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This year’s iPhone 7 and Plus model updates break with convention. For the first time ever Apple has opted to maintain the same general design three years in a row, while introducing some exciting, divisive, and long-overdue features.

So is this a sign that the company is stagnating? Or is it simply a case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” in action? I’ve spent a few weeks with the shiny new Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus, the first Plus model I’ve touched since 2014’s 6 Plus iPhone 6 Plus Review and Giveaway iPhone 6 Plus Review and Giveaway The 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus is Apple's latest and perhaps strangest addition to its range of tablets and smartphones. Read More .

So is it any good, and should you upgrade?

Another Big Slab of iPhone

I’ve never owned a Plus-sized iPhone, though I spent a few months using the iPhone 6 Plus when it was first released around two years ago. Since then the design has changed very little — Apple still uses the same rounded aluminium chassis, a protruding camera, and a choice of 4.7″ and 5.5″ screen sizes.

Rumor has it the company is waiting on next year’s design to really shake things up Why You Might Want to Skip the iPhone 7 & Wait for the iPhone 8 Why You Might Want to Skip the iPhone 7 & Wait for the iPhone 8 2017 marks ten years of iPhones, and rumor has it that Apple has something very special planned. Read More , and considering the number of rumors that were proven to be true with the arrival of this unit you might be inclined to buy into that. The one difference in presentation this time round is your choice of glossy Jet Black, and a regular Black with a more traditional matte appearance.

iphone_7_plus_side

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I’d forgotten just how big the Plus models are, and more importantly how difficult one-handed use can be. I have relatively large hands and I still had to adjust my grip to use the phone one-handed. Add a case and you’re looking at an even bigger problem, though the weighting of the phone seems better this time round. The iPhone 6 Plus I last used felt very top heavy, like it was prone to slipping forward out of your hand — but that’s not the case here.

One-handed use becomes an even bigger predicament when combined with the glossy finish of the Jet Black model. In addition to being more slippery than the aluminium finish I’m used to, it’s a fingerprint and grease magnet. This might not matter very much if you’re in the majority who opt to protect their device with a case. In that case, who cares what color you choose?

iphone_7_plus_camera2

There’s minimal difference in the weight and thickness this time round, with the 7 Plus weighing 188g to the 6s Plus’ 192g. It’s about 50g heavier than the smaller iPhone 7, and 0.2mm thicker. It’s very much business as usual on the outside, which might not be a bad thing, but I’m a little guilty of feeling like it’s a bit old hat now.

All models of iPhone 7 do great job of hiding the antenna on the back of the device, but you’ll probably never notice. It’s comfortable to hold, at least if you have big hands. Two-handed typing is a joy thanks to larger keys, but it still feels obnoxiously big in your pocket sometimes. I’m looking forward to a design refresh, but that probably says more about me than the iPhone.

One thing is clear though: don’t buy a Plus model if you think the 4.7″ model is big enough, especially if you’re still rocking an old iPhone 5s or coming from an SE.

Look Ma, No Headphone Jack

Most iPhone 7 related news stories focused on one thing: the lack of a headphone jack. It’s not the first time Apple has shunned technology in the pursuit of progress 7 Technologies Apple Shunned to Make the World a Better Place 7 Technologies Apple Shunned to Make the World a Better Place The iPhone 7 is here and it's missing a headphone port. The internet is up in arms about the news, but it's hardly the first time the company has pulled such a stunt. Read More , and though it’s proven to be a divisive move, it’s not as bad as you may have been led to believe.

Apple includes a pair of their basic EarPods with a lightning connector in the box. These aren’t going to replace your nice pair of aftermarket headphones, but the do the job just as well as the last pair did Sound Advice: Are Apple's Free EarPods Really That Bad? Sound Advice: Are Apple's Free EarPods Really That Bad? Apple's free earphones have a reputation being utter garbage — but are we being too harsh on the pearly white fashion accessories? Read More . There’s also a 3.5mm to lightning adapter you can use, which doesn’t deliver any discernible loss of quality over the iPhone 6s or earlier models.

iphone_7_plus_adapter

There’s also support for Apple’s new W1 wireless technology and Bluetooth headphones (over a low energy connection), but you don’t need to jump foot-first into wireless audio just yet. The only real problem is charging your device and using wired audio at the same time, for which you can buy third party adapters with lightning passthrough.

