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We can measure the speed of time in many ways. In technology, it is the distance that changes the perspective of the importance of a new characteristic from one generation to another. For example, from the first mobile phone, where the important thing was to call, to the first smartphone, where the call was just one more functionality in a sea of applications.
The iPhone can be used as an example of many changes, transitions, and evolution.
Remember how more than twelve years ago – twelve years already – Steve Jobs presented us with an incredible device that did everyday tasks in a way that no other device could do. Browse the internet, listen to music, talk on the phone. Many things were explained in that presentation, but one of them went almost unnoticed: the fact that the iPhone took great photos (for the time).
This happened because we couldn’t take advantage of those photos. To send photographs we had to do it by MMS or by email (who remembers that the original iPhone could not send MMS?).
Thus, the iPhone camera wasn’t one of the key features of the device. Throughout the years, the importance of mobile photography – largely driven by the emergence of social networks – has gained more relevance because it has become one of the most important forms of communication and expression. And like so we arrive at the iPhone 11 (Check on Amazon.com).
Apple iPhone 11 – Design’s evolution
The Apple iPhone 11 is heir to the design we first saw on the iPhone XR (Check on Amazon.com). The objective is to generate a new lineup, by evolving the concept that worked wonders with the XR by enhancing the key features that make it more interesting than its siblings.
The Apple iPhone 11 is equipped with the same Liquid Retina display, with the same resolution (720p), color depth and dots per inch. It would have been interesting to finally have an HD screen in this model but it is fair to say that the quality of the screen makes up for it. The 326 dpi is enough as to not see individual pixels, and the True Tone screen helps make using the screen more comfortable in all conditions.
As for the size, it is exactly the same as the XR, including the weight. Apple advertises that this iPhone 11 has the toughest glass in any smartphone and that in this generation it has been reinforced with a new chemical ion exchange process that makes it extra durable. This is the same process commonly used in the aeronautical and automobile industry.
It also feels – in my opinion – slightly more rugged in the back, although this is not as obvious as in the Pro Max. Unfortunately, the 5W charger that Apple should banish once and for all, is still being included in the package, while the iPhone 11 Pro (Check on Amazon.com) and Max (Check on Amazon.com) have an 18-watt fast charger.
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro review: worth the wait
- Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max review: better camera and battery life
Another evident change has been improved speakers. The Apple iPhone 11 now sports spatial audio playback, which thanks to its stereo speakers, sends sound tones around the listener. The volume has also improved significantly, and now using it in the kitchen, in a hotel room, or outdoors is more practical than ever.
The new IP68 certification also means that the new model can now be submerged up to 6.5 feet (2 meters) deep in water for a maximum of 30 minutes. The new colors are black, green, yellow, mauve, red and white.
Apple iPhone 11 – A13 Bionic
The new evolution of Apple’s SoC (system-on-a-chip) materializes in the form of the A13 and is more powerful and more efficient.
The A13 processor is an exercise in engineering – and innovation -; it makes this chip 20% faster than the A12 one while consuming 30% less energy! Imagine if a car could use the same displacement engine and run 20% faster while consuming 30% less fuel… A true engineering and research feat for a chip that is only one year older than its predecessor.
For synthetic tests, this time, I used Geekbench 5, the latest version of the popular benchmarking platform. This new version changes the scale with respect to Geekbench 4, so beware of comparing results between different versions. In order to measure the increase in power, I have also tested the iPhone XS Max, using Geekbench 5, and the results are staggering:
- iPhone 11: 6359
- iPhone XS Max: 4597
U1, the future is here
Inside this little machine that fits in our pocket, there is a hidden surprise. Do you know what a U1 is? It is a new chip that allows you to accurately locate other devices that are also equipped with them. It’s like a GPS between devices.
On September 30, a free update to iOS will activate a new version of AirDrop for the iPhone 11. It will allow finding other devices that use the U1 chip simply by pointing towards them and by proximity as if you were using radar. This will prepare the iPhone 11 for the future: can you imagine a new generation of AirPods, Magic Mouse or even MacBooks that can be located anywhere, with an accuracy of centimeters?
This is one of its utilities. Another one would be the spatial location for Augmented Reality or Virtual Reality games. And speaking of improvements: the new chip is also capable of emitting a Bluetooth signal up to 45% further than the previous iPhone.
Apple iPhone 11 – Next-generation TrueDepth camera
As I commented at the beginning of the article, this is the iPhone that marks a new direction in Apple’s photography. It is a shift similar to that of the iPhone 8 and Portrait mode, but this time it goes much deeper.
To begin with, the big change that iPhones have been screaming for: the front cameras have been updated and now have a new 12MP sensor with a wider viewing angle. The phone can automatically adapt the viewing angle both in photos and in video depending on whether you are holding it vertically (narrow-angle) or horizontally (wide angle) automatically.
The selfie cam also sports a Portrait mode with a new High-Key Light Mono effect (in black and white). In addition, it is capable of recording 4K video at 60 FPS and capturing slow-motion footage at 120 FPS. Thus Apple introduces the term “slofies”, which are more or less selfies in slow motion video. All selfies are now better thanks to the new TrueDepth camera, which is also used for Face ID. According to Apple, technically Face ID is now faster and more sensitive and can recognize faces at a greater angle, but in my tests, it seems to work the same as before.
The two new rear cameras, one normal and one ultra-wide (120 degrees field of view) are truly spectacular and elevate Apple photography beyond any imagination.
The new interface allows us to take videos without leaving photo mode, simply by holding the photo button pressed and sliding up.
Video stability has also been improved, and they are now very smooth even at 4K and 60fps.
Last but not least the change in HDR. Apple now offers us Smart HDR: what it does is use artificial intelligence to process an image, recognize objects, and separate them from the context of the image, highlighting planes or parts of an image that you can use to try and create a Photo as natural as possible.
Night mode, on the other hand, does the complete opposite. Instead of increasing brightness or exposure, or overexposing some parts of the image, the iPhone 11 first captures all the information thanks to the new camera sensors that allow it to capture more light. Among all the stills captured in order to compose the final photo, the neural motor identifies which areas must be enhanced by artificial intelligence.
But it is not about raising values, what this iPhone does is to detect objects, people and also shadows and light. In Night mode we seek the fidelity of dark shadows and their contrast with the light – rather than highlighting colors or the contrast between them is Smart HDR -. And the results are spectacular.
To sum up, this combination of the new lenses, sensors, and AI, not only justifies the existence of this new generation of iPhones but also defines them. The advancements between last year’s iPhone XR [or XS (Check on Amazon.com)] to this year’s iPhone 11 are staggering. This kind (amount) of innovation is not only changing the phone every year, but it is also driving the technology forward and pushing the limits of what a device can do – and this is no marketing stunt, it is truly useful for the user. The iPhone, as a concept and as a product, has been doing this dance since 2007!
Read more: Apple iPhone XS review
This iPhone 11 (Check on Amazon.com) is the most all-round product that is being offered at a lower price than last year’s iPhone XR (Check on Amazon.com). Apple managed to improve everything that could be improved with surprising results. Mobile photography is now a staple in smart devices and this iPhone 11 shows us that it can get even better.
It is the new go-to iPhone that is perfect for everyone – you can play video games, take pictures and rest assured that you will always get the latest updates. If you upgrade from an iPhone XR, you will love the new cameras and their endless possibilities. If you upgrade from any previous model, you will be amazed by everything that this new generation of iPhones can offer to you.