Alice N. Sanders
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Apple Officially Takes the Wraps off of the iPhone 7

As promised, the iPhone 7 was the focal point of today’s Apple event in San Francisco and, depending on what exactly you were expecting, it didn’t disappoint.

The most advanced iPhone ever, the new 7 and 7 Plus pack a bevy of new features into the familiar smartphone. As expected, the headphone jack has been ditched in favor of new Lightning-connected EarPods or completely wireless AirPods. The 7 also marks the first time an iPhone has been water- and dust-resistant and it even boasts drastically improved battery life over its predecessors. Said Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, Philip Schiller:

iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus dramatically improve every aspect of the iPhone experience, reaching a new level of innovation and precision to make this the best iPhone we have ever made. The completely redesigned cameras shoot incredible photos and videos day or night, the A10 Fusion chip is the most powerful chip on any smartphone while delivering the best battery life ever in an iPhone, and an entirely new stereo speaker system provides twice the sound, all within the first water and dust resistant iPhone.

Inside is a new custom-designed Apple A10 Fusion chip with four cores, which is not only twice as powerful as the iPhone 6′s, but also the most powerful chip to ever come packed in a smartphone. That chip powers everything from an updated graphics engine (three times faster than the iPhone 6 with half the power) and new top and bottom stereo speakers to the updated Retina HD display (featuring the likes of cinema-standard colors and greater color saturation), solid state Taptic Engine-powered Home button, and even FeliCa contactless technology in Japan.

Perhaps the biggest advancement, though, is the new camera systems. Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will employ a 12-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization and a larger ƒ/1.8 aperture along with a 6-element lens for brighter, more detailed photos and videos. The iPhone 7 Plus, however, one-ups things a bit and adds a second 12-megapixel telephoto camera that, in conjunction with the first camera, offers twice the optical zoom and 10 times the digital zoom for photos. Later this year, those cameras on the Plus will be updated with a new depth-of-field effect that utilizes Machine Learning to separate the background from the foreground for nearly DSLR-quality imagery.

Both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus will be available in silver, gold, rose gold, and a new black finish in 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB models starting at $649 USD while the new jet black finish will be offered exclusively on the 128GB and 256GB models. The phones will be available to pre-order this Friday, September 9, while an official release is slated for September 16 — just a few short days after iOS 10 officially launches on September 13.