The grand unveiling of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus is still weeks away, but this year you don’t need to wait for Tim Cook to take the stage to find out all the new features.
Months of leaks have already given us a sneak peek at a lot of the big changes coming to the iPhone. And contrary to early reports that this year’s device will be boring, there’s actually a whole lot to get excited about.
Here’s what to expect from the iPhone 7, based on Cult of Mac’s analysis of everything we’ve seen from reliable leakers and the Apple rumor mill.
iPhone 7 design
Apple is set to make just a few small tweaks to the iPhone 7 body design. It will come with the same rounded chassis as the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s, except there will be fewer antenna bands on the back, making it appear more like one solid piece of metal.
What’s in an iPhone name?
“iPhone 7” and “iPhone 7 Plus” have been the names tossed around most often, because 2015 was an “S” year in Apple’s tick-tock iPhone update cycling. Cook could pull out a huge surprise, though, and call it the “iPhone 6 SE,” seeing as how it’s going to look an awful lot like the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s.
iPhone 7 colors
Gold has been Apple’s favorite new color the past two years, but in 2016 it looks like the iPhone is going blue (or at least a more “formal black“). Leaked prototypes showing the dark blue iPhone 7 (and “dark mode” mockups of a black phone) look even more beautiful than we would’ve imagined, so the new color(s) will probably be the most in-demand.
Goodbye, headphone jack
One of the biggest changes for the iPhone 7 is the expected removal of the headphone jack. By ditching the 19th-century analog audio plug, Apple will make room for a second speaker (or just a second speaker grille, that may or may not be just for show). Don’t worry, a Lightning-to-3.5mm headphone jack adapter will supposedly be included with the iPhone 7 so you can get your dongle on with your old EarPods.
New Home button for iPhone 7
The iPhone 7 is set to bring the biggest changes to the Home button since the addition of Touch ID. Instead of using a mechanical Home button, the iPhone 7 will allegedly feature a force-sensitive Home button that gives haptic feedback like the trackpad on the new MacBooks. The change eliminates one more moving part from the iPhone, which should lead to increased durability and fewer repairs.
Best Apple camera ever
Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are set to get huge camera upgrades that will be the most attractive reason for most customers to upgrade. Unfortunately, the two cameras probably won’t be created equal.
iPhone 7: Leaked spy shots of an alleged iPhone 7 camera sensor indicate that Apple is adding optical image stabilization along with a slightly larger lens array. It’s unknown if Apple will boost the megapixel count on the iPhone 7, but the camera will undoubtedly perform better in low-light conditions.
iPhone 7 Plus: The dual-lens camera sensor on the iPhone 7 Plus could be a total game-changer, putting the camera in your pocket one step closer to DSLR-quality. The new sensor’s multi-aperture cameras would improve overall image quality, increasing zooming ability and low-light performance while also potentially adding neat new tricks like 3-D imaging.
At last, a splash-friendly iPhone
This is likely to be the year Apple finally adds some serious waterproofing to the iPhone. Thanks to Apple engineers’ removal of the headphone jack and the addition of a force-sensitive Home button, the iPhone 7 will have fewer entry points for water and dust. Don’t expect to be able to swim with your iPhone just yet, though.
Tougher iPhone 7 display
Gorilla Glass 5 might be ready just in time for the iPhone 7, making the device’s screen more shatter-resistant than ever before. It’s not the unbreakable sapphire crystal display we were hoping for years ago, but Corning’s lab tests show that Gorilla Glass 5 is four times more likely to survive drops.
Pictures of the new A10 processor destined for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have already been spotted online. And an alleged early GeekBench score reveals the chip is the most impressive piece of silicon Apple’s made yet. Apple has also adjusted the placement of the processor, according to a leaked iPhone 7 circuit board.
Intel LTE for faster iPhone data
The A10 processor won’t be the only thing that’s faster on the iPhone 7. Thanks to some help from Intel, the iPhone 7’s LTE download speeds could jump up to 450 MB/s, letting you blast through your data cap in a few short days.
Bigger iPhone battery
Early leaks revealed the iPhone 7 may pack a 1,960mAh battery inside its simplified shell, bringing a 15 percent increase in capacity over the 1,715mAh battery in the iPhone 6s. Not only will the battery be bigger, but it may also charge faster, thanks to 5-volt, 2-amp charging. That’s going to come in handy since you won’t be able to charge the phone and use Lightning headphones at the same time.
Beefy iPhone 7 storage
Baseline storage on the iPhone 7 is set to get a bump up to 32GB from the pitiful 16GB minimum Apple has had for years. Mid-tier units will likely come with 128GB, while 256GB becomes the highest option.
How much RAM in iPhone 7?
The iPhone 7 Plus may pack 3GB of RAM in order to compensate for the dual-lens camera’s images, which will be much more processor-intensive. Apple will likely include 2GB of RAM on the smaller iPhone 7.