Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The iPhone 11 Pro is Apple's most powerful phone that come in a one-hand-friendly size. It has a triple-lens camera to capture best-in-class photos and video from a variety of perspectives, a new night mode to enhance low-light photography and extra battery life prowess.

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It’s September and the well-oiled Apple marketing machine is in full swing yet again. Apple’s iPhone event this fall brought us the iPhone 11 trio. And with that, we say goodbye to the iPhone XR that was replaced by the iPhone 11, and begone iPhone XS – enter iPhone 11 Pro.

The iPhone XS series, as any other S generation, brought new Bionic chip with a massive improvement in speed. Now, with the iPhone 11 Pro lineup, Apple is going after the camera and that’s what the Pro moniker really stands for.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are sequels to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max – if there was any doubt. They are just as big, with similar designs and screens, but come with improved performance, some big camera upgrades, larger batteries, and a new Apple U1 wideband chip. Indeed, there is a lot to explore, so don’t let the familiar looks fool you.

Indeed, the iPhone 11 Pro design stays the same, or at least that’s what the front suggests. There is a brand-new triple-camera setup on the back though, and the rear glass now has a frosted finish that we’ve grown to love since the OnePlus 6. The water-protection has seen some improvement too, and now the eleventh iPhones can endure submersion in up to 4 meters deep water.

The new A13 Bionic chip is an improved version of the last year’s A12. It sure packs even more punch, a new ISP and DSP, among other things, but it is mostly based on the A12 design.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The new triple camera is brand new, though. Now in addition to the wide and tele shooters, there is an ultrawide snapper. Night Mode finally makes it to the iPhones, and the 4K capture at 60fps gets the cool extended dynamic range as well. Probably the most awesome feature, showing off the power of Apple’s chip, is the option to shoot with all four cameras (incl. selfie) at once. At 4K at 60fps with no limits. Imagine that!

And the front camera has finally gotten its long overdue update – it is now a 12MP shooter that can shoot in all resolution and framerates as the rear snappers. Slow-mo, called slofies, is available to the front cam as well, but we are yet to see if these slofies will be become a thing or not.

Apple also integrated a new Apple U1 wideband chip, but its usage is yet to implemented fully within iOS.

And finally, the iPhone 11 Pro now has 20% larger battery than the XS, while the 11 Pro Max enjoys a 25% bump in the capacity over the XS Max.


Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max specs

  • Body: Stainless steel frame, Gorilla Glass front with oleophobic coating, Gorilla Glass back with frosted finish, IP68 certified for water and dust resistance. Midnight Green, Space Gray, Gold and Silver color options.
  • Screen (Pro): 5.8″ OLED screen of 1125 x 2436 px resolution, 458ppi, 800 nits, 120Hz touch sensing. HDR video support, wide color gamut. True Tone adjustment via a six-channel ambient light sensor.
  • Screen (Pro Max): 6.5″ OLED screen of 1242 x 2688 px resolution, 458ppi, 800 nits, 120Hz touch sensing. HDR video support, wide color gamut. True Tone adjustment via a six-channel ambient light sensor.
  • OS: Apple iOS 13
  • Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic chip (7nm+) – Hexa-core (2×2.66 GHz Lightning + 4×1.8 GHz Thunder) Apple CPU, four-core Apple GPU, 8-core Apple NPU 3-gen
  • Memory: 4GB of RAM; 64/256/512GB of internal storage
  • Camera: Triple 12MP camera: 26mm main wide-angle, F/1.8, OIS, Dual Pixel AF; 52mm telephoto, F/2.0, OIS, 2x zoom; 13mm ultra wide-angle, F/2.4, 120-degree field of view; quad-LED flash with slow sync
  • Video recording: [email protected]/30fps, [email protected]/60/120/240fps video recording with wider dynamic range and spatial sound, OIS + EIS
  • Selfie: Dual camera – 23mm 12MP F/2.2 front-facing camera with HDR mode + 3D TOF camera; [email protected]/30fps, [email protected]/60/120fps video recording with wider dynamic range and spatial sound, EIS, depth detection for Portrait mode
  • Connectivity: Dual SIM, 4G LTE (1 Gbps); Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac/ax; Bluetooth 5.0; Lightning port; GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS; NFC; Apple U1 chip ultrawideband
  • Battery (Pro): 3,046 mAh battery, 18W fast charging, Qi wireless charging
  • Battery (Pro Max): 3,969 mAh battery, 18W fast charging, Qi wireless charging
  • Misc: Face ID through dedicated TrueDepth camera, stereo speakers, Taptic Engine

The iPhone 11 Pro phones put an end to Apple’s 3D Touch era and the Taptic Engine has assumed its role, too. Once full of potential, the 3D Touch tech was failed by Apple itself and from innovation it had become more of a burden, so we can’t blame Apple for retiring it. Plus, it made some space for something more meaningful – a larger battery, so we’d say it’s a win-win actually.

The iPhone 11 trio premieres running on iOS 13, but at the time of writing this review an update to iOS 13.1 was seeded and we’ve installed it on all three of them. It adds some new options that use the U1 chip among other things.

Unboxing the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

The first iPhone launched back in 2007 in a stylish black box and its retail bundle included a 5W charger, a USB cable, and a pair of Apple headphones. And while Apple did change the design of the Pods, and the type of connector, the contents had no meaningful updates in over 11 years. This changes now.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

For the first time ever, Apple bundles an 18W fast charger within an iPhone retail box and obviously the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are the first beneficiaries. The charger is rated 18W with 5V/3A and 9V/2A outputs. It has a USB-C port at the top and so the Pro models are also the first iPhones to ship with a USB-C to Lightning cables.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Finally, the last thing inside the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max boxes is the familiar EarPods which come with a Lightning Connector.

The 3.5mm adapter has been excluded from the iPhone bundle since the iPhone XS lineup and it is just as missing here in the iPhone 11 boxes.

Design

The iPhone 11 Pro duo is spearheading a change in Apple’s design and we very much like what we are seeing. But let’s start with the first impressions.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Getting the iPhone 11 Pro out of its box felt quite familiar at first. The phone has the same shape and feel as the XS, and X, and it’s almost impossible to feel the extra 10g the 11 Pro has gained since.

The 11 Pro Max, on the other hand, while as big is the XS Max, is 20g heavier and you can tell that immediately. If you have spent a year with the first Max, you will know you are holding a heavier phone right out of the bat.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Both iPhones look very familiar the front hasn’t been changed since the iPhone X launch in 2017. There is either 5.8″ or 6.5″ OLED display, quite bezel-less, with a gigantic notch at the top. There is no wasted space at the bottom, the screen controller is actually under the screen instead of below. This is what Apple has established as bezel-less although you can clearly see some very thin black strips, equal in size, around the OLED screens.

The notch is inevitable for Apple, at least for now. It contains the earpiece that also doubles as a speaker, a couple of sensors, the 3D TOF sensor and the new 12MP f/2.2 selfie camera. Apple focused on selfies this year and the new snapper can do 4K clips at 60fps and 4K at 30fps with extended dynamic range, slow-mo is available, and EIS is working on all resolutions and frame rates, all the time.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The screens on both iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are protected by “the toughest glass on the planet”. It is made by Corning and it’s an improved piece since the one used on the XS lineup. Given how much money Apple is injecting into Corning, it’s hardly surprising Apple is once again using its glass. Every iPhone since the first one has been guarded by a custom Gorilla Glass, and last year Apple used a custom version of Gorilla Glass 6.

