Apple has finally announced what may well become the two best-selling smartphones of the year, namely the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus.
Coming from Apple you won’t be surprised to learn that they’re impeccably polished, and while they’re not the complete revolution in design that many were hoping for they’re both full of big changes and major improvements.
But they’re also two quite different phones, in fact the gulf between Apple’s 4.7-inch handset and its 5.5-inch phablet has never been bigger, so we’ve put the two head to head, to show you how they compare.
iPhone 7 (138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm) vs iPhone 7 Plus (158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm)
This is one area where the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are very similar, as both have a slim metal body in black, jet black, silver, gold or rose gold.
The biggest design changes since last year apply to both phones, with both sporting a water resistant body, antenna bands moved to the top and bottom edges where they’re less visible, and no more 3.5mm headphone jack.
As far as differences between them go, other than the larger camera bump on the iPhone 7 Plus it really comes down to weight and dimensions. As you’d expect, the iPhone 7 Plus is the larger and heavier of the two, coming in at 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm and 188g, while the iPhone 7 is 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm and 138g.
This all serves to make the iPhone 7 Plus trickier to use with one hand, but it’s necessary to pack in the bigger screen, as we’ll talk about below.
iPhone 7 (4.7-inch 750 x 1334) vs iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inch 1080 x 1920)
This is perhaps the single biggest difference between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus – though it’s the same difference as you’ll find between Apple’s other phablet and standard size handsets, namely that the iPhone 7 Plus has a larger and sharper 5.5-inch 1080 x 1920 screen, with a pixel density of 401 pixels per inch.
By comparison, the iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 screen with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch.
This arguably gives the iPhone 7 Plus the edge, as the extra size and sharpness means it’s better for enjoying visual media on, though the trade-off is that it’s less palm and pocket friendly.
Both screens are better than their predecessor’s though, primarily because they’re 25% brighter and have a wider colour gamut.
iPhone 7 (quad-core A10 Fusion) vs iPhone 7 Plus (quad-core A10 Fusion)
You’re not going to find any difference in power between these two phones, but they’re both a big upgrade on what’s come before, with brand new quad-core A10 Fusion processors delivering a huge power boost.
Apple promises that speeds are up to 40% faster than in the iPhone 6S – which is still a very nippy phone – so both the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus should be among the most powerful handsets around.
Apple hasn’t confirmed how much RAM the two phones have, but it’s believed that they both have 2GB, just like the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. That pales in comparison to Android rivals, but in practice doesn’t appear to hamper their performance.
iPhone 7 (12MP rear 7MP front-facing) vs iPhone 7 Plus (dual 12MP rear 7MP front-facing)
Along with the display, the camera is the other big difference between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus, as while the iPhone 7 has a 12MP camera, the iPhone 7 Plus has two of them. One is much the same as the iPhone 7’s snapper and the other is a telephoto lens – the latter of which allows for 2x optical zoom.
Any kind of optical zoom is very rare on smartphones, so that’s a big deal, allowing you to zoom in for photos without sacrificing quality.
That makes the iPhone 7 Plus the clear winner when it comes to photography, but in some ways the iPhone 7 can match it, with both phones offering optical image stabilisation and a powerful quad-LED flash.
iPhone 7 (32/128/256GB 4G) vs iPhone 7 Plus (32/128/256GB 4G)
Apple hasn’t revealed the size of the batteries in its new phones, but has listed their lifespans, saying that the iPhone 7 has a standby time of up to 10 days, Wi-Fi internet use of up to 14 hours, a 3G talk time of up to 14 hours, or wireless audio playback of up to 40 hours on a single charge.
The iPhone 7 Plus meanwhile has a standby time of up to 16 days, Wi-Fi internet use of up to 15 hours, a 3G talk time of up to 21 hours, or wireless audio playback of up to 60 hours on a single charge. In other words, the iPhone 7 Plus is the longer lasting of the two, presumably because the extra size allowed Apple to fit a larger battery.
Memory comes in at 32GB, 128GB or 256GB on both and this being Apple there’s no microSD card slot on either. Connectivity options are also identical, with both phones sporting Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2 and NFC (though only for Apple Pay). Both handsets also have a fingerprint scanner.
If you want to buy them SIM-free you’ll pay £599 and up for the iPhone 7 or £719 and up for the iPhone 7 Plus – depending on how much storage you want.
At £120 more the iPhone 7 Plus is significantly more expensive than its smaller sibling when bought SIM-free and the gulf in contract pricing is likely to be similar, but it’s also clearly the better phone if you can stomach the size.
The camera on the iPhone 7 Plus looks far more versatile, the screen is sharper and it has longer battery life.
But that’s not to say you shouldn’t consider the iPhone 7, even if you can afford a pricier option. Apple’s standard flagship is far more pocket-friendly and far more suited to one handed use, which will be a big bonus for some. It’s also a match for the iPhone 7 in many ways, including design and power.
Both phones look to be among the best handsets money can buy though, so you won’t go wrong with either.
As of 9th September iPhone 7 deals are on Pre-Order.
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