Apple has presented this year three new models of its star device: Apple iPhone 11, Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. As can be deduced by its surname «Pro», the last two are the most advanced models and, therefore, the most innovative.
The new Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max are soul mates in terms of design and technical specifications but the Max model has a larger screen (5.8 ″ vs. 6.5 ″) and, of course, a larger capacity of the battery.
Compared to their predecessors, Apple iPhone XS and XS Max, the new models arrive with a new, brighter and more efficient Super Retina XDR panel, a more powerful A13 Bionic chip, a triple camera system that adds an ultra-wide-angle lens and new Capture modes, more surround sound, more battery capacity , and other improvements.
Design and Construction of Apple iPhone 11 Pro
If you only look at the front of the device, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro has a design identical to that of the Apple iPhone XS, with a screen of 5.8 ″ with aspect ratio 19.5:9.
This size is relatively small if we compare it to most of its rivals but, at the same time, it is very comfortable and manageable.
In any case, if you prefer a larger screen, you can opt for the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max with a huge 6.5 ″ screen.
At the top of the screen, we found a fairly wide notch, with an identical size to what we saw on the iPhone XS or iPhone X.
Some manufacturers are opting for very intelligent solutions to hide the front camera, such as pop-up mechanisms that completely hide the camera when not in use or perforated screens with the camera embedded in a hole. Even certain manufacturers are experimenting with hiding the camera under the screen, but at the moment it is too early.
In the case of Apple, the notch not only houses the front camera but also the Face ID face recognition sensors, so the removal of the notch is not so simple. This is the reason why, for the moment, the clipping of the screen is still present.
I cannot deny that I would have liked to see a reduction in the size of the notch but I do not consider it a problem. For me, the advantages of Face ID in safety and comfort compensate the presence of the notch.
The notch aside, the frames surrounding the screen are quite narrow, although, today, we find many smartphones in the market with very thin frames.
Traditionally, the iPhone has always been very thin and light smartphones. Without going any further, last year’s iPhone XS had a thickness of 7.7 mm and a weight of 177 grams, below, virtually, any smartphone on the market.
Apple has broken this year with that tradition increasing the thickness up to 8.1 mm and the weight up to 188 grams. They are still very restrained values.
The reason for this increase in thickness and weight is the increase in battery capacity and, therefore, the increase in autonomy. So in my opinion, Apple’s decision to slightly increase the thickness and weight is very successful
The framework of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is not aluminum, as in other smartphones, but Apple uses stainless steel, much more resistant to falls and bumps but somewhat heavier and prone to scratches on its surface.
While the front of the device is identical to last year, the back of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro has notable differences. Starting with its construction, it offers a matte glass finish, which gives it an attractive appearance that is very different from last year’s model, which had a glossy finish.
One of the advantages of the matte finish of the back is that the prints are not marked on its surface, so you will not have to wipe the device continuously.
Apple says that the glass used on the front and back of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is the toughest ever used on a smartphone, even above that of the iPhone XS, although obviously in the face of a sharp fall, we cannot expect miracles.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro is available in gold, space gray, silver and, as a novelty, in night green. Despite its name, the latter color has a gray appearance that only looks dark green when it is light.
The four variants have a black front, but both the steel frame and the back are the chosen color.
The camera module is also located in the upper left corner. This module is sculpted from a single sheet of milled glass and houses the three cameras next to a microphone and flash.
The camera module has a fairly large size compared to the rest of the phone, so it is very striking, especially in the version that is not Max, where it still stands out more.
The rear camera protrudes slightly from the surface of the phone, which causes the phone to dance slightly when pressing on the screen while resting on a table. If you are concerned that the camera’s glass can be scratched, you can rest easy because it is protected by sapphire (and the sapphire can only be scratched by a diamond or another sapphire).
The elongated ratio of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro screen makes it somewhat difficult to reach the upper area with your finger. If the height of the screen is a problem, iOS incorporates the “Easy Reach” functionality that causes the upper half of the screen to drop.
This function is not activated by default, but we must do it in the Accessibility options. The way to use it is by dragging the screen down near the lower end, but in my experience, it doesn’t always work at the first.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro has rounded side edges, so it feels very comfortable in the hand when holding it. Its width makes it grip comfortably, and it is hardly smooth despite its glass back cover.
Next, we will review the four sides of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro to see what elements we find.
At the top, we did not find any button or connector, except for an antenna line.
On the bottom are the Lightning connector and the speaker on the right side. On the left, we find an antenna line.
But on the right side, we find the power button and the nanoSIM card compartment, with a tray that is removed by inserting a sharp object included in the phone case. At the ends, we find two small antenna lines.
