GT Explains: Are Any of the New iPhone 7/7 Plus Features Actually New?

The new iPhone is finally announced and pretty soon we’ll probably see the same maddening circus of people queuing up at Apple Stores across the world. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus were on similar lines of what we wanted to see at the launch event, though there were a few surprises here and there. But what features of these devices are actually new? We investigated.

New? Or borrowed? | Image courtesy: Apple.com
New? Or borrowed? What’s Cook-ing on the iPhone 7 | Image courtesy: Apple.com

To be perfectly clear, we are comparing the new iPhones with every phone on the market. That might look odd at first, but if you consider any phone to be the ‘Gold Standard’ for the industry, then why shy away from such comparisons.

1. Dual Cameras – NOPE

For an iPhone user, this might seem revolutionary, but not if you’re following Android phones. We’ve seen phones with dual-lenses for a while now and the implementation from Apple also seems pretty similar, especially when it came to capturing photos with a better ‘depth of field’ effect.

However, Phil Schiller did explain that the two cameras in the 7 Plus will have different focal lengths. One will have a 28 mm lens whereas the other will be double – at 56 mm.

Both lenses will sport a 12 MP resolution, but the lens with the 56 mm focal length will be used for optical zoom.

We’ve seen such implementations on Android with the likes of the recent LG G5 among others. So, is it really a new feature? Nope.

2. Quad LED Flash – YES

Since camera tech was spoken at length at the Apple Keynote, let’s talk about another feature regarding the camera. The LED flash accompanying the camera. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will feature a quad LED flash setup, with 2 warm and 2 cool LEDs. These will be ably assisted with an ambient light sensor to (allegedly) improve image quality.

iPhone 7 - now with 4 LEDs for flash
iPhone 7 – now with 4 LEDs for flash | Image courtesy: Apple.com

We’ve seen dual LED flash setups in several Android phones, but none with 4 LEDs so far. Not in mainstream phones anyway and the obscure phones aren’t really worth getting into.

3. Removing Headphone Jack – NOPE

Yes, the iPhone has a proprietary port that will be utilized to ditch the 3.5 mm headphone jack, but being the first phone to do so? No. The LeEco Le 2 and Le Max 2 had already shown ‘courage‘ to move away from the older audio jack and move to a new standard – CDLA (Continual Digital Lossless Audio) in their case.

4. Stereo Speakers – NOPE

Remember the HTC One series? It made a name for itself mostly because of those front-facing stereo speakers (or Boom speakers, if you will). Even though they went away for one generation, HTC and other OEMs have embraced stereo speakers for quite a while now.

Stereo audio effects, now in an iPhone | Image courtesy: Apple.com
Stereo audio effects, now in an iPhone | Image courtesy: Apple.com

Also, the bottom speaker on the new iPhones is downward firing. It would’ve been a lot better if it was front-facing, but, oh well.

5. A10 ‘Fusion’ Chip – NOPE

Apple has always made their own chips, so no matter what other Android makers do with their phones, this will always technically be new. But, let’s say the ‘fusion’ terminology is used for efficiency. Meaning the A10 Chip on the iPhone 7 will decide whether it needs to push the ‘performance’ cores or the ‘efficiency’ cores.

Remember the big.Little technology? Fusion chip sounds a lot like that.

This sounds way too similar to the big.Little technology that was used in ARM’s attempts to improve battery life using the same idea. Though it took a while for them to perfect it on Android, we expect Apple to be better at the execution, since they are in complete control of hardware, software and everything in between, while making their iPhone.

6. Water and Dust Resistance – NOPE

Sony tried to champion the whole water and dust resistance with their Xperia smartphone lineup and it has been implemented in even budget phones like the Moto G 3rd Gen. So is this feature on the iPhone 7 new? Nope.

ALSO READ: GT Explains: Why Smartphone Specs Don’t Matter as Much as You Think

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