The bottom line: Engadget on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus

The no-headphone-jack thing aside, it's less radical than you think it is.

Engadget, @engadget
09.18.16 in Mobile
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    Unless you've been living under a rock, you know by now that the new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus ditch the headphone jack. And if you're like some of the readers who've been reaching out to us, you might be nervous about upgrading. Take it from us, since we've had a chance a to test both devices: Aside from the no-headphone-jack thing, these new phones are less radical than you think. In fact, we'd say Apple made some safe choices here, playing catch-up with other phone makers. These are the first waterproof iPhones, for instance, though Samsung and others have been offering this feature for some time now. Ditto for the iPhone 7 Plus' dual-lens camera: It's cool, but hardly the first we've seen.

    That said, these features will feel new to Apple fans, and also, it's hard to argue with everything these phones have to offer, including fine build quality, fast performance, long battery life and strong image quality. If you own a recent iPhone like the 6s or 6s Plus, you might not feel compelled to upgrade, but if you have an older model, this is as good a time as any to trade in. As for the headphone jack, you'll either use the included adapter or switch to the pack-in Lightning EarPods. Just avoid the AirPods for now.

    Engadget Score
    Poor
    Uninspiring
    Good
    Excellent
    Key

    Pros
    • Excellent performance
    • Great dual-camera setup
    • Longest battery life in an iPhone to date
    • It's waterproof!
    Cons
    • No headphone jack
    • Expensive
    • Same design, three years running
    • New home button takes getting used to

    Summary

    Unless your hands can't accommodate it, the iPhone 7 Plus is probably the iPhone you're looking for. It takes the foundational improvements made to the iPhone 7 and packs them into a body with a crisper screen and beefier battery. While it might seem weird at first, the "zooming" afforded by the dual 12-megapixel cameras around back is handy too, though you'll wind up paying more for it.

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    Engadget Score
    Poor
    Uninspiring
    Good
    Excellent
    Key

    Pros
    • Top-tier performance
    • Great 12-megapixel camera
    • Improved battery
    • It's water-resistant!
    Cons
    • No headphone jack
    • Same design, three years running
    • New home button takes getting used to

    Summary

    Apple broke with its tradition by keeping the 6/6s design for another year, opting instead to improve fundamental parts of the user experience. The iPhone 7 has a better battery than before, a more color-rich screen, a vastly improved camera and plenty of horsepower thanks to its new A10 Fusion chipset. If you're looking for newfangled features (or a headphone jack, for that matter), you'll have to search elsewhere. While it's not thrilling enough to warrant an immediate upgrade from last year's 6s, the iPhone 7 is nonetheless an excellent smartphone.

    How would you rate the iPhone 7?
    We want to hear what you think. Post a quick review now to join the conversation!
    Write a review
    All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

    Engadget is the original home for technology news and reviews. Since our founding in 2004, we've grown from an exhaustive source for consumer tech news to a global multimedia organization covering the intersection of technology, gaming and entertainment. Today, Engadget hosts the archives and expertise of early digital publishing players like Joystiq, TUAW and gdgt, and produces the Internet's most compelling videos, reviews, features and breaking news about the people, products and ideas shaping our world. After 14 years in the game, we're leveraging our history to bring the future into focus.

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