Finally, on the left side is the switch to activate the Silent mode and the two buttons to control the volume. At the ends, we also find two small antenna lines.
While the iPhone XS had IP68 water resistance and was able to withstand up to 30 minutes underwater at 1.5 meters, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro improves this protection by holding up to 30 minutes at 4 meters.
Apple has tried to spill all kinds of liquids such as juices, coffee and soft drinks on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro to check its resistance. Therefore, we will not have to worry if a drink is spilled on our Apple iPhone 11 Pro or if, by accident, it falls into the bathtub or pool. We can even choose to wash it under the tap if it gets dirty, which is quite practical.
Now, we must not forget that the smartphone warranty does not cover water damage, so you should not submerge the iPhone except by accident - no underwater photographs in the pool or, even less, in the sea.
The screen of Apple iPhone 11 Pro
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro arrives with a spectacular Super Retina XD panel, whose name is suggestive of the impressive Pro Display XDR monitor that the company presented a few months ago.
It is an OLED panel of 5.8 ″ Super Retina HD resolution (2436 x 1125 pixels), which offers a high pixel density of 458 dpi.
While it is true that some high-end smartphones incorporate higher resolutions, such as QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels) or even 4K, the improvement in sharpness compared to the iPhone 11 Pro is invisible.
OLED screens offer improvements concerning LCD as faster response time, less loss of brightness from extreme angles, greater color amplitude and better image uniformity due to the absence of variations in the backlight that LCD screens experience.
On the other hand, on an OLED screen, it is possible to independently illuminate each sub-pixel. This means that OLED displays are more energy-efficient than LCDs for most content, especially now that iOS 13 offers a dark mode.
Also, OLED displays can offer a higher maximum brightness since they can concentrate all energy on only the illuminated sub-pixels. However, when displaying a white or almost white image in full screen, LCD screens tend to be brighter and more efficient.
The OLED panel of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro uses a Pentile-type matrix, in which the red, green and blue sub-pixels are not arranged one after the other in a row but are placed forming rhombuses, as can be seen in the next picture.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro is capable of displaying the two most important color spaces in the industry: the sRGB / Rec. 709 space, which is the standard used by most apps, and the widest DCI-P3 used in the Movie industry. The color range of the DCI-P3 is 26 percent higher than that of the sRGB / Rec. 709 space.
iOS offers an automatic color management system that automatically switches to the DCI-P3 space when the content to be displayed has been created under that space (for example, photographs taken with the phone’s camera). In this way, colors always look the right way, neither supersaturated nor unsaturated.
Also, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro supports playback of HDR10 and Dolby Vision content that expand color, contrast, and brightness for a better visual experience. Today, it is already possible to enjoy movies and videos with this technology on iTunes, Netflix, and even YouTube.
To analyze the quality of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro screen, several tests have been carried out with the CalMAN Ultimate professional software and an X-Rite i1Display Pro colorimeter.
The maximum brightness that measured on the screen of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro very high since it is around 768 nits (Apple speaks of a typical maximum value of 800 nits in its datasheet). This test has been carried out, as usual, with the screen completely blank.
Apple says the screen brightness can reach 1,200 nits when playing HDR content, although tests have not been able to verify it because it is not easy to find HDR patterns.
The maximum brightness value with the 100% illuminated screen is very high, even more so in the case of an OLED screen. The only smartphone that greatly exceeds this brightness is the LG G7 ThinQ, with an RGBW-type LCD panel, which uses a rare tactic consisting of inserting a white sub-pixel between those of red, green and blue, thus achieving greater brightness but less sharpness.
At this point, it is worth remembering that the brightness is measured on a white rectangle that occupies 100% of the screen. Due to the operation of an OLED panel, if we reduce the size of the white square, the brightness increases as there are fewer pixels to illuminate.
Focusing on color reproduction, the fidelity of the iPhone 11 Pro panel is spectacular since the average error in color reproduction is only 1 dE (a value below 4 dE is considered excellent and above 9 it is considered unacceptable) and the maximum error remains in just 2.3 dE, still less than the iPhone XS. The gamma value is good, 2.4, quite close to the desired value of 2.2.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro screen shows a completely pure black color since OLED panels are capable of not turning on each sub-pixel.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro has True Tone functionality to adjust the white balance to ambient light. The device has four-channel ambient light sensors that adjust the white balance based on the color of the light that illuminates the room so that the screen behaves like a sheet of paper, which absorbs the surrounding light.
True Tone technology goes unnoticed but it is enough to deactivate it to notice the difference, especially when we are in an environment illuminated by artificial light with a certain shade of color - for example, a lamp at home.
