Since the first iPhone came out in 2007, Apple has never used the label "Pro" onto any of its phone models. But this year, everything changed.
In September 2019, Apple introduced its latest tech-baby to the world—the iPhone 11 Pro.
They've dubbed it "the best phone of the year" and it has some of the best features yet. But is it worth the hype? And is it any better than the iPhone 11 or the iPhone XR?
Read on for the ultimate guide.
The Price is Right
You can buy the iPhone 11 Pro directly from Apple or from various retailers and carriers. Other retailers may sell slightly cheaper, but if you opt with Apple, you can trade-in your current iPhone to reduce the price. You might even be able to get up to $99 slashed off the price if your phone's still in good nick.
The iPhone 11 Pro starts off at $1470 which you can buy monthly at $61.76. As usual, as the storage increases, so does the price. The 512GB is available for $1987.
It might seem pricey, but it's actually cheaper than the initial pricing of last year's models.
Apple offers its standard warranty of one year. This covers manufacturer defects. But you can extend the warranty with AppleCare+ for a fee.
The 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro is the perfect size for holding in one hand. Yet it still boasts a big screen. But for those with shorter fingers, it can be tricky reaching the back button.
The iPhone 11 Pro Max is harder to wield with one hand. But we'll come back to that later.
The iPhone 11 Pro feels substantial and not overly delicate. It's wider, thicker and heavier than the iPhone XS. But that's due to the larger battery and third camera.
Apple boasts that it has the toughest glass compared to any other smartphone on the market. But you'll still need to opt for a case as it's made from aluminium, not stainless steel.
The iPhone 11 Pro starts off with a storage of 64GB. But for pro users who want to use the 4K video camera to the full, 64GB is not enough. Apple also offers 256GB and 512GB.
Buying the 256GB version would be more than enough for most users. But if someone wanted to shoot 4K videos for a living, the 512GB would be a better option.
While the storage is impressive, Apple still only offers a meagre 5GB of iCloud storage. Come on Apple, step up your game.
Colour Me Pretty
This year's model boasts the best iPhone colour yet. Featuring four industrial shades, it's a welcome change from over-glossy black or white. Out of the four, midnight green and space grey are surely going to be the most popular.
The phone looks effortlessly cool, and the matte finish on the back means fewer fingerprints. But after spending so much on an iPhone, you're probably going to use a case anyway, right?
The design looks awesome. But the thick, uniform bezel around the screen is sadly unchanged from 2018. In fact, the bezels are still thicker than most other leading smartphones on the market.
Maybe it's because it needs space to carry the TrueDepth camera and sensors for Face ID? Whatever the reason, it does make the device look a little dated. Every hard-core Apple user is patiently waiting for the day a full-screen iPhone comes out.
The Coolest Camera
Drumroll, please. This is the part you've been waiting for—the Pro camera system. Apple introduced its Pro baby with this statement, "Meet the first triple‑camera system to combine cutting‑edge technology with the legendary simplicity of iPhone."
In fact, there's so much to say about the camera, let's split it up into four sections.
Using a triple-camera system backed up with a ton of photography features, it has created a new benchmark in smartphone cameras.
The trio of 12-megapixel cameras each boasts a different type of lens. This means each lens can capture a unique perspective on your surroundings. With Smart HDR, this phone can automatically fine-tune in detail both the subject and the background.
It also offers an ultrawide camera which delivers a phenomenal 120-degree field of view. Yes, without taking a step back you can capture four times more scene than ever.
Pro Video Living Up to Its Name
Due to the extended dynamic range in video and cinematic stabilization, you can produce movie-like videos. With 4K video capturing at 60 fps, you can capture footage that looks true to life.
And with iOS 13, you can edit videos like you could edit photos on previous versions. Crop, rotate, enhance, add filters and more.
And if you love a selfie, how about a slofie? Take slow-motion selfie videos for the ultimate way to wow your Insta followers.
Creatures of the Night
The star of the iPhone 11 Pro is night mode. If in automatic mode, it automatically kicks in when it detects darkness or poor lighting. But you can turn it off if you want full control over the camera's settings.
This means you can capture high-quality images even in low-light. This is a welcome upgrade from previous iPhone cameras that lacked sufficient night mode features.
The Look and Feel
The massive cameras are in no way subtle. They might look a little intimidating at first, but they don't look an eyesore. As Apple has tried to incorporate its usual sleek design.
But unfortunately, there's one draw-back to such an amazing camera. The camera lens is on a raised module that doesn't blend into the back. So when you run your finger on the back of the phone, you can feel the sharpness of it.
Of course, it's not going to matter when you put it into a protective case.
The Most Water-Resistant iPhone Ever?
Apple introduced its latest waterproof technology by stating, "Splashes? Pffft. It's our most water‑resistant iPhone ever."
Is Apple being cocky? No. According to the specs, they're right to boast.
