If you’re one for the finer details – whether it’s the camera or the display, and don’t mind paying the premium (over the iPhone 11), then the iPhone 11 Pro is for you.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro review Stellar camera next-gen A13 bionic processor
Atom Smartphones Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 15:35

If you’re reading this review, you’re probably curious to know why this year’s iPhone Pro models cost more and why the duo deserves to wear the ‘Pro’ badge. Given all the buzz, you might have figured that the iPhone 11 is the one that most users will gravitate towards. Apple seems to have got it’s India pricing right and the dual camera on it possesses most of the same powers of the 11 Pro and Pro Max. And yet, there’s more than a bunch of reasons why Apple has opted to go with the Pro moniker; it all begins with the camera. 

Stellar Camera

Three things – lowlight, ultra-wide images and portraits. The triple rear cam is clearly the headline feature of the 11 Pro duo. And this is not just Apple playing catch up. Night mode images are brilliant. Google’s Night Sight has been the benchmark for lowlight images, the iPhone’s lowlight images aren’t just clear but also look natural. You don’t have to look for a night mode setting in your menu, the camera automatically senses the lighting scenario and switches to night mode, also indicating how many seconds it requires you to hold still (to stitch the image together). 

The rear cam combines three 12MP lenses including a telephoto lens that differentiates it from the iPhone 11. We’ve always been fans of portrait images on the iPhone, the 11 Pro takes it to a whole new level. It’s the same with selfie portraits with a couple of cool new tweaks including the high-key light mono for dramatic selfies. And yes, selfie might soon be a word that will be added to the Oxford dictionary – you can shoot slow-mo selfie videos on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Pro or Pro Max?

This one boils down to personal choice and use case scenarios. Just like last year, I’m a fan of the smaller 5.8-inch Pro version. I like the form factor, heft and the ability to reach out to the top end of the screen with one hand. But if your iPhone is your primary binge-watching device, then you might prefer the 6.5-inch iPhone Pro Max version. The display on both Pro devices is another big differentiator over the LCD panel in the iPhone 11. Both devices get a leg up with Apple’s new XDR (eXtreme Dynamic Range) display that doubles the contrast ratio (over last year’s XS and XS Max). Colours are terrific on this OLED display (1125 x 2436 pixels), that retains the notch that we first saw on the iPhone X back in 2017. The new spatial audio feature – the next logical step from stereo speakers, makes HD content even more immersive.

Performance gains

If you’ve been following the performance test comparisons with some of the newer Android flagships vis-à-vis last year’s iPhones, you will know that the A12 bionic processor has an edge. Apple pulls further ahead with its next-gen A13 bionic processor. iOS 13’s new features play out even better on this year’s iPhones that are all lighting quick; no surprises there. We would have liked to see the base version go from 64GB to 128GB given the Pro suffix; somehow 64GB doesn’t quite cut it in 2019. The build quality of the 11 Pro is even better than last year’s XS with a textured matte back. It’s a tad heavier but the improved battery life is more than a fair trade-off. Apple claims a four-hour battery advantage over the iPhone XS. While we can’t validate that claim basis our initial tests, there’s a marked improvement in battery life despite heavy camera usage during our review. 

The iPhone 11 Pro is a significant upgrade over last year’s iPhone. There are more compelling reasons to make the switch compared to last year’s XS duo (over the iPhone X). And these are the things that matter to most smartphone users – camera, battery and display. If you’re one for the finer details – whether it’s the camera or the display, and don’t mind paying the premium (over the iPhone 11), then the iPhone 11 Pro is for you. 

The iPhone 11 Pro starts at Rs 99,900 while the iPhone Pro Max costs Rs 109,900 and above. Both phones come in space grey, silver, gold and the new midnight green finishes. 

Ashwin Rajagopalan writes extensively on Gadgets & Trends, Travel & Lifestyle and Food & Drink. He owns and manages Brand Stories, a creative Content outfit and www.bytesize.in, a premier lifestyle blog with a focus on short-format content. Instagram: ‘ashwinpowers’) 

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