With True Tone functionality disabled, the color temperature turns out to be 6,460ºK, which implies a value very close to the ideal target of 6,500ºK. When you activate True Tone, the screen tone adapts to the environment.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro offers a Night mode that changes the white balance of the screen to reduce the emission of blue light. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro allows you to adjust the level of blue light emitted by the screen, as well as program the on and off of this screen mode.
OLED screens have the advantage that the brightness is reduced to a lesser extent by looking at the screen from an angle than LCD screens, but in return, the colors suffer more distortion.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro offers very wide viewing angles, both in terms of brightness, which is barely affected, and in terms of colors, which only change slightly when observing the screen from an extreme angle.
An interesting functionality of the screen is that it turns on with just a touch with your finger, which is very convenient to check notifications. Despite having an OLED screen, Apple has not implemented the Always Active Screen functionality found in other smartphones to permanently display the time and notifications. Now that the Apple Watch Series 5 has incorporated this functionality, I don’t lose hope of seeing it in any future iPhone model or iOS version.
Apple has removed the 3D Touch functionality that allowed access to certain functions by pressing on the screen. Now just hold an element of the screen for a while to get an equivalent result, so it is not something you will miss.
Finally, while the iPad Pro screen offers a refresh rate of 120 Hz (and some Android smartphones also offer 90 or 120 Hz), the Apple iPhone 11 Pro does not have this functionality.
Hardware and Performance of Apple iPhone 11 Pro
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro debuts Apple’s new A13 Bionic processor, which incorporates a CPU and GPU up to 20 percent faster than the A12 chip of the iPhone XS.
Also, the A13 Bionic chip has been designed with machine learning in mind, with a faster third-generation Neural Engine, which analyzes videos and photos in real-time, and new machine learning accelerators that allow the CPU to process more than 1 billion operations per second.
The A13 Bionic processor has been built using the second generation of Apple’s 7nm process, which incorporates 8.5 billion transistors in each chip, compared to the 6.9 billion transistors of the A12 Bionic.
As was the case with the A12 Bionic, the new A13 Bionic chip has a total of 18 cores: a six-core CPU, a four-core GPU, and an eight-core Neural Engine.
Four of the six CPU cores are low power and high-efficiency cores, designed to handle basic phone operations. The other two high-performance cores are used for more demanding tasks.
Compared to the A12 Bionic chip, the four high-efficiency cores are 20 percent faster but consume 40 percent less energy, while high-performance cores are also 20 percent faster but consume 30 percent less energy.
Concerning the GPU, its four cores are 20 percent faster than those of the previous generation and consume 40 percent less energy. The eight cores of the Neural Engine are 20 percent faster but consume 15 percent less energy.
Finally, the A13 Bionic chip is capable of activating only those areas of the chip that require power, which results in higher performance per watt.
Although Apple does not provide information on the amount of RAM of its iPhone, any benchmark tool reveals that the Apple iPhone 11 Pro arrives with 4GB of RAM.
Benchmarks have confirmed that the Apple iPhone 11 Pro A13 Bionic chip is a real performance beast. Its power exceeds last year’s iPhone XS as well as the main Android flagships in most tests.
Benchmarks aside, the behavior of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro daily is excellent.
The iOS interface moves with great fluidity and the applications open and manages with total fluidity, without stoppages or any sign of slowness.
Developers have more comfortable to optimize their apps for iOS since the variety of devices and live versions of operating systems are smaller.
There is no problem when doing multi-task, being possible to play a demanding 3D title while downloading and installing background app updates.
several demanding 3D games have been tried and all of them have run perfectly on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro, with high FPS rates. An example is Fortnite, a very demanding 3D multi-player game that moves smoothly on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro.
Like any smartphone, the back of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro heats up when playing for a long time. After playing some games at Fortnite, temperatures will be around 40 ° C in the area of the rear surface chamber.
This is because, for a few years, all iPhone offers spectacular performance. The power of the A13 Bionic chip is not noticeable in apps such as WhatsApp, Instagram or Maps, but in tasks that require great computing power such as the capture and processing of photographs or videos, the use of Augmented Reality or Face ID facial recognition.
This year, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is sold in variants of 64, 256 and 512 GB of storage.
Apple does not offer the possibility of expanding the space using micro-SD cards, so you must choose the storage capacity carefully, especially if you plan to capture videos in 4K resolution at 60 FPS.
In my opinion, if you can afford it, you should acquire the variant of at least 256GB since 64GB seems to be scarce. While it is true that photographs and videos occupy less in iOS because they are saved by default in more efficient formats (HEVC / HEIC instead of JPG / MPG), I would have liked to see an input capacity of 128GB.
