Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: including Portrait Mode
Are Android phones better than the iPhone 7 Plus?
- Decent camera with great video
- Good screen
- Compatible with Apple ecosystem
- Portrait Mode is a mess
- No headphone jack
- Price hike for Australians
- Siri feels old
- No VR strategy
A lightly-flawed flagship. Taptic feedback isn't as useful as a headphone jack, the camera's Portrait Mode is a mess and there are some low light issues. But it's fast and well-appointed and if Apple's ecosystem is important to you, value is less of an issue.
Price$ 1,269.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
So Apple finally deigned to provide us with an iPhone 7 Plus review unit. The phone itself (plus the first reviews) came out several weeks ago so the interest in what we have to say will have waned somewhat by now. In fact, who’s even going to bother reading this? Let’s see?
Dsfgkndfgnzdjgf nzkjdgfn; kzjdnfgzdfgzdfgnkznfgbnzdfbzdfsfjsY$ THJGNRI VNVH(*VH(*HW$$
There. you don’t see that every day in the media, do you? What you will have seen plenty of are “reviews” from “reviewers” that basically cream themselves over the latest iPhones and its quasi-magical camera while simultaneously telling us that they’ve not actually reviewed a camera or a phone before or used anything other than an iPhone ever. Obviously there are some good reviews out there too, but this makes us wonder why we’re bothering here. Most of our traffic comes from Google. This is going to appear on page 10 of a Google search if we're lucky. We're literally wasting our time writing this. Thanks Apple.
At least the highly-anticipated Portrait Mode feature came out yesterday so we can test that out.
We’ve reviewed many phones over the past couple of months including several major releases that have appeared since the iPhone 7 launched. Unfortunately for Apple, some of those phones have somewhat changed the market and our expectations of what a phone should be. In the case of Google’s Pixel XL, the new Google Assistant makes Siri look as dumb as an intelligent vacuum cleaner.
So we’re not going to repeat ourselves after our also-late-thanks-to-Apple iPhone 7 review. However, if you are reading this far, “Welcome and thanks!” And don’t worry, we’ll still tell you everything you need to know about this phone albeit in a less-total-waste-of-our-time sort of way.
[Related: Google Daydream VR full, in-depth review]
The iPhone 7 Plus in a nutshell
The iPhone 7 Plus is the same as the iPhone 7 except for four different areas: screen, camera, value and battery life. In every other way it’s the same as the iPhone 7, so maybe read that review first. Here are the differences…
5.5in, 1,080 x 1920, 401ppi LCD display; 32/128/256,3GB RAM; Apple A10 Fusion chipset with quad-core CPU and Hexa-core GPU, dual 12-megapixel camera plus 7-megapixel front camera, Fingerprint reader, NFC (Apple Pay only), 2,900mAh battery, iOS10.1, IP67 dust and water resistant, NanoSIM, 158 x 78 x 7mm, 188g. Full specs here.
Handling, Design, Features etc
See review of iPhone 7 for most details here. However, a quick additional note on the screen. As before, the 1080p LCD screen is very good (if not as punchy as the high-resolution, AMOLED screens found on the Samsung Galaxy S7s or Google Pixel XL) but we found it particularly good when dealing with VR. Usually, there’s a pronounced “screen door effect”, but it’s minimised with the 7 Plus whose large screen suits VR well and whose 401-pixels-per-inch resolution makes it a joy to use.Read more: We compared the speakers of a Pixel XL and an iPhone 7
iPhone 7 Plus camera review with Portrait Mode
As we went to press the latest 10.1 iOS update appeared and brought with it the long-awaited Portrait mode. Unusually for Apple, they've launched with this still in Beta and, frankly, it’s quite a mess. Having been wowed by the performance of Huawei’s dual-camera P9 camera phone, which was created in partnership with legendary photographic company, Leica, we had very high hopes for what Apple would achieve.
