On Wednesday, Apple held a Special Event. Among other, less exciting announcements, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Chief Design Officer Jony Ive announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Both feature new, more powerful cameras — especially the 7 Plus, which will have high-resolution optical zoom — stereo speakers, and a more durable battery. As rumored, both the 7 and 7 Plus will ditch the headphone jack and traditional headphones in favor of wireless AirPods. Most surprising, however, is that these new iPhones will be water resistant.
Last year, we predicted that 2016 would be the year that waterproof gadgets sink into the mainstream. Apple’s foray underwater signals that the era is indeed upon us. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be rated IP67, meaning it will be completely protected from dust ingress and can last underwater for up to 30 minutes at three feet. (Not recommended, of course.)
The camera — or, for the 7 Plus, cameras — will be vastly superior to current iPhone cameras. Both the 7 and 7 Plus will feature a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens, but the 7 Plus will also have a telephoto lens. Together, the two cameras will make smartphone photography equal, if not superior to standalone cameras. “This is the best camera that we have ever made in an iPhone,” Senior Vice President Phil Schiller said in his keynote.
In addition, the FaceTime, selfie camera will be seven megapixels, meaning you will never again look ugly (or something), and there will be a new flash system to make nighttime photography even better.
Other features include an impressive new Retina HD display, a redesigned home button, the lightning cable or wireless EarPods and AirPods, and stereo speakers. Together, they’ll be two times louder than iPhone 6 speakers, and, since there are two speakers — one on the top and one on the bottom — mono audio will be a thing of the past. In addition, these iPhones employ the brand new A10 chips, which offer much better performance than their predecessors.
Ive pointed out that the phone’s design is radically improved. It’s an additional testament to Apple’s design philosophy, which dates back to co-founder Steve Jobs: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” He explained that there are “very few, very precisely engineered parts,” and admitted that “our obsession remains to continuously simplify and improve.” Each refinement in the iPhone 7 “serves to bring absolute unity and efficiency to the design,” Ive said.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available on September 16, and will be available in new colors and materials, like jet black, gold, silver, rose gold, and matte black. Preorders start this Friday, September 9. Both models will be available in 32 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB. The iPhone 7 will start at $649 and the iPhone 7 Plus will start at $769. Their release will coincide with iOS 10, which Cook called Apple’s “biggest iOS release ever.”
The new operating system will have some exciting features, like a completely redesigned Messages app, third-party Siri integration, and HomeKit compatibility.