(Pocket-lint) - Apple has taken the wraps of its next iPhone family and - although there’s not a huge design change - there could be enough new tech inside to keep the loyal iPhone upgrader happy, and willing to part with their cash.
From a design standpoint, Apple has very much stuck with what it knows. The casing is a familiar, slim piece of aluminium with rounded edges and corners. And - apart from the removal of a couple of antenna bands on the back, and a different camera protrusion, the 7 and 7 Plus look identical to the 6/6s families.
- Apple iPhone 7 vs iPhone 6S vs iPhone 6: What's the difference?
- Apple iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Release date, specs and everything you need to know
There are new colours this year, with Cupertino’s Jony Ive-lead design team expanding beyond the hum-drum collection of silvers and golds. As well as silver, rose gold and gold, there are two new shades of black. One called Black, the other is a glossy Jet Black.
The most striking among the colours is the new Gloss Black version which has a glossy black finish like the Space Black Apple Watch. Apple claims the new Jet Black finish was created using a brand new process, one made of multiple individual processes, to make it seem completely seamless.
More vitally, the new chassis has some internal improvements that make it a pretty important upgrade. A first for the iPhone - the smartphone is IP67 dust and water-resistant.
Like previous years, the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus feature 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch screens, respectively. Both squeezed in to a frame with the usual Touch-ID sensor-equipped home button beneath it.
The home button itself has seen a reboot too, it's now no longer physically clickable. Instead, like the Force Touch trackpad on the new MacBooks, it uses pressure sensitivity and a haptic feedback engine to give you the feel that it's clicking.
The iPhone 7 camera features a 12-megapixel sensor, and also has OIS (optical image stabilisation) as standard, and f/1.8 aperture. Next to it on the back is a redesigned True-Tone flash made up of four individual LEDs.
One really cool feature is the ability the new camera has to adjust to negate flickering you might see from artificial lighting. It's also been improved to take much better lowlight photos.
- Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera: Dual camera tech explained
- Apple made these wireless AirPods and Lightning EarPods for iPhone 7
As for the camera on the front edge, that one features a 7-megapixel camera with image stabilisation.
As leaks suggested before the launch, the Plus distinguishes itself from the regular model by featuring a dual camera system on the back.
Apple says the two cameras shoot together, offering a 2x optical zoom for clear images even when you zoom in. It's made up of two 12-megapixel sensors, but the second lens is a telephoto lens, which enables the 2x optical zoom.
Like many dual camera systems, the iPhone 7 Plus will be able to use the two lenses, paired with some image processing, to create blurred backgrounds.
For the first time ever, there are stereo speakers built in to the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. One is on the bottom, the other on the top.
Sticking with the audio front, Apple has removed the 3.5mm jack. That means the included EarPods are built with a Lightning connector. And for those who want to keep their 3.5mm earphones, there's an adapter in the iPhone box too.
There's a new wireless pair of earphones called AirPods which have a bunch of sensors, including an IR sensor to detect when you're wearing them. These are an optional extra though.
They have a new processor called the W1 which understands all the sensor information and makes the earphones tick. Battery life is 5 hours of use, and the carrying case charges them wirelessly.
With the displays, Apple - as mentioned - stuck with the same sizes but improved the quality of the panels. The screens are brighter, have wider colour gamut and have the same 3D Touch feature found on the 6s and 6s Plus.
As expected, there's a new processor inside powering all this goodness called the A10 Fusion. It's a 64-bit quad-core chip, which the company claims is 40% faster than the A9, and also far more efficient. It's paired with a new 6-core Graphics chip, which is also faster and more efficient.
Because of this extra efficiency, and perhaps the most important update, is that the iPhone 7 battery lasts 2 hours longer per charge compared to the 6s, and the 7 plus gets more than an hour more than the 6s Plus.
As everyone following undoubtedly knew beforehand, the iPhone 7 family will launch running iOS 10 out of the box. They’re the first devices to ship running the latest operating system, with features like the new Messages app complete with stickers, predictive emoji and ‘send with effect’ option.
There's also the new Maps app, Home app and the new ability Siri has to tie in naturally with third party apps, including the HomeKit apps within the Home app. In fact, 100+ new products are being launched between now and the end of the year with HomeKit support.
The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will be available in 32GB, 128GB and 256GB varieties, except for the Jet Black model, which is only available in the two higher capacities.
Pricing starts at $649 in the US for the iPhone 7, and $769 for the 7 Plus. In the UK, that translates to £599 and £719, which is considerably higher than last year's models. Pre-orders start on 9 September, then ready on store shelves to buy a week later on 16 September.