Introduction and Specifications
We look at the latest version of Apple’s iPhones
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are here, and while outwardly they look very similar to last year’s 6s models, there have been some significant upgrades (and a highly controversial change) to the new phones. Is there enough in this iterative update to justify an upgrade? After spending a couple of weeks using one as my primary device, I will attempt to answer this question.
While there had been rumors swirling of an all-new design featuring an OLED display, Apple appears to be holding back until next year – which just happens to be the 10th anniversary of the iPhone. Considering this fact, it may just be that the iPhone 7 is something of a stop-gap for 2017. Some of the rumored elements are here, however; with the elimination of the physical home button (it's a solid-state version now) and 3.5 mm headphone jack (the latter causing much consternation). The camera on both phones is completely new as well, with a special dual-lens version exclusive to the 7 Plus.
First we'll go over the specs of these phones. As you can see, there are still some areas that are not fully known, such as the exact speed of the low-power cores in the new quad-core SoC, and the specifics about this year's GPU.
|Apple iPhone 7||Apple iPhone 7 Plus|
|Processor||Apple A10 Fusion SoC
2.34 GHz dual-core + 2x low-power cores (? MHz)
|Graphics||6-core (unknown GPU)|
|Screen||4.7-inch IPS, DCI-P3 capable||5.5-inch IPS, DCI-P3 capable|
|Cameras||Back: 12MP, ƒ/1.8, OIS
Front: 7MP, ƒ/2.2
|Back: 12MP, f /1.8, OIS
Dual-camera with 2x telephoto lens
Front: 7MP, ƒ/2.2
|Video||Video: 4K @ 30 fps, 1080p @ 60/30 fps, 720p @ 30 fps||Video: 4K @ 30 fps, 1080p @ 60/30 fps, 720p @ 30 fps|
|Wireless||802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO
Bluetooth 4.2, NFC
|FDD-LTE (Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30)
TD-LTE (Bands 38, 39, 40, 41)
UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)
|Battery||1960 mAh||2900 mAh|
|Dimensions||138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm
(5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches)
138 g (4.87 oz)
|158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
(6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
188 g (6.63 oz)
|Price||$649 – $849||$769 – $969|
Nearly a Decade of iPhone
The iPhone was introduced in 2007 (Image credit: Apple, via archive.org)
It’s hard to believe it’s been nine years since the original iPhone launched. Announced in January of 2007 by Steve Jobs during his keynote speech at CES, it set a standard that the rest of the industry would take some time to meet (remember, the first Android phone was over a year away at this point.) But nine years is an age in technology years, and that first version seems like an antique now. (The original iPhone specs: 3.5-inch display with 320×480 resolution, single-core ARM processor running at 412 MHz, 128 MB of system memory, 4GB/8GB storage.)
So what do we have at the 9-year mark? The iPhone 7 design is simply a further refinement of the 2015 iPhone 6s design, which in turn was based on the iPhone 6 from 2014. Apple has been updating internals the year following a new design since the second-generation of the phone, with 2008’s iPhone 3G followed by the faster 3GS in 2009, and the fully re-designed iPhone 4 in 2010 succeeded by the faster 4s in 2011. The same formula was employed with the iPhone 5/5s and most recently with the iPhone 6/6s.
Even with its nearly identical appearance there is still enough new hardware to make the iPhone 7 launch interesting. Next year's 10th anniversary should bring a lot more to the table, but there are some notable changes (yes, we will discuss the missing headphone jack!). Ultimately, the decision to purchase a new phone often comes down to timing, with upgrade eligibility and carrier financing offers frequently dictating a $649+ purchase like this. The hardest argument is going to be the upgrade from one generation to the next, with many users traditionally upgrading at a 2-year cadence (based on the standard contract lengths of old).
