iPhone 7 Plus Reviewed: ‘Master of All Trades’

BY Evan Selleck

Published 22 Sep 2016


Steve Litchfield already reviewed the iPhone 7 for iPhoneHacks, but now he’s back with a review for the larger of Apple’s newest flagships, the iPhone 7 Plus.

While the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus share plenty of similarities, there are a plethora of tweaks, both in terms of hardware and software, that make the larger of the pair stand out. As such, Litchfield took a crack at reviewing the 7 Plus, inspecting it for any cracks in the armor, coming off an already impressed outlook from the iPhone 7. Based on the review, it sounds like Litchfield was even more impressed with the 7 Plus than he was with the 7, calling the iPhone 7 Plus a “master of all trades.”

First, there’s an expected compare-and-contrast between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, noting the few differences –for the better– that the 7 Plus brings to the table:

“As with the smaller ‘7’, everything has been improved across the board for the 7 Plus – even the display, which the specs say should be the same as on the 6 Plus, has a brighter LED backlight for better sunlight performance. Then there’s the faster A10 Fusion chipset, now up to 2.3GHz, the greater RAM, now 3GB on this larger iPhone. Add in higher capacity (the range now starts at 32GB – yay!) and greater battery capacity (2910mAh has been quoted, up from 2750mAh on the 6 Plus).”

As far as performance goes, the 7 Plus, installed with iOS 10, is as snappy and responsive as anyone might expect:

“You may have seen various YouTube videos showing the iPhone 6s running rings around a Galaxy S7 in terms of opening applications one by one – while this test scenario is somewhat artificial, it does show how fast iOS is with these modern, super-optimised Apple-designed chips – the iPhone 7 Plus has a quad core A10 Fusion, with two high speed 2.3GHz cores and two low power 1GHz cores (to handle operations when absolute speed isn’t needed), backed up by 3GB of RAM. The upshot, even with a 1080p screen, is very fast operation when needed (usually only ever restricted by the deliberate animations and transitions to help the user work out what’s going where in the UI) and terrific battery life the rest of the time.”


Of course, one of the major focal points for the 7 Plus is the new 12-megapixel dual-camera system on the back. Both shooters are 12 megapixels, and Apple uses a combination of hardware and software to make an impressive debut with the feature:

“It’s almost impossible to over-state how fast the iPhone 7 Plus camera is – there’s not only zero shutter lag, you can shoot up to 10 photos a second in burst mode, all at full 12MP and at full quality (using either lens). For kids, pets and sporting events, action is really easy to keep up with, even with the 2x telephoto lens? In most cases you’ll just hit that 2x control and go with it, but long pressing on this then gives access to a smooth set of part-digital zoom factors from 1x up to 10x. Obviously, the further you get from the physical 2x zoom, the more pixel data has to be ‘made up’, with a resulting blockiness.

Interestingly, in low light, the iPhone 7 Plus’s software is clever enough to know that the 2x lens’s narrow aperture and lack of OIS will let the quality down and the phone deliberately keeps using the main stabilised lens, using digital zoom instead. So it’s all been well thought out, following Apple’s usual mantra of ‘we know best, just trust us’!”


And, finally, the verdict, which, unsurprisingly based on the rest of the review, gives the 7 Plus a big thumbs up:

“As usual, anyone who knows my writing will appreciate that I’m usually covering Android and Windows 10 Mobile, so I’m coming to the iPhone 7 Plus as someone who knows full well how tough the competition is in the smartphone world. I’ve played with all the other ‘dual lens’ camera phones on the market and none of them attempt what the iPhone 7 Plus does. The use of a genuine 2x optically zoomed lens in such a thin and sold state form is unique – and works brilliantly, in daylight at least. And ‘unique’ is good in 2016, with so much plateauing of smartphones elsewhere.

On the taking away of the 3.5mm jack from the 6s Plus, don’t listen to the doom and gloom mongers – you’ll either be using the supplied adapter or headset or will be experimenting with Bluetooth headphones. The rest of the iPhone 7s Plus is all positive, with the extra waterproofing, the great stereo speakers, the improved Taptics, the longer battery life.”

Have you gone and checked out an iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus? You can read the full review below.

[via iPhoneHacks]