This year’s iPhone wasn’t going to be an S version but that didn’t stop Apple from using the same design all over again, save a few small changes. Even though the Tim Cook-led company did make some bold decisions like the removal of the headphone jack, it was more of an iterative approach than a revolutionary one.
Known for its originality and creativity, Apple went for the “courageous” approach this time. However, most of the iPhone 7’s new features have been in Android phones for years. Admittedly, Apple does have a reputation of doing stuff better than others but it doesn’t give them the title of being the first one to do it (sorry Apple fanboys).
Also Read: Comparison of iPhone 7 Price in Pakistan
Keeping up with the theme of originality vs. copying off features, we take a look at 4 features that have been in Android phones before the iPhone 7 came along:
1. No Headphone Jack
Even though it is iPhone 7’s most talked-about feature (or lack of one), Apple is not the first one to do it. It’s not even the second or the third. It was all the way back in 2014 when Oppo’s R5 became one of the first smartphones to have completely ditched the headphone jack.
A Chinese company, LeEco, also ditched the headphone jack earlier this year in favor of higher quality audio over USB-C and Lenovo followed suit with its latest Moto Z smartphones.
Unlike Apple, Oppo also had a much better reason for its removal; an ultra-thin 4.85 mm chassis that made it almost impossible to pack in a headphone jack. Compare to that the iPhone 7’s 7.1mm thickness, which makes Apple’s decision to remove the headphone jack seem meaningless.
2. Dual Camera System
The dual camera system in the iPhone 7 Plus? LG did it first in 2011 with the LG Optimus 3D (although for a different purpose).
Starting with the HTC One M8 in 2014, HTC has been doing it since ages for the very same purpose. The LG V10 had it, so did Xioami’s Redmi Pro and Huawei has also been using dual cameras to improve picture quality.
The One M8 came with a dual-lens setup, dubbed Duo Camera, and came with after-capture effects like bokeh, focus, etc. The execution wasn’t really up to the par but still, HTC was one of the first major smartphone manufacturers to bet on dual-cameras for smartphones.
3. Water Resistant
This one, Apple ripped off straight from Samsung’s Galaxy S series. To be fair, Samsung copied it over from Sony’s Xperia Z series in the first place.
Water-resistant smartphones have existed since ages but the Japan-based smartphone giant was one of the first smartphone giants to make their flagship phones water resistant and they have been doing so since the start of the Xperia Z series.
But it might have been Samsung’s water defying feature which pushed Apple to go for water-resistance. Starting with the Galaxy S5, and now the S7, Samsung has had some pretty good implementations against water damage.
While Apple may have done a better job with the dual camera system than HTC, it didn’t live up to Samsung’s or Sony’s execution in water resistance. The S7 has an IP68 rating and so do Sony flagships since ages, while the iPhone 7 has an IP67 rating. It means the S7 can be submerged in water as deep as 1.5 meter for up to 30 minutes, compared to the iPhone 7’s one meter. Sony phones have even been used undersea at depths over 20 meters without incurring any damage.
Unfortunately though, unlike Samsung and Sony, Apple did incorporate the water-resistance but does not offer any warranty if you try it out in real life, showing Apple’s lack of confidence in its implementation. Apple clearly misled users into believing the new models are water safe, when clearly they aren’t in case you incur water damage even due to a manufacturing fault.
We can’t really blame Apple on copying this one. Smartphones are a part of our daily lives and water-resistance is simply a must-have these days! Though, some warranty would have been the right way to go about for such an expensive flagship.
4. Home Button
Apple has finally let go of the physically clickable home button. The iPhone 7 comes with a “taptic engine” that gives you the feel of a physical feedback when you press it.
Android phones have been using capacitive touch buttons from the very start. These buttons would respond with a small vibration to give the feel of a button but they aren’t really as good at giving the same feel. The technology Apple uses is like the Force Touch trackpad in the latest MacBook Pro. The concept may be quite similar to Android’s capacitive buttons but not only is it considerably better, it also provides a much more “physical” feel.
Did we miss any other features that Apple copied/improved from other phone makers? Sound off in the comments below.