC 10 HTC has made a habit of creating well-designed smartphones that are big on features and performance. While the HTC 10 doesn’t quite live up to the benchmarks set by Samsung’s Galaxy S7, it’s still an excellent option for anyone looking for a flagship device in 2016.
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LG G5 LG’s G5 handset is easily one of the most interesting devices of the year thanks to its modular accessory design. The ability to switch out the battery and add in a dedicated camera module, or a B&O amplifier offers a unique take on the modern smartphone, which is in danger of becoming a bit stagnant.