The newest editions of the iPhone family have been on the market since September 7th, and during that time the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have reached amazing levels of popularity. They are the new default iPhone, and there are several things about these phones that make them exceptional for the smartphone industry, but there are also several differences between the two models of iPhone. People have struggled with the choice between the standard model and the upgraded and larger Plus model since Apple started the tradition, and the question must be asked once again by those deciding on a new iPhone. This guide details the differences between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus so consumers can get a better idea about which device suits their needs in the most optimal way.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are both available in the same stellar finishes, which are similar to the finishes from recent iPhone lines but with a few tweaks. There are five finishes to choose from, including Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Black, and Jet Black. The traditional Space Gray has been discontinued for the iPhone 7 line, and it was replaced by the flatter matte Black and glossier Jet Black options.
The displays for the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have been upgraded quite a bit from the previous line of iPhones, but they aren’t that different from each other beyond the physical size. The displays feature an expanded spectrum of potential colors, and the maximum brightness for the display has been increased about 20 percent from the iPhone 6S. Retina Display technology is employed in both screens, and both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus support MultiTouch.
The main difference in the two displays is that the iPhone 7 display only measures 4.7 inches, but the iPhone 7 Plus display measures a larger 5.5 inches. The outer layer of the screen for both displays is coated with an oleophobic finish to prevent smudges and fingerprints from sticking to the display. MultiTouch features for both displays allow greater control from the user.
One thing that Apple got right with the upgrades between the iPhone 6S and the iPhone 7 line is the addition of an incredible amount of extra storage capacity. Older versions had far too little to carry anything significant, but that problem has been fixed since the most recent storage capacities were doubled for this new line.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are available in capacities of 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB. These improvements are quite impressive, and they show that Apple is listening to their customer base. The Jet Black version of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is not available in the smallest model, so only the 128GB and 256GB options are possible with that finish.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are the first in the iPhone family to include a new standard of resilience that allows them to call the device fully waterproof. They have been rated IP67 under a specific standard coded that means the phones can withstand direct contact with water, but it is possible that the resistance may wear away with time and standard use.
Anyone familiar with the iPhone 6S will notice there isn’t much physical difference between that older model and the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. The sizes of the two devices are broken down by their dimensions below.
- 0.28 inches thick
- 2.64 inches wide
- 5.44 inches long
- 138 grams
iPhone 7 Plus:
- 0.29 inches thick
- 3.07 inches wide
- 6.23 inches long
- 188 grams
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are actually 5 grams smaller each than their most recent predecessor.
The rear camera for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is the most likely the primary difference between the two devices. The iPhone 7 Plus includes a secondary lens that allows it to do things that no other iPhone has ever done. In fact, few smartphones in the entire market are capable of what the iPhone 7 Plus rear camera system can do.
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus both have the same basic primary camera on the rear of the phone, but the iPhone 7 Plus has an additional telephoto camera that gives it the ability to perform both digital and optical zoom. The iPhone 7 is only capable of up to 5x digital zoom.
There is no doubt the iPhone 7 Plus is the superior device when it comes to the rear camera. It outperforms the iPhone 7 in terms of lighting, color balance, and zooming potential. Both cameras use the same flash system built beside the lens that includes four differently toned hues to create the perfect color flash for each photo.
Front Facing Camera
Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus feature the same front facing camera system, and it has been boosted from the previous 5MP camera to a 7MP camera, which is the largest on any iPhone ever made. The front camera can also record HD video up to 1080p, while older versions could only shoot video up to 720p.
The front camera doesn’t require a dedicated flash system because the flash is emitted from the display at the moment the photo is taken. The front camera has all the same features and modes as the rear camera, and it can produce Live Photos and HDR photos. There is even a rear illumination sensor.
Both the iPhone 7 Plus and the iPhone 7 can record video in exactly the same incredible and precise ways. Both phones are capable of capturing brilliant 4K video when recording at a rate of 30 fps, and it can record 1080p video at either 30 or 60 fps. 720p at 30 fps is also an option, and both phones utilize image stabilization.
Both phones are also capable of recording video in slow motion. 1080p slow motion video at 120 fps is possible, or 720p at 240 fps is an option as well. Users can even create time-lapse videos that are perfectly stable and never shaky. The software behind the camera for these phones is just as powerful as it has been in the past, and it includes several new features as well.
Videos can now be zoomed in on during playback with both phones, which is quite a unique feature. Location information can also be geotagged into videos at a moment’s notice.
One advancement that both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus share is the inclusion of the new A10 Fusion chip. Where older models of the iPhone had a dedicated motion processor that was separate from the primary chip, the A10 Fusion brings those two processors together into a single unit that is smaller, more efficient, and more powerful than older versions.
The A10 processor is certainly a giant step up from the previous A9 and M9 chips, and it is part of the reason for the freed space and smaller size of the newer devices.
Like older versions of the iPhone, the battery for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is an internal component that cannot be removed or exchanged, but is a powerful lithium-ion cell that provides even longer charging potential over the iPhone 6S. The iPhone 7 Plus has a slightly larger battery, so it provides expanded utility. A breakdown of what the batteries for each model can do is given below.
- Standby Duration: 10 days
- Wireless Audio Playback: 40 hours
- Wireless Video Playback: 13 hours
- Network Data Use: 12 hours
- WiFi Use: 14 hours
- Talk Time: 14 hours
iPhone 7 Plus:
- Standby Duration: 16 days
- Wireless Audio Playback: 60 hours
- Wireless Video Playback: 14 hours
- Network Data Use: 13 hours
- WiFi Use: 15 hours
- Talk Time: 21 hours
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the first two phones in the iPhone line to forgo the traditional 3.5mm headphone port. Instead, Apple seems to be favoring a shift toward wireless headphones. They have already debuted a set of AirPods that operate as fully wireless headphones via Bluetooth connection. Those who prefer to use their existing wired headphones can do so with both devices using the Lightning Port adapter.
By removing the headphone port, Apple hopes to set the tone for future devices that will eventually use entirely wireless accessories, which would defeat the need for ports of any sort. Perhaps if they ever bring wireless charging to the iPhone line such a phone could exist without ports.
Between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, the individual consumer will have to decide which factors are most important. If the rear camera is an issue and the user needs a more advanced system, the iPhone 7 Plus is the clear choice. Those who prefer the safety and security of additional battery life would also do well with the iPhone 7 Plus, but all others could get by with the iPhone 7 and be completely satisfied.