The iPhone7 lowdown

The Apple iPhone7 and AirPods are displayed during an Apple media event in San Francisco, California, U.S. September 7, 2016. Reuters/Beck Diefenbach

The buzz in the smartphone world has somehow migrated from the battery-exploding Samsung 7 to its rival Apple. The US-based tech giant has just announced the launch of its latest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, and the upgrades are finally worth the wait.

Here are the good bits:

  • it is now waterproof and dust-resistant, so hopefully this will make the famously water-phobic device more hardy
  • the new 12MP camera will feature optical image stabilization for wide-angle and telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom and up to 10x digital zoom
  • a 7MP front-facing camera
  • it’ll have a longer battery life with the A10 Fusion chip
  • the 4.7-inch retina HD display has a wide colour gamut
  • it will come in gold, rose gold, silver, plus two new colours – jet black (high gloss finish) and black (matte finish).

The most controversial aspect of the new design is the fact that it has no headphone jack, meaning you can only use Lightning or Bluetooth headphones (aka more expensive ones). Thankfully, a pair of Lightning earbuds, as well as an adaptor for traditional 3.5mm headphone jacks, will be included in the box with the iPhone 7.

However, if your favourite headphones aren’t Bluetooth, you’ll need to use the same Lightning port you use to charge the iPhone – meaning you need to make a choice between charging your phone and listening to music.

Separately, Apple is also releasing high-end wireless headphones called AirPods, available here from October. The price for those: US$159.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are scheduled to ship on 16 September worldwide. Can’t wait? Then pre-order from 9 September at the Apple Store (online) or at Singtel from now. Too bad Apple’s flagship store on Orchard Road won’t open until November…

Both the 7 and 7 Plus are available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB versions. In Singapore, the 32GB iPhone 7 costs S$1,048, while a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus costs S$1,248.