However, Apple does include a pair of headphones in the box, with a Lightning connector that plugs straight into the charging port.
There is also a headphone-jack-to-Lightning-port adaptor, so you can still use your old headphones with the iPhone 7 if you’re particularly attached to them.
Many have pointed out that the adaptor is small and easy to lose, which is true. But I found that, by leaving the adaptor attached to my headphone cable, you can avoid losing it.
There is no noticeable degradation in quality from using the adaptor, so if you’ve forked out for expensive audio equipment, you shouldn’t notice a difference.
While the loss of the headphone jack isn’t as awful as it first appears, you’ve got to ask what has been gained.
From a design point of view, it really is hard to tell the difference between the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6s, which launched in 2015.
They are almost identical in size and shape – the iPhone 7 is actually 5 grams lighter than the 6s, but it’s not enough to make a noticeable difference in your hand.
The plastic antenna lines on the back of the phone have been redesigned, so there is only a single line along the top and bottom of the rear case, rather than a double line.
On the black and jet black models, these are almost invisible against the aluminium case, but the white lines still stand out on the silver, gold and rose gold models.
The rear camera lens is slightly enlarged, and the aluminium slopes up slightly to meet the glass.
This is a change from the shiny rim around the iPhone 6s camera – but you would probably have to have the two handsets side-by-side to notice it.
Finally, the headphone port has been removed from the bottom of the phone and replaced with an extra speaker grill.
Given that most iPhone owners keep their devices in a case to prevent them from getting scratched, the likelihood of anyone noticing you have an iPhone 7 rather than a 6s – or even a 6 – is pretty low.
Having said that, the slim frame and curved edges are still as attractive as ever, and many would argue that if something ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
3, Home button
One thing that does take a bit of getting used to on the iPhone 7 is the new Home button.
Unlike previous models, which have clickable buttons, the iPhone 7 has what Apple calls a “solid state” Home button, which means it doesn’t actually move when you press it.
However, it is pressure sensitive, and the Taptic engine inside the phone provides haptic feedback when you press it, so it feels almost like a real button.
Part of the reason for this change is to improve the water-resistance of the phone. Sealing off the tiny gap between the button and the front panel of the phone prevents water getting inside and frying the electrical components.
However, it’s worth noting that the new button is capacitive, like the touchscreen, so it requires skin contact to work. That means, if you try to press it with a nail, or when you are wearing gloves, it simply won’t respond .
4, Water resistant
There’s been a lot of debate about whether the iPhone 7 is waterproof or water-resistant. Technically, the device is only water-resistant, but it can withstand a lot more water than most people seem to think.
The iPhone 7 has a classification known as IP67, which means it can be submerged in water to a depth of roughly 1 metre for up to 30 minutes.
So it will survive a dip in the sink or down the loo, and it won’t break if you pour a drink over it, but you probably don’t want to take it swimming.
In my tests, the iPhone 7 was completely unfazed by having tea spilt on it, being run under the tap, and even being submerged in a jug of water.
Of course, smartphone rivals like Samsung have been making waterproof phones for years, but for Apple fans – especially those prone to clumsiness – this could be one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone 7.
Apple has made a lot of noise about the dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus, which offers optical zoom and will eventually let you create a bokah effect, where the foreground is in focus and the background is blurry.
Sadly the smaller iPhone 7 only has the one camera on the rear – and it’s got a 12 megapixel lens, just like the iPhone 6s’ camera.
However, there are some background enhancements that allow the iPhone 7 to capture slightly better photos – particularly in low light conditions.
These include optical image stabilisation, which was previously only a feature of the plus-size iPhone 6s, a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture, which lets 50% more light onto the sensor, a six-element lens and a quad-LED flash.
These should theoretically result in brighter, more detailed photos and videos, and a wide colour capture for more vibrant colours in photos with more detail.
In my tests, there was a noticeable difference between photos taken with the iPhone 6s and iPhone 7. While the colours in the 6s actually appeared to be more vibrant, the iPhone 7 captured a lot more detail in the darker areas of the picture:
6, Display and speakers
Another thing that hasn’t changed is the screen size and resolution. Just like the iPhone 6s, the iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch display with a 1,334 x 750 resolution.
The iPhone 7’s a display supposedly has a 25% brighter display, and a wider colour gamut for greater colour saturation. However, you’d be hard pushed to notice much difference. If anything, the iPhone 6s screen appeared slightly brighter to me.
Suffice to say, you won’t be disappointed by the display on the iPhone 7. It’s bright and clear and just what you’d expect from a high-end smartphone.
The speaker system is slightly more impressive. The iPhone 7 features stereo speakers – one at the top of the device and one at the bottom.
This means it is twice as loud as the iPhone 6s, and also offers an increased “dynamic range” of sound – in other words the two speakers can play slightly different things to give a more rounded effect.
The uses of this are fairly limited. Most people will use headphones or connect their phone to speakers if they want to listen to music. But if blasting music out in the park or at the back of the bus is your thing, then the iPhone 7 will certainly do the trick.
7, Power and Battery life
Apple claims its A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, and it certainly is zippy.
Opening and closing apps is almost instantaneous, and the iPhone 7 has no problem at all rendering graphics-intensive mobile games.
It’s efficient too, according to Apple. The chip has twice the number of cores as the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s – two “high-performance” cores and two “high-efficiency” cores.
That means that all the little tasks that run in the background, such as music playback, message updates and file synchronisation, can run on the “high-efficiency” cores without compromising peak performance.
This has a knock-on effect on battery life, which Apple claims last up to two hours longer than iPhone 6s. I didn’t attempt to test this scientifically, but the iPhone 7 has no problem getting through a 16-hour day of steady use.
Other reviewers have claimed that the iPhone 7’s battery lasts about an hour and a half longer than the iPhone 6s.