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Consumer Reports: Latest iPhones survive in water, take better photos

Posted September 26

The newly-released iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphones are exceeding sales expectations, but how do they stack up when it comes to battery power, camera quality and water resistance?

Researchers at Consumer Reports subjected the new phones to a series of intense tests to find out how durable they really are.

Apple claimed many things when they released the iPhone 7, the most prevalent being that the phone is the first of its kind to survive in up to one meter of water for 30 minutes.

To test its durability, researchers submerged the phones in a pressurized tank. "Our water immersion tests indicate that the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus passed, but we will continue to check them for functionality," said Maria Rerecich, Consumer Reports' Head of Electronics Testing.

The new phones also tout a number of upgrades, including an enhanced camera. Apple claims the iPhone 7 Plus is a photographer’s dream with more megapixels on the selfie camera and the addition of a second lens that allows for optical zoom on the main camera.

“In our preliminary testing, we found the telephoto lens was sharper and had better overall image performance than the primary lens," said Rerecich. "But that primary lens was pretty comparable to previous iPhones.”

Despite all the new additions and upgrades to the new generation of iPhones, something is missing in the most recent design. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus have no headphone jack. Instead, users will connect their headphones with what Apple calls a "lightning charging port."

Researchers found no significant differences in sound quality when studying this feature.

Consumer Reports' testers are still evaluating the new phones' voice quality and battery life. The full results of those tests, along with Consumer Reports' exclusive ratings on the iPhone 7, will be released in the next few weeks.


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