Updated: Oct 1, 2019
Siri, play 'It's The Most Wonderful Time of The Year' please.
It's that time of year again. Siri doesn't question whether it's the right time to play a Christmas song in September. She just does as I ask. Football has begun and the new line of iPhones, Apple Watches, iPad and services have been announced. What better way to start off the fall season?
June and September are the two months out of the year that I will find somewhere quiet, open my laptop, turn on my headphones, and wait for the live keynote the Apple presents yearly to start. June is typically iOS announcements, Mac announcements, and truly what their software and products have done to connect people and create anything and everything we see and hear today in the world. September is the announcements of the new iPhones and watches. Maybe laptops or any new physical product.
This year the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max were unveiled to the world. Along with the series 5 Apple watches, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade updates and release dates. But this will just be a run down of some of the main points of emphasis on this year's upgrade list with the 11 Pro lineup.
iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max: Price
The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max come in at $999/$1099 for the 64 GB starter storage. And that doesn't seem as bad as competitors in the same field when you take away the Pixel. But focus on the term "starting at" or "coming in at". The storage sizes range from 64 GB to 256 GB and finally ending at 512 GB. So if you're the opposite of me and rarely need a storage upgrade, you're probably best at purchasing the 64 GB phone. But if you're similar to me, store tons and tons of music, photos, videos, and apps then the 256 or 512 GB option is your best bet. You just will be dishing out a few hundred bucks more. There is of course the iPhone 11 that comes in at a much cheaper price and pretty much is an upgraded iPhone XS Max but with a lower price tag. I expect that to be a very popular buy along with the multiple colors and fun that it comes with.
11 Pro and 11 Pro Max Specs
Both phones come with the all new powerful A13 Bionic chip. This chip is considered by some experts as the fastest, most powerful CPU and GPU ever in a smartphone. GPU is the central part of the system hardware and handles all of the visual rendering elements of the phone's display. The CPU is basically what handles all of the computing behind the screen. So in Layman's terms, CPU is what handles your apps and games workload and computing and GPU is what brings those games and apps to life with the rich visuals you see on your phones today. To the average consumer these changes in power between the A12 and the new A13 probably aren't that noticeable without comparing the two together. But as a yearly acquirer of the phone, it can be noticeable depending on your workload on your device.
Water Resistance Upgrades/Back
Both phones come equipped with an improved water resistance level of up to 4 meters for 30 minutes. So basically they're water proof but for business sake I see why keeping it at "resistant" is the best option. No one is diving in oceans without a Lifeproof or water proof case anyways unless they just do not care about their phone. But for the accidental drops in the toilet, pool, or even beverage spills; these phones can take that. I also like the new matte glass finish to the back of the phone. Seems much more "Pro" like and a lot less slippery when your hands sweat and just with typical phone usage. Big fan of the change.
This is one of two major reasons for my excitement over this new phone. My phones since the iPhone 7+ and X, honestly, have had decent battery life for a normal day for me. On days where I had nothing to do and my screen time rose, I'd definitely have to take my charger out once before the day ended and I set it up for sleep. But through a week and a half of having the new iPhone 11 Pro Max, I can honestly say this battery upgrade is not one to be taken lightly at all. For those who know me, my phone can be unlocked a lot throughout the day. I love technology and it can be a tiny issue at times. But my point in saying that is: I use my phone a lot. I write, text, FaceTime, game, watch videos, take pictures and videos, listen to music through bluetooth, etc. I get the most out of these said chips that drive these phones. When I wake up at 8 am on the dot and look at my phone at 9 pm that same day.....and may phone reads
Thats HUGE!!! No that's not an exaggeration. The extra 4 (iPhone 11 Pro) and 5 (iPhone 11 Pro Max) hours of battery life is incredibly noticeable for those who use their phones a lot and I'm sure especially noticeable to those who do not. Being able to truly use our devices for a full day (plus some more here and there) is vital in the every day hustle and bustle we call life. It is what it is. Times have changed and longer batteries are appreciated. Up to 18/20 hours of video playback, 60/85 hours of audio playback, and 11/12 hours of video playback streamed.