Is the iPhone 7 worth an upgrade from an iPhone 6s? Is it compelling enough hardware, without any obvious improvements beyond a new dual-lens camera, to keep it at or near the top of the smartphone world? Samsung may have had some recent, highly-publicized trouble with their Note 7, but the Galaxy S7/S7 Edge are very popular, and very good, alternatives to an iPhone; with the Nexus series giving way to Google's new Pixel smartphone just days ago. Pepper in a few options from LG, HTC, and let us not forget world #3 Huawei (a review of the new P9 is upcoming), and the new iPhone faces stiff competition. Let's see how it performs.
still rocking a sony xperia
still rocking a sony xperia z2, great phone and will only replace it once it breaks.
Is the A10 still using the
Is the A10 still using the 128 bit memory bus, and can the A10’s lower power cores still issue 6 micro-ops? Here is the proper amount of information on the A7 Cyclone mciro-arch(1)! But very little of such proper CPU core info is available for the Apple A8/A8X, A9/A9X. It looks like Linus Torvalds was right about the ARM devices/core designs and Linux. Why is it that both AMD and Intel are so forthcoming about providing the proper amount of CPU core specifications about their respective x86 core features and Apple and the custom ARM makers can not even be bothered to list the proper specifications on their custom ARM core specifications.
What do the custom ARM licensees have to hide, the x86 core designs are listed in great detail by their makers. It’s no wonder the ARM ISA based designs are such a pain to develop for.
Issue Width—————–6 micro-ops,
Reorder Buffer Size———192 micro-ops,
Branch Mispredict Penalty—16 cycles (14 – 19),
Load Latency—————-4 Cycles,
Indirect Branch Units——-1,
L1 Cache-–——————64KB I$ + 64KB D$,
*Information provided Via Anand Lal Shimpi’s proper review of the Apple A7(cyclone) CPU!
What’s up with the reviews of the A8/A8X, the A9/A9X and now the A10. There has to be more folks with Anand Lal Shimpi’s skill set to properly use software methods to get at the proper amount of information on any new custom ARMv8A ISA running designs. I’m waiting for AMD to finish with Zen, and start to provide more information on their K12 custom ARMv8A ISA running K12 cores, AMD will provide the proper amount of details.
It’s not a “skill set” that
It's not a "skill set" that Anand really had – it was connections inside Apple. Where he now works. lol
No! It was the compiler
No! It was the compiler optimization manuals for the CPU and the willingness to go the mile to provide quality technology reporting! Anand crafted his own software to test the Apple Core designs! And all the rest of the online press just laid on Anand’s legs and let him do the work. All the online press should refuse to report on Apple’s or any other custom ARM core makers products until they are forthcoming with the proper CPU speciftcations! AMD and Intel/IBM and others have no problems reporting on their CPU core specifications. Tell Apple/Others that no proper CPU/SOC specifications, no reporting or reviews of your products!
It’s really just not feasible
It's really just not feasible in my mind to NOT cover the dominant player in the mobile market even if they withhold specs and information.
Apple is not the dominant
Apple is not the dominant player in the mobile market the android based market is larger. It’s fine to cover Apple’s laptops and computers but Apple’s phones are not worth the price charged, ditto for the flagship mobile Android phones. Android and iOS are not even real productive OS ecosystems. “Smart” Phones really are not of much value compared to what you can get from a laptop or PC at the very same price point. Apple as well as the other custom ARM chip makers are not very good at properly describing their CPU core hardware and features and the technology press needs to call out the custom ARM chip makers and ask them what are they hiding when companies like AMD, Intel, IBM/Others are very willing to list in finer detail their CPU core specifications. Apple appears to not be very appreciative of their P.A. semiconductor CPU chip engineers, the same for Qualcomm/other makers of custom ARM CPUs. Let’s hope that AMD will give their K12 custom ARM cores the same proper technical treatment that AMD gave the Zen cores when AMD introduced Zen to the Technical press.
The custom ARM core designers and market players better get their ducks in order or they will never make it into the real computing(Server/HPC) markets, or the PC/laptop markets. Apple better get itself a real Pro Tablet before M$ takes that market. Apple’s A series ARMv8A ISA running CPU products are very capable custom CPU cores that can very well run OSX! but Apple like M$(even worse than Apple) needs to stop trying to push that Totally closed “APPs” ecosystem or their sales will continue to decline. Some people need a real OS, and iOS and Android are not really there when in comes to a real OS’s features.
