Apple doesn't much like The Register: we don't get invited to its events and aren't among the favoured few offered early access to review products.
But we can visit Apple Stores as soon as new kit goes on sale and did so today to get a First Fondle of the iPhone 7.
The store we visited opened at 8:00am to admit pre-paid purchasers and let your correspondent in at that time, but then realised it was not open to the general public until 10:00am in order to give those in the queue their due.
I wasn't asked to leave, but didn't feel comfortable hanging around for long. So in the few minutes I was welcome on the premises, I was able to determine that the iPhone 7 is a lovely iPhone. iOS 10 doesn't immediately strike me as having any learning curve at all. The screen is crisp and bright, as was sound. Rounded rectangles continue to sit pleasantly in the hand. The black models look quite imposing.
The new non-tactile home button is a bit confronting as there's a tiny lag between depressing the button and the twitchy little throb the phone makes in response. During that half-a-heartbeat wait I almost had time to being wondering what was going wrong.
Otherwise, it's a premium-grade late-2016 smartphone going about its business as you would expect, aka a collection of miracles easily taken for granted.
A floor or two below Apple's Broadway, Sydney, Store is an outlet for Australian carrier Telstra which let me take some snaps, but hadn't configured its demo phones for WiFi and therefore meant I could only use MMS to share them with the world.
Vulture South's rough-as-guts iPhone 7 vs. iPhone 7+ photography comparison
There they are above, for what they are worth. The iPhone 7's effort is on the left. The dual-lens iPhone 7 Plus' output is at right. We promise to do better once (if?) we get our hands on an iPhone 7 for a proper amount of time. ®