The iPhone's brief foray into the world of Roman numerals officially ended on Tuesday as Apple unveiled the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max as successors to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max (Review) respectively. Like all Pro devices by Apple, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max sport higher price tags than their non-Pro counterpart and are available in a Space Grey finish, the two most important criteria that every device most fulfil before being deemed worthy of the ‘Pro' moniker.
Jokes aside, at first glance it's a little difficult to see what's ‘Pro' about these iPhone models. They seem like solid, incremental updates to their processors — not that there's anything wrong with that — that'll make any prospective buyer extremely happy. For its part, Apple is calling the display on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max as a ‘Pro display' and justifying it by touting improvements to the contrast ratio as well as peak brightness — now at 800 nits typical and 1200 nits maximum — as compared to their predecessors.
The new “textured matte glass” finish of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max gives them a completely different in-hand feel compared to their predecessors as well as the iPhone 11. We're curious to see how it impacts their grip in day-to-day usage. The new iPhone 11 Pro duo will be available in Space Grey, Silver, Gold, and a new Midnight Green finish, with the latter perhaps the most understated ‘green' we've seen on a device.
The other ‘Pro' bit on these new iPhone models — according to Apple — is the camera system. Apple's Phil Schiller says “iPhone 11 Pro has the first triple-camera system in iPhone and is far and away the best camera we've ever made.” In addition to the ultra-wide and wide cameras seen on the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max pack a 12-megapixel telephoto f/2.0 camera.
Let's take a moment to talk about the way Apple has chosen to arrange these three lenses at the back of the phones, which gives them a look that's weird at best. Thanks to the leaks, we've had a chance to get used to this layout, so it certainly doesn't look as ugly as when we saw the first leak several months ago, but it's safe to say that this isn't the finest work of Apple's famed design department. The only consolation here is that we won't be spending much time look at the back of our iPhones.
Apple is also promising enhanced low-light photography with a dedicated Night Mode, in addition to better overall performance with next-generation Smart HDR. iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature improved selfie cameras with 12-megapixel sensors. You can even shoot 4K at 60fps with the front camera and slow-motion videos as well, a feature Apple is unfortunately calling 'slofie'.
Apple has addressed one of our long-standing complaints with the iPhone by bundling a faster charger with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (but sadly not the iPhone 11). You get a Type-C to Lightning change in the box with the iPhone 11 Pro duo, another departure from a long-standing tradition. There's no 5G, but all three 2019 iPhone models do support 802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6, a first for Apple devices.
Unlike the iPhone 11, there's no pleasant surprise with respect to the India pricing of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with the duo carrying a starting price of Rs. 99,900 and Rs. 1,09,900 respectively, which is the same as their predecessors. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our comprehensive reviews of the new iPhone models.
Disclosure: Apple sponsored the correspondent's flights and hotel for the launch event in Cupertino.