The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus finally arrive in India, along with the Apple Watch Series 2

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Just as promised, Apple has launched the new iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, along with the Apple Watch Series 2 here in India, just in time for the festive season. Unlike what happened with the previous iPhones, the iPhone 7 arrives only a month after Tim Cook took the stage in San Francisco and unveiled Apple’s latest phones.

Apple has also updated its previous lineup of devices. The Apple Watch Series 1 now comes with an upgraded chipset, the same one found in the Apple Watch Series 2. In addition to this, all the existing iPhone models have been given a memory boost. The 16GB storage variants have been completely done away with. The iPhone 6S starts from 64GB storage and goes all the way to 256GB. The 16GB variant of the iPhone SE has also been discontinued.

Looks the same, yet radically different

The iPhone 7 doesn’t offer anything massively different in the design. Apple has only finetuned the design it achieved with the iPhone 6S. The antenna lines have become less apparent now, it is now a little lighter and there is no 3.5mm headphone jack.

The new iPhones comes with an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, allowing them to survive under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes. They also now come with dual stereo speakers and there’s two new colors- Black and Jet Black which comes in only 128GB and 256GB of storage.

The home button too has received a makeover. It is no longer a physical button. Instead, Apple has put a capacitive, touch-sensitive panel connected to the same taptic feedback engine that is used for 3D touch in the display.

While the screen size and the core technology behind the screens remain the same, Apple has boosted the brightness levels and added support for wide color gamut that is used in cinema displays.

Powering the iPhone 7 is the new A10 Fusion processor which also happens to be first quad-core chip from Apple. Two of these cores are high-performance cores that Apple claims is 40 per cent faster than the iPhone 6S’s A9 dual-core chip. The other two cores in the A10 Fusion chip are low power that come into play through an Apple designed controller, making the iPhone 7 more power-efficient. Apart from this, there is also a new graphics processor which is 50 per cent faster than the older generation chip.

But the upgraded hardware aside, it’s the camera system in the new iPhones that are once again the most attractive feature. The smaller 4.7-inch iPhone 7 gets a 12-megapixel camera with a 6-element lens and a wide f/1.8 aperture. There is also optical image stabilization, which was not there in the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S. You also get a flicker sensor and a quad LED truetone flash system. Apple claims its new ISP on the A10 Fusion Chip can use machine learning algorithms to merge different images to form the best image among them. There is support for RAW format images.

But it is in the iPhone 7, that Apple has weaved real magic. There’s not one, but two 12-megapixel rear cameras. One of them is the 12-megapixel wide angle lens seen in the standard iPhone 7 while the other is a 12-megapixel, 56mm telephoto lens with f/2.8 aperture. The dual camera system allows for 2X optical zoom and with a later update, Apple will include the option to take information from both cameras and create a DSLR-esque blurred background.

As for audio, the iPhone 7 ships with lightning earpods, along with a 3.5mm to lightning adaptor. But Apple has trained its crosshairs on wireless future. It has also released a pair of wireless earphones, called AirPod. The AirPod earphones uses a specially built chip by Apple for smarter pairing with the iPhone. They come with a case that also charges the earphones. The AirPod will arrive later in the month for a price of Rs 15,400.

The iPhone 7 runs the latest iOS 10, which is one of the biggest upgrades of the operating system. You get a smarter, more open source Siri, an iMessage with its own app store and widgets, along with using machine learning across the OS to make it smarter. Apple also cares for your privacy by offering differential privacy.

The iPhone 7 starts from Rs 60,000 for the 32GB storage variant, followed by Rs 70,000 for the 128GB storage variant and Rs 80,000 for the 256GB variant.

The iPhone 7 Plus will cost Rs 72,000 for the 32GB which is the same price last year’s big iPhone launched at. The 128GB variant will cost Rs 82,000 while the 256GB will cost Rs 92,000.

The faster and smarter Apple Watch Series 2

In addition to the new iPhones, Apple has also launched the new Apple Watch Series 2 which will start from Rs 32,900. A special Nike+ model has also joined the lineup with dedicated Nike watchfaces and a perforated strap. You get a few dedicated Nike apps along, for the same price of Rs 32,900. Apple also launched a ceramic version of the Apple Watch named the Apple Watch Edition priced at a steep Rs 1,10,900. The Nike+ variant will arrive later in the month, and the Edition variant will be sold in limited numbers from today.

Although the new Apple Watch look and feel the same as the previous one, it is 50 per cent faster thanks to the new S2 processor powering it. You also get GPS and a barometer which will come handy for fitness freaks. Apple has also improved the water resistance, allowing users to take the Apple Watch Series 2 for a swim. Apple makes use of the speaker grill to drain out the water from watch. The touch input on the screen is also suspended when the watch is under water.

The new Apple Watch models come with 18 hours of battery life when used with the GPS turned on. Without it, it is even more. It runs on the watchOS 3 that uses a different memory management system to make the watch faster. The new OS update also bring s a host of new fitness focused features like the Breathe meditation app.

Apart from this, Apple has also updated its older Apple Watch. It is now called Apple Watch Series 1 and comes with the new S2 processor. It starts from Rs 23,900.