When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Here’s how it works

Home / News / 6 things we love about the iPhone 7… and 3 things we’re not so keen on

6 things we love about the iPhone 7… and 3 things we’re not so keen on

Apple's latest is full of tweaks, for better and worse

Apple’s iPhone 7 is now officially in stores – although you might actually have trouble finding one, given the usual pre-order barrage and release morning queues.

At a glance, Apple’s latest and greatest doesn’t seem to bring any major improvements over the last couple, but while the core design remains intact, there are plenty of upgrades all around the handset… and maybe even some reasons to upgrade if you have last year’s phone.

Our full review has a comprehensive breakdown of what’s new and why it’s great (or not), but if you’re ready to splurge and need a boost of confidence – or a serious reality check – here’s are six reasons why we love the iPhone 7… and three reasons why we don’t.

We Love #1: It’s waterproof

We Love #1: It

Fans of liquid-resistant flagships, 2016 is your year. First the Samsung Galaxy S7 added waterproofing to its sleek design, and now Apple has done much the same for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.

It’s IP67 certified, which means a splash of water is no hazard and even a dunk in a pool for 30 minutes or less shouldn’t ruin your beautiful, incredibly expensive handset. We’re not saying you should try it out, but when the next water-related mishap occurs, you ought to be fine.

We Love #2: Sweet Snaps

Verdict: Worth the upgrade?

True, the standard iPhone 7 doesn’t have the amazing dual-camera setup of the larger Plus model, which adds a telephoto lens and has some intriguing tricks coming via update – but the single camera still sees a big upgrade here.

The back camera has a wide f/1.8 aperture and adds optical image stabilisation, plus the brighter LED flash makes a big difference in low light. We noticed that the camera focused faster, and the results look even more vibrant than ever. It gives the Galaxy S7 a run for its money.

We Love #3: Black is the new black

We Love #3: Black is the new black

Last year’s Rose Gold colour option is no longer the new kid in the iPhone lineup. Now it’s… black?

Yeah: two of them, actually. The Jet Black is the stunningly glossy one you’ve seen all over the web, nicely hiding the newly-trimmed antenna lines and looking very sleek and cool in the process. It’s a fingerprint magnet, however, and even Apple admits that it’ll take scratches and scuffs faster than other versions – but it sure seems nice right out of the box.

Still, we’re more taken with the standard Black, which offers an attractive matte black backing along with the shinier front. It’s the colour to get this time around, even if the Jet Black ends up being in shorter supply in the short term.

We Love #4: Bright and shiny

We Love #4: Bright and shiny

Not only is the iPhone design largely the same this year, but even the screen resolution remains at a disadvantage compared to rivals. The 1334 x 750 display is a big step down from Android flagships, which often come in fabulous Quad HD configurations.

But while a bit less crisp, the iPhone 7’s screen is still nice to look at – and better than before, certainly. That’s because it’s not only 25% brighter than before, but it also features a wider colour gamut. Now colours seen more vibrant, and photos especially look fantastic.

We Love #5: Goodbye, 16GB

6) We finally say good riddance to 16GB

Nothing about the iPhone has been so frustrating in recent years as the stalwart 16GB starter model. That’s not enough storage for the average user, meaning you’ll either delete apps, games, and photos on a regular basis… or just splurge for the pricier models.

Luckily, it’s much less of a problem with the 32GB starting point on the iPhone 7. That provides some very welcome breathing room on the low end, while the larger versions boost up to 128GB and 256GB respectively. You might pine for a 64GB configuration somewhere in there, but ultimately, this is a big step in the right direction.

We Love #6: Heavy lifting

Apple iPhone 7 Performance: Need for speed

Apple says its new A10 Fusion system-on-a-chip is 40% faster than the iPhone 6s, and that the phone packs in 50% more graphics power… and sure enough, initial benchmark tests have shown blistering processing power. In fact, it’s ranking above even Samsung’s Exynos-touting powerhouses.

In everyday use, the iPhone 7 might not seem dramatically faster than last year’s phone, but it’s super speedy and will power increasingly advanced games in the months to come. Plus, iOS 10 is fantastic, and it runs brilliantly with the A10 Fusion behind it.

We Don’t Love #1: Plug-Out

We Don

It’s everyone’s favourite knock against the iPhone 7, and yeah, it’s ours too: there’s no 3.5mm headphone port. Apple wasn’t the first to make this move (those were Android phones), but it’s easily the highest-profile device to ditch the tried-and-true audio technology.

Why make the shift? Apple says it’s dated tech and wants people to use Bluetooth wireless headphones or Lightning-connected ones, and has the AirPods on offer – as well as fresh Beats options, of course.

But for the vast majority of us who already have earbuds or cans we like, it means using an awkward (but included) adapter. Apple might be comfortable with pushing ahead new audio standards, but there’s real frustration on the user side of things.

We Don’t Love #2: It’s… the same?

27) iPhone 7 (2016)

Although we just explained the many ways in which the iPhone 7 improves upon the iPhone 6s experience, that doesn’t change the fact that it looks almost exactly the same. It’s what is inside that counts and all that, but still, we hoped for something revolutionary… not just evolutionary.

Apple’s usual overhaul comes every other year, but the iPhone 7 is the third model to use this same design that originated with the iPhone 6s. We still like it, but at the same time, we craved something truly exciting. That’s assumed to come next year when the iPhone notches its 10th anniversary.

It’s part of the reason why our verdict on upgrading from an iPhone 6s is a touch… indecisive, although annual buyers can still find plenty of reason to make the jump this time around.

We Don’t Love #3: UK pricing

We Don

We really do love the iPhone 7, but man, the post-Brexit pricing in the UK is just brutal.

The entry-level 32GB model starts at £599 here, a £60 uptick from last year’s phone, and ranges up £100 more for each storage bump. And the iPhone 7 Plus sees an additional bump, starting at £719 with that same £100 increase for each capacity addition.

True, the iPhone 7 is pricey wherever you buy it, but UK buyers get extra-hammered on the exchange rate this time around (the iPhone 7 starts at US$649 in the States). Something to consider when you’re pondering upgrading or holding out another year.

Profile image of Andrew Hayward Andrew Hayward Freelance Writer


Andrew writes features, news stories, reviews, and other pieces, often when the UK home team is off-duty or asleep. I'm based in Chicago with my lovely wife, amazing son, and silly cats, and my writing about games, gadgets, esports, apps, and plenty more has appeared in more than 75 publications since 2006.

Areas of expertise

Video games, gadgets, apps, smart home