A few thoughts on the new iPhone 7
Apple’s latest flagship phone puts them ahead of the game, arguably too far. While the iPhone 6S already smoked the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 in a head to head comparison, the iPhone 7 starts by omitting one of the most important features. While I have yet to lay hands on the device, I would like to explore it solely through its features.
Jack of all trades
The biggest news with this phone is probably anticlimactically the omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack. While some argue this is was a very bad move, I argue that there are a lot of benefits from this move. The most obvious one is that it creates room for more internal components. One that is not so obvious, is the possibility that the sound quality is increased, along side space for digital controls and power to noise cancelling devices. Although, drawing power from the phone would remove the point of removing the jack in the first place, as the amount of battery capacity gained is arguably negated by draw needed to power the headphones. Another huge issue that hasn’t quite been mentioned or solved is what happens when you want to use your $400 headphones with your laptop or iMac? This effectively locks you in an adapter/dongle mess reminiscent to the days of Nokia and early Samsung devices. Apple may be able to pull this off within their own microcosm of devices, I however highly doubt that third party manufacturers will expense the licensing of a lightning connector to their non-apple hardware. There simply isn’t a market for a platform dependent headphone connector, and Apple’s solution certainly won’t be independent. The solution is expanding the wireless technology, but I have yet to try a pair of bluetooth headphones that just work.
Finally a decent black iPhone since the iPhone 5. The one new case design reflects pure dark luxury and is probably mostly appreciated my material science majors. It is really beautiful and stands out in comparison to the other “meh” eraser-touched iterations. Yet another strong indication that this phone is probably not an iPhone 7, but more an iPhone 6SS. As the iPhone nears its 10 year mark, Jony Ive’s visions of an edge-to-edge display are rumored to come, which further supports a theory that this model is just tick to satisfy the shareholders.
Knowing how well a DSLR camera can perform, the ever improving quality of the pictures taken using an iPhone are very impressive. Apple’s attempt to use real photographers to showcase the latest phone’s capabilities is a great way to inspire users. While it is true that most of what makes a great picture is one’s ability to wield the camera correctly, technology and automation can certainly get you quite far. This is why a lot of the professional reviews mention the camera takes great pictures, yet it’s not something they would use for billboard quality photos. I personally believe this a great addition to a photographer’s artillery, and a great size compromise, but definitely not a replacement.
Should you buy
If you have an iPhone 5s or older, and want to keep the headphone jack and size, stick with the 5se. If you’re already used to the iPhone 6 size, but want to use your expensive headphones without a dongle, then stick with the iPhone 6s which you can now get a great price. Unless you don’t care about where your music comes from or are ready to test some new waters, the iPhone 7 isn’t for you. It might be the first year that I do the environment a favor by waiting until my carrier contract actually renews.