According to the brave drop testers out there (thanks, guys!) the new protective glass on the iPhone 11 Pro is indeed quite tough, exceeding some expectation and arguably tougher than the one on the XS iPhones. It’s still glass though so a hard fall might easily be the end of it.

Apple also applies oleophobic coating on all iPhones and the 11 Pro series enjoys it as well. This is your shield against fingerprints and smudges, and while they do eventually stick on the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max displays, they are very easy to clean – one wipe with the side of your palm or part of your shirt is enough.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

We are glad Apple is sticking to the stainless-steel frame it introduced on the iPhone X. It hasn’t changed one bit – slightly curved and with the all-glossy polish. Its color is dark green on the Midnight Green and dark gray on the Space Gray models, but it should be silver on the Silver and golden on the Gold models. It’s rare for a maker to perfectly match the frame paint with the panels, but Apple has done it for yet another year.

The frame is far more prone to collecting smudges as it is super glossy and while it sure isn’t helping the grip. Still, when it’s clean, the great looks are certainly among its key features.

And just like on many other iPhones before series 11, the new ones have the same buttons around the frame – a silent switch and volume keys on the left, the power/Siri key on the right. The SIM tray is around that key, too.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Apple is still sticking to the Lightning port even though we all know it is going sooner rather than later. The new iPads already come with USB-C, and even the new iPhone chargers use a USB-C port, so we figure it’s coming to the iPhones in a generation or two.

The mouthpiece and the second speaker are flanking the said Lightning port, hidden behind a few tiny holes in the chassis.

The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max rear panels are a whole different story. They are made of the same Ion-strengthened glass by Corning, mostly flat if we don’t count the 2D edges, but for the first time ever the finish is not glossy, on the contrary. Apple calls this textured matte glass and while we do agree, there is a better word that describes it, and it’s frosted. No matter what color iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max you opt for, all of those come with frosted finish over at the back.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Unlike the OnePlus 6, which head a somewhat similar finish on the back, the iPhone 11 Pros are not slippery. The new texture provides for some grip and feels more secure in hand when compared to the XS generation.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max, being the largest one in the pack, still requires some attention when handling it naked, as the new back is just not enough to make it not slippery, but the smaller iPhone 11 Pro model does feel noticeably safer when used in one hand or for shooting stills or videos.

Smudges and fingerprints are barely noticeable, it at all, thanks to the frosted finish. We haven’t yet put these iPhones in the sand to see if the fine dust will be easy to clean from the new back, but here is hoping.

And before we go to the new camera setup, we noticed another changed on the back. It’s not big of a deal, but the iPhone inscription is gone. Not that people won’t know you are using an iPhone – there is a giant glossy bitten apple in the middle, but still. Apple managed to get rid of the iPhone logo but not from the regulatory icons – that’s what’s bugging us. Sony managed to put these into the SIM slot, so here is an idea for you, Apple.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The new triple-camera occupies a special square at the top left of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The glass hump is pretty minor and definitely not what we expected from the official images – the whole bump, along with the lens rings, is half as thick as it was on the X and XS.

The glass on the camera bump is not frosted but glossy, we guess for additional accent on the snappers. The triangle arrangement is new not only for Apple, but for the industry, too. The jury is still out on whether this way it looks any better, but we guess, it wasn’t the specific looks they were after when they picked this particular arrangement.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The wide+tele 12MP duo is here to stay, both snappers featuring OIS. The third 12MP camera is an ultrawide shooter and obviously, Apple is playing catchup here. It has no optical stabilization or autofocus, so it’s not as premium as some may have thought. Apple has prepared some nice software tricks for the camera though, and we’ll get to these later in the camera section of this review.

Inside the square setup is also an improved dual-LED dual-tone flash that’s supposed to be brighter than before. And there is one very small meshed hole, which we guess might be housing the mic(s) used for video recording.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The new setup looks proportionately bigger on the smaller iPhone 11 Pro, as expected, which probably contributes for lesser aesthetics many agree on. Then the iPhone 11 Pro Max is a bigger phone and we’d say this setup sits better on its corner.

The phones wobble a bit when left on a desk, but it’s not as much as the iPhone X and XS did.

The iPhone 11 Pro measures 144 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm – that’s 0.4mm taller, 0.5mm wider, and 0.4mm thicker than the iPhone XS. This also means those extra whiskers were added to the screen bezels. It weighs 188g, 11g heavier than the XS.

Then the iPhone 11 Pro Max spreads at 158 x 77.8 x 8.1 mm – 0.5mm taller, 0.4mm wider, and 0.4mm thicker than the iPhone XS Max. Its weight is 226g – meaning it has gained 18g since the XS Max.

The minor increases in thickness, the extra space gained from removing the 3D Touch layer, and the reduced motherboard size has allowed Apple to put bigger batteries within the new iPhones. The regular model has seen a 20% bump in battery capacity, while the Max enjoys a 25% increase compared to the iPhone Xs.

And last, but not least important, Apple has secured even better the iPhone 11 Pro smartphones against water. The duo is IP68-rated and the two can survive submersion in water up to a depth of 4m for 30 mins. In contrast, the XS gen was certified for the only 2m of depth.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Handling the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max is both new and familiar experience. The smaller model fits perfectly in hand and one-handed operations are pretty easy. The Max will make you stretch you fingers but it was never really meant for one hand.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The new frosted back is a welcome addition not only because of the extra grip, but for the sake of change in looks. It was getting boring. And now you can physically feel your new phone is different from the last one, which is nice for once, isn’t it?

The Super Retina XDR OLED – same but different

We won’t blame you if you still can’t figure what’s the big deal with these new XDR screens. After all the iPhone 11 Pro has the same 5.8″ OLED of 458ppi as the one on the XS and X, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the same 6.5″ OLED of 458ppi as the XS Max. But there is this XDR in the name, and it makes you wonder whether this is another marketing ploy or a real thing.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The XDR stands for eXtreme Dynamic Range, which is what Apple calls its advancements in HDR. Basically, the new screens are brighter at 800 nits and when necessary they can light up to 1200 nits. The XDR OLEDs also double the contrast from 1,000,000:1 on the XS models up to 2,000,000:1 on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.

So, long story short the new XDR screens are much brighter and offer double the contrast over the OLEDs we saw on the iPhone XS and XS Max. They have better dynamic range that goes beyond the established HDR standard, just like Samsung’s latest Dynamic AMOLEDs.

Both displays offer excellent pixel density at 458ppi, and just as before the 5.8″ iPhone 11 Pro screen has 1125 x 2436 px resolution, while the iPhone 11 Pro Max 6.5″ panel offers 1242 x 2688 px. Both OLEDs support the widespread HDR10 and Dolby Vision standards.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro, and 11

The proprietary True Tone adjustments are here to stay. This is an automatic white balance correction using a six-channel ambient light sensor. The algorithm corrects the white balance according to the ambient light making the whites and grays rendition more accurate.

