REVIEW: iPhone 7 Plus

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Alameda, Nov 17, 2016.

  1. Alameda, Nov 17, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016

    Alameda macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #1
    I've had my 7 Plus for one week and so now I'll share my experience.

    I have been an iPhone owner since the original iPhone, and I typically upgrade every other model. My last two iPhones, for example, were the 4s and the 5s... so I jumped from a 5s to a 7 Plus, which was a very big leap indeed!

    The biggest change from 5s to 7 Plus is the size, with the screen increasing from 4" to 5.5". After using this enormously large phone for a week, the old 5s is absolutely puny in comparison. The change is dramatic in almost every way, and has pros and cons. The biggest advantage for me is no more eyestrain, so that's reason enough to keep the 7 Plus. I gaze at my smartphone for hours each day, and text on the 5s is much smaller and harder on my eyes. I clip my phone to my dashboard, and it is far easier to use Waze with the 7 Plus, although some kind of interference pattern appears when I look at the screen through my polarized sunglasses. The larger size includes a much larger, longer-lasting battery than my 5s.

    The downside to the large screen is that I can no longer text one-handed. This is a major downside for me, and I've realized that Apple could overcome this if the keyboard were simply drawn at the same size as the keyboard on the 5s screen... this is a software problem! Helpful users on MacRumors pointed me at alternative keyboards such as Microsoft's free "Word Flow," but none of them worked for me; I often tapped the "globe" key accidentally, which would swap keyboards while I was typing. I also found that word replacement wasn't as good on the alternative keyboards. For example, the.iPhone.keyboard.will.auto-correct.text.like.this. However, the Microsoft keyboard will not auto-correct such text. I hope that Apple releases a small keyboard option which is workable, although this issue has been around for over two years, since the introduction of the 6 Plus. Physically, the added size has not been an inconvenience for carrying or using the phone, except that I no longer sit on the phone when it's in my back pocket.

    The iPhone 7 Plus has no headphone jack: Totally bad move, Apple. This creates a terrible inconvenience.

    The phone's speaker sounds very odd to me. I can't quite put my finger on it, but the earpiece often sounds more like a speakerphone. Sound quality for phone calls is not as good for me as the iPhone 5s. Maybe there's something wrong with the speaker in my phone, or maybe this is an effect of the waterproof design. Bluetooth calls are just as good, so I think the problem is with the phone's speaker.

    The next noticeable change is that the Home button isn't a button! Instead, it's a small indentation, and when you press on it, a haptic feedback occurs which vibrates the phone so that it feels just like a button press! I think this is really cool and I love showing it to my friends. This feature carries into other parts of the system: When I send a text message, if the recipient's address book entry indicates that the phone number is an iPhone, I can press harder on the "Message Send" button, and it will click and I can select text and message effects such as Slam!, Balloons and Confetti. This is a big favorite.

    The appearance of iPhones hasn't changed much. I chose the Silver design in an effort to get my phone sooner. As it turns out, ordering 256 GB would have landed me a phone sooner. But so far, 128 GB is more than enough and I have about 96 GB of free space. To protect this phone, I again turned to Tech21, who have provided me cases which protected against many, many iPhone drops. I've bought their cases for all the iPhones in my family over the years, and none of them have suffered a broken iPhone. I purchased the Tech21 "Evo Check Clear," which has a beautiful white band around the edge which wonderfully complements the white face of the Silver iPhone. I could rave about this case for quite some time; I really like the way it looks on my phone. I only hope Tech21 is able to protect my enormous phablet as well as they've protected my smaller phones over the years. They claim they have a special energy-absorbing polymer in their cases. I don't know if they have unique technology or not, but the Tech21 cases do have a thick rubbery outer shell which provides better protection than hard plastic.

    The other major hardware improvement is the camera. I'm a serious amateur photographer and the added camera quality is very much appreciated. The 7 Plus has two lenses: The standard wide-angle, and a 2x telephoto for portraits. The UI lets you add digital zoom to either lens while shooting. DPReview.com thoroughly reviewed the 7 Plus camera features, and I suggest you read their review if you're interested in learning more about what the camera can do and how it compares to standard cameras. The 7 Plus camera is dramatically better than the camera in my 5s. It now has two lenses, better flash, a faster aperture and optical image stabilization. Although snapshots are much improved in iPhone 7 Plus, and many casual shooters will greatly appreciate the improvements, this camera doesn't come close to the sharpness and image quality of a basic crop-frame DSLR -- Not by a long shot.

    The faster CPU is very noticeable compared to my iPhone 5s, particularly with iOS 10. My remaining criticisms are with the software, which has many UI downgrades which I don't appreciate at all, besides the Balloons in Text Messages, which is pure genius. For example, I use the Timer feature of the Clock App when I cook, and it no longer emits a loud alarm when time's up, it outputs at last used volume, and it issues a very annoying notification, so that I can't simply tap the Cancel button, which is what I want to do when I have a handful of garlic in one hand and a cooking spoon in the other. Apart from the speaker and difficulty in viewing with polarized sunglasses, I haven't encountered any hardware glitches. I'm very happy with the upgrade and I think you will be as well.
     
  2. decafjava macrumors 68030

    decafjava

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2011
    Location:
    Geneva
    #2
    Very good and balanced review, thanks!
     
