iPhone 7 preview
Apple’s September iPhone 7 launch feels like a long way off, but any seasoned gadget fan knows that the rumour mill will only pick up steam as each day passes.
As always, it’s best to take the rumours with a pinch of salt, but they’re still useful in painting a rough picture of what we can expect to see come launch day.
We’ll be updating this preview with all the latest news, as and when we get it, so don’t forget to check back for your regular iFix.
Hit the road jack
Given that the iPhone 7 is coming off the back of an ’s’ version, we expect to see some design changes.
It’ll come as no surprise to hear that the iPhone 7 is expected to be even thinner than the current 7.1mm iPhone 6s, and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reckons Apple could trim down its new handset to as little as 6mm, and newer reports point to a 6.1mm-thin body.
If true, then we're concerned that the battery capacity won't be up to scratch, even with Apple's expected optimisations, though it’ll undoubtedly look and feel beautiful.
Spot the difference
The iPhone 7’s incredible slenderness is reportedly down to a thinner Lightning port, and the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, so we’ll have to wait and see if Apple really does have the guts to axe such a well-established port, forcing people to snap up Bluetooth or Lightning port-compatible headphones.
It sounds ridiculous, but multiple sources have predicted the death of the headphone jack, so we’ll have to wait and see if Apple really does have the guts to axe such a well-established port.
If Apple really does kill off the headphone jack, then you’ll have to resort to newer Lightning port or Bluetooth versions for your music fix – an extra expense that you could probably do without.
As for the handset itself? Expect to see the return of an all-metal body, with - according to Digitimes - new waterproofing powers to boot.
Newer design leaks and renders also show off a slight change to the two plastic antenna strips, which no longer form a band across the device’s rear.
iPhone 7 Plus rear leak
The iPhone 7 Plus, while similar, apparently has a couple of fairly major design changes, the most striking of which is a pair of rear cameras which protrude rather noticeably.
The other addition, according to the most recent leak, shows off what appears to be a three-dot Smart Connector at the bottom, similar to the one found on the iPad Pro which lets it connect to various accessories.
We don’t see Apple straying from the 4.7in and 5.5in screen sizes that currently grace the Phone 6s and 6s Plus. What we could (hopefully) see however, is an increase in the resolution, to at least 2K.
Apple has lagged behind in the resolution wars behind its Android rivals for quite some time now, and we imagine that iPhone 7 will finally be the handset that catches up.
While Apple has also had links to producing OLED iPhone displays, analysts don’t expect them to feature in Apple handsets earlier than the iPhone 8.
3D Touch will of course be sticking around too, hopefully reaching its full potential by the time the iPhone 7 release date rolls around. Get cracking, developers.
Blown up camera
Given how long it took Apple to move on from an 8-megapixel camera to a 12-megapixel one, we doubt we’ll see another increase this time round.
That’s not to say that we won’t see other improvements though. We could see an increase in the sensor size and aperture, which would provide improved performance in low light conditions. It would also be nice if the iPhone 7 had optical image stabilisation, as currently that’s a feature that remains exclusive to the larger Plus brother.
A patent filing also points to the addition of a second rear camera lens. One lens could have an increased focal depth, resulting in digital zoom that won’t pixellate your shots to death. Simultaneous 4K and 1080p footage could also be captured, with one lens focusing on slow-motion video during the shoot.
The most recent leaks suggest that this second rear camera will be featured on the iPhone 7 Plus only.
Whether this is down to size constraints or simply the fact that Apple is pushing the Plus version as the more premium device, is unkown, but we have seen Apple do the same thing with optical image stabilisation - a feature which was limited to the iPhone 6 Plus.
Power in spades
It should come as no surprise to you when we say that the iPhone 7 will be the most powerful iPhone to date.
Apple has increased the power of each and every successive handset, and the iPhone 7 could really up the ante with a hexa-core A10 chip, at least according to the folks over at Chinese site Weibo.
It’s unlikely that we’ll see a RAM increase, given Apple’s past history of slow memory upgrades, but that hasn’t stopped analyst Ming-Chi Kuo from predicting that the iPhone 7 Plus will have an extra boost to 3GB of RAM.
All that power should be more than enough to keep the as-of-yet unreleased iOS 9 moving along, although there’s been little information on what new features the new OS will bring, at this time.
Price and release date
The iPhone 7 should roughly be priced at around the same £540 price point as the existing base model iPhone 6s, but that price could still fluctuate either way.
As usual, we expect Apple to reveal the new iPhone in the second week of September, with an actual release date set for around two weeks after.