Apple iPhone 7 Plus review: Hail to the king, baby!

GSMArena team, 12 October 2016.

Photos

Photos is a very easy to use gallery app with support for albums and camera roll, and even recently deleted section, but it has learned a few new tricks, which are quite familiar as they have been on Android for years.

Photos app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Photos app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Photos app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
Photos app

The app can now show your photos on a map in a dedicated Places album. You can also opt for a grid of thumbs sorted by location.

The app also offers a new People album, where you can find all of your pictures sorted by faces. You can name the albums and explore your moments with a friend of your easily.

Places - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Places grid view - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review People - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Browsing by a person - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
Places Places grid view People Browsing by a person

A cool new iOS 10 feature is the AI sorting in Memories, which scans your photos and sorts them in automatic albums by landmarks, animals, people, topics, and various other criteria. For example, if you go on a wedding, you'll get a new album in the Memories tab with all the pictures you snapped on this event, but not the entire day.

Memories - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review A Memory - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Viewing and editing a Memory - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Viewing and editing a Memory - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
Memories A Memory Viewing and editing a Memory

Each new Memory gets an automatically created Video Memory, which you can edit anytime. You can add or remove pictures or clips, change the background music and the stitching effects.

Photos also creates some cool-looking Memories such as Best of 2015, Best of the Last Three Months, among others. It automatically chooses pictures by people and landmarks, events, among other criteria.

The gallery also offers some rich editing skills.

And finally, there is an improved search for Photos, which will help you find the right picture from your library very easy - just enter some names, places, months, or similar.

The edits apply on both the picture and the Live Image - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review The edits apply on both the picture and the Live Image - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review The edits apply on both the picture and the Live Image - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review The edits apply on both the picture and the Live Image - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
The edits apply on both the picture and the Live Image

Live Images are available, of course, and you can fully enjoy those in the Photos app. The Camera app makes the Live Images stabilized now and you can edit them through the default photo editor - apply effects, crop, rotate, or enhance brightness or contrast.

Although not limited to the Photos app, iOS 10 also adds support to wide color DCI-P3 color profile and RAW image support. The wide color support applies to images captured with the front and rear camera of the iPhone 7 Plus (but not videos) as well as images imported to the device using color spaces such as Adobe RGB. The RAW support is in the form of API where third party apps can now capture RAW files, which can be edited on the phone within the Photos app or a compatible third party app.

Limited video player

Unfortunately, yet another iOS update doesn't do anything about the video player. You can upload only supported formats via iTunes or purchase videos from the iTunes store. This is an extremely disappointing showing by a platform that is supposed to excel at multimedia consumption.

The video player - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review The video player - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review The video player - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
The video player

The lack of extra functionality is bad enough, but having to use just an extremely limited number of media formats or resorting to converting files, which is both slow and inconvenient, is a real deal-breaker.

New Music app

The Music app got a complete UI overhaul and Apple did a great job organizing the feature-rich app. There are now five tabs - Library, For You, Browse, Radio, and Search. The new unified design applies on all of these tabs.

You can edit the Library's section if you like.

The 'For You' section shows music based on your listening history, likes, as well as the genres and artists you had previously chosen when you first launched the app. Browse helps you make your way through one of the richest song collection in the world.

Finally, the Radio tab has the Beats 1 radio, which is available 24/7 and the tracks there are chosen by real DJs, not machine algorithms. There are quite a few other stations available already, including programs created automatically by Apple. This section is available even if you don't subscribe to Apple Music.

Music app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Music app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Music app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Music app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Music app - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
Music app

The Now Playing screen doesn't end with what you see on screen. Scrolling up on it reveals a brand new feature and that's Lyrics (also available in the aforementioned menu button). Apple has added lyrics for some of the tracks, a long requested feature. You can choose to expand this or collapse into a button. Below the lyrics is your up next list along with the stealthily hidden repeat and shuffle buttons.

The Music app can do without Apple Music, don't you worry. You just need to add your music collection through iTunes and you are good to go. And while many people are suspicious about the Apple's player, it is a very easy process and they shouldn't be afraid.

Music - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Music - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review Music - Apple iPhone 7 Plus review
Music

Apple Music is priced differently in different regions and is accessible from more than 100 countries across the globe. It offers a three month long free trial, after which you have to pay between $2.99 (some Asian markets) and up to 9.99 (UK) depending on where you live. A $14.99/14.99/7.99 per month family plan is also available, and this works for up to 6 persons.

Excellent audio output

When plugged into an active external amplifier, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus posted mostly excellent scores, but continues the trend from last year where stereo quality isnt quite perfect. The loudness is above average so it will be enough for most, even if its not class-leading.

Rather impressively, there's no degradation when you plug in a pair of headphones. The scores between the two tests are so evenly matched that its impossible to tell the them apart if you dont see them. So an excellent performance here, which would have been perfect if the volume was slightly higher.

And now here go the results so you can do your comparison.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Apple iPhone 7 Plus+0.10, -0.04-93.193.10.00150.0098-80.5
Apple iPhone 7 Plus (headphones attached)+0.10, -0.03-93.193.00.00130.015-76.8
Apple iPhone 7+0.06, -0.10-92.492.30.00150.0093-80.9
Apple iPhone 7 (headphones attached)+0.03, -0.11-92.392.30.00110.012-77.0
LG V20+0.01, -0.03-93.093.10.0036 0.0075-93.7
LG V20 (headphones attached)+0.04, -0.09-92.492.40.051 0.105-57.5
Samsung Galaxy Note7+0.01, -0.04-92.892.70.0029 0.0075-92.9
Samsung Galaxy Note7 (headphones attached)+0.04, -0.02-92.492.40.0088 0.059-81.2
Huawei Mate 8+0.01, -0.03-97.899.10.00540.0087-97.3
Huawei Mate 8 (headphones attached)+0.02, -0.09-97.397.90.0150.078-81.3

Apple iPhone 7 Plus frequency response
Apple iPhone 7 Plus frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.