Finally, the touch input stays with the same 120Hz high refresh rate for zero-like touch latency and adding a sense of fluidness. The screen refresh rate is still capped at 60Hz though and we are yet to see when and if Apple will take the step OnePlus and Asus have already taken.

Apple promises a maximum brightness of 800 nits, and 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio. We measured 811 nits of brightness with the slider at the farthest. This is even higher than promised, higher than the maximum Galaxy Note10+ can do and it only works in Auto mode for the Samsung.

Apple says the screen can do more, a lot more actually, and it can be as bright as 1200 nits when necessary. That’s a double of what the iPhone XS and XS Max could do and we guess this confirms the promised doubled contrast. Apple is probably taking about local brightness in HDR movies and we just couldn’t get this measurement with our tools and apps.

Still, with a maximum manual brightness of 811 nits, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max OLEDs are currently among the brightest smartphone screens on the market.

Display test100% brightness
Black, cd/m2White, cd/m2Contrast ratio
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max0820
Apple iPhone 11 Pro0805
Apple iPhone 110.4286441505
Apple iPhone XS0660
Apple iPhone XS Max0653
Apple iPhone X0679
Apple iPhone XR0.4257001647
Samsung Galaxy Note10+0381
Samsung Galaxy Note10+ (Max Auto)0794
Samsung Galaxy Note100366
Samsung Galaxy Note10 (Max Auto)0789
Huawei P30 Pro0571
Huawei P30 Pro (Max Auto)0605
Sony Xperia 50353
Sony Xperia 5 (Max Auto)0574
OnePlus 7 Pro0436
OnePlus 7 Pro (Max Auto)0616
Sony Xperia 10391
Sony Xperia 1 (Max Auto)0665

The display on the iPhone 11 Pro Max has an excellent color accuracy – we measured an average DeltaE of 2.4 and a maximum deviation of 5 against sRGB. The screen on the iPhone 11 Pro is even more accurate against sRGB as we measured average deltaE of 1.6 and maximum deviation of 2.3. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max fully support DCI-P3 and they automatically switch to this gamma when DCI-P3 content is sent to the screen.

And the amazing thing is that these displays get to keep such a level of accuracy even while you are lowering the brightness all the way down to 1.9 nits.

Battery life

The iPhone 11 Pro Max is powered by the largest battery Apple has put in an iPhone to date – a Li-Ion cell of 3,969 mAh capacity – that’s 25% larger than the one inside the XS Max.

Both iPhone 11 Pro models ship with an 18W fast charger. If you charge your dead iPhone 11 Pro Max with the said charger it will refill 50% of its battery in 30 mins. If you do the same with the regular iPhone 11 Pro – the charger will replenish about 58%.

A full charge on both phones takes about 2 hours. If that’s too long, you can disable the newly introduced battery-aging optimizations that limits the charging beyond 80%. By doing so you will get faster recharging times, but your battery will supposedly age faster.

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max support 10W wireless charging. Those phones were rumored to support reverse wireless charging, too, for charging them AirPods, but the latest reports suggest Apple disabled the tech shortly before launch due to overheating issues.

The recent teardowns revealed that the battery has two connectors, and this is a major requirement for bilateral charging. But Apple’s latest support documents reveal new hardware that monitors and controls the battery performance, so maybe this is the answer and the rumors were false. Who knows?

We concluded our battery test on the iPhone 11 Pro Max and it simply aced it. The Max can do about 21 hours of 3G calls, 15 hours of web browsing on a single charge, or you can watch videos for about 19 and a half hours. Adding the frugal standby to the mix returned an outstanding battery endurance rating and the first to cross the 100h mark in our test.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The iPhone 11 Pro posted some very good scores across the board. It did great in web and video playback tests, but somewhat average in call and standby.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance ratings above denote how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Apple iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We’ve established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you’re interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we’ve tested will compare under your own typical use.

Speakers

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max both have stereo speakers, just like the iPhone XS, the iPhone X, and the iPhone 8 series. The first speaker is at the bottom of the phones, while the earpiece acts as a second one. The output is very balanced and the only thing we noticed was the earpiece lack a little bit in bass compared to the bottom primary, but its loudness seemed on par.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Apple says these speakers support spatial audio and subjectively the sound indeed seems less directional and more, well, spatial when compared to other phones.

Indeed, it turned out Apple is using a full-blown loudspeaker for the earpiece and it is quite loud. The Max model offers a bit more bass from its top tweeter and that makes it even more balanced than the regular Pro model. The sound is very rich, the bass is deep enough, and after playing multiple songs, videos, and games, we consider the Pro and Pro Max speakers among the better ones you can have in a smartphone today.

All three iPhone 11s pulled a Very Good mark in our loudspeaker test, just a couple decibels shorter of the Excellent mark. But having this spatial audio do make the new iPhones sound (subjectively) louder than this test suggests.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Apple iPhone 7 Plus68.372.272.9Good
Apple iPhone 1170.872.376.0Very Good
Apple iPhone X68.974.076.2Very Good
Sony Xperia 568.173.879.5Very Good
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max71.374.379.7Very Good
Sony Xperia 169.874.581.0Very Good
Apple iPhone 11 Pro71.273.880.7Very Good
Apple iPhone XS71.575.778.9Very Good
Xiaomi Mi 9T70.674.881.2Very Good
Samsung Galaxy Note10+68.473.786.3Excellent
Samsung Galaxy Note1070.172.885.7Excellent
Apple iPhone XS Max70.574.084.7Excellent
Apple iPhone 8 Plus76.074.679.0Excellent
Apple iPhone XR76.974.879.3Excellent
Huawei P30 Pro70.973.890.9Excellent
OnePlus 7 Pro79.677.787.2Excellent

Audio quality

Apple no longer includes a Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter in the retail package of its iPhones, which means that the quality of the audio output you will be getting is entirely dependend on the adapter you get or the DAC built into your headphones if they are of the Lightning port type.

We performed the test using the official Apple adapter, so our findings will only be relevant if you go with that one. Clarity turned out excellent with an active external amplifier, although stereo separation is not ideal. However, there’s virtually no degradation with headphones, meaning that you’d be getting some of the most accurate output in that case.

Loudness was only average though and some way behind the flagship standard these days. Still that would make little difference to anyone but those with super high impedance headphones and a taste for deafening volume levels.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Apple iPhone 11 Pro+0.05, -0.16-94.293.90.00160.016-81.0
Apple iPhone 11 Pro (headphones)+0.14, -0.04-94.293.80.00100.018-78.9
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max+0.05, -0.16-94.393.90.00160.016-81.5
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (headphones)+0.14, -0.04-94.494.00.00100.018-76.8
Huawei P30 Pro+0.04, -0.02-90.590.40.00140.013-93.0
Huawei P30 Pro (headphones)+0.14, -0.23-90.490.30.00460.211-47.0
Samsung Galaxy S10+0.03, -0.04-92.292.00.00150.0079-92.7
Samsung Galaxy S10 (headphones)+0.06, -0.03-91.991.70.00200.037-77.0
Sony Xperia 1+0.02, -0.01-93.693.50.00100.007-85.2
Sony Xperia 1 (headphones)+0.31, -0.26-92.191.90.00600.302-55.1
OnePlus 7 Pro+0.03, -0.01-93.092.60.00230.021-89.6
OnePlus 7 Pro (headphones)+0.10, -0.05-92.091.40.00340.106-74.8
Apple iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max frequency response

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max frequency response

Apple iOS 13 arrives with the new iPhones

The newest iPhones always comes with the latest Apple iOS, and that’s the case with the iPhone 11 series. They all run on the iOS 13 out of the box, though we received and installed the iOS 13.1 update on September 24.

