More on the iPhone 7 Plus screen dimness issue – disappointed with Apple’s false advertising, but what can I do?

OK, am I just being too obsessed over this or what?

I upgraded from my iPhone 6 Plus to the iPhone 7 Plus after the election, partly to “cheer me up.” What my friend, Sue, called “retail therapy.”

But the fact the new iPhone is dimmer than my old iPhone 6 Plus really irks me.

I posted side-by-side photos about it in a discussion thread at the Apple support forums (https://discussions.apple.com/thread/7744754). You can see the photos there.

Below is an email I just sent to Tim Cook because Apple has not been helpful.

Am I making too big a deal out of this? Should I just “live with it?”

At the moment I’m so upset at Apple I feel like completely getting away from their whole ecosystem and going full Windows and Android. Would that be cutting off my nose to spite my face?

But I feel so sick of Apple at this point. The fact that their new MacBook Pro series is overpriced and gets rid of all the standard ports for all my devices doesn’t help my feelings towards them at this point either.

Getting rid of the iPhone 7 Plus would also be costly because I’d still be responsible for paying it off with my carrier. Though I suppose I could do that and sell it somewhere and take some loss. Would that be stupid though? Should I just live with it for two years and then gradually just move away from Apple rather than doing something rash I might regret?

But the iPhone 7 Plus is not as advertised, and I feel that is wrong.

Should practicality take priority over principle though?

Here’s the email I just sent to Cook:


Dear Mr. Cook,

As a last resort I’m writing to you, but I despair that Apple simply doesn’t care to help in this case.

A week ago Saturday I decided to “upgrade” my iPhone 6 Plus to an iPhone 7 Plus.

At https://www.apple.com/iphone-7/ it says, in addition to the new phone being 25% brighter, that, “…what you see will be noticeably more brilliant and vibrant. Because we all deserve a bit more brightness in our day.”

I would like that, but it’s not true.

While the iPhone 7 Plus seems to work well in all other respects, the display is important. I’m not saying the iPhone 7 Plus display is bad, per se. But as soon as I took it out of the box on Saturday it was obvious that it was dimmer than my iPhone 6 Plus, even before comparing it side-by-side.

Apple is advertising the iPhone 7 Plus as 25% brighter, and “noticeably more brilliant and vibrant” – but that is simply not true. And Apple refuses to assist me (you can refer to Case number 100064822147).

Attached are photos I sent in to “Michael” (ac_michael.l@apple.com) who was handling my case, but won’t provide further assistance.

I took the photos with my iPad Air. I took 6 photos from different distances and angles. Brightness settings are the same. In fact all the settings are the same. Both are set at maximum brightness for these photos. No hue tinting or other display changes have been made on either phone.

The phone on the left is my iPhone 6 Plus, which I was using with KDDI AU until Saturday. The phone on the right is my new iPhone 7 plus, which uses the Softbank carrier to which I switched when I upgraded.

Everybody – the sales person, friends, and the technician at the service center I visited the day after purchase (Apple service center inside Bic Camera at Hachioji, Tokyo station) all agree that the iPhone 7 Plus is not not “25% brighter.” It is not “noticeably more brilliant and vibrant.” it is actually dimmer than the iPhone 6 Plus. And the whites are not as white.

We did try an exchange with a new iPhone 7 Plus at the service center last week, but both the technician and I agreed the exchange unit was even dimmer than the one I brought in. So we did not make the exchange. That made me wonder if this is a general problem with the new iPhone 7 Plus.

Just before, “Michael” called to tell me that’s “just the way they are.” This Michael person is trying to claim that the iPhone 7 Plus might not look brighter but it really is. That makes no sense at all. Your advertising says it is supposed to be “noticeably more brilliant and vibrant.” If you can’t see it how can be be “noticeably more brilliant and vibrant”? And Michael refuses to help and says there is nobody else at Apple I can talk to about it and it’s not Apple’s responsibility since I bought it from my carrier.

Obviously that is not acceptable. The carrier says it’s Apple’s responsibility. And I agree. You are advertising something that isn’t true.

I think even you will agree that the iPhone 6 Plus on the left is brighter, and the whites more white, than the iPhone 7 Plus on the right, which is clearly dimmer.

I hope you respond, and help, but I am despairing of Apple assisting. If the iPhone 7 Plus is not as advertised – and that seems to be the case – I want Apple’s assistance in reversing everything with the carrier, Softbank. Softbank won’t help; they say there are no returns allowed and that it is an Apple problem.

