When most phone companies release a current handset in a new colour, it’s not news. But Apple isn’t most phone companies. There’s always been an appetite for its colour variants, from the day the iPhone 4 came out in white and subsequent iPhones added gold, rose gold, black and jet black to the range.

A few days ago, and with a lack of fanfare rare for Apple, it revealed its first ever iPhone designed to support the fight against AIDS. The iPhone 7 (PRODUCT)RED is now in the shops and comes in a head-turningly bright shade of red. The back is fiery crimson and looks beautiful. It’s amplified by the antenna band which is a slightly lighter shade but really catches the light. And the Apple logo is stainless steel rather than red, so it jumps out – other iPhone 7 handsets have the logo colour-matched to the back of the phone.

Turn it over and the steel theme is continued on the home button – Apple could have made the Touch ID ring red but chose a silver finish instead.

PRODUCT (RED) iPhone PRODUCT (RED) iPhone

All looks great. By the way, that red really looks strong in reality in a way that photographs, even those taken by Apple, just don’t do it justice. Try and see it for yourself, that’s my advice, and move it around in the light to see how it seems to change colour as the light falling on it alters.

Where the new look has proved controversial is on the front of the phone which is the same white you’ll find on the rose gold, gold and silver iPhone variants. Personally, I like it. I find the white surround lifts the brightness of the phone and makes it more appealing than if Apple had plumped for a red front glass.

But not everybody feels that way, with some wishing the company had made the surround black. It’s worth noting that no iPhone apart from the various black colours (space grey, black and jet black) have been dressed with a black front, so it’s perhaps no surprise that Apple has gone for white here.

Internally, this iPhone 7 is identical to all other iPhone 7 models, it’s just the shade of the anodised aluminium rear that is different.

Buying the (PRODUCT)RED option is a way of supporting the Global Fund which contributes to HIV/AIDS programs. So far Apple has given $130 million to this fund, out of a total of $465 million the fund has raised. As such, Apple is easily the biggest single contributor to the fund, towards money that’s used to try and create an AIDS-free generation.

The price is the same as other colour iPhone 7 and 7 Plus models, too, though as with the jet black iPhone 7, it’s only available in the 128GB and 255GB capacity editions.

If you want one of those capacities, and if red is your colour, then choosing one of these phones is a cost-free way of contributing to an extremely worthy cause.

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