American technology giant Apple recently launched three smartphones under its iPhone 11 series — the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Of these, the iPhone 11 seems the most interesting for its ‘affordable’ price tag and the upgrades it has got over predecessor iPhone XR. The most premium upgrades, however, have come to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone Pro Max — you have to make a difficult choice between them to experience the best from Apple.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are identical twins with variance only in display size, dimensions, and battery. You could expect both devices to offer a similar experience. We reviewed the iPhone 11 Pro, and here are our thoughts on how it fares on smartphone parameters like design, display, imaging and performance:
The iPhone 11 Pro gives you a déjà vu feeling. And why shouldn’t it — it looks exactly like the iPhone X, Apple’s ten-year anniversary special that came in 2017. Not much has changed in the iPhone design in the past two years. It has the same curved glass on the front and back, and a rounded steel chassis sandwiched in between. The placement of buttons on the chassis also remains the same. You get a rather generous power-cum-phone lock/unlock button on the right, and volume rocker buttons and sound profile switch on the left.
However, the new phone has got a new premium-looking textured matte finish treatment on the back, instead of the clear glossy design of the iPhone XS and iPhone X which was more susceptible to fingerprints.
The iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch OLED screen, which is brighter than the display panels seen in its predecessors. The bright screen panel makes it convenient to use in bright outdoor environments. Like in predecessors, the screen in the iPhone 11 Pro supports HDR10 and Dolby Vision. This makes it one of the best smartphone screens to render supported content from over-the-top platforms like Amazon Prime Videos and Netflix. Moreover, the new system-wide dark mode in the iOS 13 makes the OLED panel shine by rendering the user interface in deep blacks and making app icons pop out.
While the iPhone 11 Pro’s screen seems ideal for a smartphone, its conventional 60Hz refresh rate does not match the smoothness that the panels with enhanced refresh rates of 90Hz or 120Hz offer. Also, the rather big notch at the top of the screen eats a good chunk of the screen estate.
With every iteration, the iPhone has got better in its photography and videography capabilities. But it had so far been no match to its Android counterparts. The iPhone 11 Pro seems to close some of that gap by bringing a versatile 12-megapixel triple-camera set-up of a wide-angle sensor, an ultra-wide sensor, and a telephoto lens.
Besides, Apple has added some new features, modes, and settings that make the iPhone 11 Pro stand out with regard to imaging capabilities.
In terms of photography, the well-lit frames captured using the phone’s primary wide-angle sensor come out with ample details and good dynamic range. The sensor tends to sharpen the image leading to colour distortion sometimes but not noise. Similarly, the telephoto sensor zooms in (2x) on the object and takes equally detailed shots with low noise and good dynamic range. The ultra-wide sensor softens the frame corners but retains details and contrast.
In low light, the camera automatically activates the newly added Night Mode, which extends the exposure time to brighten the scene and capture details. In hand-held mode, the phone automatically sets the exposure time between 2s and 4s, but you can manually raise it to up to 10s if you are using a tripod. The iPhone 11 Pro’s night mode is definitely one of the best you get in any smartphone.
The iPhone 11 Pro’s exceptional photography capabilities are accentuated by new value-added features. These include a new ‘High-Key Mono’ light effect, which lets you take monochrome portraits, and a new composition setting for the camera to capture information outside of the frame. You can review the additional information from the photo editor or video editor; if you decide not to use it, the phone automatically deletes it after a month.
Along with the rear cameras, Apple has also improved the selfie camera. It now boasts a 12MP sensor capable of recording 4K videos. In terms of features, the selfie camera gets slow-motion recording support for 1080p at 120 frames per second (fps).
Though the iPhone 11 Pro camera seems to work seamlessly on most counts, its zoom function during video recordings is a little unpolished. While zooming in on an object gradually in 1080p, the object(s) in the frame move unnaturally, causing artificial shakes and jerks in the recorded video. Similarly, a distant object sometimes loses focus when you gradually zoom in or out on it.
Performance has never been much of an issue with iPhones, and the iPhone 11 Pro is no exception. It handles everyday tasks with ease and shows no weaknesses while handling processor- or graphic-intensive applications. The phone’s on-battery time is decent, if not exceptional. The phone comes with a 18W fast charger inside the box that replenishes the phone’s completely drained out battery in an hour and a half.
At Rs 99,900 for the base model with 64GB internal storage, the iPhone 11 Pro carries the same price tag as its predecessor. But it comes with a host of updates and upgrades. Though the phone might still seem expensive, it should be considered that this iPhone has finally caught up with some of the best Android phones in the areas that are not known to be Apple’s strengths. You might like to consider this phone for its amazing imaging capabilities, power-packed performance, and intuitive operating system.