iPhone 7, 7 Plus, Apple Watch Series 2 hit the market

The iPhone 7 is finally here. For those of you eagerly anticipating the newest release of the smartphone, the iPhone 7, the iPhone 7 Plus and the Apple Watch Series 2 were released in Canada on September 16.

In a press release, the tech giant said their new phones are “packed with unique innovations that improve all the ways iPhone is used every day.” The phone will now come with an optional 256 gigabyte hard drive, twice the size of the maximum capacity iPhone 6s, but to get the larger drive you’ll have to pay an extra $130 — driving the price of the 7 up to $1159, and the 7 plus up to $1309, both prices before taxes.

The new models feature the same screen resolution as the old, but they’ll also have a considerably higher maximum brightness and feature a new colour system. Otherwise, the screens appear to be similar to those of the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

As for weight, the phones will actually be lighter than their previous incarnations by about 10 grams, while staying the same size. The camera, an “all new” 12-megapixel rear camera, will feature extra colour capture to go along with the display capacity. But it’s with the 7 plus that the camera really changes with 10x digital zoom, twice that of other models, and a new 2x optical zoom.

New range of Apple watches in Series 2, all water-resistant/Apple

The phone also features wide angle and telephoto cameras. Video specs for the two devices appear to be similar to 6s and 6s Plus, adding the new colour and zoom capacities. The front facing camera will now feature 1080p hd, compared with the 6s’ 720p, as well as image stabilization.

As for battery life, the iPhone 7 will get you a little further. The regular model will have 2 hours more battery life than it’s predecessor and feature a similar potential for 14 hours of talk-time. The 7 plus will manage an additional hour of battery life over the 6s Plus, but will have a reduced capacity for talk time, at 21 hours versus the 6s Plus’ 24.

Of course, the most talked about “feature” is the lack of a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, as the 7 and 7 plus will ship with new earbuds with a lightning connector.  Don’t abandon your old headphones just yet though, the phones will also ship with an adapter to convert standard 3.5mm headphones for the lightning port.

The new phones are advertised as water and dust resistant, but that comes with a couple of caveats. Apple warns against attempting to charge a wet or damp phone, and also mention that resistance is not permanent. Everyday wear and tear, or dropping your phone while you run to class and smashing the screen, will reduce resistance and could allow your phone to become water damaged.

The Apple Watch Series 2, starting at $359 CAD for the most basic model and $489 for the Nike version, was also released this past weekend. With water resistance up to 50 meters, built-in GPS and a heart rate monitor, the Apple Watch finally joins the ranks of high powered sports watches. The on-board GPS allows you to leave your phone at home and still track your movements accurately, something that made the previous version of the device a little more cumbersome for athletes.

Apple’s own version of wireless headphones, the Airpods, which were heavily advertised with the iPhone 7, will be released sometime in October, according to the tech company. If corded headphones are not your thing, or if, like this tech writer, you tend to catch the cord of your earbuds on tables, door knobs, backpack straps, or literally anything that sticks out, the Airpods might be for you. They come in a case that stores 24 hours of battery life and charge while you store them.

The price, over $200 CAD, is a little more than some might want to pay, but the option to go cord free is certainly a plus. How the Airbuds will compare to other bluetooth enabled, wireless headphones is yet to be seen.

When all is said and done, the new phones do feature a few improvements on the old, but if you can’t justify spending $1000 on a new phone this year, you’re probably safe to stick with your 6s or 6s Plus and wait out the iphone 8.

And if you find yourself wondering “didn’t the iPhone 6 just come out?” You wouldn’t really be wrong. The iPhone 6, in its original form, was released only two years ago in September of 2014, and its successor, the iPhone 6s came out the following October, less than one year ago.

The iPhone SE, a lighter, cheaper version of the phone shaped similarly to the iPhone 5s but reportedly packing nearly all of the same features as the iPhone 6s, was only released in March of this year, and the original Apple Watch was released in April of 2015.

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