The iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch 2: What’s New With Each Product?
Apple’s two biggest new products, the iPhone 7 and the Apple Watch Series 1 and 2, are both finally available. In today’s post we’ll take a look at their new features now that they’ve had a little time to be used out in the wild.
The two biggest new features of the iPhone 7 are its water resistance and a revamped camera system that adds a lot of new power and functionality.
The formal water resistance rating for the iPhone 7 is IP67. The first of those numbers represents the ability to resist penetration by solid objects (dust specifically), and the second represents its ability to keep water out of the case. Both of those numbers are at the very high end of the scale, but they don’t represent complete protection from the elements. The specific rating for water immersion is no deeper than about three feet, and for no longer than 30 minutes. After that, the phone is going to be a hopelessly corroded lost cause. In practical terms, this means a quick drop into the sink or toilet likely isn’t going to harm it, but it’s not going to hold up to swimming or forgetting to take it out of your pocket before cannonballing into the deep end of the pool.
The iPhone 7 ships standard with the 12 megapixel rear camera that was seen on the iPhone 6S series. Image stabilization is now standard rather than a premium feature, however. If you opt for the Plus model of the iPhone 7, you’ll get the really exciting new two-camera system on the rear. This system provides you with separate wide angle and telephoto lenses. This allows for true optical zoom with the telephoto lens, which means that detail is increased as you zoom in closer to the subject of your photo. The two lenses also create a new “portrait” effect that is meant to replicate a professional-quality camera by blurring photo backgrounds to accentuate the foreground. This is a software feature that is currently optional and has to be downloaded, but will only work if you have the double lens system on your phone.
The most controversial change, however, is the elimination of the standard headphone jack. Apple ostensibly did this to take advantage of the powered Lightning port, but the end result will also probably be to encourage even more people to rudely blast their music and podcasts out of their speakers at everyone else while in public. Bluetooth headphones are still an option, however.
The new release of the Apple Watch has been split into two different models: Series 1 and Series 2.
Series 1 is the entry-level model that is basically designed to replace and phase out the original Apple Watch. It’s quite similar, but sports a better processor, a few added wrinkles and the new operating system watchOS3, which has been optimized for better ease of use and also throws in a handful of new apps mostly aimed at those using the watch as a fitness tracker.
Series 2 is the new premium line. In terms of performance, it really isn’t much different from Series 1 — it has the same CPU, GPU, memory and storage space. The biggest technical features added to it are GPS and the ability to withstand water well enough that you don’t need to take it off when swimming.
The selling point for Series 2 is more the “shiny factor” than anything else, however. It’s got added aesthetic features like a brighter display, a wider selection of case and band materials, and a variety of special and limited editions. Hermes and Nike have their own editions with a special higher-quality band, and there’s also a limited edition with a premium ceramic case and a magnetic charging dock included for the price. Be ready for a huge jump in price for these premium versions, however; while the most basic Series 2 retails for $369, the limited edition model shoots up to north of $1200.
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