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

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Dimensions

5.94 x 2.86 x 0.3 inches

150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Dimensions

6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches

153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Apple iPhone 7 Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.63 oz (188 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 edge

Dimensions

5.94 x 2.86 x 0.3 inches

150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7 mm

Weight

5.54 oz (157 g)

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

Dimensions

6.04 x 2.91 x 0.31 inches

153.5 x 73.9 x 7.9 mm

Weight

5.96 oz (169 g)

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.



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122 Comments

1. NoAllegiance unregistered

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

9. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 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!!!

14. peace247 unregistered

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.

23. Lsh99

Posts: 38; Member since: Sep 26, 2016

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

55. sissy246

Posts: 6837; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

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

59. sissy246

Posts: 6837; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

Edit For the s7 edge

114. Ray.S

Posts: 432; Member since: Jul 19, 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.

117. ShaikhJGI

Posts: 356; Member since: Jan 10, 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.

124. Ray.S

Posts: 432; Member since: Jul 19, 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!

24. Bankz

Posts: 2444; Member since: Apr 08, 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)

28. Bankz

Posts: 2444; Member since: Apr 08, 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!

63. sissy246

Posts: 6837; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

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

108. omnitech

Posts: 1131; Member since: Sep 28, 2016

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

18. Kumar123 unregistered

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

56. maherk

Posts: 6537; Member since: Feb 10, 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.

96. Leo_MC

Posts: 5915; Member since: Dec 02, 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.

147. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2030; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

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

149. Leo_MC

Posts: 5915; Member since: Dec 02, 2011

Your wife must be Xena...

140. llk171

Posts: 95; Member since: Mar 31, 2013

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

64. cheee

Posts: 50; Member since: Jul 11, 2016

to be honest score should be 8.5

93. robocopvn

Posts: 504; Member since: Mar 10, 2010

Even with the big camera bump, design looks great hahahahahaha

141. shnibz

Posts: 501; Member since: Sep 18, 2011

So a 9.3+

2. meanestgenius

Posts: 21017; Member since: May 28, 2014

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

30. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4764; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

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

115. Ray.S

Posts: 432; Member since: Jul 19, 2011

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

3. kiko007

Posts: 7383; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Reasonable rating.

5. kiko007

Posts: 7383; Member since: Feb 17, 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.

31. Bankz

Posts: 2444; Member since: Apr 08, 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..

110. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

iPhone could get a perfect 10 and it doesn't even mean a thing. Because where is the bases of comparison? Who else could produce another iOS phone? Its a take it or leave it situation. Therefore, I awarded it the perfect 10.

21. ebilcake

Posts: 1189; Member since: Jul 16, 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.

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

iPhone 7 Plus
  • Display 5.5" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 7 MP front
  • Processor Apple A10 Fusion, Quad-core, 2340 MHz
  • Storage 256 GB
  • Battery 2900 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

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