The iPhone 7 Plus’ standout feature is its dual-lens (and dual-sensor) camera. It’s a really nice touch, and one that smartphone photographers are going to love. Apple divides these lenses by “wide angle” and “telephoto” though both of these terms are a stretch given the effective focal length of each.

iphone_7_plus_back2

The “wide angle” is the faster, superior camera which is also found in the iPhone 7. It’s equipped with a slightly larger sensor, aperture of f/1.8, and a 35mm equivalent focal length of about 30mm. Low light performance is great thanks to the wide aperture, bokeh is creamy, and it’s a capable all-rounder.

The “telephoto” manages an aperture of f/2.8 and a 35mm equivalent of 56mm. It’s arguably a better focal length for portraiture, despite a slightly inferior sensor and slower lens. Most importantly it reduces the reliance on digital zoom, which is a blight on the digital camera world.

How much you’ll use it on a daily basis is debatable, but below you can see a quick comparison from the exact same angle.

comparison_lens

As you’d expect, video performance is equally impressive particularly when using the wide lens in low light. A new quad-LED True Tone flash improves the iPhone 7 and Plus model’s ability to balance for white, and the front-facing camera has seen a boost from 5 megapixels to 7 for even better selfies.

Photo performance is probably one of the top reasons to choose a Plus-sized iPhone, and a compelling reason to upgrade from an iPhone 6-era device.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the first of Apple’s smartphones to include dust and water resistance, in accordance with the IP67 rating. This means you can submerge your iPhone to a depth of 1 metre for an hour, which in real world terms means your iPhone can survive a dunk in the sink or heavy rainstorm. Apple is a bit late to the party since Sony and Samsung have been doing this for a while, but it’s an important leap forward nevertheless.

iphone_7_plus_camera3

Apple has also added stereo speakers to both models, and the phone is twice as loud as the iPhone 6s. They’re still tinny-sounding smartphone speakers, but they’re louder, and the positioning on the top and bottom really suit a device like the 7 Plus, which works well in landscape mode thanks to its large size. Like water and dust-proofing, it’s a catch-up feature but one that’s great to finally see.

The Home button has also received an overhaul, and it’s not longer a button at all. Instead Apple used haptic feedback to imitate the click of a physical button. It’s one of my favorite new features, and the result genuinely feels like the entire bottom half of the phone is clicking inwards. Less moving parts is another important step forward, and eliminates one of the iPhone’s longstanding liabilities.

Finally the screen features a 25% wider color gamut, just like the iPad Pro. It looks great, and it’s a huge step up from the screen found on the cheaper iPhone SE.

Living With the 7 Plus

In terms of performance, it’s business as usual for the new iPhone thanks to a new A10 Fusion chip which ensures a smooth and stutter-free experience. Each new iPhone needs to feel new and slick, and that’s exactly what the 7 Plus delivers. It certainly makes my two-year old iPhone 6 seem slow and outdated.

The iPhone 6s family with its A9 chip still feels relatively fast, but it’s started to show its age with the arrival of iOS 10. The iPhone 7 smooths out the experience, with fast Spotlight search, responsive widgets, better app performance and an instant-on “raise to wake” response.

iphone_7_plus_lightning

This is all helped along with an added 1GB of RAM over the previous model, taking the total to 3GB. This ensures a silky smooth browsing experience, even when switching between tabs. Multitasking performance also benefits. This marks the third year of RAM improvements, with Apple adding 1GB per iPhone generation since 2014’s iPhone 6.

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus also mark the death of the 16GB base storage capacity. The iPhone now starts at 32GB, with 128GB and 256GB options also available. There are reports of performance dips on the 32GB model, and if we’re being honest the arrival of 4K video and Live Photos will fill up the cheapest model pretty quickly.

