Is The Latest Still The Greatest?
ipbimage2By now, everyone knows that Apple debuted the iPhone 7 with its many improvements to its specs including the processor, camera, storage, audio, and display. One of the early leaks, and most discussed changes, was how Apple changed the way in which headphones will connect to the iPhone. Apple has removed the 3.5mm headphone jack, and unveiled its all new AirPod, a pair of wireless earbuds, that can enable Siri access.
The big question on the minds of many current iPhone users is the iPhone 7 worth the cost for the upgrade. CRN’s Test Center has a comparison on specs and price between the iPhone 7 and its predecessor, the iPhone 6S. (This just looks at the iPhone 7 model, not the iPhone 7 Plus.)

Processor
ipbimg1The new iPhone 7 marks the introduction of the Apple’s newest processor, the A10 Fusion chip. Apple claims the 64-bit A10 Fusion will feature four cores. Two of these cores will be for high performance, offering up to 40 percent faster processing than its predecessor, the A9 chip (this is the chip used in the iPhone 6S and has a clock speed of 1.85GHz). The other two cores will be used for maximizing power efficiency of certain tasks. Apple claims that they have designed a new performance controller to determine which cores to utilize at a given time.

Cameras
ipbimage3Apple said the cameras on the iPhone 7 are "all new,". For the iSight (rear camera), the iPhone 7 will remain at 12 megapixels (the same as iPhone 6S). However, this camera will include improved optical-image stabilization, a larger aperture (to let in 50 percent more light), and other improvements. As for the FaceTime camera (front camera), the iPhone 7 will increase the resolution to 7 megapixels, versus the iPhone 6S' 5-megapixel camera.

Design, Colors and Ruggedness
ipbimage4Apple has touted the “new” look of the iPhone as heavily as ever during last Wednesday product event. The design refinements include creating a seamless surface on the iPhone 7 between the glass and the aluminum back of the housing; the enclosure will also create the housing for the camera. This is in direct contrast to the design of the iPhone 6S which had the camera lens sticking out. In addition, the iPhone 7's home button will be operated by pressure sensitivity, rather than by physically clicking.
Apple said it will offer five colors for the iPhone 7, with a “Jet Black” offering is the newest entry to the color lineup. The iPhone 7 will also be available in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Black (replacing Space Gray on the iPhone 6S). Another feature highly touted by Apple is that the iPhone 7 will include better water resistance and dust resistance than on previous versions of the iPhone.

Audio
ipbimage5One of the most talked about changes to the iPhone 7 is the removal of the headphone jack. Apple said it will compensate for the removal of a 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 by packaging EarPods that connect through the Lightning port. Apple will also be providing an adapter so that 3.5mm wired headphones can plug into the smartphone through the Lightning port.
It is still to be proven whether credit card swiping devices will work in the new Lighting port adaptor. Early tests were not favorable to this configuration. Unclear if this is a hardware or software issue.
Another audio change from the iPhone 6S is that the iPhone 7 will be integrating stereo speakers for the first time. Hopefully, they will have the ability to play twice as loud as those of previous devices.
Apple's AirPods, will offering wireless audio connectivity and voice control of Siri. These wireless earbuds will not be included with the iPhone 7, and will not go on sale in late October for an ERP of $159.

Battery Life
ipbimage6Apple has reported that the iPhone 7 will include some significant improvements on battery life. While the iPhone 6S had promised 10 hours of LTE Internet use or 11 hours over Wi-Fi, Apple claims the iPhone 7 promises 12 hours of LTE Internet use or 14 hours of Wi-Fi usage. The improvements are made possible in part to the power-efficient A10 Fusion chip, Apple said.

Display
The display size won't be changing on the iPhone 7. Just like the iPhone 6S, the Retina HD display on the iPhone 7 will be 4.7 inches (diagonally). The only upgrade to the iPhone 7 display will be around its brightness. Apple claims it will be 25 percent brighter than the display on the iPhone 6S. Apple also claims the iPhone 7 will have a wider color gamut than earlier iPhone versions.

Storage
Apple has said it will be doubling the storage available in the iPhone 7 compared to the prior iPhone generation. While the iPhone 6S has featured options for 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage, the iPhone 7 will have 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options. Still no micro SD card slot.

Display
The display size won't be changing on the iPhone 7. Just like the iPhone 6S, the Retina HD display on the iPhone 7 will be 4.7 inches (diagonally). The only upgrade to the iPhone 7 display will be around its brightness. Apple claims it will be 25 percent brighter than the display on the iPhone 6S. Apple also claims the iPhone 7 will have a wider color gamut than earlier iPhone versions.

Storage
Apple has said it will be doubling the storage available in the iPhone 7 compared to the prior iPhone generation. While the iPhone 6S has featured options for 16GB, 64GB or 128GB of storage, the iPhone 7 will have 32GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options. Still no micro SD card slot.

Price and Bottom Line
The good news is that Apple hasn't increased the pricing associated with the iPhone 7 compared to the iPhone 6S. The iPhone 7 has a starting price at $649 for the base 16GB model, identical to the iPhone 6S starting price. Pre-orders for the iPhone 7 started on Sept. 9 and the phones will ship Sept. 16.
As everyone expected, Apple's changes to its smartphone line with the iPhone 7 were largely incremental and not revolutionary (except for the headphone jack). Therefore, the case for upgrading from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone 7 is far from a rock solid “go for it” situation. For users that are hungry for any enhancement to processing power, battery life and camera that they should get it. However, I don’t see this as a “must have” purchase for the bulk of Apple devotees. Most Apple fans will see an upgrade to the iPhone 7 as a worthwhile investment, however, I don’t see it…yet.
The good news is that Apple hasn't increased the pricing associated with the iPhone 7 compared to the iPhone 6S. The iPhone 7 has a starting price at $649 for the base 16GB model, identical to the iPhone 6S starting price. Pre-orders for the iPhone 7 started on Sept. 9 and the phones will ship Sept. 16.
As everyone expected, Apple's changes to its smartphone line with the iPhone 7 were largely incremental and not revolutionary (except for the headphone jack). Therefore, the case for upgrading from the iPhone 6S to the iPhone 7 is far from a rock solid “go for it” situation. For users that are hungry for any enhancement to processing power, battery life and camera that they should get it. However, I don’t see this as a “must have” purchase for the bulk of Apple devotees. Most Apple fans will see an upgrade to the iPhone 7 as a worthwhile investment, however, I don’t see it…yet.

Original info from an article by Kyle Alspach, edited and additional information added by Don Howard.