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Seven features the iPhone 7 'borrows' from Android

Derek Walter | Sept. 8, 2016
Apple clearly took some inspiration from many of the innovations that Android manufacturers have offered in the last couple of years.

That means it can survive being in up to one meter of water for up to 30 minutes. It's great that Apple has joined in the pool party here, but it's another area where the company is just catching up.

And if you really want to go rugged, there's always the Galaxy S7 Active that can also take more spills and tumbles. Don't plan on doing that with the new jet black iPhone model unless you bulk it up with a heavy-duty case.

Stereo speakers

Stereo speakers have been around on Android phones for ages. The HTC One M7 was one of the first phones I remember that truly blew me away with the audio experience.

Apple is featuring stereo speakers in the iPhone, which will be great for gaming, TV shows, movies, and those long YouTube sessions. It's nice to see them catch up here, as the iPhone speakers are a part that had felt left behind in comparison to some of the other flagships out there.

Quad-core, big-and-little CPU cores

Apple's Phil Schiller spent a lot of time talking about the A10 chip, which included a game demo with a spell-throwing scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. The key selling point was that the new quad-core CPU, with two high-performance and two power-efficient cores.

But keeping with the theme here, you'll find that this came to us first with the big.LITTLE technology from ARM, used in phones as far back as 2013. Quad-core chipsets are also fairly common on Android phones, now the norm in many of this year's flagships. Where Apple has an advantage is in controlling the software and hardware integration, but many other Android devices have certainly been no slouch.

Faster LTE

Everyone wants faster Internet speeds, right? Apple promised you'll get that with the iPhone 7, as it jumps ahead to LTE Cat.9 from Cat.6. In numbers that matter, this means you'll be able to get up to 450 Mbps (from 300) if you're connected to a network that can serve this up.

Again, Apple is a couple of years behind the curve on this one as the Galaxy Note 4 was among the first to offer this level. Most high-end Android phones have support for this speed, and we're even starting to see LTE Cat.12 (up to 600 Mbps).

Finally! 32GB of minimum storage

Frankly, this is a move Apple should have made a couple of years ago. The low-end storage option is now 32GB, up from the paltry 16GB they used to offer. And if you want as much as possible you can pack in 256GB in either the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus. Of course, storage options have long been the strengths of Android phones, as many similarly-priced phones have jumped to the 32GB minimum long ago. This year's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge offered 32GB only, but you can slap in an SD card to add much more. The Galaxy Note 7 starts at 64GB. Hell, you can get a OnePlus 3 with 64GB for only $400. 


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