iPhone 11 Pro Review

By | 2019-11-04

Iphone 11 Pro:

Alright, its iPhone time.Apple released three new iPhones all at once this year.The iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max.Now, I honestly think the iPhone 11 is the phonemost people in the iOS ecosystem should getif theyre upgrading.So weve got a whole other review of that phone thatyou should check out, too.But this, this is the Pro review.The dark mode, cash money review for professionalswho use their phones to do pro stuff.Like taking telephoto photos.Actually, I have no idea why Apple called these phones Pro.Theyre basically just nice updates to the iPhone XS,but I also think its a waste of time to argue about names.iPhone 11 Pro Max is a bad name.But you know what, its a great phone.And I think Apple might have done it.This is the best camera Ive ever seen on a phone.Lets get into it.(calming music)The iPhone 11 Pro looks almost exactly like the iPhone XSfrom the front.Its a little heavier and thicker,but unless youre comparing them directly,you probably wont notice.I certainly didnt.You do get a much bigger battery in exchangefor that extra size, which Apple says leads toa four-hour battery life increase on the regular Proand a five-hour jump for the Pro Max.But its surprisingly hard to check that number.

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Iphone 11 Pro Features:

Ill get into why in a minute.The big difference from the XS comes on the backwhere Apple says the rear glass is now strongerand it comes in this frosted matte finish.It also integrates a glossy camera bump with three cameras.The whole back and the bump is a single piece of glassthats milled out.The iPhone 11 is the reverse.It has a glossy back and the camera bump is matte.Now you know.I got a lot of questions about this matte finishand I think its really nice,especially in this new midnight green color.It didnt really pick up any fingerprints,but it does seem a tiny bit more slipperythan the gloss back of the previous phonesand the iPhone 11.But I also think most peopleare just going to stick this thing in a case,so it doesnt seem like a huge issue.A lot of people also asked me if this matte finishwill scratch easily, similar to the back of the Pixel 3,and so far the answer seems to be no.But were going to have to keep an eye on it over time.Apples finally relented and includedan 18W USB-C fast charger with the Pro phones.So you get a USB-C to Lightning cable as well.Now Apples USB-C charger is not the smallestor prettiest charger out there.But anything is better than the slow 5W brickits been including for years, so Ill take it.So lets get into these cameras.Apple has a lot at stake here.Google and Samsungs cameras have been outperformingthe iPhone for a couple of years now.And Chinese phone makers, in particular,have been racing each other to add an endless arrayof photography features.If youre in the US, youre probably locked into iMessageand no camera is good enough to make you switch.But Apple doesnt have that advantage in big marketslike Europe and China.

Iphone 11 Pro Social Features:

Everyone uses WhatsApp and WeChat,and switching from iOS to Android is much easier.So Apples added a bunch of featuresthat first appeared on Android phones.There are three cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro.The telephoto camera has the same basic sensor,but a faster f/2.O lens.The main camera has the same f/1.8 lensand a slightly better sensor.And theres the new super fun ultra-wide camera,which is basically twice as wide as the main lens and f/2.4.And the f/2.2 front camerais now 12 megapixels, up from seven,and has a wider 24mm focal lengthso it can pull out to a slightly wider anglein landscape for selfies.Apples also updated its smart HDR processing system,which I was not very impressed withwhen I reviewed the iPhone XS and XR.The iPhone 11 cameras are an enormous improvement over the XS,and beat the Pixel and Galaxy Note 10 in most of our tests.This shot of Verge video producer, Mariya Abdulkaf,outside in bright sunlightshouldnt be too hard for any camera to do. The iPhone 11 is way sharper, with way more detail.I also think the iPhone 11 does a way better jobthan the Note 10 and its a little better to my eyethan the Pixel 3.This improvement is due tosomething Apples calling semantic rendering.Basically, Smart HDR recognizes whats in the imageand renders it appropriately.

Iphone 11 Pro Camera:          

I asked Apple to break down how it works for meand it basically goes like this:First, the iPhone starts taking photos to a bufferthe instant you open the camera app.So by the time you actually press the button,its captured four underexposed framesand the photo you want.Then it grabs one overexposed frame.This is all basically the same as the iPhone XSand the Pixel 3,except the Pixel doesnt grab that overexposed frame.Second, Smart HDR and semantic renderingthen start looking for things in the photos it understands.Faces, hair, the sky, things like that.Then it uses additional detailfrom the under and overexposed framesto selectively process the areas of the imageits recognized.Hair gets sharpened, but the sky doesnt.It just gets de-noised.Faces get relighted to make them look more evenand the iPhone knows to sharpen up your facial hair.Smart HDR is also less aggressive in flattening the photos.Highlights and faces arent correctedas aggressively as beforebecause those highlights make photos look more natural.But other highlights and shadows are correctedto regain detail.Finally, the whole image is saved and youve got a photo.This all happens instantly every time you take a photo,which is a testament to how powerfulApples A13 processor really is.Heres that final image we just took.You can see how the iPhone 11 preserves more detailthan the Pixel.

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