Apple’s iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 6s

At a glance, Apple Inc.’s new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus look a lot like the past year’s iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The biggest visual change: bigger camera bumps on the back. There is also a new high-gloss “jet black” finish that offers a mirror-like (and likely fingerprint-prone) surface.
Inside, the new iPhones bring better battery life and significant performance upgrades over their predecessors. But are they enough to get you upgrade? Or switch to Apple from an Android phone?
The height, width and thickness is the same for the two new phones and their predecessors, although—fun fact—the new ones are actually a tad lighter.
Design wise, the biggest change is that the new iPhones are finally water and dust resistant. Apple says the iPhone 7 models get an IP67 rating, which means they can survive being submerged up to 1 meter underwater for as long as 30 minutes.
The home button is different, too. It is solid state, so you don’t push it in. Instead, a new “taptic engine” responds to your touch, much like the keyboard on the Retina MacBook. It also allows for the phones to vibrate in different patterns and intensities when you’re receiving a text message, interacting with widgets and other actions.
Apple's new iPhones have a number of new features. Here are the ones you should really pay attention to. Photo: Apple.
The screen sizes remain the same—iPhone 7 will have a 4.7-inch display and iPhone 7 Plus will have a 5.5-inch display—nestled in the same fashion, with a noticeable bezel surrounding them. The resolutions also remain the same: 1,334 x 750 pixels on the small one, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels on the large one.
But the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have screens that are 25% brighter than its predecessor, and they’ll both display a wider color gamut that Apple says will allow for more detailed gaming and photos.
The Lightning charging port remains in place. And as always with iPhones, there is no removable battery or MicroSD card slot for expanded storage.
However, the headphone jack is gone, enabling the iPhone 7 to have dual speakers, rather than the single speaker found in all previous iPhones.
The entry-level iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will have 32GB of storage, up from the measly 16GB base storage found on previous iPhones. On the high side, you can now get a 256GB model.
Processing and Graphics
The new iPhones will be powered by what Apple is calling the A10 Fusion chipset. It’ll have two high-performance cores that are 40% faster than the A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s, and 120x faster than the original iPhone, released nearly 10 years ago. A new graphics processor in the A10 Fusion chipset is 50% faster than the A9’s GPU. And the A10 Fusion will consume two-thirds as much power as the A9, Apple said.
Altogether, the A10 Fusion chipset is the most powerful ever put into a smartphone, saidPhil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president for marketing, at Apple’s Wednesday iPhone 7 launch event. Mr. Schiller also said that the A10 Fusion chip will allow for “console level gaming on an iPhone.”
The camera setup has been totally redesigned, with a new image sensor, a 12-megapixel resolution, optical image stabilization across both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens rear camera that provides additional zoom and depth-of-field capability.
The 7-megapixel front-facing camera on both iPhone 7 models is also new.
Battery Life
The iPhone 7 will also have the longest battery life found in any iPhone, said Apple. The iPhone 7 bested the iPhone 6s by about two extra hours in Apple’s tests, and the iPhone 7 Plus beat the iPhone 6s Plus’ battery life by about an hour.
Apple priced the new phones at its standard top tier: The iPhone 7 starts at $649, while the 7 Plus starts at $749. Sticking to its tradition, Apple cut $100 off the price of last year’s phones.
Preorders for each model being Friday Sept. 9, and the new iPhones start shipping Sept. 16.
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