In terms of connectivity, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro supports Bluetooth 5 and WiFi 6 (802.11ax) wireless technologies. WiFi 6 is the new protocol for WiFi networks that not only increases speed but is specially designed to connect a large number of devices at the same time. You need a compatible router to take advantage of this technology.
As for cellular connectivity, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is compatible with Gigabit-class LTE / 4G networks, although Apple has not specified exactly what speed it reaches. The iPhone 11 Pro supports a large number of frequency bands, which guarantees that we can enjoy high 4G connection speeds in any country.
Given that 5G networks have already begun to be used, I would have liked the Apple iPhone 11 Pro to offer 5G connectivity or, as other manufacturers have done, that there would be a model «Apple iPhone 11 Pro 5G»
The connection speed for both Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity has been very satisfactory.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro comes with Dual SIM functionality, which Apple implements differently from other manufacturers because, instead of using a second physical SIM, it uses an eSIM. Therefore, you will need your second operator to offer eSIM cards as part of its catalog.
To use the eSIM, you have to activate the mobile plan with a QR code provided by the operator. It is possible to store more than one eSIM on the device, but you can only use one at a time.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro does not have FM radio, something that can push back users who use their smartphone to listen to the analog radio. However, some apps allow you to listen to radio consuming (enough) data.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro incorporates an NFC chip that can be activated just by having the screen turned on. Simply bring the iPhone to an NFC tag to suggest we open an application or web page or run one of the new automatic shortcuts.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro is the first smartphone that integrates ultra-wideband (UWB) technology for the spatial detection of objects thanks to a new U1 chip.
Apple’s new U1 chip uses this technology to precisely locate other Apple devices that also have a U1 chip. The advantage of UWB technology over other location technologies such as Bluetooth is that it can offer an accuracy of centimeters, instead of meters, which allows you to locate objects much more accurately.
With the U1 and iOS 13 chip, when you point your iPhone at someone else’s, AirDrop prioritizes that device so you can send files faster. Although Apple has not revealed other uses of this technology, it does promise that “there will be more” and it is rumored that we could see Apple labels to locate objects.
With the arrival of the iPhone X in 2017, Apple decided to leave the Touch ID fingerprint reader in favor of the Facial ID recognition system, which is based on TrueDepth technology that resides in the notch of the screen.
An emitter projects 30,000 points of infrared light on the user’s face and obtains sufficient information on the user’s features to recognize him reliably and quickly, even when the user wears glasses or a hat, in low light conditions, or if he has stopped to shave.
The unlocking process requires two movements: one to turn on the screen (by pressing the power button or simply by touching the screen) and another to drag the screen up. According to Apple, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro with iOS 13 is somewhat faster when identifying the face and unlocking the phone.
A disadvantage of Face ID is that you cannot unlock the Apple iPhone 11 Pro while resting horizontally on a table unless you put your face just above or lift it from the table. Apple claims the Apple iPhone 11 Pro can recognize the face from more extreme angles but, in practice, I have not noticed a significant difference from the iPhone XS.
Apple allows you to hide the text of the lock screen notifications until it detects your face.
Luckily, it is possible to hide from the view of strangers only some notifications, so it is possible to configure all notifications to be displayed except, for example, WhatsApp or other apps whose messages you consider more private. Face ID practically never fails in recognition.
A security measure to avoid involuntary unlocks is that Face ID needs “your attention”, which means that the user must have their eyes open and looking at the device for Face ID to act. This way, nobody can access your phone while you sleep, for example. Not all smartphones can boast this level of security.
The 3D model of the face generated by Face ID is not stored in the cloud, but locally on the iPhone, so it is safe from possible access to Apple servers. Face ID not only allows you to unlock your phone but can also be used to make payments with Apple Pay, access third-party applications or authenticate on the web using Apple ID.
Apple does not provide technical details about the battery capacity but it has not taken long to find out that the Apple iPhone 11 Pro has a 3,046 mAh battery, which is an increase of 15% compared to the battery of the iPhone XS.
Despite this significant increase, the battery capacity of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is lower and that offered by its main competitors with Android. However, Apple’s processor architecture and iOS operation allow the iPhone to offer equivalent autonomy.
Apple says that the autonomy of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is up to 4 hours higher than that of the iPhone XS. This spectacular improvement is not only due to the increase in battery capacity but also to greater efficiency of the screen, which consumes 15 percent less, and the reduction in consumption of the Bionic A13 processor.
In the day to day, the improvement that I have noticed of autonomy concerning the iPhone XS is brutal. Although I use Apple iPhone 11 Pro very intensively - multiple email accounts, messaging applications, social networks, permanent connection to the Apple Watch - I am reaching the end of the day with about 30 percent battery.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro supports fast wired charging and, for the first time, Apple has included an 18W USB-C fast charger in the box and a USB-C to Lightning cable.
