Where the “cheap” iPhone 11 is better than the expensive 11 Pro

Essentially, the iPhone 11 is a slightly improved and updated version of the iPhone Xr. It has the same design, dimensions and weight. The body is made of aluminum and glass, on the front panel there are thick frames with a cutout for the camera and Face ID sensors, and on the back there is glossy glass. Even the Lightning charging connector is not centered on the bottom, just like the iPhone Xr.

Large frames and a monobrow already cause less rejection and bewilderment among people. Of course, in 2019, when they already know how to hide the front cameras under the screen, it all looks outdated. But not this time, now the company has released only a minor update, and some more serious changes will, I believe, next year.

From the real external changes – new body colors, a dual camera at the back, a bull’s eye moved to the center of the back cover and the removal of the iPhone inscription from the body. The blue and coral colors have been removed from the line, adding new options. Now the lineup is as follows: white, black, yellow, red, green and purple.

Face ID hasn’t improved much either. Except that the angle of view of the sensors was increased, but in terms of response speed, everything remained at the same level. Well, you still can’t unlock your phone if it’s in landscape orientation. There is no fingerprint scanner (neither on the body, nor under the glass).

In terms of size and ergonomics, this is the “golden mean”. It’s not as compact as the iPhone X, Xs, and 11 Pro, but it’s not yet the shovel of the 11 Pro Max. A sort of average option, suitable for almost everyone. The iPhone 11 also became stronger than its predecessor and better protected from water and dust: up to half an hour at a depth of up to two meters, while the Xr could only be submerged half a meter.

The fact that Apple will put two cameras in the iPhone 11 knew long before the announcement. Disputes were only on the topic of what the second module will be: a telephoto camera with a zoom or ultra-wide. As a result, the choice fell on the second option, and this is the right decision. Still, experience with past iPhones has shown that 2x zoom is not the most requested option, and it is easier to crop an image taken with the main camera. Although for portraits, it suits much better than a conventional sensor. In turn, the wide-angle module gives you real opportunities to shoot architecture with landscapes, and take some interesting picture with the effect of macro photography, and just fit everyone in a group photo.

But this ultra-wide-angle camera has a lot of flaws in the new iPhones. It has no autofocus, no optical stabilization, low light sensitivity, it “smears” the frame around the edges and adds vignette. In general, normal images can only be obtained with perfect light or by being very confused with post-processing.

But with the addition of a second camera, the iPhone 11 takes better portraits. In Xr, because of one camera, the photos often looked artificial, since the system itself tried to figure out where the edges of the object to be kept in focus are. Plus it only worked with portraits of people. Now the phone has learned to determine the depth of space (but still often misses), and in portrait mode you can shoot anything with a blurred background.

In fact, this is the same camera found in the iPhone 11 Pro with all the new shooting modes, just no telephoto. All modules, including the front one, are able to record video in 4K at 60fps and you can switch between them while recording video (though this only works in 4K 30fps). And they do not differ much from last year’s cameras, it just became more opportunities for shooting at night and in other specific scenarios.

Of course, one of the most important innovations is the night mode. The principle of its operation is described in the review of the iPhone 11 Pro, so there is no point in repeating itself. In this mode, the phone brightens the frame quite neatly, without turning night into day and creating the effect of an artificial light source in front of the subject. If there is enough light and turn on the night mode manually, then the image will just slightly sharpen.

Also, soon on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, Deep Fusion technology will appear, which increases the detail of photos. With it, the phone takes eight photos and, using machine learning, combines them into one frame with maximum clarity. While the technology is being tested, but already it can be seen that in some cases, even with a twofold zoom of the finished photographs, the detail remains at a high level and “soap” does not appear. At the same time, during shooting with poor lighting, less noise appears in the final frame.

In general, it is almost impossible to distinguish between photos on the iPhone Xr and 11, if you disable all software improvements. Sometimes last year’s iPhone does even better, but this is all about taste. Therefore, if we talk about the optics itself, there are also no major changes, with the exception of the appearance of an ultra-wide-angle camera.

In terms of hardware, this is almost an exact copy of the iPhone 11 Pro: the Apple A13 processor and four gigabytes of RAM. It is now the most powerful phone in the world, judging by synthetic tests. However, the speed of operation has not increased much compared to the iPhone Xr, which is the general merit of both last year’s processor and iOS 13. Such an increase in power is needed to process the image from the camera (Deep Fusion and night mode are not available on previous iPhones) and as a margin of safety for a future where firmware gets even heavier.

The battery capacity, compared to the Xr, has increased by only five percent, so there is no significant increase in autonomy. Apple claims the phone lasts one hour longer, but in reality, both phones run out of power at about the same rate. Yes, it is enough for a whole day of work, but it is very far from the results of the 11 Pro Max. There is also support for fast charging, but the kit still contains an ancient five-watt power supply.

Everything you need to know about the iPhone 11 – it has become more affordable and has an ultra-wide-angle camera. Otherwise, this is roughly the same iPhone Xr with slightly faster hardware and some features that its predecessor does not have. Moreover, Apple has lowered the price of the Xr and continues to release it.

Comparing the 11 Pro with the usual 11 makes little sense: these are phones of different categories, where there is already an overpayment for parts, such as a stainless steel case, the presence of a powerful charger in the kit, an OLED screen and better autonomy. Specifically, the 11 can be almost all the same as the 11 Pro, but it costs one and a half times cheaper. A much more difficult question is which is better: iPhone 11 or Xr.

So, iPhone 11 now costs from 60 thousand rubles for the minimum version, and Xr – 50 thousand. The difference of 10 thousand is significant enough to wonder how much this wide-angle camera and night mode are really needed.

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