The other reason to choose a Plus-sized iPhone over the regular version — aside from the telephoto lens — is battery life. A bigger device means more room for a bigger battery, and that’s exactly what Apple delivered. The Plus model can potentially last twice as long than its smaller counterpart, depending on what you’re using your phone for.

iphone_7_plus_adapter2

In terms of real world usage this means your phone is far more likely to last all day, even if you’re browsing on 4G, shooting 4K video, talking Siri’s ear off, and making heavy use of iOS 10’s new widgets. If battery really is your primary concern, ask yourself if you can live with a massive phone or not. If the answer is yes, the Plus model really does make the difference.

Finally it wouldn’t be an iPhone review if we didn’t at least mention iOS 10. The latest version of the iPhone OS hasn’t seen the biggest update in 2016 iOS 10 Is Here! Why You Should Upgrade Right Now iOS 10 Is Here! Why You Should Upgrade Right Now Apple's tenth revision of its mobile operating system is here. This is how to upgrade right now for free. Read More , but there are a few standout features. The new lockscreen widgets are handy iOS 10 Widgets Are Great: Here's How to Put Them to Good Use iOS 10 Widgets Are Great: Here's How to Put Them to Good Use Apple's new widgets in iOS 10 might not seem like a big deal, but developers have already made great use of this new function. Here's how to use them. Read More if you’re into that sort of thing, and the A10 chip means they don’t cause any of the stutters you may be used to if you’re coming from an older device.

iphone_7_plus_back

3D Touch is used liberally all over the place, in particular to get more out of the new notifications. As the feature is a year-old now, it’s also far more common to see third party app support. And of course, Siri is much more capable which makes the “Hey, Siri” hands-free capabilities of the new iPhone all the more useful.

Should You Upgrade?

The iPhone 7 continues the iterative upgrade path Apple has laid out over recent years. It’s an evolution of the concept, and not the revolution many were hoping for. But it doesn’t seem right to complain that the iPhone 7 isn’t more radically different, when the iPhone 6s ticked so many boxes.

The catch-up nature of the device may be a bit boring, with water resistance and stereo speakers finally making an appearance, but these are features many of us have wanted to see on Apple’s smartphone for a few years. In fact, Apple’s biggest “innovation” this time round might be the removal of the 3.5mm jack — though the headlines would have you believe that most don’t consider it progress.

iphone_7_plus_front

If you’re still hanging on to an iPhone 6-era smartphone, you might want to give the iPhone 7 (UK) or 7 Plus (UK) some serious thought. If you’re an iPhone 6s owner, there’s probably not enough here to justify the expense and you may be better off waiting for next year’s model anyway.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus Unlocked Phone 32 GB - US Version (Black) Apple iPhone 7 Plus Unlocked Phone 32 GB - US Version (Black) Keep everything you love about iPhone up to date, secure, and accessible from any device with iCloud. Buy Now At Amazon $755.00

As for whether you need a Plus-sized iPhone, that depends. The camera is nice but you can live without it, the battery life is impressive especially if you’re coming from a regular-sized iPhone, and the lack of headphone jack isn’t as big of a deal as you might think. But it’s massive, so you should head to a shop and play with it (and perform the pocket test) before you lay down the cash.

Our verdict of the iPhone 7 Plus 128GB:
An important leap forward for Apple smartphones, but the Plus-sized model still isn’t for everyone. A worthy upgrade from the iPhone 6 or earlier, but not so much if you still have last year’s model.
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  1. Tesluach Lul
    May 17, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    wanna make my dream true through winning my dream phone

  2. Geraldine Tacorda
    February 24, 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I wish I could win an Iphone. Because i've never had an Iphone and I don't have a phone for a year because it was broken and haven't fix it. Please, let me win!! ?

  3. Marian Handal
    November 27, 2016 at 1:05 pm

    Amazing

  4. Art Matz
    November 20, 2016 at 7:19 pm

    might even be a good time to leave android

  5. Art Matz
    November 20, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    I need one to replace my htc

  6. Seralin
    November 20, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Seems like everyone wants to win ??

  7. Seralin
    November 20, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Seems like everyone wants to win ?.

  8. Konstadinos Papadopoulos
    November 20, 2016 at 10:32 am

    I have a general question for the giveaways.What is the #(number) next to every winner of a giveaway?