Linus Torvalds was correct in his comparison between the x86 based market’s better standards and the ARM hardware ecosystem markets non standard ways that are making things really hard for the Custom ARM market to become larger than simply phones and tablets. ARM holdings is the exception for wanting a better standards based methods for the ARM chips and how they are able to interface with any OS/hardware in a more standardized way. Torvolds is correct that developing for the many non standardized ARM platforms is a pain.
I’m not saying that the technical websites need to stop covering phones completely, they can continue to offer the phone makers ad space and let the phone makers do their own describing. But really the technical press needs to ask the custom ARM core makers to do a better job of providing the proper amount of technical CPU core details at the same level that the x86 market players provide and also IBM, IBM provides the proper Power CPU core details. And even ARM holdings provides for ARM Holdings’ Reference designed cores the proper amount of technical CPU core details. What gives with these custom ARM core makers and their need for secrecy! Maybe AMD will change things up for the custom ARM market when K12 is released, if it’s released at all.
P.S. Apple hired Anand to
P.S. Apple hired Anand to shut him up! But there are plenty of complier developers/driver developers that have way more than Anand’s skill set! The custom ARM core market needs its own publication for sure as the custom ARM cores are nothing like that the ARM holdings reference design cores, and Apple’s cores are some of the widest order superscalar custom ARM cores on the market! AMD’s K12 may even surpass Apple’s designs but we will have to wait for 2017 to find out!
Who the fuck would want to
Who the fuck would want to work for Apple? A faggot ass bitch that’s who.
Those numbers are mostly
Those numbers are mostly irrelevant to most people. A lot of computer enthusiast probably don’t know what they really mean. What is important is how the device, as sold, performs. Even with wide issue, there can be many different things that bottleneck performance. With AMD’s excavator CPUs, it was probably cache architecture holding it back, not anything to do with the shared core components. I do know someone who bought an AMD chip several years back because it was 8 cores rather than 4 like Intel. I also know someone who bought a Pentium 4 with SDRAM when they first came out. It was much higher clock than a Pentium 3, but little did they know that it was probably a performance downgrade from a top of the line Pentium 3. The Pentium 4 needed high bandwidth memory; it was very slow with SDRAM instead of Rambus or DDR memory. While it is interesting to see what these chips can do with the hardware they have from an efficiency perspective, the actual performance delivered is what is important, not specifications.
more apple garbage,yay!
more apple garbage,yay!
Not enough RAM, for that
Not enough RAM, for that price, it should have at least 8GB RAM, and 512GB Storage, especially considering what other companies offer for less money.
This applies to high priced Android devices also.
I’m with you on storage, but
I'm with you on storage, but more RAM = less battery life.
But you can have both: have a
But you can have both: have a look inside the iPhone and look how much space the feedback portion take.
Without mentioning the fact that they could make a thicker phone and make it last one day .
Sorry for my English
Apple wants people to use the
Apple wants people to use the “cloud” and things like their radio service and such, so it is not in their best interest to provide huge amounts of storage. More ram will take quite a bit more power. Also, higher screen resolution takes more power for the same level of brightness. We probably will not get higher resolution until they switch to IGZO TFT, OLED, quantum dot enhanced backlights, or what ever comes next.
I thought it was ridiculous that Apple made a 64-bit phone with only one GB. As long as they keep the amount of memory low, application developers will need to design for it, so it will work. It is very annoying to have web pages constantly reload when switching tabs due to the limited memory. I have written a partial post on a forum before, switched tabs the look something up, and lost my message when switching back because the page reloaded. Perhaps we will get a device with some Optane swap area or something like that eventually.
“More and Less”
I like what
“More and Less”
I like what you did with the title.
WHO THE FUCK USES IPHONES?
