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iPHONE 7

At first glance, you could be forgiven for thinking that the iPhone 7 isn't a huge upgrade on its predecessor (aside from the annual increase in price). Aesthetically, it's almost identical to the last couple of models, unless you count the addition of a few extra colours.

But let's give Apple a fair hearing: they have made some improvements to their flagship product. The downside is that many are relatively minor, others obligate you to invest in pricey supplementary accessories, and the rest have already been rolled out on Android phones for a couple of years now.

Features

The iPhone 7 comes fitted with a 12 megapixel back camera (as well as the obligatory selfie cam on the front). This is the same one Apple used for last year's model, and it's also still some way short of the 16 MP camera now available on Samsung phones.

In better news, the camera purports to be quicker and better able to focus and stabilise the image you're pointing at. It's also more energy efficient which (theoretically) means you can film away without having to worry too much about running out of juice.

The screen resolution is an impressive 750p, although once again this is the same as the iPhone 6 - and a little way off Samsung's Galaxy range as well (although in fairness few can compete with them on the hardware front).

Apple's traditional "home" button beneath the screen is now pressure sensitive - which is a progression of the 3D touch feature rolled out on the iPhone 6.

In terms of software, Apple have offered a modest re-work of the way Siri is integrated into other apps. In practice, though, you can still expect to go through a lengthy period of acclimatisation.

Thanks to the concurrent release of AirPods - Apple's new wireless earphones - you can even try to operate Siri while your phone is tucked away in your pocket (they come fitted with built-in microphones).

The problem with the addition of AirPods is that, by removing the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, Apple haven't given users much of a choice. The main reason for this appears to be to make the phone as slim as humanly possible, and in fairness they've also added an extra speaker to improve the audio output.

Like Android, Apple are also attempting to spare the blushes of users by rolling out "contextual" word predictions. Granted, this represents only a minor addition, but it can save you a lot of time when you're composing a text message.

Price guide

The iPhone 7 is available in three incarnations. The standard 32GB version should retail at £600, although there are also 128GB (£700) and 256GB (£800) bundles available for those who can't go without the extra memory space.

Our advice? The all-encompassing iPhone 7 ticks all of the boxes but - aside from the Apple seal of approval - there's little that sets it apart from other smartphones on the market. You should only invest in this if you're a dyed in the wool iOS user and your current model is on its last legs.