  9. Camila Beth Cazenas
    November 20, 2016 at 7:33 am

    who won? I'm still hoping though.

  10. Alyssa Davis
    November 20, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Who won?! I'm very anxious.

  11. Camila Beth Cazenas
    November 19, 2016 at 5:31 am

    I know I wouldn't win but fck I keep on checking every single day. And I join a lot of contests like thos. And non of it I ever win. But I hope you pick me . Please I'm serioualy begging you I'm really desperate

    • Humam-GFE
      November 20, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      same bro im 16 and never buy phone before never win before anything

  12. Ayman Dimaoui
    November 19, 2016 at 12:20 am

    this is a realy good phone but i have question why there are two cameras

    • Humam-GFE
      November 20, 2016 at 6:54 pm

      one for take photo like all phones have the other one is like the zoom you put to your camera it work like zoom :)

  13. malsawmi
    November 16, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    This is site is great! Hope everyone who enter can win. Great job on the article btw. Wish I have an iPhone though

  14. meme
    November 16, 2016 at 12:12 pm

    Good

  15. meme
    November 16, 2016 at 12:09 pm

    Excelent model

  16. odirile majaga
    November 16, 2016 at 10:55 am

    That's good looking phone I phone have been good all the time...

  17. Kristyn Ann Pagarigan
    November 16, 2016 at 4:55 am

    Hi. I'm thankful enough that my parents gave me a phone but i would like to have an iphone because i don't have one. Its been my dream to have an iphone since my sister have one already. Its really my wish to have one. I really wish i will win. My birthday is coming up so i hope you grant my wish. Thank you very much for this opportunity and may God bless you more. Thank you very much.

    • Humam-GFE
      November 20, 2016 at 6:57 pm

      same woow my birthday is 19 november never buy phone before

  18. Karl Cantor
    November 15, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    winning a brand new iPhone 7 plus means a lot to me, why? because I've never had an iPhone before all my previous phones were all android and my last phone was stolen from me so now i don't have any phone that i can use. if i could win this contest i would be thanking "makeuseof" for the early Christmas gift

  19. Giorgio Tulio Scampini Chin Aleong
    November 15, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Sera posible que tenga la fortuna de ganarme este iPhone, realmente necesito un smartphone y si es este iPhone pues muchísimo mejor

  20. Filip
    November 15, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Hope to win :D
    My phone just died, displey or something, and i don't have any phone now :(
    GL to everyone

  21. ed buisan
    November 14, 2016 at 8:31 am

    good luck to everyone and a huge congratulations to the one who wins this awesome iphone 7..kudos and thanks MUO!!! i did joined the giveaway though, it would be a great leap from sony ericssons arc 18 to ios i7 if ever i win this fantastic gift from MUO..still a huge thanks to this giveaway..
    much love to you guys from philippines..

  22. wahyu
    November 14, 2016 at 6:20 am

    APPLE

  23. Edmilson Meque Manuel
    November 13, 2016 at 1:01 am

    Pleasse code for vídeo

  24. Louis Britt C.
    November 12, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I really don't know a lot about the IPhone , I am disabled and old school, I use a Trac fone, BUT my Daughter (that I am raising alone, (she is on the honor roll, has been for about 5 years) Loves new Tech.. And has been wanting a IPhone 7. I just cant afford it for her. But she has worked so hard, I really think she deserves to be rewarded for her hard work, I feel bad I cant afford anything for Christmas, It would be a blessing to win it for her.
    Thank You,, Louis C.

  25. Eldo Jacob
    November 12, 2016 at 8:58 am

    The performance seems to be ultra smooth and fast.And no doubt anyone can make use of that telephoto lens for great pictures.Great work

  26. Susie
    November 9, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    I love your reviews... so detailed, clear and concise compared to anyone else. The camera looks amazing and I'm hearing from friends they love iOS 10 on it. I'm not able to get one, my daughter died last year and my husband in September.... but I would love to have the video camera for my new granddaughter. Thank you for the chance and good luck to everyone!

