x PhoneArena is hiring! Reviewer in the USA

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review

Apple iPhone 7 Plus 9.3
Pages
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review

Introduction


A few years back, Apple – long the smartphone maker content to walk to the beat of its own drum – seemed to finally start reacting to broader market trends and made some sweeping changes to the sizes of its phones. Apple already started experimenting with larger smartphone displays when it introduced the iPhone 5, but really kicked things into overdrive two years back, when we got the one-two punch of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6 and the solidly phablet-sized 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Ever since, that Plus model has been around for shoppers who not just crave a big-screen iPhone experience, but also one with an extra bell or whistle (or two). And this year, Apple's offering its users some of the most compelling reasons yet to say goodbye to more petite iPhones and fully embrace the Plus for all it offers.

Does that interesting dual-camera system really give the iPhone 7 Plus an edge when it comes to photography? Will the extra RAM help smooth out system performance? And what will the iPhone's biggest battery yet spell for users looking to push operational life to its limit? After going in-depth with our iPhone 7 review, we're turning our attention to the bigger, flashier, and by all accounts better-equipped iPhone 7 Plus. Let's see how she measures up.

In the box:

  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus
  • EarPods with Lightning plug
  • Lightning to 3.5mm analog headphone adapter
  • AC adapter
  • USB to Lightning cable
  • Introductory card
  • Safety notice
  • Yet more stickers

Design

Make room for the biggest camera bump yet – while Apple cleans things up elsewhere

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review

With the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple found itself facing the same design questions it had to tackle when working out what to do for the look of the iPhone 7. Do you take the safe approach and give users more of what they flocked to last year – while risking the characterization of being lazy and failing to innovate? Or do you try something bold, eye-catching, and new – though bringing with it the possibility that a fresh look may not resonate with shoppers?

In the end, we get a little of both, though with the iPhone 7 Plus, especially, Apple finds itself going further out on a limb to offer users something new – with all the risk that entails.

Like the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus share a lot of the same design elements, but the differences here are arguably even easier to spot. By far the most prominent change is the new camera bump on the handset's rear, now elongated to accommodate the phone's additional camera sensor.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus (dual camera), Apple iPhone 6s Plus (rose gold), Apple iPhone 7 (black), Apple iPhone 6s (grey) - Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (dual camera), Apple iPhone 6s Plus (rose gold), Apple iPhone 7 (black), Apple iPhone 6s (grey) - Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review

Apple iPhone 7 Plus (dual camera), Apple iPhone 6s Plus (rose gold), Apple iPhone 7 (black), Apple iPhone 6s (grey)


We don't have to move far to spot other significant changes, and from that new camera bump our eyes are drawn to the iPhone 7 Plus's new super-inconspicuous antenna lines. At least, they no longer stretch conspicuously across the phone's back, instead tucked away in a pair of slithering curves hugging the handset's top and bottom edges. Between the new out-of-the-way shape and improved color-matching, they might as well not be there at all.

We've got another upgrade around front, as the familiar clicky physical home button is replaced by a new solid-state component. It looks nearly identical, feels much the same as your finger glides over it, and still houses Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner. Except now it doesn't move when you press it.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
The iPhone 7 Plus (in black) and the iPhone 6s Plus (in rose gold) share a lot of the same design elements - Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
The iPhone 7 Plus (in black) and the iPhone 6s Plus (in rose gold) share a lot of the same design elements - Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review
The iPhone 7 Plus (in black) and the iPhone 6s Plus (in rose gold) share a lot of the same design elements - Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review

The iPhone 7 Plus (in black) and the iPhone 6s Plus (in rose gold) share a lot of the same design elements


Instead, Apple relies on a combination of the button's force-measuring sensors and the phone's upgraded Taptic Engine vibration motor to respond to firm presses with an emulated “click,” keeping the general feel of the old physical button while moving to some more advanced technology. Even with adjustable haptic feedback levels, it never comes across quite the same as the original, but it's not long before the new response feels just like home (no pun intended).

Button layout remains the same as last year (and the year before), but port placement gets a big change, as Apple drops the phone's analog headphone jack – a change we'll discuss in some depth later.

As for its size and shape, the iPhone 7 Plus measures in with precisely the same dimensions as the iPhone 6s Plus – anomalies like the new camera-bump shape notwithstanding – though the new phone weighs every so slightly less, dropping from 192 to 188 grams.

Over the years, Apple's slowly warmed to the idea that not all iPhone users want a phone that looks exactly alike, and the company's been getting better at giving us a variety of options. This year we see new colors take the focus, as the familiar gold, silver, and rose gold are joined by two new black shades: a low-key matte black and a glossy jet black. For this review we're looking at the black iPhone 7 Plus, as jet black handsets have proved harder to come across than iOS-powered unicorns. There's a consequence to the arrival of these new colors, though, as the old space gray (aka darker silver) option vanishes.