WHO THE FUCK USES IPHONES? ***inaccurate and incoherent rant ***.
However, this was a great article. I actually care not a single fucking iota about these shitty fucking devices, yet I read the entire article. Great writing. Still, iPhones are GAY AF.
Hey you dumb fucks it was
Hey you dumb fucks it was 100% accurate you niggers. #MAGA
Nice review of the iPhone 7
Nice review of the iPhone 7 even though it’s a bit late to hit the initial surge of readers after release.
You really need to have some form of moderation on your comment sections. I know others have asked for it. Some of the posts here are enough to make me not read any comments on PC Perspective even though I otherwise really like your site.
I am commenting because I am
I am commenting because I am tired of seeing negatively sometimes nasty comments of your reviews and articles. Critical comments are fine, and needed, but it seems that every article has very negative, somewhat hateful non constructive comments. I think the review here of the iPhone 7 and all of your reviews are the of the highest level. Equal to anything from Tom’s, Anand’s, TR, or any of the other top tech information and review sites. Your site has honest, well written articles, and it comes through that you all work hard, and have a passion for this topic. I enjoy that all of your writers have unique personalities, and more importantly, that it comes through in the articles, it makes it more relatable. Keep up the great work, and don’t let all the negativity drive you crazy, your site is very appreciated, by me and I am sure many others
Thanks, we appreciate
Thanks, we appreciate positive comments from sane people.
#MANGA #MANGA #MANGA
#MANGA #MANGA #MANGA
I cant stop laughing at this
I cant stop laughing at this guy.
So while on other side of
So while on other side of things, Crapple has been busy crippling their devices purposefully:
As time goes on it becomes
As time goes on it becomes more apparent that there is less and less to differentiate between mobile phones. At what point does it become a commodity market, even for flagship phones? I try to think of what could possibly be the ‘next big thing’ and there’s not anything that comes to mind. Perhaps we’ll never again see the explosive growth of smart phones. Or at least not until we start getting our cybernetic enhancements where constant upgrade cycles will make us stronger, faster, smarter. healthier.
Apple held off on making
Apple held off on making larger phones, so when they finally came out with larger phones, a lot of people probably upgraded because of that. An iPhone 5/5s is tiny. They have a way to obsolete the iPhone 5, since it is a 32-bit processor. Apple is still holding off on going to larger memory sizes and is still using relatively low resolution compared to the competition. I think Apple holds such features back partially to provide an upgrade path. They are often behind the curve with many features. Staying at lower resolution and lower memory capacity also saves on battery power though. I suspect that their will be some wide IO tech (somewhat like low power HBM) that will increase performance, especially graphics performance, significantly. Hopefully this will allow for wire-free head mounted displays, among other things. Such technology could change what can be done with a mobile device. There is still quite a bit that can be done, but there are diminishing returns in some cases. If you are running an iPhone 5, then a. iPhone 7 is a big upgrade. Going from the iPhone 6 is a bit dubious though. I am wondering if Apple will also make a push into gaming and/or head mounted displays. Most companies are doing things with head mounted displays, but we haven’t seen anything from Apple. I suspect they are working on things in secret. It is smart marketing to hold some features back to supply a reason to upgrade to future revisions. The head mounted display and other wearable computing is a new market though, so there could be a lot of opportunities for growth, even if the phone market is a bit stagnant. There will always be a lot of new phones being sold due to breakage and such.
Anyone know how the A10
Anyone know how the A10 compares to something like a Core M processor? Are there any benchmarks that can be run on both? I am wondering if Apple will be able to make higher performance machines with their own processors soon. I suspect it will be a while yet though.
Hmm not that I have seen, but
Hmm not that I have seen, but I would not be suprised if someone has run some benchmarks. Probably mostly browser based tests though…
The teardown show that iphone
The teardown show that iphone 7 have a 1960mAh battery, the capacity is small than iphone 6s, I think the talk time may not be too long.
Here’s the teardown: http://www.laptopmain.com/apple-iphone-7-teardown/