The iOS 13 is another major update of the iPhone OS, bringing a new system-wide dark theme, improvements to battery life and charging, and updates a couple of the default apps with new looks and features – Photos, Maps, Reminders. Sign-in with Apple ID is part of iOS 13, too, and there is a more detailed control over location access.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

With the previous iOS 12 Apple introduces grouped notifications, Screen Time, better DND mode, and expanded battery stats. One of the biggest changes that iOS 11 brought back in 2007 was the unification of the lockscreen and notification center.

Now, let’s take a look at how things are done on them iPhones.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The iPhone 11 trio has one biometric security feature, and that’s Face ID. It hasn’t changed much since its introduction within the iPhone X, though now the that the new iPhones have a bit wider lens on their selfie cameras, Apple claims the Face ID works at wider angles. Well, we tried it, and even though this upgrade sounds reasonable in theory, it was hard to see and feel the improvement.

All iPhone 11 phones support Face ID and you can add a second face as Alternate Appearance option.

Face ID setup and settings - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Face ID setup and settings - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Face ID setup and settings - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Face ID setup and settings - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Face ID setup and settings

The lockscreen is pretty simple – it has two shortcuts – flashlight and camera. Now that the 3D Touch is gone and replaced by the Haptic Touch, you just tap and hold to activate it. Or pretend to press harder, which leads to tap and hold, but your brain thinks it’s different.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Naturally, apps go on the homescreen, there are no widgets and no separate app drawer, but folders are available. The leftmost Today page is here to stay – it is the place where various widgets go, and it also includes a system-wide Spotlight search field.

Lockscreen - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Homescreen - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Homescreen - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Today - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Today settings - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

    
Lockscreen • Homescreen • Homescreen • Today • Today settings

The navigation gestures stay the same as they were on the iPhone and the always-visible line at the bottom is here to stay. Swipe upwards from that line to close an app, swipe and stop midway for task switcher.

The Notification Center is summoned with a swipe from the left horn, but the gesture also works from the notch, too. The pane was unified with the lockscreen in iOS 11, and if you use different wallpapers for home and lock screens, you may get confused at first.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The Control Center with all your (customizable) toggles, is called with a swipe from the right horn. You can use haptic touch to access additional controls. And the battery percentage has been moved permanently here because there is no room left for it on that status bar.

And here is a quick reminder of how weirdly some of the Control Center toggles work. A tap on Wi-Fi or Bluetooth disengages all connections, but it doesn’t turn off these features. According to Apple this way you will keep AirDrop active and yet won’t be connected to anything until the next morning (or until you manually initiate the connection). That’s fine, but we have to dig in settings to turn those off when we really need to, which is a step backward.

Notification Center - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Control Center - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Control Center - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Control Center - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Control Center - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

    
Notification Center • Control Center

3D Touch is gone for good, and we have Apple to blame for its demise. The company had years to use it for something more than just an overengineered long-press functionality for quick previews and context action pop-ups, but it appeared it simply chose to ignore it. Its functionality is still here, but now it requires a mere tap-and-hold instead of an actual press, although a press would do it too. The taptic engine provides the appropriate haptic feedback, and it feels like the 3D Touch is still here even though it’s not. And we are glad Apple ditched the 3D Touch layer as it helped free some space inside the phone.

So, you can use the Haptic Touch on various app icons to reveal quick actions, if available. You can also use it for notifications, toggles, and in-app content pop-up or expansion (pictures, links, file descriptions, etc.). You can also use Haptic Touch on folders to rename them or see the apps inside that have pending notifications.

And as usual – a pop-up preview of pictures, weblinks, messages, emails, notes, and photos, is available.

Haptic Touch - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Haptic Touch - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Haptic Touch - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Haptic Touch - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Haptic Touch

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has exclusive support for enhanced landscape view in some system apps. The Settings app looks different in landscape orientation; the Mail, and Messages, Safari as well.

Landscape view in different apps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Landscape view in different apps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Landscape view in different apps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Landscape view in different apps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

 
 
Landscape view in different apps

Apple iOS 13 introduced a systemwide Dark Mode. You can enable it within Display Settings, and it switches to dark all white backgrounds across iOS. The Dark Mode affects all system apps, but also apps that rely on system backgrounds. It will supposedly save you some battery because the screen is often less lit.

You can choose between always-on or automatic. The latter means you can either manually schedule the Dark Mode or choose from Dark Until Sunrise/Light Until Sunset.

Dark Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Dark Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Dark Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Dark Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Dark Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Dark Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

     
Dark Mode

Siri – Apple’s digital assistant – is used by 400+ million people monthly. You summon it by holding the ‘side’ key (the Power key). It’s continuously evolving thanks to all machine-learning improvements and iOS 13 introduces new voice with even more natural speech.

Siri Shortcuts were introduced as part of iOS 12, but now those get their standalone Shortcuts app. There are so many things you can assign a shortcut to that it will take many pages to describe them. You can script almost anything that’s available within iOS itself, a lot of stuff from within the system apps, and some advanced actions from any well-known apps such as YouTube or Facebook.

The scripting option offers opening apps, choose a menu from settings, exit app, if and repeats, get different stats, adjust various settings, turn on or off something, calculate, measure, get network details and whatnot.

You can request various type of files – latest imports from images, different type of images, screenshots, open PDFs, edit notes, print, scan QR, and many more.

Siri - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Shortcuts app - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Shortcuts app - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Shortcuts app - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Shortcuts app - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Shortcuts app - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

     
Siri • Shortcuts app

The Photos app is a major part of iOS and it has been completely overhauled in iOS 13. The Photos tab now has four different views – Years, Months, Days, and All Photos. The last one is what the previous Photos app offered as default view.

Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

     
Photos

Days, Months and Years tabs use what the AI considers as best pictures at a glance and this way all the clutter get filtered – you won’t see screenshots, notes, or even duplicates. When you scroll through your images in these three categories, all live photos and videos will play automatically, muted of course. Also, your best photos or videos will show in bigger thumbnails.

Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Photos - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

  
Photos

The new Photos app also offers new editing mode – more powerful, and yet easy to use. You can now clearly see what the photo looks before and after the editing, intensity slider is available in many places, there are new options such as vibrance, definition, noise, new filters, among many others.

Editing a photo - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a photo - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a photo - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a photo - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Editing a photo

And same goes for videos. There is a powerful video editor included within the Photos app. You can adjust exposure, highlights, contrast, saturation, brightness, among others.

Editing a video - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a video - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a video - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a video - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Editing a video - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

    
Editing a video

The Photos app is optimized for the new Capture Outside the Frame option in the camera. If you allow this, the phone will save outside the frame of the main camera (thanks to the new ultrawide snapper) and the Photos app will suggest later to crop outside the shot frame if for example people were cut from a group photo.

The rest of the iOS app package is quite familiar – Books is here for your documents, PDFS, and eBooks. Stocks and News are onboard. Safari is your default web browser and it has Download manager now.

