entertainment

iPhone 7 reviewed: a lot of catch-up, a little leapfrog

September 28, 2016 lawson james 0 Comments

We, the people, may complain about how exhausting it is to keep up with the annual flood of new smartphones from Apple (APPL) and Samsung, and so on. But look at the bright side: At least you don’t have to create the annual set of new features. That’s theirproblem.

Or at least a brutal challenge. Not just because it’s increasingly difficult to think of new features, but also because the phone makers have pretty much run out of room for new components inside.
That, says Apple, is why it removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, which go on sale Friday. The headphone jack may not seem very big — but on the insideof the phone, the corresponding receptacle occupies an unnerving amount of nonnegotiable space.

The iPhone 7 Plus, in glistening Jet Black.

The iPhone 7 Plus, in glistening Jet Black.The feature Apple took out

The feature Apple took out

So how are you supposed to listen to music without a headphone jack? Apple offers three ways. First, in the box, Apple includes a two-inch adapter cord that connects any headphones to the phone’s Lightning jack.

You can use any existing headphones or earbuds by popping on the little adapter cable

You can use any existing headphones or earbuds by popping on the little adapter cable.

Second, the phone also comes with new white earbuds that connect to the Lightning jack. Or you can use any Bluetooth wireless earbuds, including Apple’s own, super-impressive AirPods.

AirPods: Like standard Apple earbuds, but without the tangle.

AirPods: Like standard Apple earbuds, but without the tangle.

In theory, those three approaches should pretty much cover you whenever you want to listen. In practice, though, you’ll still get zapped by the occasional inconvenience bug. You’ll be on a flight, for example, listening to your laptop with headphones — and when you want to switch to the phone, you’ll realize that your adapter dongle is in the overhead bin. (Actual example.)
But this kind of hassle is the new reality. Motorola and LeEvo (in China) have already ditched the headphone jack, and other phone makers will follow suit.
All right, Apple removed the headphone jack so that it could dedicate interior space to new features. What are they?
Turns out that just about every element of a smartphone that can be improved, Apple has upgraded: the case, the battery, camera, screen, speakers, processor, storage, the Home button, and the software.

The case

The back of the iPhone 7 is aluminum, whose gracefully rounded edges blend smoothly into the glass of the screen. No change there.
But in addition to the standard metal colors (matte black, silver, gold, pink gold), there’s a new finish available called Jet Black. It’s glistening, shiny, deep piano black. It’s gorgeous and sleek and smooth and you want to rub it like it’s a worry stone. It’s also slippery and fingerprinty.

Jet black: So shiny, Apple wants you to encase it.

Jet black: So shiny, Apple wants you to encase it.


0 comments:

COMMENT AND SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND LOVE ONES