  3. jianrong macrumors member

    jianrong

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
  4. firewire9000, Nov 18, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016

    firewire9000 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2015
    #4
    Great review!

    For me best iPhone I ever had, you probably say "obviously, is the latest iPhone!" but not. I Have had every iPhone except 3G and 6 and not the latest was the greatest, for example with 4s I was unhappy with the upgrade; worse battery, Siri was useless because was not in spanish at launch, minor camera update, not so fast...

    Previously I had a 6s Plus for over a year and I was very happy with the performance, battery, camera, etc... 7 Plus is even better at every measurable aspect, specially with dual camera, water resistance and the new home button wich I love it.
     
  5. laudern macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    #5
    The timer alert is so badly designed I can't believe more people haven't complained about it. It annoys the hell out of me.
     
  6. Steve686 macrumors 68040

    Steve686

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Location:
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    #6
    I can't even remember what color 5s I had it's been so long.
     
  7. jianrong macrumors member

    jianrong

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    #7
    Just to mention I had only use 3 iphone in my life. Iphone 4 , 6 Plus and current one.

    I did a switch to S7 Edge and then I back to iPhone after 7 months of Android.
     
  8. janeauburn macrumors 6502a

    janeauburn

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2015
    #8
    Yup, speaker phone quality a downgrade.

    Getting rid of headphone jack was dumb.
     
  9. Alameda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #9
    Partly because they had weird names like "Space Grey."
     
  10. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #10
    How do you figure the speaker quality is a downgrade on the 7? The clarity and overall loudness is on another level from the 6s. And I mean this in a good way. I use my speakerphone all the time for calls on my
    7 Plus and it's one of My favorite upgrades.
     
  11. The Game 161 macrumors P6

    The Game 161

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    i'm sorry but the speaker quality is easily better on the 7.
     
  12. Mike5254 macrumors regular

    Mike5254

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Location:
    Cincinnati and Philippines
  13. Alameda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #13
    If you open Settings --> Sound and Haptics, turn off Ringer and Alerts Change with Buttons.

    Now the Timer will always ring loudly.
     
  14. Alameda, Nov 19, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2016

    Alameda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #14
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I can't say I agree with you. Maybe something's wrong with my phone; who knows?
     
  15. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #15
    Perhaps your device is defective as you stated. Because the iPhone 7 stereo speakers are a huge improvement over the 6s. The clarity and over all loudness is really surprising when you first use it. It's probably my favorite feature on my 7 Plus.
     
  16. Alameda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #16
    But for calls with the phone against my ear, it doesn't sound very good.
     
  17. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #17
    Then, again, perhaps you have a defective device. Because Apple didn't design the speaker quality to not sound very good.
     
  18. RIPstevejobs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2011
    #18
    the ear speaker for phone calls is definitely different. sounds more like a speaker phone for sure. but i think when it is held against your ear correctly it sounds better and clearer than previous phones. i think its just that it takes some adjusting.
     
  19. Mike5254 macrumors regular

    Mike5254

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2016
    Location:
    Cincinnati and Philippines
    #19
    I have compared my 7P with my 5/5s, my friend's 6/6s, I find my 7P to be much better than the previous iPhones. My mom who have difficulty in hearing, finds the 7P to be much better too.
     
  20. Alameda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #20
    And an honest review has to be honest.
     
  21. CrownVic macrumors regular

    CrownVic

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2016
    #21
    I came from a 5s to a 7+ and I feel exactly the same! Great review!
     
  22. yakpacking, Dec 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2017

    yakpacking macrumors newbie

    yakpacking

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2016
    #22
    --- Post Merged, Dec 9, 2016 ---
    I have a similar complaint in another thread. Not the speaker, but the transmitter....people on the other end complaining. Seems fine in speaker mode. Off speaker mode other people can't hear or complain of distortion. Both my wife and mine. We upgrade each time and just came from the iPhone 6 which did not have this issue. Verizon/Costco has already replaced my wife's iPhone 7 Plus. The second one (a replacement) is doing it too. Mine is causing people to complain too....but I haven't taken the time to go through getting it replaced. We are wondering if the Defender series Otter Case might be the cause? Hope to update my thread as this progresses.

    Update 1/2/2017: After changing Otter Case styles the problem doesn't seem to be caused by the Defender series case. It also has the same problem with the Otter Symmetry series. We are back to thinking the problem is a phone issue. (But on 3 new phones?) After the Christmas season dies down we intend to take both phones into an Apple Store for a "face to face" to find out what the issue may be.

    Verizon has duplicated and heard the problem and states it is not their network. It seems to do it on both Cell or Wifi and is intermittent.
     
  23. HankHowdy macrumors 68040

    HankHowdy

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Location:
    Victorville CA
    #23
    One of my favorite things about the 7 Plus is the sound. I love watching movie trailers one the IMDB app.
     
  24. ipulsecases Suspended

    ipulsecases

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Location:
    DFW,Texas
    #24
    it is a solid review . The most important part is the new home button , it is not fragile anymore
    and the portrait shoot mode for the camera , i don't even pay for photography for family photos at Thanksgiving
     
  25. Alameda thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Alameda

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2012
    #25
    Thank you very much!
     

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