What's Really Different About The iPhone 7?

The headphone jack isn't the only big change.

There's nothing that whips the tech world into a frenzy quite like the announcement of new products from Apple. 

While many tuned in for the September 7 live stream to hear about the new features of Apple Watch Series 2, macOS Sierra, and iOS 10, the most anticipated new product was the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus.

The new iPhones will come in four finishes: rose gold, gold, silver, matte black, and the high-gloss jet black. Realizing that 16GB of storage is not enough for anyone, it is no longer available and the base model will be 32GB. There are options of 128GB and 256GB options as well. 

Here's what else is new:

The headphone jack is gone.


The most obvious change (and the one causing the most uproar) is the absence of the traditional headphone jack. Of course, that doesn't mean our days of listening to music with headphones so nobody will bother us at a coffee shop or the library are over. Each iPhone 7 will come with an adapter that allows you to plug in regular headphones via the Lightning port. 

So why is Apple providing an adapter instead of just putting the port on the phone? It's all part of the push toward wireless audio through Bluetooth technology. They have introduced Bluetooth earbuds they're calling AirPods.

These wireless earbuds don't come in the box; they will be sold separately for $160, which is pretty standard for quality wireless headphones at this point. They will be capable of holding a charge for 5 hours but come with a carrying case that can recharge them for 25 hours. The base of each AirPod has a microphone, allowing users to talk on the phone or use Siri while wearing them.

They haven't left you completely in the lurch, though, as the EarPods that come in the box plug into the Lightning port.

The speaker on the phone itself has also been improved, with reaching a volume twice as loud as the iPhone 6, yet without sacrificing clarity. Just remember: if you're upset about the lack of headphone jack, don't use the speaker as a replacement in public spaces. Nobody likes that guy.

Could they have introduced AirPods while still giving customers a regular audio jack? Probably. 

The iPhone 7 is water resistant.


Whether it fell out of your back pocket into a toilet or you realized 45 minutes into a storm that your phone was left outside, having a wet phone is soul-crushing — and waiting to see if the phone lived through it is excruciating. On top of having a potentially dead phone, the threat of possible corrosion removes any chance that Apple will do any repairs, so the announcement that the iPhone 7 will be water-resistant was met with a lot of enthusiasm.

Of course, water-resistant does not mean waterproof. This newly-designed enclosure might help protect the iPhone from meeting a watery grave in case it gets spilled on, but you won't want to take it swimming. Apple still voids the warranty for water damage, though it's nice that's less likely to happen now.

The iPhone 7 Plus will have dual cameras for better picture quality.


Get your Instagram account ready, because the new iPhone is going to take better pictures than ever before. 

The biggest drawback to pictures taken on an iPhone has always been the crappy zoom feature, which results in horrifically blurry images. The camera setup will now feature a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens, which will allow the zoom algorithm to produce clearer pictures. 

Selfies will also look a lot better, as the front-facing camera is being upgraded to 7 megapixels; a nice bump from the iPhone 6's 5 megapixels.

Other upgrades include a flash capable of capturing truer colors, a f/1.8 aperture lens that greatly improves low-light photos, and a "depth effect" that allows a focused subject to have a cool, blurred background.

Tactile feedback got a lot better.


The Taptic Engine within the phone will also allow improved tactile response across the phone's face, and different actions can be done based on how hard you press. There aren't a lot of details about this available yet, but one thing we do know is that this technology will change the home button.

The lone circular button on the face of the phone will no longer be an actual button that you press, it will have a wider range of functions, and it can even be customized.

Want to try the iPhone 7 for yourself? Preordering starts Friday, September 9, with availability on September 16. Check out Apple's website for specific specs and prices of the different models.

All images: Apple