All About the iPhone 7's Hardware and Software

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in Jet Black. image credit: Apple Inc.

Introduced: Sept. 7, 2016
Discontinued: Still being sold 

Each year when Apple introduces a new iPhone, critics and users hold their breaths for a major breakthrough to be included in the new model. With this generation, there was no major breakthrough, but there were two fairly big changes to the iPhone 7 hardware — one good, one maybe not so good.

The major positive change introduced with this phone was the dual-camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus. With two 12-megapixel cameras, a telephoto lens, and the ability to capture DSLR-quality depth of field effects, the 7 Plus' camera was a big step forward. It may have laid the groundwork for even more advanced features (think 3D imaging). On the downside, some features didn't ship out of the box; they were delivered via software update later in Fall 2016.

The removal of the traditional headphone jack was the potentially negative change to the iPhone 7 hardware. The iPhone 7 series included only a Lightning port for connecting wired headphones. Apple said the removal was a sign of "courage," and it certainly fits with the company's other controversial-at-the-time feature removals (DVD, Ethernet, floppy discs), but it was unclear whether the included adapter dongle would be enough to satisfy users.

The Biggest Hardware Changes in the iPhone 7

The most notable changes introduced with the iPhone 7 include:

  • Removal of the headphone jack: Bound to be the most controversial iPhone change in years, the iPhone 7 removed the traditional headphone jack entirely. Instead, users are expected to use headphones that connect to the phone's Lightning port or Apple's fully wireless AirPods
  • The iPhone 7 Plus dual-camera system: The camera system on the iPhone 7 Plus was a major upgrade. It includes two 12-megapixel cameras on the back of the device, with the second camera offering a telephoto lens. This enables new image effects using depth of field (the foreground of the image in focus, the back blurred), live previews of those effects, and up to 10x zoom. The camera flash also includes four bulbs (up from 2) for better color accuracy.
  • Higher top-end storage: The highest capacity storage on the iPhone 7 is 256 GB, up from 128 GB in the iPhone 6S. 
  • Better color fidelity in screen: Both Phone 7 models have screens with technology that lets them display a greater range of colors. This delivers better-looking images. This technology was introduced previously on the original iPad Pro.
  • New color options: In addition to silver, gold, and rose gold, the iPhone 7 offers two new color choices: Black and a high-polish "Jet Black." Jet Black is only available in the 128 GB and 256 GB models.

iPhone 7 Hardware Features

In addition to those changes, other new elements of the iPhone 7 include:

  • A10 Fusion processor. 
  • W1 wireless audio chip to support AirPods and new wireless Beats headphones.
  • Redesigned, solid state Home button with new force-feedback engine.
  • Improved user-facing camera.
  • 25% brighter screen.
  • Improved battery life.
  • IP67 water and dust resistance.
  • Support for Felica NFC standard used in Japan.

iPhone 7 Screens

  Size in Inches Pixels
iPhone 7 4.7 1334 x 750
iPhone 7 Plus 5.5 1920 x 1080

iPhone 7 Cameras

  Front Camera
(photos)
Back Camera
(photos)
Back Camera
(video)
iPhone 7 7 megapixel 12 megapixels
5x digital zoom

 
4K HD @ 30 frames/second
1080p @ 120 frames/second, slo-mo
720p @ 240 frames/second, slo-mo
iPhone 7 Plus 7 megapixel Dual camera
12 megapixels
telephoto
2x optical zoom
10x digital zoom
4K HD @ 30 frames/second
1080p @ 120 frames/second, slo-mo
720p @ 240 frames/second, slo-mo

Panoramic photos: up to 63 megapixel

iPhone 7 Battery Life

all figures in hours unless otherwise noted

  Talk Wi-Fi 4G LTE Audio Video Standby
iPhone 7 14 14 12 30 13 10 days
iPhone 7 Plus 21 15 13 40 14 16 days
  • Accelerometer
  • Gyroscope
  • Barometer
  • Touch ID fingerprint scanner
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Proximity sensor
  • 3D Touch screen
  • Taptic Engine for feedback

iPhone 7 Software Features

  • The improved camera features of the iPhone 7 Plus didn't ship with it. They were delivered as a free software update in Fall 2016.
  • The ability to edit and add effects to Live Photos.
  • iOS 10 support.
  • Support for all existing iPhone features like FaceTime, Siri, GPS, AirPlay, App Store, Apple Pay, etc.

iPhone 7 Colors

  • Silver
  • Gold
  • Rose Gold
  • Black
  • Jet Black
  • Red (added March 2017)

US Phone Carriers

  • AT&T
  • Sprint
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon

iPhone 7 Size and Weight

Weight in ounces, dimensions in inches

  Height Width Thickness Weight
iPhone 7 4.87 5.44 2.64 0.28
iPhone 7 Plus 6.63 6.23 3.07 0.29

iPhone 7 Capacity and Price

  32 GB 128 GB 256 GB
iPhone 7 US$649 $749 $849
iPhone 7 Plus $769 $869 $969

iPhone 7 Availability

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus went on sale Sept. 16, 2016. Customers were able to start pre-ordering them on Sept. 9, 2016.

Previous Models

When Apple releases new iPhones, it also keeps previous models around to sell at lower prices. With the introduction of the iPhone 7, Apple's line up of other iPhone models was:

  • The iPhone 6S & 6S Plus were available in 32 GB and 128 GB models for $549 and $649, and $649 and $749, respectively
  • The iPhone SE remained in its 16 GB and 64 GB configurations and at its current pricing
  • The iPhone 6 & 6 Plus were discontinued.