iPhone 7 Plus vs iPhone 6S Plus specs comparison


THE IPHONE 7 PLUS comes a year on from Apple’s first plus-size model, but is a faster A10 Fusion processor, dual-camera trickery and new colour palette enough for you to upgrade?

We’ve pitted the two handsets’ specifications head to head. 

Design
iPhone 7 Plus: 158x78x7.3mm, 188g, IP67 certification
iPhone 6S Plus: 158x78x7.3mm, 192g

There’s not a lot to differentiate the iPhone 7 Plus and the previous generation 6S Plus. The newer model shifts the antenna lines to the sides, a change that many will welcome, but it’s mostly business as usual.

Aluminium was the strongest alloy found on an iPhone at the time of launch the 6S Plus’ 7000 Series. We’ll take the firm at its word as we won’t derive any pleasure from smashing it up. The new iPhone 7 Plus ups the toughness stakes with IP67 certification, which helps to protect against dust and water.

We thought that the iPhone 6S Plus pushed the pocketable limit, and the iPhone 7 Plus shares the same dimensions. The omission of the 3.5mm headphone jack alters the look of the device and shaves a few extra grams off the weight.

iPhone 7 screen

The iPhone 7 Plus comes with EarPods that connect to the handset using a Lightning connector.

The home button has also had a redesign. It’s now force-sensitive and provides vibration feedback for different notifications.

Apple has added two colours to the iPhone palette: Black and Jet Black. The latter is exclusive to the larger 128GB and 256GB models.

Display
iPhone 7 Plus: 5.5in 1920×1080 display at 401ppi
iPhone 6S Plus: 5.5in 1920×1080 display at 401ppi

The two plus-sized iPhones match in the display department, but Apple claims a 25 per cent bump in brightness and a wider colour range in the newer iPhone 7 Plus. 

The firm introduced a Reachability feature on the iPhone 6S Plus to help those with smaller hands navigate the jumbo screen. If you really want to take advantage of the bigger screen you can switch to a landscape home screen mode which we quite liked on the 6S Plus. The same is true of the iPhone 7 Plus.

Processor
iPhone 7 Plus: Apple A10 Fusion chip
iPhone 6S Plus: Apple A9 chip

The iPhone 7 devices have received a performance bump in the shape of the new A10 Fusion processor. Apple said this will result in 40 per cent faster processing speeds than the A9, while the new GPU is 50 per cent faster.

Apple has always maintained that, despite the lower clock number on the AX chips and lower RAM count, they still equal (or in some cases better) the performance of its rivals. This is down to the chips maximising efficiency across the iOS platform.

Operating system
iPhone 7 Plus: iOS 10
iPhone 6S Plus: iOS 9

The iPhone 6S Plus can be upgraded to Apple’s latest OS, but Apple said that iOS 10 was designed with the iPhone 7 in mind. Of course, it would say that. iOS 10 will be available to download from 13 September. 

Cameras
iPhone 7 Plus: Dual 12MP rear, 7MP front
iPhone 6S Plus: 12MP rear, 5MP front

A lot of fuss has been made about the new iPhone’s picture-taking prowess. The iPhone 7 Plus has a dual-lens set-up that incorporates a wide-angle 28mm lens and telephoto 56mm lens. Used together these provide 2x optical and 10x digital zoom, plus depth of field effects (pending a later software update). 

Just like the 6S Plus, the iPhone 7 Plus has optical image stabilisation. However, it has a further trick up its sleeve thanks to quad-LED (dual-tone) flash which will benefit pictures taken in dim light.

We noted in our original iPhone 6S Plus review that the phone produced images full of detail and definition. The auto-focus speeds were good too, making it an overall solid snapper.

Battery
iPhone 7 Plus: Unknown
iPhone 6S Plus: 2,750mAh

While Apple has yet to cough on specific specifications, it’s claiming the A10 Fusion processor will make for an extra hour of battery life, compared to last year’s model. according to Apple. However, you won’t be able to charge the phone if using the supplied EarPods as they occupy the Lightning port.

iPhone 7 group shot

We found that the iPhone 6S Plus lasted a full working day with 15 to 20 per cent left at bedtime. That’s with reasonable use on a single charge and an hour of streaming BBC iPlayer on the evening commute. Fast-charging using an iPad adaptor will get you back on track in just two hours.

Storage
iPhone 7 Plus: 32GB, 128GB, 256GB
iPhone 6S Plus: 32GB, 128GB

The launch of the iPhone 7 Plus ushers in new configuration options. Now it’s only possible to pick between the lesser 32GB model, or super-sized 128GB and 256GB versions.

Apple has also refreshed the storage options for the iPhone 6 following the iPhone 7 announcement. Gone is the original 16GB variant, and in comes 32GB and 128GB models.

First impressions
The removal of the headphone port, new colours and dual-cameras may have dominated the headlines, but dig a little deeper and the iPhone 7 Plus really offers only incremental improvements over its predecessor. It’s an expensive beast too. The range starts at a wallet-defying £719 and rises to a frankly absurd £919. µ

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