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Jul 13

Apple iPhone 7 PRODUCT RED Review
Review: Apple iPhone 7 128GB (Product)RED With AT&T 4G LTE

Apple’s latest iPhone 7 in (PRODUCT)RED color is the latest device from the company to join the social good campaign. It is smart for Apple to participate in this program for many reasons. It gives consumers another choice for an official color too. The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus (PRODUCT)RED comes in 128GB and 256GB sizes for CDMA and GSM networks. This review covers the iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED 128GB with a 4.7” Retina HD screen that feels nice in the hand.

Popeye by Koons ??, in the Wynn Las Vegas.

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First iPhone 7 Photo

Disclosure: I was sent an iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED on loan for review. I have not been compensated for the review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Some photos are courtesy of Apple and AT&T.

This is the first iPhone to include optical image stabilization in the non plus model. This is great news for those of us that want the latest iPhone and mobile camera technology from Apple, but may like a smaller size. After several weeks using the iPhone 7, I see why people like its size and speed.

Unboxing iPhone 7 128GB (PRODUCT)RED

    What’s In The Box:

  • iPhone 7 128GB (PRODUCT)RED
  • Wall Charge 5V 1A
  • USB to Lightning Charge and Sync Cable
  • Lightning EarPods Earphones
  • Lightning to 3.5mm Adapter
  • Warranty Info & Apple Stickers

(PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7s have the same internal hardware as the other color options do. I have the GSM model for use on AT&T’s 4G LTE nationwide network. Another great reason for having AT&T service and an iPhone is that when the iPhone finds a WiFi hotspot run by the wireless company, it simply connects sans a login screen.

A connection is established automatically, as the WiFi service recognizes the AT&T SIM card and an active account, in the iPhone. This works the same way for any mobile device using AT&T cellular service.

Connecting to more networks around the world is what the newest iPhone does best. It has some of the most advanced wireless hardware built-in. It can connect to 4G LTE cell sites in the US to Abu Dhabi and to those in many countries in between.

iPhone 7 Plus Overview Video

Its single imaging sensor, six-element lens takes 12MP photos with an f/1.8 aperture, 5x digital zoom, optical image stabilization, quad-LED True Tone flash and has panorama mode that takes images up to 63MP. A sapphire crystal lens cover keeps scratches from appearing in images. The included backside illuminated imaging sensor, autofocus and tap to focus with Focus Pixels creates some of the sharpest photos from a mobile phone.

With body and face detection, optical image stabilization for video, auto HDR, burst and timer modes, it is full of photo options for almost any situation. Its photo and video recording feature sets makes it one of the top, in the mobile smartphone industry. Auto HDR is a great option I enjoy most from the iPhone. Need dual cameras and 2x optical zoom? These are available in the iPhone 7 Plus.

Recording top quality video with the iPhone 7 is as easy as taking photos. It comes with the ability to take 8MP photos while recording 4K video, 1080p video at 30fps and 60fps, slo-mo video 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps. The slo-motion video modes are fun to use in this fast paced world.

Apple iPhone 7 Camera
Apple iPhone 7 Camera

Each video mode comes with continuous autofocus and geotagging. Geotagging can be helpful when posting short clips to social media, to tag where the content was taken from and with organizing media that was recorded into albums later.

Its A10 Fusion chip with 64-bit architecture makes sure the iPhone 7 will be iOS 11 compatible. iOS 11 only allows for 64-bit apps in the App Store once released and for use on the iPhone. Any 32-bit apps downloaded previous to upgrading to iOS 11 will not open after upgrading. Small activity trackers are not needed as its M10 coprocessor can handle that built-in. Most third party health tracking apps use the coprocessor to showcase health data in graphs on a calendar. The data can then be shared to the Internet via social media sites like Facebook.

Sharing this content can be done with 4G LTE or via the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac 2.5GHz and 5GHz networks with multiple in and multiple out or MIMO technology. MIMO is a wireless technology that utilizes multiple antennas on both the wireless router and the device to stream data to and from even faster than before. The other wireless technologies included are Bluetooth 4.2, which is good for Apple’s AirPod wireless earphones and near field communication or NFC for Apple Pay.

Navigating Las Vegas with the iPhone 7

Navigating and locating oneself on Earth is important. Apple has built assisted GPS, GLONASS, Wi-Fi, Cellular and iBeacon microlocation systems into the iPhone 7. By using multiple location technologies simultaneously, the smartphone should be able to locate itself inside of buildings too.

Video calling with FaceTime over WiFi and cellular is a highly popular way people communicate. I see people using it everyday. Calling via FaceTime audio, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi are helpful when traveling overseas. I have successfully used Wi-Fi calling from Mexico, islands around the Caribbean, Canada, UAE, China and Japan. Traveling around the world is made easier with the iPhone.

Watching shows, movies and more on a TV with the iPhone 7 is made possible with AirPlay. Mirroring video from the iPhone, watching photo slideshows, listening to music and sending direct video out can be done with second generation or later Apple TVs. While Apple TVs are sold separately, they enable video or audio content to be streamed to large home entertainment systems.

The Siri Voice Assistant is one of Apple’s most exciting features of newer generation iPhones, iPads and soon the HomePod. Apple is playing catch-up in this category, but is quickly offering abilities that people use everyday. Siri now helps to send text messages, set reminds, control HomeKit smarthome devices and more. In the future, Apple may purchase voice-based artificial intelligence startups that enhance Siri to an exponential level.

