iPhone 11 Pro review: Apple’s masterpiece has its price

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Like every year in autumn, Apple has introduced its new iPhones. Two of the three devices now have the “Pro” suffix in their name. Otherwise, the design hasn’t changed much, but the hardware has. After taking a close look at the iPhone 11 Pro Max, here’s a look at the iPhone 11 Pro – perhaps the best of the three.

Good

  • New camera
  • Power
  • Display
  • Size

Bad

  • Price
  • Storage starts at 64GB

Apple iPhone 11 Pro release date and price

The iPhone 11 Pro is already available in stores. Of course, you can buy it directly in an Apple Store or online at Apple. As a flagship device, however, it is also available from retailers and network operators in combination with a mobile communications contract.

The new iPhone generation is not cheap. The entry price is $ 999. You get 64GB of storage for this. If this is not enough, you have to take 256GB for $ 1,149, or you can take 512GB for $ 1,349. Apple also offers a trade-in program.

Familiar design

At Apple, it’s common that the design doesn’t change every year. So the manufacturer continues to rely on the design known from the iPhone X. New is the back, on which the frosted glass provides a different look. On the other hand, of course, the new triple camera stands out. It’s a design that certainly sparks debate. However, the cameras don’t stand out as much as some close-up photos in the run-up made us believe. So the iPhone is more stable on a table than you would expect.

Apple still relies on a big notch in 2019. If you haven’t liked them so far, you will of course also be bothered by the one on the iPhone 11 Pro. Those who have already accepted the notch do not have to adjust to anything new here.

AndroidPIT apple iphone 11 pro back
The iPhone 11 Pro only looks different from its predecessor on the back / © AndroidPIT

Personally, I don’t mind the notch or the triple camera. I even like the new back very much. Perhaps also because it is less susceptible to fingerprints than the glass used before. As usual, the iPhone feels really well made and the iPhone 11 Pro is the perfect size for me out of the triple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max range. With its 5.8-inch display, it is also the smallest of the three models. But it is also noticeable that the iPhone 11 Pro has become heavier. It weighs 188 grams, but compared to many current Android smartphones or even an iPhone X (174 grams), this is quite noticeable. On the other hand, this also contributes to making the smartphone feel valuable.

A top display

DisplayMate experts have already praised the new Super Retina XDR display. That’s not surprising. Apple’s displays are generally considered good. In practice, however, one must also say that the display could have more contrast and be brighter. But I didn’t not like the display of the iPhone X either, and resolution of the 5.8-inch display hasn’t changed since then. It is still 2,436 x 1,125 pixels (458 PPI). However, Apple has increased the contrast value from 1,000,000:1 to 2,000,000:1.

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The display of the iPhone 11 Pro is outstanding / © AndroidPIT

True Tone continues to do its job and automatically adjusts the white level to the ambient light. Since Apple introduced this function, I like to use it and it works very well with the iPhone 11 Pro.  Ultimately, Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro also has a top display again , which has even improved a bit. There’s nothing to complain about here.

Insufficient replacement for 3D Touch

It’s a pity that Apple has said goodbye to 3D Touch. Although it’s debatable how useful 3D Touch really was, the new Haptic Touch is simply no replacement. Here software and the Taptic engine work together to simulate a similar feel without the special hardware. It’s like with some things in life: you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.

Face ID is still the benchmark for biometric unlocking

I still remember the time when Apple introduced the iPhone 5s with Touch ID. And how discussions about biometric access methods in smartphones started. This continued when Apple introduced Face ID facial recognition with the iPhone X. The fact is, Face ID is still the safest face recognition we find in smartphones. Maybe Google’s Pixel 4 will replenish soon. But otherwise it looks more like Android smartphone vendors are going back to fingerprint sensors, sometimes with the 2D face recognition alternative.

AndroidPIT apple iphone 11 pro front
In the broad notch sits the technology for Face ID / © AndroidPIT

According to Apple, the iPhone 11 Pro has further improved facial recognition. Maybe the iPhone 11 Pro unlocks a few milliseconds faster than the iPhone X. Ultimately, Face ID has worked well before and continues to do so. And those who value facial recognition that also works in the dark (and often enough with sunglasses as well) will accept the notch. This may bother some users, I myself would rather use Face ID than a inconsistent fingerprint sensor under the display.

New iOS version for a new iPhone

A new iPhone always means a new iOS version. Somehow Apple has patched something with iOS 13. Already during the first days of my test, several updates followed in order to iron out bugs. But you can live with the current version iOS 13.1.2 installed on our test device. The new Dark Mode is popular and can be switched on automatically at certain times of the day if required. If it is active, the apps adapt automatically. As long as they support dark mode, and so far not everyone has done so by far. This looks stupid when some widgets are already dark and others are still sitting between them with the bright theme. I also think it’s a pity that some third-party apps provide extra app icons for dark mode, but Apple’s own apps don’t. Even in dark mode with a dark background, the bright symbols for calendar, memories and music sit on the home screen.

ios13 darkmode
Apple has built a dark mode into iOS 13 / © Apple

Apple has also adapted the camera and photos app, of course also to accommodate the new camera functions. Very welcome is the function Sign in with Apple, with which you can log in to apps and hide your e-mail address if you wish. This should limit tracking and strengthen privacy. For example, if developers offer a log in with Facebook or Google option in their app, they must also support the Apple service. In the case of existing apps, however, developers have until April 2020 to add it.

