Price (RRP): $1,899 with 64GB, $2,149 with 256GB, $2,499 with 512GB
The eagerly awaited iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro have just gone on sale in Australia. We’ve had our hands on them for a few days to bring you an in-depth look at what you can expect. While Apple has launched a 6.1 inch iPhone 11, and two sizes of Pro models, we’ll be focusing on the iPhone 11 Pro Max for this review.
For more details on the iPhone 11 range, see our coverage here.
Given that Apple’s stance on the iPhone 11 Pro is that it’s geared towards more professional pursuits, we didn’t want to hold back in our evaluation. As such, as Channel 7 Sunrise’s Technology Expert, I was in San Jose to cover the iPhone 11 launch. To truly put the new camera features to the test, we decided to film our entire Sunrise segment with the iPhone 11 Pro rather than our traditional film gear. Click the link below to see the results first hand as it was broadcast on Channel 7.
So what are the key differences the iPhone 11 Pro brings compared to the iPhone XS and previous iPhones? Here’s a quick summary:
- A new triple lens camera system
- A more powerful A13 Bionic processor
- An improved screen
- Longer battery life
- Faster connectivity
- New case colours and finish
Look and feel
Starting with the design, the new iPhone 11 hasn’t strayed too far from the path. Both the 5.8 and 6.5 inch Pro models share the same design language as the iPhone X and Xs models. There’s still the familiar blend of clean lines, curves and seamless blending of stainless steel with glass. However, new this year is a matte case finish as well as the gorgeous Midnight Green colour. This is my pick, however, you may prefer Gold, Space Grey or Silver instead. The matte finish, while untested, looks to resist scratches better than the glossy texture from the year before.
On the front, the familiar screen ‘gap’ is still present, which houses the improved TrueDepth camera array. The placement of volume and power buttons remain the same too, as does the SIM tray, mute switch and Lightning connector, so no big changes to get used to.
Three lenses are better than two
The standout feature of the iPhone 11 Pro models is the new triple lens camera, compared to the previous dual-lens assembly. This includes a new ‘Ultra Wide’ lens, which brings new creative avenues to photographers, videographers and enthusiasts.
Each lens is a 12 megapixel unit, with the f2.4 aperture Ultra Wide lens capable of a 120 degree field of view. The f1.8 Wide lens is also the same as last year, however, it’s a solid and versatile performer and the one you’ll probably use most often.
The f2.0 Telephoto lens delivers a 2x optical zoom. This is the same zoom factor as last year’s model, and we were hoping to see a bit more zoom capability to put it on par with Huawei P30 Pro’s 5x optical and 10x hybrid offering. However, with the Ultra Wide, you technically now have an 2 x optical zoom-out, so the three lenses deliver a combined 4 x optical zoom from Ultra Wide to Telephoto.
New camera features
The camera interface has seen some changes to accommodate the new lenses. You can simply tap the virtual pre-set lens buttons for 0.5x, 1x and 2x, or otherwise slide the zoom wheel for a more precise setting. Also new is when in Telephoto mode, The black borders around the picture frame become transparent so you can see what the lens sees.
With the extra lenses you can set the camera to capture outside the borders of the frame, and then access this extra footage using the crop tool. This can come in handy for improving your compositions, such as if you’ve put someone too close to the edge of the shot. Since the lens captures more outside the borders, you can crop this back in.
Another nice trick is being able to hold the shutter button when in photo mode to record a quick video. Previously, holding the button captured a burst of still shots, which you can still do by holding the shutter button and sliding left.
Portrait Mode gets a raft of improvements, along a new studio-look called High-Key Mono. In effect, this puts your portraits on a white background, and blows out all of the highlights for a dramatic monochrome impact.
Also handy is that you can shoot in Portrait Mode with both the Telephoto and Wide lenses, along with the front-facing TrueDepth camera.
When in Portrait Mode you can adjust the focal length and therefore the background ‘blur’ or bokeh. This can happen either during the shot or afterwards with the on-phone edit tools.