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Jul 29, 2016
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Get your red pens—okay, open your calendar apps—and mark this particular date: September 16, 2016. The day the long-awaited Apple iPhone 7 will become available for purchase, says notable phone leak master and current Venture Beat mobile reporter Evan Blass (as cited by BGR). He's often on the nose about these things, so until Apple issues an official announcement, September 16 it is, rabid iPhone fans.

As you take a little over a month to prepare your hearts and wallets, we've taken the liberty of putting together everything that has been said so far about the upcoming iPhone. Another year, another phone, some will say. That might be true, but it could also be the smartphone that'll get you to upgrade (or switch smartphone camps) ASAP.

And remember, we still have weeks to wait out before we finally see the next iPhone(s) in their metal flesh, so many of the rumors stated here and elsewhere could be disproven.


Two or three? And in what form?

Just like last year's talk of multiple iPhone models, the 2016 lineup is expected to have more than one variant. The one-model days really are over. Digital Trends posted a photo from NowhereElse, which originally got it from Weibo. It shows the purported iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 7 Pro, with the first one as the smallest of the lot, and the next two at almost the same size. The site (via Mobipicker) also mentions that the iPhone 7 Pro could also go by the name "iPhone 7 Plus Premium."

That's cool and all. But Blass said a few days before that Digital Trends post that there will only be two iPhone models, going by the codenames Sonora and Dos Palos. Say what now?

One more thing: Apple Insider chimed in, claiming that it will not be called the iPhone 7 at all. The unit will instead be known as the iPhone 6 SE because there won't be any major external changes to the upcoming new model. So, who got it right?

Whatever it's called, even without a drastic aesthetic overhaul, Apple fans are already expecting a few shifts in the smartphone's design. Digital Trends, Macworld, and Techradar have all mentioned that the next iPhone(s) could have basic waterproofing and dust protection, the removal of antenna bands for a flatter back panel, and a metal body without the bezel, plus a new "Space Black" color option.

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A medyo pang-harabas, flat-back iPhone in black? We sure love the sound of that! Macworld says otherwise, but Apple's good at surprising people on launch day, so we'll hold our breath for this one.


Two new shooters

Back in March, there had been talk of the much-awaited dual-camera setup in the 2016 iPhones, although photos showed camera protrusions like in the iPhone's older siblings. It seems this smartphone dual-camera camera rumor (sans protrusion) is still going strong—but only for the larger iPhone model, specifically the iPhone 7 Plus.

While the iPhone 7 isn't getting the dual treatment, its single snapper will also get a boost: a larger sensor. According to 9to5Mac, Apple could stick with the 12-megapixel count, but "increase the amount of light per pixel for better quality photographs with less noise in low light situations." In short, prepare to get more snap-happy with the incoming iPhones.

Hit the road, jack

One of, if not, the earliest iPhone rumor that we've heard is Apple ditching the headphone jack. If this is true...there goes our trusty friend for long commutes and waiting queues.

But if the jack's getting the boot, what will take its place? The rumor mill presented two options: Bluetooth buds, or a separate Apple-made audio accessory that can be plugged in via Lightning port. The latter reminds us of that time Apple ditched all USB ports on the latest MacBook in favor of a single USB-C port.

Hey Apple, we use that headphone jack every day, and the idea of spending more money on adapters isn't all too pleasing. Leave it alone, please. Thank you. If it really needs to be taken out, then include those Lightning EarPods in the iPhone bundle, yes?

On another note, we guess we can live with Bluetooth earphones. Going cordless isn't as bad as it seems...although we always forget to charge those damn cans.


Play and display

Then there's this bit from TechRadar: the iPhone 7 will receive a new edge-to-edge LCD display whose sharpness will be bumped to 1080p. Okay, this, we're excited to see. Any visual upgrade is totally fine with us, and we dare say everyone else—no one ever complains about having more detail and depth on mobile devices.

However, "news" of Apple reserving the big-screen changes for next year makes us whine a bit. Why not now, guys? Why delay the 5.8" OLED displays and AMOLED curved displays to 2017 or later? Where the hell is that sad-crying-face emoji?

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For long life

For all the ubiquity of power banks and official or third-party chargers, we're still complaining about smartphone battery life. Every release from every manufacturer has us hoping to go longer between charges, but it just doesn't happen.

9to5Mac gave us the deets on the iPhone 7's possible power capacity: according to OnLeaks, the iPhone 7 will have a 1960 mAh battery, a bit bigger than its predecessors'. It is also projected to have an around one-hour (235 mAh) increase in battery life, given that new capacity plus the Apple Smart Battery case's 1877 mAh capacity. No word yet on the batteries to be designated for the iPhone 7 Plus and Pro.

While we're not ditching our power banks just yet, we wonder how the new iPhones will hold up against Pokémon Go...


Bigger and smarter

Sad news for consumers hoping to own an iPhone at the lowest possible price—and excellent news for those who regularly wince at the barely-there storage space. Apple's expected to finally bid adios to the 16GB model, with 32GB as the new lowest storage option. The new tiers are as follows: iPhone 7 - 32GB, 64GB, and 256GB; iPhone 7 Plus - 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB.

Macworld also noted that the iPhone 7 Plus could be outfitted with a Smart Connector. This means that if the rumors are true and the leaks are the real deal, you could slap an Apple keyboard (or other accessories) on the 7 Plus. Yay or nay? (We say nay.)


No pushing these buttons

At the tail end of this year's Apple rumor mill overview are brief mentions of the iPhone 7 lineup's buttons. Namely: a redesigned, pressure-sensitive Home button; and the removal of the Mute button, at least for the 5.5" iPhone 7 Plus. Sure, it will affect our usage habits, but it will be interesting to see how the new Home button behaves, and how easy (or difficult) will it be to silence our iPhones.

 

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