Using this charger, the charging time has been 2 hours and 27 minutes but 95% is reached around 1 hour and a half. In 28 minutes, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro reaches a 50 percent charge.
iOS lets you know which applications or components of the phone are making greater use of the battery, both in the last 24 hours and in the last ten days (but we cannot choose a custom interval). We can also know how many hours the screen has been on.
If you need to extend autonomy, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro incorporates a low power mode to save battery power when we need it most. However, I miss some functions that reduce battery consumption, for example, temporarily limiting the background activities of certain non-critical apps.
Apple includes an option called Battery Health that lets you know the actual capacity of the battery, which, as we know, is reduced over time by the deterioration caused by the continuous processes of charging and discharging.
With iOS 13, there is a new function called Optimized Charge that reduces the deterioration of the battery that occurs when the phone is many hours with a charge close to 100%.
This function learns your daily charging habits and adjusts the charging process so that it reaches 100% at the time you usually remove the iPhone from the charger, instead of in the middle of the night. We won’t know if this functionality improves battery life for a while but it sounds promising.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro supports wireless charging using the Qi standard. Simply place the device on top of a compatible charging base so that it starts charging, without the need to connect any cables.
Apple allows 7.5W wireless charging, although other smartphones offer higher wireless charging speeds. I would like to see an increase in wireless charging speed since it is the one I use daily both at night with a horizontal charging base and when I am working with a standing charging base.
While some smartphones offer the possibility of charging another device wirelessly, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro does not have reverse wireless charging. In my experience with other smartphones, this charge is very slow, so it is not something I miss.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro releases iOS 13, the latest version of Apple’s operating system. At the time of this analysis, the latest version is iOS 13.1.3 since Apple has released many versions to correct errors in the first weeks.
One of the advantages of iOS over Android is that Apple is responsible for updating the devices. The new versions of iOS arrive at the same time to all the devices, even to quite old models - as a reference, iOS 13 has reached the iPhone 6s, which was launched in 2015, and today iOS 13 already runs in the 50 percent of compatible devices.
Just as it happened last year with iOS 12, Apple has introduced performance improvements in iOS 13 to make it move even more smoothly in today’s devices.
For example, app updates now take up 60% less space and therefore download faster.
Apple also claims that apps open twice as fast and Face ID unlock occurs 30 percent faster, although compared to the iPhone XS I have not noticed a noticeable improvement.
One of the highlights of iOS 13 is the Dark mode. By activating the Dark mode, not only does the user interface and keyboard darken, but Apple and some third-party apps such as Twitter or Instagram also take on a dark appearance. The Dark mode not only reduces eye strain but, by having the Apple iPhone 11 Pro with an OLED screen, it also reduces battery consumption.
iOS 13 also incorporates improvements in applications such as Mail (now with more advanced text formatting and composition options), Reminders (with automatic grouping of lists and the possibility of adding images) and Maps (with favorites organized by collections, 360 degree view type ‘Street View’, sending estimated time of arrival to friends and family, etc.).
Apple has increased the functionality of Shortcuts with automation, which allows you to configure actions that run on the iPhone when an event occurs. An event can be the arrival or departure of a place, the connection to a WiFi network, the start of training, the CarPlay connection, etc. It is also possible to create home automation with HomeKit.
In the area of privacy, iOS 13 allows you to permit an app to know your location only once. If you choose to give permanent permission, you will receive periodic alerts so you know they have been using your location.
Apple has introduced a new system to identify you on a website or application with your Apple ID, instead of with a social account from Facebook, Google or another social network. An advantage of this system is that you can control the information that is shared with the app.
If you choose to share your email, you can opt for your real email or a random email generated by Apple for each app, whose received messages will be redirected to your real email account.
Apple has added HomeKit Secure Video so that videos recorded by home monitoring cameras are processed locally in your home (on your iPad, HomePod or Apple TV) and then sent to iCloud, where they will be stored securely. You can access 10 days of past recordings without counting for your iCloud quota.
With iOS 13 also come new customization options in the Memojis with eye shadows, earrings, hats, glasses, and more elements. Also, Apple has added the ability to create stickers from your Memojis, which are available on the keyboard for any application, for example, WhatsApp.
Finally, CarPlay now adapts better to screens of any size and incorporates a new home screen with widgets that display relevant information from maps, music, calendar, etc.
In the sound section, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro has two speakers that offer 3D sound and have Dolby Atmos support. Compared to the iPhone XS and other smartphones, a more enveloping sound is noticed, as if you were in the center of the action, within the obvious limitations of a smartphone.
