While the display may hide an improved panel, it still has the same specs in terms of size and resolution: a 4.7" unit with a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels (that's 326ppi). It's a LED-backlit IPS LCD screen with RGB matrix. It's 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 had.
The iPhone 7 offers a maximum brightness of 560nits at the far end of its brightness slider, which is slightly better than the iPhone 6. If you leave it on Auto, however, the screen will readily go as high as 660 nits in bright light conditions, which is certainly nice.
The blacks offered by the new Retina screen are deep and combined with the high brightness, the screen scores an excellent contrast ratio of 1603:1.
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 screen offers an average DeltaE of 1.7, 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. So the iPhone 7 screen is among the few phones on the market, which are perfectly color calibrated to be used professionally in color critical environment.
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 screen faired exceptionally well and remained legible all the time.
The iPhone 7 is equipped with a non-removable Li-Po 1960mAh battery, which is about 15% beefier than the one of the iPhone 6s. 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 save your iPhone 7 from dying faster once the charge drops below 20%.
The iPhone 7 posted very balanced scores across the board - it can do about 11 and a half hours of 3G calls or web browsing on a single charge, while you can watch videos for about 9 hours. The standby endurance turned out average and thus the final rating of the average 61 hours.
The rating means two days and thirteen hours is how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the iPhone 7 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.
An interesting point to be made is that on the surface these results may seem like what we got from last year's iPhone 6s. 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 back then with a screen brightness of 150nits instead of the 200nits of brightness that we use now as standard. Hence, if screen brightness levels were to be equalized, it would become apparent that the new iPhone 7 indeed offers an improvement in battery life.
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 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 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 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.