Apple reveals the new water-resistant iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

A year - almost to the day - after it unveiled the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple has revealed the latest generation of its phenomenally popular smartphones.

Even before the devices were unveiled, details were revealed on the @Apple Twitter account, announcing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus before the company quickly hid all of its tweets.

Of course, the new handsets comes with iOS 10, featuring a wide range of new features and improvements, details of which you can find out about here.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are, for the first time, water- and dust-resistant, compliant to the IP67 standard.

Predictably, Apple's Tim Cook refers to the new devices as the best handsets the company has ever created, and says it has a "gorgeous new design". Apple design chief Sir Jony Ive said it's a "deliberate evolution" of the look of the original iPhone - and, clearly, of the last-gen iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

The new handsets will be offered with two versions of black - glossy Jet Black, Black (with a matte anodyzed finish), Silver, Gold and Rose Gold.

The Home button has been "completely redesigned" to be "more responsive, more reliable, and even customizable". The button is now pressure sensitive with a new-generation Taptic Engine that vibrates to offered feedback for inputs and notifications.

Apple's Phil Schiller said that the iPhone cameras have been completely redeveloped, including optical image stabilization on both devices, along with a new six-element lens architecture that allows more light in, which the company promises will offer superior low-light performance.

Quad-LED True Tone Flash also offers improved flash performance to ensure that images are captured with more faithful color reproduction. The camera uses a proprietary image signal processor with machine learning capabilities, which Apple says allows users to take amazing photos with point-and-click convenience.

The iPhone 7 Plus has a more advanced dual-camera architecture: one has a wide-angle lens; the second has a telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom.

This allows users to take more 'experimental' photos with the handset, including playing around with depth of field, and infusing their photos with bokeh effects. Some of these features won't be available at launch, and will instead be delivered in a software update coming later this year.

Schiller specifically said that Apple isn't going as far as pretending that users should 'throw out their DSLRs' - but he emphasized that the company is hugely proud of the camera and the photos that users can easily take with it.

The front-facing camera also gets a bump from 5MP on the iPhone 6s/Plus to 7MP on the new handsets, and includes auto image stabilization.

The Retina Displays are 25% brighter on the new iPhones compared with their predecessors - and like those on the iPhone 6s/Plus, the 7 and 7 Plus also feature 3D Touch support. The new iPhones also have stereo speakers - the first Apple handsets to include this feature.

But as predicted - and to the great frustration of many people around the world - Apple also confirmed that the new iPhones do not have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus will ship with wired EarPods that connect via the handsets' Lightning ports. Buyers will also get a Lightning-to-analog adaptor in the box.

Why is Apple doing this? Schiller said it comes down to one word: "Courage"; the courage to ditch an older connector, and to move to a multimedia connector that can offer improved features, paving the way for the future.

Finally, Apple highlighted the performance of its new quad-core A10 Fusion processor, which it says is 120 times faster than the original iPhone. There are two high-performance cores with 40% faster processing than the A9, and two high-efficiency cores that use one-fifth of the power.

The new GPU in the latest iPhones is 240 times faster than the first-generation too, and 50% faster than the A9. Apple says it's the most powerful chip ever in a smartphone, promising "console level gaming" on the new handsets.

And despite all this fierce performance, Apple says that the new devices offer the best battery life of any iPhone - an average of 2 hours more from one charge for the iPhone 7 compared with the 6s.

Here's a summary of the key features for the iPhone 7:

...and for the iPhone 7 Plus:

The iPhone 7 will be priced from $649, while the iPhone 7 Plus will cost from $769.

Significantly - and to the delight of many - the 16GB entry-level model is no more. Instead, the three storage tiers for both devices are now 32GB, 128GB and 256GB. The new handsets will be available from September 16, with pre-orders opening on September 9.

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus live on in two configurations - 32GB and 128GB - and, of course, the iPhone SE, which was introduced earlier this year, will remain on sale too.

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