Also, the speakers sound quite powerful, so it is possible to watch videos or listen to music in moderately noisy environments.
The sound quality of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is very good, even compared to other smartphones that have two speakers.
As is well known, Apple does not include a headphone jack on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro, but we have to turn to Bluetooth headphones or use a 3.5mm adapter to Lightning to connect wired headphones.
Of course, also opt for Apple AirPods headphones, which offer a very comfortable experience since they are perfectly integrated with iOS.
As a novelty, with iOS 13, it is possible to connect two pairs of AirPods or Beats headphones at the same time to share what you hear with another person.
Focusing on multimedia applications, Music plays songs transferred to the phone via the iTunes application, purchased from the iTunes Store, stored on iCloud through iTunes Match or by subscribing to Apple Music.
Apple Music has been updated and is now able to display the lyrics of the songs synchronously with the music, for an authentic karaoke experience.
When the phone is locked, from the lock screen itself, we can control the player, both of the Music application and others that we have installed (for example, Spotify). We can also control playback from the Control Center.
In the iOS General Settings section, not in the application itself, we can control some options of the Music application, such as adjusting the equalizer, limiting the maximum volume, etc.
As for video playback, the excellent screen of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro makes it a very appropriate device to enjoy movies or videos. The screen has a 19.5:9 ratio, so 16:9 videos show black bars on the right and left. If you want to watch the video in full screen, you can do it, but you must keep in mind that a part of the image is hidden by the clipping of the screen.
As we have mentioned in the Screen section, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro panel is capable of playing HDR10 and Dolby Vision content reaching a spectacular brightness of 1,200 nits according to Apple.
Of course, we can use streaming video apps like YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime or HBO, which work perfectly on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro. Recently the YouTube app has been updated and already shows HDR content on the Apple iPhone 11 Pro.
The Photos app adds new settings in iOS 13 to retouch photographs and, for the first time, it is also possible to retouch and rotate videos in a very comfortable way. Another novelty that incorporates Photos is the possibility of hiding very similar or repeated photos and show the best snapshots in a new view called Days.
The Days view is very unique because it shows all the photos and videos by days, showing animations in some photographs taken with the Live functionality that saves a small video before and after shooting. There are also views of Months and Years that show outstanding photographs in each month or year, which varies depending on the day it is today.
Photos automatically recognize the face of the people who appear in the photos and, if we associate the faces with the name of a person, we can easily see all the photographs where that person appears. It is surprising how well it recognizes the right person.
There is also a tab called For you that offers outstanding photographs and suggests effects to apply to some photographs, as well as the names of those people with whom you might want to share certain photos, depending on the people who appear in the photograph or with whom you have a relationship.
A good part of the most interesting news that the iPhone 11 Pro brings is related to its photographic capabilities. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro not only incorporates improvements in optics concerning the iPhone XS but also adds new shooting modes and improvements in processing.
Starting with the camera’s features, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro has three rear cameras with a resolution of 12MP.
The three cameras present improvements concerning those of the iPhone XS. The main camera uses a new sensor with dual-pixel focus on all pixels, the telephoto camera is significantly brighter and the ultra-wide-angle camera was not present.
Some smartphones add a fourth ToF camera to measure the depth that improves the results when taking pictures in Portrait mode (with simulated bokeh) or Augmented Reality applications.
The triple rear camera of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro offers great versatility as it allows you to take pictures with both a wide field of view (ultra-wide-angle) and zoom (telephoto) to get closer to the details.
One of the most complicated aspects for Apple has been to calibrate the three cameras together so that they offer a practically homogeneous image in terms of color reproduction, white balance, and sensitivity. These corrections are applied in real-time to each image.
Thanks to this common calibration, it is achieved when zooming with your fingers to zoom in or out of something in the viewfinder of the Camera app, the transition between the cameras (ultra-wide-angle camera ↔ wide-angle ↔ telephoto) is barely visible. This is not a case in other smartphones where the jump between one camera and another is noticeable (sometimes even with a black screen flash).
The viewfinder of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Camera app shows the image that we are going to capture and, on both sides, in shading, the area of the image that is outside the frame and that is captured by the wide-angle camera (if we are using the telephoto camera) or ultra-wide-angle (if we are using the wide-angle camera). This is useful to improve the framing if we detect that we are leaving something out.
The common calibration of the three cameras also offers functionality that we had not seen on any other smartphone: capture outside the frame. The photographs taken with this functionality are marked in the Photos app with a square and a star in the upper right corner.
In good light conditions, when the Apple iPhone 11 Pro captures a photograph with the wide-angle lens, it also does so with the ultra-wide-angle lens even if you don’t realize it. The same goes for taking a picture with the telephoto lens since the same scene is also captured with the wide-angle lens.
