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Apple's annual iPhone launch now has a familiar shape to it - two new phones, differing mainly in terms of screen size. And so it came to pass this year, with the release of the iPhone 7 and this, the iPhone 7 Plus.

Apple’s first large-screen phone, the iPhone 6 Plus, really was essentially a bigger iPhone 6. There were differences between the two, but not many. This time, though, the larger iPhone has a lot more going for it.

Principally, that’s based on the iPhone 7 Plus camera, which employs two separate 12-megapixel sensors with different lenses on each. More on that later.


Most other features are exactly the same as on the smaller iPhone 7, from the design that represents a direct evolution from the iPhone 6 and 6s to the new Force Touch Home button.

The new iPhone 7 home button doesn’t physically move, but it feels like it does thanks to the subtle haptic feedback. Not a new invention but inevitably Apple has given the tech its own twist.

And it definitely feels different from previous iPhone buttons, and it sounds different when you press it, too.

First impressions suggest this is easy to get used to and the fact that it can recognise exactly how hard you are pressing means there are still two ways to use the button - by resting your finger on it or pressing it.

MORE: Apple Lightning and the iPhone 7 - what you need to know

And like the iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus has a superbly smooth join between glass front and metal back which is pleasant to the touch.

Exceedingly minor design tweaks mean there's more fuss about the iPhone 7 Plus colours, which are the same on as on the iPhone 7 and, like with the smaller handset, it’s the jet black which stands out.

The iPhone 7 Plus battery life has been improved, with Apple claiming up to 1 hour longer battery life compared to the 6S Plus. This means up to 15 hours of battery on Wi-Fi, or up to 60 hours of wireless video playback. Of course, real-life results are likely to vary as heavy usage of multiple apps will drain any phone battery faster.

Inside is a new A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture, which promises to be twice as faster as the two-year-old iPhone 6, while using less power.

iOS 10 is launching on both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, offering a new look and plenty of new features, too, with updates promised to Messages, Maps and Photos.

In terms of iPhone 7 Plus storage options there are now 32GB, 64GB and 128GB versions to choose from, but no 16GB model for either of the latest-generation iPhones. The iPhone 7 Plus price? £719, £819 and £919 for the respective storage options, should you buy direct from Apple.

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More after the break


The iPhone 7 Plus screen is a 5.5in, LED-backlit widescreen design. It has a 1920 x 1080 resolution, meaning 401 pixels per inch. Nothing new here.

But while the screen size or the display resolution hasn’t changed on the iPhone 7 Plus (or the iPhone 7), the brightness level has increased, by 25 per cent according to Apple.

In the strongly lit situation of the Apple press preview area the difference wasn’t immediately visible but it was certainly bright and easy to see.

And it’s certainly colourful, thanks to the wide colour gamut – in apps with filters the before and after differences in vividness and brightness were evident.

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The iPhone 7 Plus has the stereo speakers, water resistance and seven-megapixel front-facing camera of the smaller iPhone 7.  

And, as predicted, neither new iPhone has a 3.5mm headphone jack. Instead, you can use the bundled Apple EarPods comple with Lightning connection or opt for wireless earphones. Apple would of course recommend its new AirPods (£159).

Apple's iPhones have been very competent music players, so we look forward to seeing how the new models - and the new earphones - sound.

The iPhone 7 Plus sound quality seemed impressive in the noisy preview room but we will reserve judgement until our full review.

Apple claims the new stereo speakers go twice as loud as the iPhone 6s, should you prefer the world to hear your music.

MORE: Apple AirPods hands-on review


The iPhone 7 Plus has an entirely new camera, which promises 'two cameras that shoot as one'. There are 12MP wide-angle and telephoto cameras, plus a 2x optical zoome. 

The default mode is the wide-angle lens. When you launch the camera app, it goes to this lens and a small 1x mark on screen shows you where you are. Tap that mark and it’ll change to 2x, with the image on screen now being drawn from the other lens, a telephoto. Keeping up so far?

The way the image switches from one to other is smooth enough but you can also with the swipe of a finger dial the zoom up and down and this (which combines digital zoom with sensor switching), is seamlessly done. 

Something that takes even more engineering is the Depth of Field mode, previewed at the keynote but set to be released in a software update later in the year. This lets you shoot a portrait with the telephoto lens while the wide-angle lens gathers data so it can separate subject from background and make subject sharp and background artfully blurry.

The iPhone 7 Plus rear camera does protrude from the case and because of the two lenses it’s certainly bigger than on the iPhone 6s Plus. Flatter is always better but many may think this is a compromise worth making for the extra photo power.

MORE: iPhone 6 Plus hands-on review

First impressions

For most, the choice between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will come down to screen size. How big do you want to go? But with the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, your camera demands should also come into play, with the Plus promising a more professional camera-phone experience.

But should iPhone users upgrade at all? And will the new model tempt non-believers? The iPhone 7 Plus certainly has plenty of powerful tech inside, meaning for phone users who haven’t upgraded in a while, it’s sure to be tempting. 

Buy the Apple iPhone 7 Plus here 

MORE: Best smartphones 2016

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