After all these decades of being a loyal Apple customer I can’t tell you how disappointed I am to be brushed off like this.

I suppose if Apple refuses to help the next stop would be the Japan consumer affairs agency. But I am hoping you intercede first.

Sincerely,

Doug Lerner

TouchRetouch – a great iPhone app to clear up lens flare and other photo problems and unwanted objects easily

This is a great, easy-to-use app I want to recommend to everyone who uses their iPhone camera a lot. Without resorting to “expert” or expensive applications, with high learning curves, such as PhotoShop, TouchRetouch (available in the app store) lets you very easily clean up problems with photos. This includes getting rid of those annoying “green dot” lens flares which had been bothering me so much, unwanted blemishes, garbage and just about anything else in photos that you want to clean up.

It’s amazingly clever and simple to use. Here are four before and after photos I took.

(1) Green dot lens flare cleanup – the green lens flare dot is located to the right of the center of the photo.

Note the green lens flare dot on the water

Note the green lens flare dot on the water

No more lens flare dot

No more lens flare dot

 

(2) Garbage on my neighbor’s roof. There is something that looks like a block of concrete or stone across two of the tiles of my neighbor’s roof.

See the chunk of something white on the 3rd tile down just up and the left of center.

See the chunk of something white on the 3rd and 4th tiles down just up and to the left of center.

 

Voila! The chunk is now gone.

Voila! The chunk is now gone.

 

(3) Cleaning up construction items interfering with a river scene. I want those metal poles gone!

There are four large metal poles in the river interfering with my view

There are four large metal poles in the river interfering with my view

 

Now the poles are gone

Now the poles are gone

 

(4) Finally, here is a photo of Mon and Monta in their cage. Note the large clump of bird droppings on the right nest, under the mirror and bell. Using TouchRetouch I was able to make them disappear. Now I don’t even need to clean the cage!

 

Clump of bird droppings on the right nest, under the mirror and bell

Clump of bird droppings on the right nest, under the mirror and bell

The clump of bird droppings is gone!

The clump of bird droppings is gone!

 

Some of them seem almost magical.

The app is super easy to use. It seamlessly integrates with the iPhone standard Photos app as one of the editing tools. It can also be used stand-alone, with more export options. There are various tools you can use – brush, lasso and more. There is also a tool dedicated to getting rid of lines, but I haven’t played much with that yet.

I think it’s highly worth the $1.99 cost. Even just being able to super easily get rid of lens flare artifacts makes it worth it to me.

 

Green dots in sunset photos on the iPhone 6 plus – lens flare?

Recently I noticed some obvious bright green dots in sunset photos I’ve taken with my iPhone 6 Plus. I thought it was just recent, so I went back and looked over old photos and found a couple with the same phenomenon, going as far back as late 2014. I saw at least one discussion at the Apple support forums about this from 2014, but there didn’t seem to be a conclusion.

My AppleCare warranty is up on 9/25/2016, so I contacted AppleCare and showed them the photos and we discussed it. They did a search of my serial number and determined my iPhone was part of a “small set of iPhone cameras” manufactured between September 2014 and January 2015 which experienced some camera blurring and other camera problems. This wasn’t blurring, but the Apple rep said they wanted to exchange it since it fit into that period of time.

Anyway, I got my exchange iPhone today, and I just went for a bike ride along the river, and it experiences the exact same problem. Not with every photo, but with many of the photos where I’m shooting into the sunset. Here are a few examples with and without the effect. The first 2 do not have the green dot, but the last 3 do.

It’s obviously a spec/quality issue with the iPhone 6 Plus lens – unless I was unlucky with two in a row. I guess you could call it “lens flare.” It seems like a rather odd shape and color for lens flare though. But it only happens when shooting at sunset into the sun.

Oh well, as I head into the end of my warranty, at least I ended up with a new iPhone manufactured in August of this year instead of my two-year-old iPhone.

 

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Macro photos

When I was in Akihabara yesterday I got an inexpensive “crip on” macro lens for any smartphone that can take photos between 10 and 23 mm away. It also comes with a fish-eye and wide lens, but today I played a bit with the macro lens on my iPhone while outside.

It’s pretty hard to focus because the slightest tremor will move the subject out of the very limited field of view. But these came out well I thought.

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