Thanks to this, it is possible to modify the frame later to include some elements that we have accidentally cut/left out, as well as rotate the photograph without losing the field of vision.
The capture functionality outside the frame is even more useful when rotating photographs to make them “straight” since the field of vision is not reduced. If you have ever rotated a photograph a few degrees, you will have noticed that, as you rotate the image, the field of vision narrows.
Capture functionality outside the frame requires the Apple iPhone 11 Pro to join the images captured by the wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle camera without noticing where one ends and another begins. Hence the importance of the three cameras being calibrated identically, so that no color differences are noticed.
The advantages of the capture functionality outside the frame do not end there but, also, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro can automatically correct composition errors by applying AI.
For example, if we take a picture and cut part of someone’s body, it will not be necessary to correct it manually but the phone itself corrects it for us and shows it with a sign that says AUTOMATIC (clicking on it to deactivate it, we access the original photograph ).
You may be wondering if saving two images for each photograph (the original and the one taken with the ultra-wide-angle camera) is not an excessive storage expense. Luckily, Apple has taken this into account and, after 30 days, deletes the auxiliary image if you have not used the area outside the frame to make corrections. Also, if you prefer, you can disable this functionality in Settings> Camera> Capture outside the photo frame.
The drawback of the Out of Frame Capture functionality is that it only works in conditions of sufficient light. I suppose it is because, in low light conditions, the difference between the noise captured by the main camera and the ultra-wide-angle camera would be too obvious and the union would be noticeable.
Another interesting functionality of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is that it can automatically correct the perspective in, for example, photographs of buildings or monuments taken at street level. These corrections are applied automatically if we access the perspective editing tools, but we can also adjust it manually.
Next, we will review the quality of each of the three cameras: ultra-wide-angle camera, telephoto camera, and main wide-angle camera.
The ultra-wide-angle camera allows you to take very spectacular photographs that allow you to capture many more elements than normally fit in a photograph. This camera does not have optical stabilization and its opening is somewhat limited, so it is not so suitable for taking pictures in low light situations.
The telephoto camera allows you to take pictures with a 2X optical zoom, which allows us to approach distant objects without losing quality. This can be useful to focus attention on a particular element.
Some smartphones offer higher zooms, up to 3X or even 5X, but, in my opinion, this is a mistake since you usually do not need to get so close and any magnification below the nominal value is done by software scaling of the image captured by the camera principal.
Apple incorporates optical stabilization and has improved the brightness of this lens to f / 2.0, the largest aperture I remember seeing in a telephoto lens to date so that the performance in low light conditions is improved.
The improvement in the telephoto lens is more important than it seems since the Portrait mode uses the telephoto camera by default, so the photos taken in this mode will also be enhanced.
Finally, the standard wide-angle camera is the one commonly used to take pictures. This lens has an aperture f /1.8, less wide than other smartphones such as the Huawei Mate30 Pro ( f /1.6), Samsung Galaxy Note10 + ( f /1.5) or the Honor 20 Pro ( f /1.4).
Apple has introduced the second generation of its Smart HDR algorithm that improves the lights and shadows of the image and is automatically activated without the need to do anything.
While the previous version sometimes sinned from leaving the image too flat (colors too uniform without lights or shadows, especially on people’s faces), the new version keeps the lights and shadows more naturally using machine learning.
Apple has first introduced a Night mode that uses the A13 Bionic chip and software processing to take pictures in low light. When taking the picture, the camera takes several photos that are then aligned and combined for a natural result.
Some smartphones illuminate the scene too much when using their Night mode, resulting in a very striking image, as if it had been taken during the day, but also too unreal. However, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro offers a quite natural result, to the point that it is not easy to know later if a photo has been taken with this model.
Night mode is automatically activated when necessary and is indicated by a full moon icon next to the flash icon. By clicking on the icon, we can deactivate the effect, see the selected shooting time automatically and, in some cases, increase it. The shot may take a little longer but the results are worth it.
Unfortunately, Night mode is not available for the ultra-wide-angle camera, but only for the wide-angle camera and telephoto camera. This limits the use of the ultra-wide-angle camera to well-lit scenes, as we have said before.
Apple established the introduction of Portrait mode, which simulates blurring of the background of the image produced by SLR cameras by identifying what is in the foreground and what belongs to the background of the image.
Pictures in Portrait mode are taken, by default, with the telephoto camera, but you can switch to the main camera if you prefer (although I do not recommend it because of wide-angle camera distortion at short distances).
The results offered by the Apple iPhone 11 Pro are quite good although it still has some difficulties to distinguish certain areas of the hair and some objects in the background that are close to the body.