It features an IP68 water resistance rating. This means it can survive 4 meters underwater for up to 30 minutes. That's a major improvement on many previous models which are only water-resistant.
But before you start envisioning yourself diving into a pool, check the fine print. The disclaimer mentions that liquid damage is not covered under warranty. Make sure you know the score before you start dipping your phone into water or it could be an expensive mistake.
Apart from taking selfies in the pool, the water-resistant features are great for common spills and splashes. Whether you're out in the rain or you drop your cuppa, your phones going to be A-OK. And thanks to its precision fitted seals, it's also dustproof.
While this model might offer the best iPhone colour and look yet, what about the performance?
Despite having the word "pro" in the name, the performance is the same as the iPhone 11. This is because the entire range has the A13 Bionic chipset. Thanks to that, both the iPhone 11 and the Pro are the fastest phones you can buy.
The speedy performance makes swiping through apps and scrolling through social media super-smooth. Even intense gaming is a pleasure. Especially now Apple Arcade is pumping out new games left, right and centre.
But the performance would be nowhere as good if it didn't feature iOS 13. The upgrade has replaced pop-up menus that show up when you long-press the screen. And the new swipe typing feature makes sending messages a dream.
It also features Dark Mode that protects your precious eyes at night. And Face ID is up to 30% faster than it's ever been.
But is there something missing? Rumours flew around before the release stating this iPhone would have 5G connectivity. Unfortunately, that's not true.
Widespread coverage of 5G isn't expected until late 2020, but that's only next year. Apple should have stepped up their game on this one.
I've Got the Power
The battery life is, no doubt, the game-changer of this smartphone. Last year, the iPhone XS and XS Max failed to impress with their battery power. While the iPhone XR stood head and shoulders above the rest.
This year the iPhone 11 Pro is leaps ahead of them all, even the XR. In fact, Apple claims there is a huge 4-5 hours extra battery life.
You could spend the day surfing the web, taking photos, playing games and watching YouTube. You'd still have more than 10% battery left by the end of the day. Whereas other competitive brands of smartphone out there would have been dead already.
Apple doesn't include the super-fast 18W charger in the box for the iPhone 11. You'll receive a standard 5W charger instead, which unfortunately charges your phone at a snail's pace. But the 11 Pro has the 18W fast charger as part of the package.
Instead of waiting 3 hours to reach 100%, your phone will charge up in half that time. If you opt for the iPhone 11 instead of the pro, it's definitely worth splashing out on an 18W charger.
So if you're looking for a phone that has stellar performance paired with maximum battery life, it looks like you've got a winner.
Out of Touch
Since the iPhone 6S, Apple's pressure-sensitive display tech (3D touch) has been a regular feature. But now, Apple has sensibly decided to upgrade to Haptic Touch. If you know your stuff about iPhones, you'll remember that they included the same feature in the iPhone XR last year.
But what is Haptic Touch?
Instead of relying on pressure, as 3D touch does, Haptic Touch kicks in when users long-press the screen. This results in "Haptic Feedback" (a small vibration of acknowledgement).
Whether this new feature is an improvement or not is up to you. Feedback's divided with some die-hard Apple users missing the traditional 3D touch. However, others applaud the change and have happily embraced the new touch sensitivity.
Stellar Display and Audio
Another cool feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is the display. The brightness is incomparable to other leading smartphones and is a huge improvement on the iPhone XS.
Indoors, you can't spot the difference. But when there's a lot of sunlight, the iPhone 11 Pro outshines them all. Even making last years models look dim in comparison.
The sound is also strong with spatial audio and Dolby Atmos making you feel like you're in the action.
Should You Upgrade to the Max?
The iPhone 11 Pro is pricey, but it's not the most expensive iPhone you can buy in 2019. The iPhone Pro Max is a whopping $2208! You can get it slightly cheaper if you opt for 256GB instead of 512GB, but even so, it'll set you back $1840.
Is it worth the extra dollars? There are two main reasons to choose a Max over an 11 Pro:
- The OLED display is larger
- You get an extra hour of battery life
Apart from that, you don't get any extra features. The supersized "phablet" can also be hard to handle as a phone. In fact, it feels more like you're holding an iPad mini.
If you want a bigger screen to watch movies and play games on or you're a keen photo editor, it might be worth it. Otherwise, stick to the slightly cheaper iPhone 11 Pro.
Let's Wrap Up the Best Features
The iPhone 11 Pro delivers top battery life, a stunning appearance and excellent performance. When you compare the camera to last years iPhone XR, the improvements are plain to see. On top of those features, you have the major benefits that come with iOS 13.
If you don't want to spend more than $1500 on an iPhone, the 11 Pro is for you.
Keep Calm and Apple On
The new iPhone 11 Pro has some of the best features yet. What on earth will they bring out next? Until they wow us with an upgrade, start exploring the new and updated features today.
But before you go, check out the Apple section of our online shop. It's got all the accessories you need for your new iPhone 11 Pro and more.