Enabling Siri can be done by saying Hey Siri or by depressing the iPhone’s home button for a few seconds. This is the first iPhone with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner built-into a solid state home button. Less moving parts in a device can lend to it lasting longer and becoming more resistant to water.

Because of the iPhone 7’s solid state home button, it is now IP67 rated for water and dust resistance. 3D Touch built into the screen allows for subtle taps and long presses to perform different tasks without using the home button.

Easily switch between programs and jump to certain functions via 3D Touch enabled apps. Long press on the camera app to take a selfie, record video, record slo-mo or take a photo. Future iPhones may forgo the designated home button with Touch ID, for a fingerprint scanner located under the screen’s glass capable of working the same way.

Touch ID and Apple’s NFC technology combine to make paying for everyday things as easy as a tap with Apple Pay. It enables the iPhone to pay for things in stores, on the web and within apps, like the Apple App Store. When connected with the same iCloud account, the iPhone 7 has the ability to complete purchases made with Apple Pay on the Mac.

Enhanced processing, faster 4G LTE and 4K video recording can take a significant amount of battery power. The iPhone 7 has about two more hours of typical battery life than the iPhone 6s. Additionally, this iPhone can last up to 14 hours for voice calls on 3G, standby by up to 10 days, up to 12 hours of voice calls on LTE, up to 14 hours of Internet use via WiFi and up to 40 hours of wireless audio playback.

This smartphone comes with a standard charger that provides 5V with 1A. Apple’s iPhone 7 does not have fast charging, wireless charging or a removable battery. Future iPhones may get a type of fast and wireless charging, but non removable batteries are probably here to stay.

Storing entire music libraries on the iPhone are not as necessary with access to iCloud. However, recording 4K video and storing movies for long trips requires many gigabytes of memory. The (PRODUCT)RED iPhone 7 that I received came with 128GB of storage.

Typically, iOS uses about 7GB even with the newer more optimized file system. There is no micro SD card slot or a spot for a memory card on the SIM card tray, like with newer Android smartphones. There are several companies that offer MFI certified Lightning memory adapters, like those from SanDisk iXpand Flash Drive and Hyper iShowFast. These external memory devices can be helpful for backing up photos and video in addition to iCloud. Loosing precious memories from trips is never good.

iOS 10.3 was pre-installed on the iPhone 7. I easily upgraded it to 10.3.2 via the Settings app, tapping on General and then Software Update. Most of the time, iOS will alert users when new versions of iOS are available for download. Connecting the iPhone to newer iPads and MacBooks is easy with AirDrop. It requires both devices to be on the same Wi-Fi network and Bluetooth to be enabled.

Apple iPhones can play music through AirPlay, print to compatible printers via AirPrint, change settings via Control Center, Handoff calls and texts, control smarthome devices via HomeKit, sync iCloud via Wi-Fi and store some passwords in the iCloud Keychain.

The processing power in the Apple iPhone 7 enables multitasking and background updating of apps. Run Apple Maps for navigation while the Mail apps downloads email and Hey Siri waits to run a voice enabled command.

Additional features in iOS like Night Shift changes the screen’s color to something less straining for the eyes to focus on, at night. Spotlight Search helps to find important emails in the Mail app, text messages and apps installed on the iPhone. Its Notification Center collects alerts from apps and organizes them in a drop down screen adjacent to the widget screen.

Smartphones without headphone connectors are growing in the marketplace and now the iPhone 7 joins this list. Its single Lightning connector means that the EarPods supplied in the box come with one of those tips instead of a 3.5mm plug.

Included in the iPhone box is a Lightning to 3.5mm jack adapter. It might be a tight fit with special cases though. Charging this iPhone while using wired headphones now requires a dual port Lightning dongle, sold separately.

To solve the Lightning dongle problem, my Monster Elements Headphones use Bluetooth, which is the audio connection of the future. Apple includes a W1 chip for easier pairing in their fully wireless AirPods. However, audio quality is not necessarily enhanced in the AirPods with this chip. Some reviewers have said that the audio quality is similar to Apple’s EarPods.

Free apps pre-installed from Apple include iMovie, GarageBand, Pages, Keynote, Numbers and iTunes U. The newest app free to download from Apple is called Clips. The Trailers app is fun to watch new movie trailers. I used to visit Apple’s movie trailer website weekly. The experience is even better with the app.

Complimentary. ?? The ???? iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED in the Palazzo Las Vegas atrium. ad

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iPhone 7 at Palazzo Las Vegas

Apple’s iPhone 7 is their best smartphone yet that now promotes the social good campaign (PRODUCT)RED. Having the latest 64-bit CPU should allow it to run iOS upgrades for the next several years.

Its single imaging sensor now has OIS and outperforms the camera Apple included in the iPhone 6S Plus. Shoot 4K video and 8MP photos simultaneously and slo-motion video at 240fps, all with geotags. Get a minimum of 128GB of storage or go big with 256GB. However, Apple needs to offer a micro SD card slot for extra internal memory. Its quad-tone LED flash is one of the first in the industry and works well to take more lifelike photos.

Apple Pay is being accepted in more stores worldwide and on some websites now too. I enjoyed that the iPhone 7 has an auto HDR feature when taking photos. One of the best overall features of this iPhone is that it is Apple’s first to be water and dust resistant. My rating for the iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED is 4.5/5. Find one at a local AT&T wireless store or online for $25 per month with service.

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