Finally, Apple's formally christened this year's iPhones as its first water-resistant models, with an IP67 rating for water and dust protection. There's no cumbersome port covers or anything to deal with – Apple pulls off the feat without compromising the iPhone 7 Plus's design. But before you go jump in a pool with the 7 Plus in your pocket, be advised: this may be Apple's first officially water-resistant iPhone, but the company both warns that the protection may decrease over time (as seals degrade and components wear) and absolves itself of any duty to perform warranty service related to water damage.


Apple iPhone 7 Plus
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
6.63 oz (188 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus
6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm
6.77 oz (192 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
5.94 x 2.86 x 0.3 inches
150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm
5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy Note 7
6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches
153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm
5.96 oz (169 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 7


To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page.


Display

Apple promises big, and delivers even bigger (or, rather, brighter)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Review

While this year that new dual camera may be grabbing all the Plus headlines, if there's one phone component that really defines Apple's larger iPhone offering, it's the big 5.5-inch display. It's back with the same 1080 x 1920 resolution Apple's been using with its Plus models since their introduction, but that's not to say that this year's screen isn't without its upgrades. Though size and resolution remain unchanged, Apple's delivering the same sorts of brightness and color enhancements that it's bringing to the smaller iPhone 7.

According to Apple, the screens on both the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus get the same upgrades: brighter output capable of hitting 625 nits, and a wider color gamut, able to more accurately reproduce a broader array of shades.

The iPhone 7 Plus actually came out quite a bit brighter in our testing, maxing out north of 670 nits.

Like with the iPhone 7, you'll only hit that very peak brightness with auto-brightness engaged. In manual mode, you can get to around 570 nits, which is still plenty bright.

Display measurements and quality

Maximum brightness (nits)Higher is better Minimum brightness (nits)Lower is better Contrast Higher is better Color temperature (Kelvins) Gamma Delta E rgbcmy Lower is better Delta E grayscale Lower is better
Apple iPhone 7 Plus 672
(Excellent)
2
(Excellent)
1:1431
(Excellent)
6981
(Excellent)
2.2
3.11
(Good)
2.63
(Good)
Apple iPhone 6s Plus 593
(Excellent)
5
(Excellent)
1:1407
(Excellent)
7018
(Good)
2.19
2.32
(Good)
2.76
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 493
(Good)
2
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
6586
(Excellent)
2.03
1.47
(Excellent)
2.62
(Good)
Samsung Galaxy Note 7 570
(Excellent)
1
(Excellent)
unmeasurable
(Excellent)
7038
(Good)
2.05
1.82
(Excellent)
6.29
(Average)
View all


121 Comments
  • Options
    Close






posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:27 12

1. NoAllegiance (Posts: 243; Member since: 21 Mar 2016)


Same score as iPhone 7, this should get a higher score.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:38 12

9. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 4888; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Why higher? If anything lower because "Not all dual-camera features available at launch". That to me is unfinished thus lower score. Also when are they going top start talking points off for the same tired design? It's been 5 years of the same design... I mean does anyone who reviews phones on PhoneArena.com ever get bored of reviewing the same looking device year after year? Also that headphone jack... That's just nuts!!!

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:44 23

14. peace247 (Posts: 330; Member since: 26 Apr 2014)


i dont get it. when it comes to iPhone, itrollarena posts the max brightness which is in auto mode. But in case of galaxy series they post the max brightness of manual mode, which infact is beyond 700 or maybe 800 nits in auto mode. correct me if I'm wrong.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:50 2

18. Kumar123 (unregistered)


Agreed. If iPhone 7 get 9.3 iPhone 7 plus should have got at least 9.5.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:57 4

23. Lsh99 (Posts: 23; Member since: 26 Sep 2016)


I was wondering the same thing. I thought the Note 7 went over 1,000 nits. ?

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:58 1

24. Bankz (Posts: 1010; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


Actually, it should get a higher score because it has a better camera, far bigger battery, better screen, more efficient and bigger ram, bigger screen, landscape mode (tablet mode)

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:03 4

28. Bankz (Posts: 1010; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


Also, by your logic samsung have been using thesame design for 7 years too? Since the galaxy s series has been unchanged generally design-wise since galaxy s2, hell even the first galaxy..

Btw, if you're not blind, what looks remotely similar between the iphone 5 series and the iphone 6 series? Go troll else where pls!

