Review: The iPhone 7 Is Just Fine, Even If It Doesn’t Wow

Apple's new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are clearly improvements on their predecessors -- even if the biggest change is actually an omission (of the traditional headphone jack). But are they improved enough to justify an upgrade?

If you're an iPhone user, it may depend on how long you've held onto your current iPhone. If you're a proud owner of the iPhone 6S or its plus-sized cousin, you probably don't need to rush out for the 7. But the 7 includes enough cumulative iPhone improvements from the past two years to tempt anyone still clinging to an older model.

For instance, the iPhone 7 is seriously water resistant; putting it under a faucet for a few minutes merely muffled the speakers and made the touch screen stop working until I dried it off. It's got louder speakers, a brighter screen and, in the larger 7 Plus, a second camera lens -- a low-powered but useful zoom. Add to that a sharper 12 megapixel camera introduced with the 6S.

All iPhone 7 models come with twice the storage as the comparable 6S, at mostly the same price. That's "mostly" because the $769 starting price for the larger iPhone 7 Plus is $20 more than comparable past models. The regular iPhone 7 stays at $649. Both entry-level phones now have 32 gigabytes rather than 16.

Listening Wired...

Without the traditional headphone jack, wired headphones plug into the Lightning port normally used for charging. But the jack's disappearance doesn't present the problem you might expect, given that iPhone 7 comes with a 3-inch-long adapter for your old headphones. A replacement costs $9 if you lose it (I've misplaced one already in less than a week).

To charge your phone while listening, you need a $99 battery case or a third-party adapter. Neither is included. Also, your iPhone 7 headphones...

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