    • Humam-GFE
      November 9, 2016 at 10:18 pm

      Sad story like my but no dead people im just poor good luck ??

  27. Humam-GFE
    November 8, 2016 at 10:10 pm

    great giveaway

  28. Humam-GFE
    November 8, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    hello i really love MUD i hope i will win giveaway never win before and never buy phone before im almost to be 17 this giveaway end on my birthday 19 November i dont have anything i use my father laptop it is old made in 2008 and very slow and cant work video on 480p i hope you will make my dreams true i love iphone win this mean everything for i swear to you all is true hope to win it will be the best birthday of my life thank you soooo much for reading ;(

    • Humam-GFE
      November 9, 2016 at 10:16 pm

      MUO makeuseof i was have to do something i write MUD lol really great site and i meant ??

  29. vacheli
    November 8, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Considering I have the 5c maybe i should upgrade. And the bigger phone may be perfect since I do read a lot of articles on my phone. Great review as always.

    • Sera
      November 20, 2016 at 1:05 pm

      I have 5. Not s or c ?

  30. Giorgio Tulio Scampini Chin Aleong
    November 7, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Es indudable que todo el que esta participando quiere ganar este iPhone 7 plus y es que no se puede negar lo que esta a simple vista, es sin duda el mejor smartphone del mercado en términos de funcionalidad, seguridad, diseño, actualizaciones, cámaras, etc, etc, etc, no quede la menor duda quiero ganar este smartphone.

  31. Bruce
    November 7, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Ugh no headset port, but if I win I'll give it a try....

  32. nevereventouchedaniphone
    November 6, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Apple introduced the water-proofing technology a little too late in the game considering how most flagship Android phones have already been sporting this feature for quite some time now. Nonetheless, the iPhone 7 is still a beast of a phone and outshines any other Android device in the market.
    Really pumped for the giveaway. I hope I win something for the first time in my life!

  33. Pamela
    November 6, 2016 at 5:22 am

    Improved camera lens functions and water/dustproofing are definitely the appeal of this iphone! I've been disappointed with the camera on the iphones, and it would be so cool to not have to use some third party camera app to take what you should be able to get on such a pricey phone, especially when you're not into (or good at) manual control. It's one thing to take the time to learn your digital or film camera, but I don't want to have to read endless tutorials to get the best I can get on my phone.

    I don't really get the whole headphone thing but your explanation helped. It's no news that Apple is a proprietary phone master, liking to keep us to themselves. Just glad sound is improved with this one.

    Thanks for the great review! It could be 2025 before I can buy a new phone, so thanks as well for sponsoring this!

  34. Alyasia Maddox
    November 6, 2016 at 3:11 am

    I would like to win the iPhone 7 because I have a 60 dollar phone that isnt very good quality. My mom has 6 kids and I am the oldest, she tries to treat all of us equal . With that being said she can't splurge on me , with her raising us by herself honestly she is struggling . The iPhone 7 was one of the thinks on this years Christmas list, but more than likely she won't be able to get it .
    -Thanks for your time , have a nice day

  35. Jermyra
    November 5, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Hi tbh I not going make up a lie but I REALLY want iPhone 7 I have been looking up ways to get free but that's not happen and would ion got the like money like that 14 I'm trying make money babysitting but it ain't working???? but if I don't win the person who win is lucky tell I said and I hope good who really need it like

  36. Anis
    November 5, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Awesome! ?????
    Me! ?? Me!?? Me!??
    Tqvm.. Muchas Gracias

  37. James Malmonibo
    November 5, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    I really love this Smartphone!!!I'm from Philippines...My family is too rich and it's not too poor..Mostly we have financial problem I saw my mother crying because of that problem but I'm studying hard to pursue my family and reach my dreamon the future...so I hope I picked the winner???

  38. Konstadinos Papadopoulos
    November 5, 2016 at 8:14 am

    I really love this phone ????But price is the problem for me?So fingers crossed for the giveaway?

