The display on the iPhone 7 Plus still has the same specs in terms of size and resolution: a 5.5" unit with a 1080p resolution (that's 401ppi). It's a LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with RGB matrix though the panel has been updated since the 6S Plus. Naturally, it is also 3D Touch-enabled, a technology we first saw on the iPhone 6s.
The new Retina display is 25% brighter and conforms to an even wider color gamut (cinema-standard) though few users will notice a change. Those are the upgrades over the already excellent screen that the iPhone 6s Plus had.
The iPhone 7 Plus offers a maximum brightness of 570nits at the far end of its brightness slider, which is slightly lesser than the iPhone 6s Plus. If you leave it on Auto, however, the screen will readily go as high as 680 nits in bright light conditions, which is certainly nice.
The blacks offered by the new screen are deep and combined with the high brightness, the screen scores an excellent contrast ratio of 1400:1.
The best part of the new screen is its color calibration. This doesn't have anything to do with the wider color gamut mentioned above but rather the accuracy with which it reproduces the most common set of colors we see in everyday life.
In this respect the iPhone 7 Plus screen offers an average DeltaE of 1.3, which is class leading and so far, only the Galaxy Note5 and the Lumia 950 family were capable of such an excellent color reproduction. All individual colors stay well below a deviation DeltaE of 4 (max DeltaE is 2.7). So, the iPhone 7 Plus screen is among the few phones on the market (Galaxy Note5, iPhone 7, Lumia 950/950XL), which are perfectly color calibrated to be used professionally in color critical environment.
|Display test||100% brightness|
|Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
Apple offers the so-called Night Shift mode which adjusts the colors in your device's display to make sure that your eyes aren't exposed to the bright blue light after sunset. You can choose the exact start and end hours and your screen will be yellow-ish during that time.
In bright sunlight the iPhone 7 Plus screen faired exceptionally well and remained legible all the time.
The iPhone 7 Plus is equipped with a non-removable Li-Po 2,900 mAh battery, which is about 5.5% beefier than the one of the iPhone 6s Plus, and about the same as on the iPhone 6 Plus. There is also the new energy-efficient Apple A10 Fusion chip, which combined with the new battery and optimized iOS 10, should offer a longer battery life than before.
And in case you need your phone by the end of its charge, the Low-Power mode, which you can enable manually, should prolong your iPhone 7 Plus battery life once the charge drops below 20%.
The iPhone 7 Plus posted balanced scores across the board - it can do about 18 hours of 3G calls, 13 and a half hours of web browsing on a single charge, or you can watch videos for about 8 hours. The standby endurance turned out way above average (13 days) and thus the very good endurance rating of 75 hours isn't a surprise.
The video playback is a bit disappointing, but the stereo speakers might be to blame here. We always do our video test at 10% speaker volume level but when you have two speakers to power - it surely drains more battery than, say, iPhone 6s Plus.
An interesting point to be made is that on the surface the final endurance rating is worse than what we got from the iPhone 6s Plus. Yes, the standby, call and browser ratings are a notch better, but the video playback is what's crippling the number here.
But you also have got to remember that due to the change of the battery testing methodology, we conducted the web browsing and video playback tests on the iPhone 6s Plus with a screen brightness of 150nits instead of the 200nits of brightness that we use now as standard. This means the iPhone 7 Plus is doing better at web browsing even at this higher screen brightness.
Then again, the higher brightness and the second speaker took their toll on the video playback, almost halving it in comparison to the iPhone 6s Plus. But in the end of the day, if screen brightness levels were to be equalized, and you listen the videos through headphones, it would probably mean that the new iPhone 7 Plus indeed offers a slight improvement in battery life.
The rating means the iPhone 7 Plus can last north of three days on a single battery charge if you use the phablet for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. Such usage pattern may not apply to your own use case but we've established it so our battery results are comparable across devices.
There is one more thing we need to address - the charging time. Apple supplies the iPhone 7 Plus with its regular 5V/1A charger, but if you hook the phone into a 5V/2A plug - it will charge twice as fast. Check the charging times in the table below:
|Apple iPhone 7 Plus||5V/1A charger||5V/2A charger|
|30 min charge||16%||32%|
|60 min charge||32%||67%|
|Full charge after||4h 01 min||2 h 10 min|
The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus comes with a bunch of wireless connectivity features. It supports faster LTE Cat. 9 (up to 450Mpbs down, 150Mbps up) and has one of the widest LTE band coverage we've seen. Regular 2G and 3G connectivity is all safely covered as well with a multitude of supported network bands.
The iPhone 7 Plus also supports the latest Voice over LTE (VoLTE), HD Voice and Wi-Fi calling protocols, but those are carrier dependent features so not everyone will get to enjoy them.
Naturally, the latest Wi-Fi and Bluetooth standards are dully covered. There is also support for NFC, but its functionality is only limited to Apple's region-restricted Apple Pay system.
The iPhone 7 Plus uses a proprietary Lightning connector for wired data transfers, charging, and audio. There is limited USB Host support - you can attach some certified accessories or access your digital camera storage via proprietary adapters sold separately. You can pair a Bluetooth keyboard to the phone should you need this sort of peripheral.
Now that there is no 3.5mm audio jack on board the phone, you can use the provided Lightning-to-3.5mm adapter to continue using your favorite pair of wired headphones with the iPhone.
Or you can get Apple's new wireless AirPods. The most interesting thing about them from connectivity point of view is that they come with an extra chip Apple calls W1, which makes Bluetooth pairing much faster and easier.
It's a proprietary chip but we may see other certified MiFi Bluetooth headsets come with it down the road as well. We'll have to wait and see.