Unfortunately, where the P9 takes pictures quickly and easily and offers some amazing focusing effects which can easily be adjusted later on, the iPhone 7 Plus is a laggy, slow-to-focus mess which only works sporadically or if you spend serious time setting up a single shot. Wanting to fire of a salvo of shots at a small child or wild animal? Good luck. If the camera does focus that’s a bonus, if it takes the picture when you press the button, you’ll be lucky, if you don’t get warned about being more than 2.5m from your subject, that would be nice and if the photo taken actually made use of the effect when it said it would, then great. Unfortunately, most of these issues appear most of the time if you take more than one shot. Compared to the P9, it’s a joke.
Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised, unlike the P9 which uses the second camera to improve focusing and colour depth (the second sensor captures black-and-white information only) Apple’s is primarily there to add an optical 2x telephoto (zoom) feature. Just tapping the 1x icon on screen zooms into 2x zoom which, unlike other cameras, uses the superior optics rather than just digital zoom. We’re not sure that this feature has been sorely-missed from the market but now it’s here and it generally works well. But it’s not earth shattering.Read more: Google Pixel XL full, in-depth smartphone review: Phones just got smarter
Exterior shots are usually well exposed and sharp although accurate focusing isn’t the quickest we’ve seen when subjects are in motion. Highlights could blow out a bit much on bright days but really, the rcamera here is very good indeed.
When a scene is less well-lit we had more issues. Grain can become prominent very quickly and a few too many pictures were out of focus for our liking. When light really dropped down the sharpening effects were very harsh and made people look a bit cartoon like.
All in all though, this is still a great camera phone and the issues are usually surmountable if you take a bit more time to shoot instead of firing off a barrage of quick shots in the hope that one comes out sharp.
Video is recorded at a 2160p resolution (4K). Frankly, this is probably the best video camera we’ve tested. The Sony Xperia XZ with its five-axis Optical Image Stabilisation is very good, but the smoothness and instant focusing on offer here, even when walking around, is exceptional. The recorded audio is crisp too. There was some flickering as we moved from light to dark but nothing too distracting (and we see this everywhere else – but worse – anyway). Moving into dark areas saw impressive levels of detail captured at the expense of more grain but this transition was handled very well. Bright areas could blow out a bit more than the Pixel XL we tested, but ultimately, this has fewer issues than most other phones.Read more: MyFitnessPal review: The best calorie calculator app
Next: Battery, Other features and Conclusion
Join the newsletter!
Apple iPhone X
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
cloudandco Smart Cane
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
WD MY PASSPORT™ X Gaming Storage
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Lego Mindstorms EV3
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 2 Sony's latest Ultra HD OLED debuts in Australia
- 3 Panasonic Ultra HD OLED TV Review
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Oppo A77 smartphone: Full in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Belkin Introduces USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Will Come To Australia
- Boost Mobile Doubles Data Offering With New Summer Plans
- BlackBerry KEYone Black Launches in Australia
- HTC U11 Plus latest rumours: Release date, price and specs
PCW Evaluation Team
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review
- Get set for Amazon Australia Black Friday launch
- Destiny 2 PC review: A port worthy of PC gaming's mightiest rigs
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCTechnical Solutions ArchitectACT
- CCReporting AnalystNSW
- FTFrontEnd Angular DeveloperOther
- FTSenior Test AnalystQLD
- CCTechnical LeadQLD
- FTETL/Data EngineerOther
- FTScrum MasterOther
- FTBusiness Analyst - Change Management - Government backgroundOther
- CCInfrastructure Solution ArchitectNSW
- FTRecords AnalystOther
- FTSenior Siebel DeveloperOther
- FTPayments Business AnalystVIC
- FTJunior Automation TesterQLD
- FTDigital Account StrategistSA
- FTDigital Product OwnerOther
- CCSecurity AnalystQLD
- CCSenior Test Data Management ConsultantVIC
- FTSenior Sales Executive ? Technology ConsultingQLD
- FTInformation Security ManagerVIC
- CCDesktop Engineer - MULTIPLE ROLESQLD
- FTField EngineerVIC
- CCSenior Program CoordinatorNSW
- TPService Desk AnalystVIC
- FTSenior Java DeveloperOther
- FTSecurity Leads - $800 per dayOther