Apple iPhone 11 Pro Review: Middle East Exclusive
It’s September, which means one thing: it’s iPhone season. And fresh from the Cupertino-company’s tech orchard is this: the new iPhone 11 Pro.
As its name suggests, this is Apple’s most powerful blower ever. It packs some bleeding-edge smarts under the hood, a class-leading screen, a new operating system and – let’s not forget that third elephant in the room here – it has three cameras.
But Apple is no longer the absolute smartphone power that it used to be, and the competition to get in your pocket has never been greater from tech companies. So all that said, is there enough Pro-level smarts under the hood to warrant Apple’s ‘Pro’ monicker? Let’s find out.
Design and Build
Unsurprisingly, Apple hasn’t decided to go crazy, updating the iPhone’s design. Front the front you’ll hardly notice a difference. The 5.8-inch screen is squashed up against the world’s favourite notch, and it bends around the device’s sides. At the bottom you get two speaker grills – although one is merely aesthetic to keep it symmetrical.
Only when you turn the phone over, do you see the real differences between the iPhone 11 Pro and last year’s Ten S. Flip it around, and you’ll see that lovely frosted matte finish, as well as the new camera unit and those three cameras. That frosted glass isn’t just skin deep, either. And the new iPhone feels markedly better in the hand.
Screen and Sound
One of the big draws this time around is that screen. What you get is 6.5-inches of screen real estate, courtesy of an OLED panel that has been tuned by Apple. You get True Tone technology, to better match ambient lighting conditions and fast refresh rates which make swiping and scrolling around iOS 13 look rather snazzy.
One of the key upgrades here is Dolby Vision, which is a step up on regular HDR technology. Basically, it punches up the darks and lights in video to make everything look a tad better. The screen now also goes up to twelve hundred nits, so it’s brighter than ever before.
You also get proper stereo sound – Apple says the iPhone now offers virtual surround sound, but let’s be honest here, the speakers are too small to really compete with a proper system or even a good pair of headphones.
Still, the sound is better than the last model. And it’s plenty loud enough to watch a film or casually listen to music in the background.
Camera and Video
The BIG selling point for this new iPhone 11 Pro is, naturally, the cameras. There’s a lot to talk about the three cameras on the new iPhone – so we’ll quickly run through everything first.
In terms of last year’s Ten S, the real difference is the addition of an ultra-wide camera. Those sit alongside the regular and telephoto sensors on the back. The wide-angle lets you fit roughly twice as much as the regular camera in the frame, while the telephoto will give you two times lossless zoom. All three cameras have 12MP sensors, which is pretty standard for most smartphones.
Video recording has also been greatly improved: you can now shoot 4K and 60 frames per second on the iPhone Pro Max. That means you get much smoother footage (albeit, those video files can get rather big).
Right out the box, this thing takes better images and video than the previous model thanks to some clever new tricks from Apple’s software. Images pop off the screen, while video is rather stellar too. Casual iPhone-ographers will end up ditching their base-level DSLRs, while even Pros might find some of Apple’s new features handy, especially Night Mode – which gives the iPhone superior shots in the dark.
Performance and Battery
As per usual, every new iPhone is Apple’s chance to showcase a new operating system, and with the 11 Pro, that’s iOS13. It brings some new features to the smartphone, alongside a new A13 Bionic processor.
Yes, it’s the fastest and bestest that Apple has ever included in a phone, but that’s to be expected. What really makes this phone tick is how the hardware and software work together. The new processor will add or subtract power as and when it’s needed, meaning increased battery life if you’re just doing everyday tasks.
Throw up some proper 3D games though, and the iPhone will fire up the grunt of its processor power to give you stellar graphics and performance. Expect silky smooth 60-frames-per-second gaming, with little to no slowdown.
Speaking of battery life, Apple says the new Pro offers up to five hours more battery over its predecessors, which translates to an easy two-days of use if you don’t go crazy watching movies or playing games.
Overall, the iPhone 11 Pro and its larger Max cousin represent the pinnacle of Apple’s smartphone achievements. While the overall design remains more or less the same, the Pro models are all about that screen and those new cameras. And in those departments, the iPhone 11 Pro certainly shines bright.
But is it enough to warrant an upgrade – especially considering all that pro-level tech also comes with a pro-level price tag? Well, that depends.
As that Pro moniker suggests, this is for people who require the absolute best in their tech. And if you’re more than casually interested in playing games, watching videos or using a camera, then this is absolutely the phone to go for.
However, if you just want an upgrade to make the most of Apple’s new software features, a better camera and snazzier screen – then it’s probably worth checking out the regular Apple iPhone 11.
After all, not everyone is after Pro-level gear.