Faster A13 Bionic

All new iPhones are based on the A13 Bionic, Apple’s new processor. It has six cores, with a maximum clock rate of 2.66 GHz in the case of the two high-performance cores. Apple never reveals how much memory is in your iPhone. In any case, there should be 4GB in the iPhone 11 Pro. Elsewhere you can read from 6GB of RAM.

However, the size of the RAM on iPhones is also never so important. Apple knows how to optimize iOS for its own hardware and so even older iPhones usually run smoothly. So there are no surprises with the iPhone 11 Pro. The smartphone runs fast and does everything you want. There was no situation where during my test where the iPhone stalled. But nothing else was to be expected.

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The iPhone 11 Pro can still be set to silent using the hardware switch / © AndroidPIT

It is also difficult to compare the performance of iPhones and Android smartphones precisely because of software optimization. In the benchmark tests, the iPhone 11 Pro Max did even better than the iPhone 11 Pro. On the other hand, the values are so close that it’s not to be expected in everyday life that the iPhone 11 Pro is much slower than its big brother.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro benchmark comparison

  iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro Max OnePlus 7 Pro
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1 5328 5396 5374
3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 4807 5419 6958
3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0 96131 96915 65808
Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi) 1334/ 3351 1338 / 3512 1733 / 2748

What more could you ask for?

The iPhone was often smiled at. After all, Apple relied for a long time on two cameras here, while five lenses are now cavorting on the backs of some Android devices. Now Apple is following suit and has installed a triple camera.

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The new camera module of the iPhone 11 Pro / © AndroidPIT

Ultrawide-angle camera:

  • Focal length: 13mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Aperture: fixed f/2.4
  • Exposure times: maximum 1 second, minimum 1/45,000 second
  • Light sensitivity: maximum ISO 2016, minimum ISO 21
  • Image size: 4,032 x 3,024 pixels
  • Sensor: 12 megapixel
  • Focus system: fixed focus
  • Stabilization: electronic

Wide-angle camera:

  • Focal length: 26mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Aperture: fixed f/1.8
  • Exposure times: maximum 1 second, minimum 1/125,000 second
  • Light sensitivity: maximum ISO 3072, minimum ISO 32
  • Image size: 4,032 x 3,024 pixels
  • Sensor: 12 megapixel
  • Focus system: phase comparison autofocus and contrast autofocus
  • Stabilization: optical, electronic

Telecamera:

  • Focal length: 52mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Aperture: fixed f/2.0
  • Exposure times: maximum 1 second, minimum 1/45,000 second
  • Light sensitivity: maximum ISO 2016, minimum ISO 21
  • Image size: 4,032 x 3,024 pixels
  • Sensor: 12 megapixel
  • Focus system: phase comparison autofocus and contrast autofocus
  • Stabilization: optical, electronic

Front camera:

  • Focal length: 23mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Aperture: fixed f/2.2
  • Exposure times: maximum 1 second, minimum 1/48,000 second
  • Light sensitivity: maximum ISO 2208, minimum ISO 23
  • Image size: 4,032 x 3,024 pixels
  • Sensor: 12 megapixel
  • Focus system: face recognition and face tracking
  • Stabilization: electronic

The transition in the camera app is ingenious. If you switch between the different cameras here, the transition is as smooth as butter. It’s just fun to switch between cameras and see how the picture changes.

We also took pictures with the iPhone 11 Pro. We uploaded some pictures here:

However, since this is the same camera as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, we would like to refer you to our detailed camera test at this point. Only this much should be mentioned here: the camera is very good and compared to its predecessors actually much better.

Finally a bigger battery

The iPhone 11 Pro is also heavier because the smartphone has a larger battery. With 3,079 mAh this is still much smaller than in some Android smartphones. Nevertheless, the iPhone 11 Pro offers good battery life. Getting through the day is no problem at all, one and a half days are also possible. Especially since the dark mode in combination with the OLED display can save some power and then there is, of course, the battery saving mode of iOS.

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Apple in 2019: charging continues via Lightning / © AndroidPIT

The battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro is convincing in any case and is a big argument for this smartphone compared to older iPhones. The extent to which the battery life shortens over the life of the device cannot yet be evaluated, of course. In the past, there have sometimes been nasty surprises here. It’s also nice that Apple has finally included an 18-Watt charger in the box.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro technical specifications

Dimensions: 144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm
Weight: 188 g
Screen size: 5.8 in
Display technology: AMOLED
Screen: 2436 x 1125 pixels (458 ppi)
Front camera: 12 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Number of cores: 6
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth 5.0

There’s no need to upgrade – is there?

The iPhone 11 Pro is certainly the best iPhone ever. Of course, you shouldn’t expect anything else. As always, the iPhone feels really well made, the new camera is great and the software is great too. And yet an upgrade is probably not worth it in most cases.

It’s quite clear: anyone who needs the new triple camera or simply wants it and can afford it won’t think long. But those who are now on the road with an iPhone X or XS will still be happy for a while. New iOS versions are still available anyway and these smartphones also have enough power. Also, there is a high price to pay for an iPhone 11 Pro, especially if you need more than 64GB of storage. So an upgrade needs to be at least well-considered. Even if you are thinking about an iPhone for the first time, you could be very happy with a used X or XS and save a lot of money at the same time.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro

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