Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Deep-dive review: The iPhone 7 Plus is the best iPhone yet

Michael deAgonia | Oct. 10, 2016
Even without an audio jack, the iPhone 7 Plus is packed with welcome updates.

That's speaking subjectively. Geekbench 4 CPU scores rate the average iPhone 7 (and 7 Plus) score for multi-core CPU at approximately 5600 (and a single-core CPU score at around 3440). How does that translate into real-world performance? This video shows how the iPhone 7 and 6S stack up. In this test, rows of apps and games are launched, loaded, and closed in succession for two laps. The first lap is a good indicator of system speed as apps are loaded; the second lap shows how well the operating system handles resource management as it reloads each app. I like this test because that's what everyone does on their phone every day: open and close and reopen apps.

The iPhone 7 naturally bests 6S. And the 7 Plus tops the smaller 7, especially in the second lap. That's because the 7 Plus comes with 3GB of memory; 1GB more than what's in the iPhone 7. Because the iPhone 7 Plus can store more in memory, reloading apps is faster. That's not the only thing the additional memory is used for; I'll get to that below in the Camera section.

Fast performance is important, but it shouldn't come at the expense of battery life. I'm pleased to report that I'm getting more life out of my new phone than I did with the iPhone 6S. I've been averaging between 20% and 40% of remaining battery life, having used the iPhone constantly between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. (During my commute, I recharge both my Apple Watch and iPhone, so both start my work day at 100%.) With the iPhone 6S, I was having to re-charge by the time 4 p.m. rolled around each day.

So Apple delivered better performance and better battery life. How? At least some credit has to go to the A10 Fusion chipset. Fusion isn't just a slick marketing name; this CPU has four cores, one pair for high-performance work, another pair of lower-clocked cores for non-intensive tasks like fetching email. An Apple-designed performance controller determines which processes use which cores.

The Taptic Engine has also been updated. It's stronger, and can react faster in an expanded range of frequencies. For that reason, Apple tweaked iOS 10 to trigger haptic feedback for some specific actions. When activating 3D Touch (where you press down harder on the screen and get a pop-up menu) or using the Home button, this haptic feedback is useful; at other times -- when pulling down the Notification drawer or spinning the roulette interface like the Timer in Clock app -- it's just a fun addition.

Something to really smile about


Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next Page 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.