There is also an updated Health app with improved summary, highlights, and new cycle tracking feature.

Books - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Stocks - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Safari - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Health - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Health - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

    
Books • Stocks • Safari • Health • Health

Apple Maps has been updated with new Junction view, better voice navigation, real-time schedules, flight status and gates at airports, and a new Look Around feature that’s basically Street View. Look Around for now works only in some parts of California, Nevada, and Oahu.

Maps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Maps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Maps - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

  
Maps

The Apple TV app is part of iOS 13, and it is your default video player local movies and shows you’ve added via iTunes. This is also the digital store for movies and TV shows, but it is also the place where Apple TV+ streaming service will launch in just a month, and all new iPhones will come with 1-year free subscription.

Apple TV - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple TV - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple TV - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple TV - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple TV - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

    
Apple TV

Music is the default player and it relies heavily on Apple Music. But even if you decide not to opt for the streaming service, it can still do an excellent job if you have a few minutes to add your songs via iTunes. The number of clicks is the same as if you were to copy them via Windows Explorer, but the prejudice against the app quadruples those.

Music - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Music - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Music - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Music - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Music - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Music - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

     
Music

Finally, Apple pushes Apple Pay even more with iOS 13, and there is a new feature called sign-in with Apple. You can use this in iOS 13 to quickly sign into apps with your Apple account, authenticating with FaceID or TouchID (and with two-factor authentication included). Apple will send the app a unique random ID. If an app demands your email address, you can choose to give it your actual email, or a random one automatically created by Apple for you with built-in forwarding (and these throwaway emails are actually per-app, so you can delete only one that’s associated with a specific app if you choose to).

Apple A13 Bionic is in charge of everything

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, as well as the cheaper iPhone 11, run on the latest Apple A13 Bionic chip. It has 8.5 billion transistors and is built on a 7nm+ process. The chipset is faster and more power efficient than the A12.

As the Bionic name suggests the A13 chip is more of an improved sequel, rather than a major chip redesign. That was to be expected – usually the Speed models are the bearers of new chip innovations.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro, and 11

The Apple A13 Bionic chip packs a hexa-core processor with 2×2.65 GHz Lightning high-performance cores and 4×1.8 GHz Thunder efficient CPU cores. The Lightning cores are 20% faster, 30% more efficient. Once again Apple has chosen some cool names for its processor cores.

The A13 SoC has a new GPU that keeps the 4-core design introduced with A12. But is now 20% faster and a whopping 40% more efficient when delivering the same performance as A12’s GPU.

The third generation Neural Engine has 8 cores (20% faster, 15% more efficient) and is in charge of image processing features such as Deep Fusion and Night Mode. Deep Fusion will be released as a software update later this year and it’s Apple’s version of HDR+. It takes 4 photos before you press the shutter, 4 when you do and then 1 long exposure. Then it picks the best shots and fuses them together. Night Mode is available at launch.

Finally, all iPhone 11 devices come with 4GB of RAM. There are theories that the new ISP has a dedicated 2GB of RAM because it would be close to impossible to do what it does without, but it is integrated within the A13 chip and until someone reverse engineers its complex architecture, this will remain just a theory.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

And now it’s time to run some benchmarks.

We ran GeekBench first. Apple has been a leader in GeekBench charts, and with the A13 it continues to be the chart-topper. The Lightning core is much faster than anything the Android competition has to offer and 15% faster than the Vortex core within the iPhone XS and Apple A12.

GeekBench 4.1 (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro5483
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max5476
  • Apple iPhone XS4823
  • Apple iPhone XS Max4777
  • Samsung Galaxy Note104544
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+4541
  • Apple iPhone X4256
  • Apple iPhone 84234
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus4232
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus3503
  • Sony Xperia 53493
  • Apple iPhone 73459
  • Sony Xperia 13447
  • OnePlus 7 Pro3402
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)3323
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro3000

The multi-core performance is now 20% faster than the previous generation iPhone XS and their A12 processor. And much faster than any Android CPU.

GeekBench 4.1 (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max13870
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro13829
  • Apple iPhone XS11472
  • Apple iPhone XS Max11432
  • Sony Xperia 110985
  • OnePlus 7 Pro10943
  • Sony Xperia 510941
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro10684
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+10403
  • Samsung Galaxy Note1010353
  • Apple iPhone X10215
  • Apple iPhone 810214
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus10037
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)10014
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus5956
  • Apple iPhone 75831

Now, let’s see if the new 4-core GPU will also live up to the promise of 20% performance upgrade. We know little about Apple’s custom GPUs. The A11 had a 3-core one, the A12 had a 4-core, and the A13 also has a 4-core one. But that’s pretty much it.

The best way to inspect the raw performance is to run some offscreen benchmarks. And the A13 GPU demonstrated chart-topping performance across the four offscreen tests we ran – Manhattan 3.0 and 3.1, Car Chase, and 3D Mark. It seems Apple has delivered once again on its promises.

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max179
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro178
  • Apple iPhone XS Max130
  • Apple iPhone XS114
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+112
  • Sony Xperia 1102
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro101
  • Samsung Galaxy Note1099
  • OnePlus 7 Pro92
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)90
  • Sony Xperia 588
  • Apple iPhone 885
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus85
  • Apple iPhone X81
  • Apple iPhone 761
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus60

GFX 3.1 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max120
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro118
  • Apple iPhone XS Max99
  • Apple iPhone XS98
  • Sony Xperia 171
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro71
  • Sony Xperia 569
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+68
  • OnePlus 7 Pro68
  • Apple iPhone X65
  • Samsung Galaxy Note1059
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)56
  • Apple iPhone 743
  • Apple iPhone 839
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus39

GFX 3.1 Car scene (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max67
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro66
  • Apple iPhone XS60
  • Apple iPhone XS Max60
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+43
  • Sony Xperia 142
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro42
  • OnePlus 7 Pro41
  • Sony Xperia 540
  • Apple iPhone X37
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)33
  • Samsung Galaxy Note1028

3DMark SSE 3.1 Unlimited

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max6475
  • OnePlus 7 Pro6093
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro6091
  • Sony Xperia 15792
  • Sony Xperia 55592
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+5287
  • Samsung Galaxy Note105269
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro4850
  • Apple iPhone XS4818
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)4315
  • Apple iPhone XS Max4102
  • Apple iPhone X3217

We also ran the Car Scene onscreen test with the iPhone 11 Pro (1125p) and 11 Pro Max (1242p) as all other onscreen tests of the GFX Benchmark reached 60fps – the maximum a 60Hz screen can display. We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves.

GFX 3.1 Car scene (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max57
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro57
  • Apple iPhone XS47
  • Apple iPhone XS Max47
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro36
  • Sony Xperia 533
  • Sony Xperia 133
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)29
  • Apple iPhone X28
  • Samsung Galaxy Note1028
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+24
  • OnePlus 7 Pro19

Finally, we ran a couple of compound benchmarks such as AnTuTu 7 and BaseMark OS II. And the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max easily became the fastest devices we’ve tested so far, by a mile at that.