The screens are noticeably brighter while using 15% less power throughout your use. Doubled in ratio coming in at 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio. The resolution at 2688x1242 and 458 ppi (Pro Max) and 2436x1125 and 458 ppi (Pro). It can reach up to 800 nits max brightness when you're out in the sun and up to 1200 nits in extreme dynamic range content. Those who can't really see their phones in the bright sun can appeal to this upgrade. Maybe the matte screen protector isn't so much needed anymore? I was never a fan anyway. Now a difference in touch with this year's model is the Haptic Touch, which was formally called 3D Touch. I liked the 3D Touch feature and changing to Haptic Touch is a bit weird, but doable. You don't really get that feedback that 3D Touch gave, but the reasoning for this change was to make more room underneath the screen for a bigger battery. I'm absolutely okay with that and I think most people could agree with that. The gesture is still the same, it just may take some getting used to feel wise when you hold down on apps and buttons to get that extra list of actions.
And here we have it. The big one. The other part of my two points of emphasis with this upgrade. I've always loved seeing what people could capture with just an iPhone around the world. I've also found it fascinating to see what I, a non-expert, could capture as well. But I have never been this excited to see what I can come up with on my phone. With the two camera system Apple has had in place for the last 3 years, mobile photography had taken a step forward. But with competitors like Samsung and Google, Apple still lagged behind in some areas like: night photography, portrait photos, and wider angled shots. Yeah.....that's all behind us now. And for non-iPhone users to think that we care that we were late to the game, I don't have much for them. Apple isn't always the first to the party on certain feature upgrades. But they make sure that whenever they do arrive, they look damn good. With the addition of a third lens (ultra wide angle) and night mode, the iPhone Pros have a chance to blow other phones out of the water. Maybe blow out of the water may be a bit extreme, but from the comparisons and feedback from actual photographers, they're killing it with this year's upgrade. Of course a lot of it is opinionated based on the type/style of photography you crave. But it cannot be argued that Apple is ahead of the pack or at least dead even.
Above are three examples of each of the iPhone 11 Pro Max's lenses. I did not move the phone outward or any direction once. All shots are taken from the very same place the first close up was taken from on the far left. Now I'm not sure if this kind of thing catches your eye, but I was blown away by it. The kind of camera power...in your pocket. It makes it even more fun for us to want to take pictures and capture life. During the day and now even at night. Flash isn't even really necessary now. I mean take a look at this photo I took last night.
Yes those are real stars and the top picture was edited only slightly on the iPhone camera app itself. I don't know about you but that shit's crazy. You can't even see the tree!!!!! The art we can come up with now on our phones can change the way we use our phones on a daily, now nightly too, basis. And night mode can detect when it needs to be turned on and doesn't need to be as well. It's all part of the usefulness Apple takes so much pride in. Intuitive and useful.
UltraWide aperture is at f/2.4, wide angle at f/1.8, and telephoto at f/2.0. All three have 12MP and still have dual optical image stabilization. Video specs include an upgrade for extended dynamic range in video for up to 60 frames per second as opposed to 30 fps on last year's model. Filmic Pro app is coming out with an update that will allow the user to record with multiple cameras at once. For example: vloggers can record at front facing and any of the back three at the same time. Game changer for YouTubers. Which I should ad, the front facing camera now also has a 12MP camera for those who like crisper selfies. And of course as most of us have heard by now, the ability to take "slofies". That would be slow motion selfies. I'm not exactly sure that that term will catch on, but it's a fun take on a new feature that may or may not get a ton of use. With these upgrades in the camera, developers are allowed room to use the software and hardware to amplify our experience on the iPhone. And that's only the beginning.
All in all, I understand the physical upgrade that people wanted didn't come. But this isn't the first 3 phone cycle Apple has used when it comes to the look of their device. When the 6 came out, the 6, 6S, and 7 all had the same build pretty much. And with the X, XS, and now 11/11 Pro, it's speculated that this is the end of this current cycle. The 2020 iPhone is expected to be the next BIG change in the physicality of our iPhones. I'm excited about that, but the upgrades featured in this year's model are absolutely enough to hold me over until 2020's big change. Another year of solidifying my place in the Apple ecosystem, I don't see myself hopping out anytime soon. Better battery, better camera, iOS 13 features, and the opportunities keep growing bigger. If you have any questions that I didn't cover here about my thoughts on the new phones, just hit me up! If there is one thing I love talking about, it's Apple products. And yes, I highly recommend upgrading if you have the opportunity to.