- The 3.5 mm audio jack is gone.
Much ado has already been made about this “courageous” change. Apple’s engineers have effectively “innovated” the 3.5 mm audio jack out of existence.
The 100-year-old technology has worked perfectly in myriad devices as one of the few conveniently universal jacks available to consumers. It works just as well on iPhone or an Android phone or a Sony Walkman.
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But Apple, in its infinite wisdom, has ditched the audio jack in favor of proprietary hardware. The new iPhone 7 will only work with earbuds that use the Lightning connector, used to charge the phone, or with expensive wireless headphones.
The downsides to both these options are plenty. With the Lightning connector, you won’t be able to charge and listen at the same time. Worse, the adapter that comes with the phone will get lost easily, making a new headphone purchase almost inevitable.
Meanwhile, wireless “AirPods” will have to be charged, adding to the litany of rechargeable gadgets littering our kitchen counters, from phones to watches and now to headphones.
According to Apple, they’ve done all this to make the iPhone 7 thinner and more water resistant. It’s hard not to suspect that the real reason was to sell more accessories. There was nothing wrong with the audio jack, and other phone manufacturers have made water resistant phones that included it, like the Galaxy S7 which has even higher-rated water resistance than Apple’s latest phone.
- No wireless charging or fast charging still.
The iPhone 7 still falls behind the competition when it comes to basic charging technology.
While numerous phones have wireless charging, using some sort of charging pad that you simply set your phone on, the iPhone 7 still needs to be plugged in.
This is even more of an issue when you consider the previous listed problem—the missing 3.5 mm audio jack.
Likewise, there’s no fast charging available to the iPhone 7. Phones from LG, Samsung and other manufacturers still charge twice as fast (or faster) than the iPhone 7.
That may not seem like a huge issue, but being able to quickly charge a phone while on the go is becoming more and more important the more our smartphones become integral to our daily lives.
- The iPhone 7′s LED display is still just 750p.
The iPhone 7′s screen isn’t terrible, by any means, but in terms of resolution it’s hardly high-end either. Its resolution is a measly 750p.
While the iPhone 7 Plus has a 1080p display, the standard model falls well behind much of the competition. Samsung’s Galaxy S7 boasts a 1440p display, outshining both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus.
Other phones, such as Sony’s Z5 Premium, are releasing with 4K UHD displays.
750p is child’s play in the current phone market, and a pretty massive letdown for the iPhone 7.
- No USB-C or expandable storage.
Many people were hoping that Apple would abandon its Lightning connector in favor of the much more universal USB-C, that’s becoming more and more ubiquitous by the day.
Alas, proprietary hardware rules the roost once again in the iPhone 7 (though Apple uses USB-C in other products.) This is a bummer for consumers who are sick of myriad cables and chargers. Indeed, replacing the Lightning connector with a USB-C slot would have made the removal of the 3.5 mm audio jack much more palatable.
There’s also no expandable storage on the iPhone 7 still, though this comes as little surprise. At least the new phone has double the baseline storage capacity of its predecessor — 32GB — though Apple has made the odd decision of bumping the iPhone 6 base model to 32GB as well.
Proprietary jacks and no expandable storage make the iPhone 7 a much less appealing purchase than many of its competitors.
- There’s no “wow” factor.
Last, but not least, the iPhone 7 simply fails to “wow” us. It looks incredibly similar to the iPhone 6, and feels more like a half-generational bump than a new model.
This is likely because the 2017 model is supposed to be the big, evolutionary leap forward, but that’s still no excuse for Apple — if you’ll pardon the term — phoning it in with the iPhone 7.
Apple customers are used to much more drastic, exciting changes. The iPhone 7 is conservative and, quite frankly, boring.
Indeed, probably the most exciting news (outside of water resistance) is the first Mario game coming to iOS, but even that is just another endless runner style game.
Ultimately, the iPhone 7 is the least exciting hardware upgrade we’ve seen from Apple in years. That may make next year’s model worth the wait, assuming it lives up to all the hype and rumors.