  39. Rayvin Ritarita
    November 5, 2016 at 5:53 am

    my family is not really wealthy. in fact we are having lots of money issues and i don't wanna add up my 'want' for an iPhone to them. i hope i will be picked as the winner. i want to test out how this device works and i want a phone with good features. my android phone is slow as hell especially with snapchat. what i love about iPhone is its amazing camera features and the ability to buy songs on iTunes to listen to my fav artists. i really hope i win this. this is like my dream phone. hope u will pay attention to my messages to see my valuable reasons to win this giveaway (((-: all the love

  40. Rayvin Ritarita
    November 5, 2016 at 5:52 am

    hi. thank yOU SO MUCH FOR GIVING US THIS OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN THIS COMPETITION. I HOPE I WILL THIS GIVEAWAY. I'VE NEVER HAD AN APPLE DEVICE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE CONSIDERING THAT I AM STILL IN SCHOOL I CAN'T AFFORD STUFFS THAT I WANT ON MY OWN. I HOPE YOU WILL CHOOSE ME I WANNA TRY THE LIFE OF HAVING AN APPLE DEVICE.

  41. Narendra Garach
    November 5, 2016 at 12:16 am

    I have an iPad that I am now using for a long time and love it. It would be nice to win this iphone and see if it is as good and reliable as the ipad.

    • Rayvin Ritarita
      November 5, 2016 at 5:55 am

      same

  42. Vimal J
    November 4, 2016 at 5:15 am

    Love to win the jet black iPhone 7 Plus ?

  43. Rohit Dhyani
    November 3, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    Hope you notice my efforts this time

  44. Kris
    November 3, 2016 at 1:49 pm

    I had 6 plus and I was happy with it, but then I changed my mind and bought 7 plus. Until I had 7 plus the 6 was ok, but when I got 7 it's a lot of difference, now the 6 looks so slooow. I use my phone all the time, so it's worth the money. For someone who just use it for messages, calls and Facebook, well you don't understand and you don't need that kind of phone.

  45. margherita
    November 2, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    I'm not sure to buy iphone 7s..but great article! fingred crossed for giveaway

  46. Jerry
    November 2, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    Large hands not a problem with me. But small pockets that is an issue. But count me in for the plus. My wife always has room in her purse for a new 7 Plus.

  47. Vince corciega
    November 2, 2016 at 1:34 pm

    Meee ??

  48. Ron Aron
    November 2, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    A real toss up. There's always a new set of bells and whistles, so why get seduced into consumerism...unless it's a free giveaway! The product does look appealing, though.

  49. Giorgio Tulio Scampini Chin Aleong
    November 2, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Del nuevo iPhone 7 me gusta la seguridad de Icloud, así como, el touch ID, me encanta el nuevo escáner de huella digital y botón de inicio, me encanta que es un producto de Apple, también su pantalla de 5,5 pulgadas, es el tamaño perfecto para mí, me gusta su doble cámara trasera, pero de todas las cosas que me gustan de un iPhone 7 plus, la que mas me gusta, es la psiobilidad de ser el feliz propietario de un iPhone 7 Plus , eso sería lo mejor

  50. Giorgio Tulio Scampini Chin Aleong
    November 1, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    New iPhone 7 Plus I like the security of Icloud, touch ID, I love the new start button fingerprint scanner, I love to be Apple, and I like her 5.5-inch screen, it is the perfect size for me, I really like your dual rear camera, but of all the things I like an iPhone 7 plus It's become the happy owner of an iPhone 7 Plus, that would be the most wonderful thing

  51. Rena Walter
    November 1, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    Great! I've never had anything but a Trac flip phone. My husband has one, and he can't find a clip carrier for it. He had one that broke the first year, but the company doesn't make them anymore.

  52. Brendan Wang
    November 1, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    What can i do to enter the giveaway ?

  53. Arie Kembario
    November 1, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    thank this giveaway but i don't understand type in the code that appears here (Youtube)

  54. Saku
    November 1, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    Sweet. Thanks, MUO!