AnTuTu 7

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro460784
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max459713
  • Asus ROG Phone II (120Hz)398935
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro368846
  • OnePlus 7 Pro364025
  • Sony Xperia 1356734
  • Apple iPhone XS Max353210
  • Apple iPhone XS346379
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10344442
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+342208
  • Sony Xperia 5334809
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)316156
  • Apple iPhone 8237594
  • Apple iPhone X233100

Basemark OS 2.0

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro6556
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max6353
  • Apple iPhone XS6060
  • Sony Xperia 55097
  • Redmi K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro5012
  • Apple iPhone XS Max4915
  • Samsung Galaxy Note10+4841
  • OnePlus 7 Pro4797
  • Samsung Galaxy Note104742
  • Apple iPhone X4708
  • Huawei P30 Pro (perf. mode)4675
  • Sony Xperia 14211
  • Apple iPhone 83934
  • Apple iPhone 7 Plus3796
  • Apple iPhone 8 Plus3601
  • Apple iPhone 73416

There was no doubt the Apple A13 chip would be the fastest smartphone SoC on the planet right now. It has been this way since Apple switched to inhouse designed chips and that was probably one of the best decision Apple could make since the first iPhone.

The A13 is a noticeable upgrade over the A12, and with the added graphene layers it offers better cooling and sustained performance for a very long time. The graphene disperses the heat equally over the frame and the glass back and instead of hot spots, the iPhone 11 Pro and Max just get warm all over the back. And we didn’t observe much throttling even after consecutive benchmark tests.

The Apple A13 Bionic chip is once again way ahead of the Android gang, which by the way finally managed to match the A11 chip performance from 2017. Of course, this doesn’t really matter as A13, or any other Apple chip, will never see the light of day running under Android.

So, long story short, the A13 is the promised upgrade over the A12 chip, and also – the new king in smartphone markets and we bet it will keep topping charts until Apple’s A14 comes next year.

Apple Triple camera finally arrives

One of the main reasons the new iPhones bear the Pro moniker is because of the camera. Apple has finally added a third camera to its wide+tele setup, and quite expectedly it’s an ultrawide shooter.

The iPhone 11 Pro duo features the same triple 12MP camera at the back, as well as the same selfie setup on the fronts. All features, modes, options, and the image and video quality stays identical on both iPhones, so what follows now applies for both the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

So, the Pro duo uses an all-new triple camera with 12MP sensors. The main shooter has large 1.4µm pixels, wide 26mm f/1.8 lens, optical image stabilization (OIS) and Dual Pixel AF.

The second 12MP sensor uses smaller 1.0µm pixels and sports telephoto 52mm lens for 2x optical zoom over the main camera. The lens is now brighter than before at f/2.0, OIS is available, but there is no Dual Pixel AF like on the main cam.

The new member of the family is a third 12MP sensor with 1.0µm pixels sitting behind the 13mm (120°) ultra wide-angle lens. There is neither stabilization nor autofocus for this camera.

The selfie camera got an upgrade, too. The 3D TOF snapper stays for Face ID, portraits, and various Animojis. But the actual selfie snapper is now a 12MP shooter behind wider 23mm f/2.2 lens – up from 30mm lens on the previous iPhones. Apple kept the old view though – if you shoot in portrait – it will simulate 30mm lens view and save a 7MP selfies as before while rotating the iPhone in landscape uses the full 12MP resolution and FoV. There is a virtual switch for this view, so while it is kind of automated, you can always change it manually.

The new main and tele snappers on the iPhone 11 Pros enjoy expanded ISO sensitivity, there are new min/max exposure times, too. The aperture on the telephoto camera is also wider – f/2.0 from f/2.4.

Software features

The cameras always talk to each other, so when you switch between them, they already know the correct focus, exposure and tone mapping settings. This applies for both stills and videos.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

The first thing anyone will notice is the viewfinder – you can see outside of the viewfinder thanks to some proper camera calibration, which allows seeing what will be left outside of the frame in real-time. This change may not sound that important at first, but we can confirm it really makes for a more immersive camera experience.

The viewfinder - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
The viewfinder - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

 
The viewfinder

But if you enable Photo Capture Outside the Frame and/or Video Capture Outside the Frame, you can reap the benefits from this awesome calibration later in settings. The new camera app automatically captures what is outside the frame of the main and telephoto views with information from the ultrawide and main snappers. Then the Photos app will automatically suggest you grab a wider shot if there were people cut from a group photo or parts of a building were left out, and similar features.

This extra footage requires extra space, so we’d imagine the 64GB model will be hardly enough, but the good news is if you don’t use the extra info, it will be deleted after 30 days. At least you don’t need to think about that, too.

It works mostly as advertised – if you open Photos and have a person cut, you will see a new icon popping at the top right corner and after a second you will see the improved photo or video. You can either keep it this way – automatically adjusted, or you can hit this button and revert to original.

Photos app - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Auto edited - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
Manual crop - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
This is out-zoomed of the original crop - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Photos app • Auto edited • Manual crop • This is out-zoomed of the original crop

Note that you can disable the automatic adjustments from the Camera settings and instead you will be able to choose the crop later from the new Editing mode. Just go there to Crop, tap the multi-crop icon and see all this new processing power in action.

And by the way – this is Crop Outside Frame is not exclusive to photos, you can do it in videos too and apply similar edits.

Camera settings - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review


Camera settings

We have to admit that features like this Crop Outside Frame are what often distinguished Apple from the rest – the software magic was quite the thing at the past, but it vanished for a few years. And we are happy to see Apple is returning to its roots and hope to see even more of the new processing power harnessed in the future.

And speaking of power, the Crop Outside Frame for videos makes use of all three snappers at the back, but some third-party apps like Filmic can use all four snappers (including the selfie cam) to capture and save video simultaneously. And you can do that in up to 4K at 60 fps. How about that?!

Other new features coming thanks to the new A13 Bionic chip is the Night Mode and Deep Fusion.

The Night Mode icon pops up automatically when a low-light occasion presents itself, and it will take a pseudo-long-exposure shot, handheld of course. You will see the seconds suggested next to the Night Mode icon, but if you tap on it, you can change the simulated long exposure or altogether disable it. Usually, it’s between 1 and 3 seconds, but sometimes the phone allows you to go for up to 30 seconds depending on the environmental light or the lack of it.

Auto Night Mode - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review
You can control the exposure up to 28s - Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

 
Auto Night Mode • You can control the exposure

Night Mode is available on the main and telephoto shooters but does not work on the ultrawide snapper.

Deep Fusion will be released as a software update – it’s Apple’s version of HDR+. It takes 4 photos before you press the shutter, 4 when you do and then 1 long exposure. Then it picks the best shots and fuses them together.

An upgraded version of Smart HDR is available on all snappers for Photos, and we left it on as it is by default, but as most of the camera settings – it is also tucked away in the Settings menu. It’s high-time Apple moves these on the viewfinder or at least integrate them within the camera app itself.

Image quality

Well, let’s see what this new triple camera can do. The first batch of photos was taken with the main camera of the iPhone 11 Pro/Max. The images have exemplary detail, extremely low noise, and pretty high dynamic range.

The colors are somewhat accurate though a bit washed out and remind of the iPhone 7 anemic hues. The contrast is not as superb as one would expect from a flagship. These should be easily fixable with an update, but if history has thought us anything – they won’t be.

