The key changes announced by Apple were:
- An upgraded camera on both models. The Apple iPhone 7 Plus gets a second camera for focus enhancements. Better cameras are always good.
- An IP67 waterproof case which is said to protect the iPhone 7 up to one meter. Nice in case I drop my phone in a puddle.
- A new home button. It’s no longer mechanical but seems to work like the Samsung Galaxy models. More of a TouchPad.
- Elimination of the 3.5 mm headphone jack. Huh?
The last bullet point was the one that got me thinking seriously about a switch from an Apple to Samsung smartphone. Is it time to say goodbye to the phone brand that has been my best friend since the Apple iPhone 3G? Is this finally it?
I guess I was really hoping for more than just a better camera and improved case. I certainly wasn’t rooting for elimination of the headphone jack. Terrible move in my opinion. While there is an included 3.5 mm to lightning adapter included, this means that one cannot listen to audio and charge their phone at the same time. I won’t even get into the part where you lose the little adapter.
So what was I hoping for? Features similar to what a Samsung Galaxy S7 delivers. Let’s look at a few of those.
Qi Wireless Charging – Terrific invention. I hate having to plug my phone in every night. This is where Qi wireless charging comes into play. What’s Qi wireless charging in a few sentences? It’s a powered pad or disk. You just lay your phone down on the Qi charging pad and that’s it. It’s getting charged. The only cable that’s involved is the one that attaches the Qi charging pad to the AC wall outlet.
Apple doesn’t support wireless charging. Samsung has supported it for several years. According to Bloomberg, Apple is planning to support wireless charging in 2017. According to the article, it’s taking Apple so long to support wireless charging because of the absence of solid standards so naturally, they are developing their own solution. Sounds a lot like the Lightning Adapter doesn’t it?
We discussed Qi Enabled Car Mounts not too long ago. Just slap your phone in the mount and it’s charging. No cables to plug into the phone.
NFC Support – Another terrific technology that’s been around for a real long time. It’s how Apple Pay works. However, it’s the only supported instance of NFC for Apple. Samsung has also supported NFC for several years. In short, NFC allows your smartphone to take an action based upon the presence of an NFC chip. For example, start Waze whenever you get into the car. We talked about NFC Car Mounts recently. See this article for some of the things that NFC enabled phones can do.
Real HD Support – The Samsung Galaxy S7 delivers true HD and then some. Delivering an amazing 2560 x 1440 pixel panel versus the Apple iPhone 7’s 1334 x 750 pixel display makes this no contest.
IP68 versus IP67 – These are standards for dust and water protection. It’s the last digit that refers to water protection. A 7 rating means protected from immersion in water with a depth of up to 1 meter for up to 30 mins. The 8 gets you protection from immersion in water with a depth of more than 1 meter. The Apple iPhone 7 is IP67. A Samsung Galaxy S7 is IP68. While I wouldn’t go scuba diving with the phone in my pocket, the Samsung model delivers superior protection.
Hardware wise, it’s clear (to me anyway) that the Samsung Galaxy S7 is worth consideration. So I guess it’s going to boil down to iOS versus Android. That’s a matter of preference. I have used both and frankly, I like iOS better as it’s more intuitive and let’s face facts, it will take some work to switch to equivalent Android apps.
That 3.5 mm headphone jack elimination is just a terrible decision. Apple called themselves courageous to make this design change. I call it a poor decision. Kind of like changing the Coke recipe in 1985. Like Coke, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Apple go back to the old recipe for headphone jacks.
Will I finally make the switch from an Apple to Samsung smartphone? When it’s time for me to switch at the end of 2016, I think it might be time. If a switch from an Apple to Samsung model gives me a headphone jack, I might just be on board for the swap. Change is good. I guess.