As we have said before, the f / 2.0 aperture of the telephoto lens allows you to take portraits with a better result than what we get with other smartphones.
Apple has added a new lighting mode called “High-Key Light Mono” that is added to the previous ones. These photographs offer quite striking results since they seem to be taken in a studio, although sometimes they have a lot of grain.
During the presentation of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro, Apple anticipated a new camera functionality called Deep Fusion that will arrive this fall, and that makes use of the neuronal engine of the Bionic A13 to improve the sharpness and quality of the image.
Deep Fusion combines a total of 9 images, eight taken before you press the button and another with a longer exposure that is captured when the shutter button is pressed and combines them intelligently.
When recording video, the three cameras of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro can record video at 720p at 30fps, 1080p at 30/60 fps and 4K at 24/30/60 fps. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro can record with electronic stabilization at all resolutions and frame rates per second, even at 4K @ 60 fps.
Just as Apple has added a special mode of capture outside the frame for photos, it also offers a mode of capture outside the frame for videos.
This mode captures the area outside the frame of the video to improve the composition but is only activated when we record from QuickTake. This functionality allows you to quickly record video while you are taking a photo by simply pressing and holding your finger on the shutter button.
Another functionality offered by Apple is Audio Zoom, which is that the sound recording focuses on the object we are aiming at with the camera when zooming. This works best with static sound sources and without too much noise around.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro can record 4K video at 60 FPS with an “extended dynamic range” thanks to the powerful new Apple A13 Bionic chip.
The concept of “extended dynamic range” is something like applying HDR photography techniques to video capture, only that the videos are not saved in HDR10 format but conventional SDR format.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro can record in slow motion in 1080p resolution at 120 or 240 fps for an unlimited time.
Apple has incorporated a fairly powerful video editor that makes things much easier when it comes to rotating videos, applying filters, retouching the image, etc.
The front camera of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro has a 12MP sensor, a lens with f / 2.2 aperture and a large viewing angle (23 mm) that allows taking group selfies or, through a cutout, individual selfies.
It is possible to switch between group and individual selfies by pressing a button on the screen. By default, when using the smartphone vertically, individual selfies are taken, but when switching to horizontal, group selfies are taken.
Unlike other smartphones, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro does not offer control to retouch the face and apply beauty effect.
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro screen can act as a front flash and illuminate the face if we are taking selfies in low light conditions.
Thanks to the True Depth sensor, the front camera capable of taking pictures in Portrait mode by blurring the background.
Of course, we can also apply lighting effects, including the new “High-Key Light Mono” mode to portraits captured by the front camera.
The front camera of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro can record video up to 4K at 60 fps, something that is not common in smartphones. Also, Apple has added the possibility of recording in slow motion in 1080p at 120 fps, giving rise to what it calls selfies, although they are more a curiosity than something really useful.
As for the Camera app, Apple continues to opt for simplicity, so more advanced users will miss a “Pro” mode to experiment with. Luckily, there are many camera apps in the App Store that allow you to freely modify the capture parameters.
Price and Competitors
An interesting alternative to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro if you don’t want to spend so much money is the Apple iPhone 11 ( $ 699 ), which comes with the same A13 Bionic processor. Other features are a 6.1 ″ LCD screen, 64/128/256GB of storage, 12MP dual rear camera, and 12MP front camera.
In the Android world, one of the main competitors of the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is the Samsung Galaxy Note10 + ( $ 1,099 ), which has a large 6.8 ″ OLED screen, Exynos 9825 processor, 12GB of RAM, 256/512 GB of expandable storage via micro-SD, 12MP + 12MP rear camera (telephoto) + 16MP (wide angle), 10MP front camera and 4,300 mAh battery with fast charging at 45W.
The Huawei P30 Pro ( $ 899.99 ) is another interesting alternative as it has an OLED screen of 6.47 ″ Full HD +, Kirin 980 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128/256 / 512GB of storage, quad rear camera 40MP + 20MP + 8MP + ToF, 32MP front camera and 4,200 mAh battery with direct and reverse wireless charging.
Another competitor is the Pixel 4 ( $799.00 ), which has a 5.7 ″ P-OLED screen, Snapdragon 855 processor, 6GB of RAM, 64/128 GB of storage, dual 12MP rear camera (wide angle) + 16MP (telephoto), 8MP front camera and 2,800 mAh battery. There is also a larger version, the Pixel 4 XL
In my opinion, the Apple iPhone 11 Pro is a magnificent smartphone, which stands out for a bright screen with very precise color reproduction, an extremely powerful processor, a solid autonomy and a very versatile triple rear camera that allows you to take pictures with great quality.
All images credits: apple / 91mobiles