Finally, the sharpening is a bit excessive and overall, the photos came noticeably oversharpened.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/5780s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/4464s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/4630s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/4831s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/2632s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/1730s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/748s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/3215s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/1259s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
  
  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos

The pictures we snapped with the tele camera are equally rich in detail and lack any visible noise. The sharpening was a bit toned down here, which is nice. The colors and contrast are a match for the main camera.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/2994s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/2660s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/2660s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/2660s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/1261s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/999s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/369s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/1712s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/623s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
  
  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos

The third camera is brand new on the iPhones, but it’s fairly common among the Android smartphones. Apple seemed to have used the same 12MP sensor behind the zoom lens, it just now sits behind 13mm ultrawide lens, there is no OIS and no autofocus.

The quality of the ultrawide shots is good, but not perfect. There is enough detail, though we expected a little bit more, the corners are pretty soft due to the automatic distortion correction that’s applied, and some noise is present here and there.

The colors, contrast, and the dynamic range are a match to the main camera, which means – not ideal either. For a camera that Apple supposedly worked a lot on, the ultrawide snapper is best described as average, or simply uninspiring.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/2083s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/1712s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/1776s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/1845s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/1020s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/666s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/254s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/1142s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 20, 1/424s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
  
  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP ultrawide photos

The Night Mode triggers automatically when the light is low, and while you can opt out of using it, or correct the exposure time, we suggest leaving it on automatic. It usually uses 2s or 3s exposures and the image is saved instantaneously, making it among, if not the fastest Night Modes we’ve encountered so far.

And the quality of the Night Mode images is class-leading. They have plenty of detail, they are sharp enough but not over-sharpened, the colors are excellent, the contrast is top-notch, the exposure is very balanced, and overall, we loved every single picture. We should also note that not a single photo came out blurry while shooting in Night Mode, so even if you take just one photo – it should be great.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/8s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/8s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/8s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 500, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/8s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 500, 1/13s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
  
  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP photos with Night Mode (auto)

The Night Mode is available on the telephoto camera, too, and it works as on the main camera.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/2.0, ISO 1000, 1/20s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/2.0, ISO 800, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/2.0, ISO 640, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/2.0, ISO 1250, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x photos with Night Mode (auto)

Note that the iPhone still prefers to shoot with its regular camera when the light is very low and then digitally zooms from that image. We provided you with such samples below.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x digital zoomed photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 500, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x digital zoomed photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/8s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x digital zoomed photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 500, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x digital zoomed photos with Night Mode (auto) - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x digital zoomed photos with Night Mode (auto)

We disabled the Night Mode and shot some images this way, too. Those came out with plenty of detail and still managed to keep the noise low, but the exposure is much darker – as you would expect from non-Night-Mode photos. The colors are a bit washed out, too.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 800, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 500, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 640, 1/4s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 1000, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
  
  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light photos

And here are some 2x zoomed photos without Night Mode. The first two were shot with the zoom camera, while for the other two the iPhone decided to use its main camera and then digitally zoom and crop.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x zoomed low-light photos - f/2.0, ISO 1250, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x zoomed low-light photos - f/2.0, ISO 1000, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x zoomed low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 1600, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x zoomed low-light photos - f/1.8, ISO 2500, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP 2x zoomed low-light photos

There is no Night Mode on the ultrawide camera, and as it happens pretty much every time – the low-light samples are rather abysmal. It should not be used in the dark until Apple adds Night Mode here, too.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 2000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 2000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 2000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 2000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 2000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 1250, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 800, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 2000, 1/17s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos - f/2.4, ISO 1600, 1/25s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
  
  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP low-light ultrawide photos

Once you are done with these samples, you can use our Photo Compare Tool to put the new iPhones against the competition.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max against the Apple iPhone XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ in our Photo compare tool

Portraits

The Portrait mode uses the telephoto camera for the shots, but now you can switch to the main one and do portraits with it instead. When you are in portrait mode, you can choose between various Lighting effects and the blur strength (default is f/4.0 for shots from the tele and f/2.4 for shots from the main camera).

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

The new Neural Engine within the Apple A13 chip works for even better subject separation and Lighting effects. Now you can adjust the simulated light strength, and this will change the person’s skin tone and smoothness the same way it would happen in a real studio. This is quite a niche option, but we have to say it works as advertised and will eventually find its fans.

So, we snapped a few portraits and they are indeed very good. The separation is great, the blur is convincing, and we think everyone will be happy with those. Just so you know, if the light isn’t ideal, the detail levels drop drastically.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/799s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/516s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits - f/2.0, ISO 40, 1/122s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits - f/2.0, ISO 160, 1/50s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits

As we said, you can use the main camera for portraits, too, but the separation isn’t as good. We can only guess that the main camera is used as a depth sensor when shooting regular portraits, and it helps for a more detailed depth map. And when shooting with the primary, you effectively cut out the depth eye and thus lower the quality of the final depth map that relies only on the NPU (as it was the case on the iPhone XR).

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits taken with the main camera - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/2033s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits taken with the main camera - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/1656s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits taken with the main camera - f/1.8, ISO 32, 1/176s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits taken with the main camera - f/1.8, ISO 125, 1/50s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits taken with the main camera

The Portrait Lighting samples are pretty amazing, and the new High-Key Light Mono is quite stunning (with the white background).

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits with Portrait Lighting effects - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/749s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits with Portrait Lighting effects - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/799s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits with Portrait Lighting effects - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/856s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits with Portrait Lighting effects - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/856s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits with Portrait Lighting effects - f/2.0, ISO 20, 1/799s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

    
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP portraits with Portrait Lighting effects

Selfies

The iPhone 11 generation finally brings an update to the selfie camera. It’s now a 12MP snapper, still coupled with a TOF snapper. There are new wider 23mm f/2.2 lens, but Apple kept the option to shoot with the same FoV of the old 32mm selfie camera if you’ve grown to like it.

When in portrait orientation the new iPhones shoot in 7MP and this crop corresponds to the old 32mm lens. The landscape orientation crops nothing, and you get a 12MP image. There is a virtual switch to enable or disable the crop mode at your pleasure, of course.

The selfies use Smart HDR and their quality is top-notch. There is more than enough detail, they are sharp but not over-sharpened, with great dynamic range, and good but still a bit washed out colors.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP selfies - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/164s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP selfies - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/130s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP selfies - f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/122s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP selfies - f/2.2, ISO 200, 1/60s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 12MP selfies

And here are a couple of 7MP cropped selfies, if you wonder what those would look like.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP selfies - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/152s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP selfies - f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/122s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

 
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP selfies

Portrait mode is available on the front camera helped by the TOF snapper, and the subject separation is on par with the primary Portrait mode on the rear camera. The portraits are shot in 7MP, meaning the snapper crops and the FoV is narrower.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/160s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies - f/2.2, ISO 80, 1/122s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies - f/2.2, ISO 200, 1/60s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies - f/2.2, ISO 250, 1/60s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

   
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies

Various portrait lighting effects are available, as well as adjustable blur.

Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies with lighting effects - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/154s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies with lighting effects - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/156s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies with lighting effects - f/2.2, ISO 25, 1/154s - Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max review

  
Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max 7MP portrait selfies with lighting effects

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro/Max selfie snapper supports all available video resolutions and framerates the main camera offers, and expanded dynamic range is available on all of those except 4K at 60fps. Cinematic video stabilization is available, too, and it works marvelously.

You can clearly see the better dynamic range on the 30fps sample, and while the resolved detail isn’t impressive, it’s still more than enough for a selfie cam.

The front camera can also do 1080p at 120fps slow-mo videos, which Apple called ‘slofies’. Here is a sample.

Video recording

Apple iPhone 11 Pro and Max can capture all kind of videos in all kinds of resolutions and framerates with all three cameras and it can even do it simultaneously if you have the right app. If Crop Out of the Frame is enabled for videos, the phone will use the ultrawide camera to capture more footage and if you don’t edit your videos, the extra footage will be automatically deleted after 30 days.

All videos are optically (except on ultrawide) and digitally stabilized thanks to the cinematic video stabilization. All modes, now including the [email protected] as well, feature expanded dynamic range thanks to the new Smart HDR. The slow-mo options max out at 1080p at 240fps, just like on the iPhone X and XS.

You can choose between High Efficiency and Most Compatible formats, as usual. The High Efficiency mode stands for H.265 HEVC, while the Most Compatible is H.264.

The iPhone 11 Pro duo captures wide stereo recording for the videos. This means spatial sound, just like some HTCs and some old Nokia phones did, and you should enjoy richer and deeper sound if compared to just regular stereo.

One other thing that the new iPhones can show off with is the smooth switching between the three cameras while zooming during video capturing. Thanks to the factory calibration and the same white balance and exposure settings that are passed across all snappers, you can use the new zoom wheel and zoom in and out without stutters while switching between the ultrawide, wide, and tele shooters.

Here is a sample where we played with the zoom wheel. It was shot at 4K at 30fps. It’s not perfect, but very good it is.

The 4K videos captured both at 60, and 30 fps with the main and telephoto camera are virtually identical in quality. The picture is very good – plenty of detail and low noise, the foliage presentation is a bit average but not bad, the sharpness is spot on, and the colors are true to life and not washed out as on the still images. There are no focus issues or compression artifacts. And the dynamic range is nothing short of impressive thanks to the expanded dynamic range.

The 1080p videos, 30 or 60 fps, from the main or telephoto camera, are brilliant. Plenty of detail, great foliage, jaw-dropping dynamic range. Those are among the best 1080p videos a smartphone can do.

And here are the videos from the zoom camera.

The 4K footage from the ultrawide snapper is lacking in detail in both 30 and 60 fps options. Not only that, but the corners are very soft though not warped. Those would do when played on a 1080p TV or monitor, but in native 4K they are quite poor.

Then the 1080p footage from this snapper, taken in both 30 and 60 fps, looks better. The picture is sharp, while the corners are soft as before.

The colors and contrast, as well as the dynamic range are excellent on this camera, too.

If anyone can stabilize videos, it is Apple. It has been known for the great cinematic (EIS) stabilization and it simply excels on the iPhone 11 Pro. Whether the camera has optical stabilization (main and zoom) or not (ultrawide) – the picture is perfectly stable. Nice!

Finally, you can use our Video Compare Tool to see how the new iPhones stack up against the competition.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

  
4K: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max against the Apple iPhone XS Max and the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ in our Video compare tool

Final thoughts

We love wrapping up iPhone reviews as it doesn’t really matter what we are going to say as you’ve probably already made your mind. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet iPhone 11 Pro and we are done.

No, seriously, the first batch of the iPhone 11 series is already in the hands of a lot of people around the world and the phones are already on backorder in these first markets. This Friday the second batch is going to ship, but we can safely bet most of these orders will be fulfilled in October, too. Because the satisfied iPhone users don’t need any reviews to tell them the new iPhones are amazing.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro, and 11

And they are. The Apple iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are faithful sequels and meaningful updates over the XS iPhones. And while we can always argue the XS users should wait off this generation, this is probably a must buy for any owner of an older iPhone.

The iPhone 11 Pro duo focuses on camera and battery life, two features where Apple has been consistently lacking. And the Cupertino company definitely took its time catching up with the Android gang, but it is finally there, and the wait seems to be worth it. The main camera gets a third ultrawide snapper, Night Mode has arrived, and the batteries grew in size. That’s what many hoped for.

Luckily Apple did manage to sneak a few software tricks that sprinkle some of that magic the maker is known for. You can shoot 4K videos at 60fps with all four cameras at once. The Crop Outside Frame is very cool feature and it surely required some proper camera calibration to work that good. The expanded dynamic range across all videos is pretty impressive.

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro, and 11

The battery enlargements are very welcome, and our tests showed massive improvement in the endurance. But we were most delighted to see those 18W fast chargers bundled with the new iPhones. It was about time. No, it was long, long overdue.

And surely the new iPhones brought refinements to the already 2-year old design and those made them tougher and even better water-resistant. The A13 chip is the fastest in the world, the screens got better with XDR (no $999 stand required), iOS 13 is better, there is a new green color, the sky is blue, the water is wet. All of these are indeed great achievements, it’s just that these improvements became expected instead, the market demands them, and the element of surprise was lost. We suppose we as consumers are all responsible for that.

So, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are the best iPhones Apple has ever made. The fastest, with the longest battery life, the best screens, and the best (and most) cameras. And if you think something is missing, we are sure it will come in a generation or two.

The verdict

The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max aren’t that worthy upgrades over the XS and XS Max. Just because Apple added an extra rear camera, it doesn’t mean you need to jump this year. It’s a good idea to wait for the 11S models, but who are we to stand in the way of the Night Mode and slofies?

Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

Frankly, the new iPhone 11 Pro duo is expectedly great and even pulled off a couple of surprise moves here and there. We wished for a lot of things with the new generation and we got almost all of them. Sure, the prices are steep, and they skyrocket if you go for more gigabytes, but that’s Apple and many will convince you the premium warranty, seamless and hassle-free experience, variety of apps, blazing performance, great camera skills and about 5 years of major updates are worth every penny. Well, we are not going to deny it.

Pros

  • Tougher and waterproof design, matte back
  • The XDR screens are the brightest OLEDs around, excellent contrast and color accuracy
  • Apple A13 Bionic is the fastest smartphone chip on the planet
  • Excellent battery life, fast charging
  • Stereo speakers with class-leading quality
  • iOS provides smooth user experience
  • The main and zoom cameras produce very good photos, Night Mode works as advertised
  • Amazing video quality and stabilization across the board
  • Excellent selfie photo and video quality
  • The calibration between the three snappers is excellent and allows for Crop Outside Frame, simultaneous video capturing, and smooth switching during recording

Cons

  • The notch is still enormous
  • A high-refresh rate screen would have made it more competitive.
  • No 3.5mm jack or audio adapter in the box, limited NFC usage
  • The file management and transfer in iOS isn’t that easy to understand
  • The camera photos come out bland
  • Ultra-wide camera lacks autofocus and Night Mode
  • Telephoto cam is 2x while competitors are already at 3x and even 5x.
  • The camera options MUST BE INSIDE the Camera app, c’mon Apple!
  • Expensive. Very Expensive.
Apple Iphone 11 Pro and Max review

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