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:29 2

55. sissy246 (Posts: 3181; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


Exactly it is 855 in auto mode. Iphonearena is so bias

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:29 4

56. maherk (Posts: 4435; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


Well this shows that their reviews cannot be taken seriously anymore.
The IPhone 7 Plus should be one point higher in rating compared to the regular iPhone 7, since it has a higher PPI, bigger screen, bigger battery, and the dual lense camera. But that doesn't mean the Plus should get 10.3, because the regular iPhone 7 should have never received a 9.3 rating.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:31 2

59. sissy246 (Posts: 3181; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


Edit
For the s7 edge

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:34 12

63. sissy246 (Posts: 3181; Member since: 04 Mar 2015)


Bankz are you blind
Samsung has not been the same design for the last 7 years.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:35 11

64. cheee (Posts: 50; Member since: 11 Jul 2016)


to be honest score should be 8.5

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 13:15 1

93. robocopvn (Posts: 444; Member since: 10 Mar 2010)


Even with the big camera bump, design looks great hahahahahaha

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 14:13

96. Leo_MC (Posts: 2070; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


The size is a big - for a phone; if it were a tablet, I would have understood but a phone needs to be handled with one hand and these tiny tablets can't be.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 18:42 2

108. omnitech (Posts: 248; Member since: 28 Sep 2016)


Lol same design for 7 years? Are you really this.....rhymes with cupid?

posted on 29 Sep 2016, 01:49 3

114. Ray.S (Posts: 357; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Galaxy max brightness is also measured and posted in auto mote. We test both manual and auto modes, and post the absolute highest that we get.

posted on 29 Sep 2016, 03:08 1

117. ShaikhJGI (Posts: 208; Member since: 10 Jan 2014)


Thanks Ray.

But the question is do you record Auto mode brightness in your office or under the Sun? There is a huge difference you know.

If it is in your office then Auto mode will actually give you less brightness than it is usual.

posted on 30 Sep 2016, 03:03 1

124. Ray.S (Posts: 357; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Hi ShaikhJGI, we simulate high-brightness conditions in our office, and have confirmed that they are indeed bright enough to bring out the best of these displays. What's more, with the Galaxy S7 family we've also double checked what results they give outdoors, on a bright and sunny day, and the result was exactly the same as what we got when testing their brightness in our office setup. I hope that answers your question!

posted on 05 Oct 2016, 08:34

140. llk171 (Posts: 80; Member since: 31 Mar 2013)


News flash, not everyone wants a big screen in their pocket.

posted on 05 Oct 2016, 10:00

141. shnibz (Posts: 357; Member since: 18 Sep 2011)


So a 9.3+

posted on 13 Oct 2016, 12:12

147. CreeDiddy (Posts: 939; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


My wife has a 7 Plus. So for you to make a statement like that is completely false.

posted on 13 Oct 2016, 15:01

149. Leo_MC (Posts: 2070; Member since: 02 Dec 2011)


Your wife must be Xena...

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:27 2

2. meanestgenius (Posts: 14502; Member since: 28 May 2014)


Seriously, was there any doubt that the iPhone 7plus would score so well? But it should have scored higher than the 7.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:11 2

30. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4154; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


They decided they have to "discreetly" balance things out, else, PA comment section will go wild.

posted on 29 Sep 2016, 01:52

115. Ray.S (Posts: 357; Member since: 19 Jul 2011)


Hi, iPhone 7 Plus indeed has some better internals than the 7, but also a higher price, which is what balances things out.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:27 2

3. kiko007 (Posts: 4390; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Reasonable rating.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:30 1

5. kiko007 (Posts: 4390; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


And I know 90% of you are gonna yell "iFanboy" or some other ridiculously garden variety insult, but for the hardware alone, this deserves a 9. Software is good, but, iOS 10 still isn't where it needs to be yet. Give it two or three months to settle.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 09:53 7

21. ebilcake (Posts: 804; Member since: 16 Jul 2016)


I said that about the previous review but then I looked at more camera comparisons and I take it back

iPhone 7 camera is awful for the price, lack of detail overall, suffers in low light and still has that yellow cast on images, especially people.

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:11 3

31. Bankz (Posts: 1010; Member since: 08 Apr 2016)


The A10 fusion alone deserves a full 3 points and the haptic engine by itself deserves a full 2.. Then add-in other things as well and it isn't really much difficult to figure out how the iphone 7+ should have a higher score. Hell, the jet black by itself deserves a 2 on its own..

Lol, I mean, making an aluminium phone look and feel exactly like glass? Yet not be able to break/crack like glass as well. That's some design sorcery right there..

posted on 28 Sep 2016, 10:12 3

32. kiko007 (Posts: 4390; Member since: 17 Feb 2016)


Are you serious? The iPhone 7 camera is EASILY one of the top 4 phone cameras currently available. The other three are the Galaxy series, the LG G5, and the Nexus 6P.......each of which are better in low light and stills, but worst in video recording. And who the hell buys a $700 phone just for the camera alone? I want the OS and the rest of the hardware...... I don't care THAT much about playing photographer. Lastly, this is the 7 Plus......a completely separate entity with more advanced hardware, why compare the two when they have different capabilities?

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Want to comment? Please login or register.

Display5.5 inches, 1080 x 1920 pixels (401 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera12 megapixels
Hardware
Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
3 GB RAM
Size6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches
(158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm)
6.63 oz  (188 g)

Latest stories