iPhone 11 Pro review: the BEST camera on a phone


– Alright, its iPhone time. Apple released three new
iPhones all at once this year. The iPhone 11, the iPhone 11
Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro max. Now, I honestly think the
iPhone 11 is the phone most people in the iOS
ecosystem should get if they’re upgrading. So we’ve got a whole
other review that phone you should check out too. But this, this is the Pro review. The dark mode, cash money
review for professionals who use their phones to do pro stuff. Like taking telephoto photos. Actually, I have no idea why
Apple called these phones Pro. They’re basically just nice
updates to the iPhone XS but I also think it’s a waste
of time to argue about names. iPhone 11 Pro Max is a bad name. But you know what, it’s a great phone. And I think Apple might have done it. This is the best camera
I’ve ever seen on a phone. Let’s get into it. (calming music) The iPhone 11 Pro looks almost
exactly like the iPhone XS from the front. It’s a little heavier and thicker but unless you’re comparing them directly, you probably won’t notice. I certainly didn’t. You do get a much bigger
battery in exchange for that extra size,
which Apple says leads to a four hour battery life
increase on the regular Pro and a five hour jump for the Pro Max. But it’s surprisingly
hard to check that number. I’ll get into why in a minute. The big difference with
the XS comes on the back where Apple says the rear
glass is now stronger and it comes in this frosted matte finish. It also integrates a glossy
camera bump with three cameras. The whole back and the bump
is a single piece of glass that’s milled out. The iPhone 11 is the reverse. It has a glossy back and
a camera bump is matte. Now you know. I got a lot of questions
about this matte finish and I think it’s really nice, especially in this new
midnight green color. It didn’t really pick up any fingerprints but it does seem a tiny bit more slippery than the gloss back of the previous phones and the iPhone 11. But I also think most people are just gonna stick this thing in a case so it doesn’t seem like a huge issue. A lot of people also asked
me if this matte finish will scratch easily, similar
to the back of the Pixel 3 and so far the answer seems to be no. But we’re gonna have to
keep an eye on it over time. Apple’s finally relented and included an 18 watt USB C fast
charger with the Pro phones. So you get a USB C and a
lightning cable as well. Now Apple’s USB C charger
is not the smallest or prettiest charger out there. But anything is better than
the slow five watt brick it’s been including for
years, so I’ll take it. So let’s get into these cameras. Apple has a lot at stake here. Google and Samsung’s cameras
have been outperforming the iPhone for a couple of years now. And Chinese filmmakers in particular, have been racing each other
to add an endless array of photography features. If you’re in the US, you’re
probably locked into imessage and no camera is good
enough to make you switch. But Apple doesn’t have that
advantage in big markets like Europe and China. Everyone uses WhatsApp and WeChat and switching from iOS to
Android is much easier. So Apple’s added a bunch of features that first appeared on Android phones. There are three cameras
in the iPhone 11 Pro. The telephoto camera has
the same basic sensor but a faster F2.O lens. The main camera has the same F1.8 lens and a slightly better sensor. And there’s the new super
fun ultra wide camera which is basically twice as
wide as the main lens and F2.4. And the F2.2 front camera is now 12 megapixels up from seven has a wider 24 millimeter focal length so it can pull out to
a slightly wider angle in landscape for selfies. Apple’s also updated its
smart HDR processing system, which I was not very impressed with when I reviewed the iPhone XS and XR. The iPhone 11 cameras are an
enormous proven over the XS and beat the Pixel and Galaxy
Note 10 in most of our tests. This shot of verge video
producer, Mario Abdulkaf, outside in bright sunlight, shouldn’t be too hard for any
camera to do a good job with. And all these photos look basically fine. But zoom into 100% crop and the improvement from the iPhone XS to the iPhone 11 main camera is stunning. The iPhone 11 is way sharper,
with way more detail. I also think the iPhone
11 does a way better job than the Note 10 and it’s
a little better to my eye than the pixel three. This improvement is due to something Apple’s calling semantic render. Basically, smart HDR
recognizes what’s in the image and renders it appropriate. I asked Apple to break
down how it works for me and it basically goes like this. First, the iPhone starts
taking photos to a buffer the instant you open the camera app. So by the time you
actually press the button, it’s captured four underexposed frame and the photo you want. Then it grabs one overexposed frame. This is all basically
the same as the iPhone XS and the Pixel 3 except the Pixel doesn’t
grab that overexposed frame. Second, smart HDR and semantic rendering then start looking for things
in the photos it understands. Faces, hair, the sky, things like that. Then it uses additional detail from the under and overexposed frames to selectively process
the areas of the image it’s recognized. Hair gets sharpened, but the sky doesn’t it just gets denoised. Faces get relighted to
make them look more even and the iPhone knows to
sharpen up your facial hair. Smart HDR is also less aggressive
in flattening the photos. Highlights and faces aren’t corrective as aggressively as before because those highlights make
photos look more natural. But other highlights and
shadows are corrected to regain detail. Finally, the whole image is
saved and you’ve got a photo. This all happens instantly
every time you take a photo which is a testament to how powerful Apple’s A13 processor really is. Here’s that final image we just took. You can see how the iPhone
11 preserves more detail than the Pixel and Note in
the shadows and highlights and just blows the iPhone
XS away in sharpness. The improvements to smart HDR
applicable across cameras. Here’s a quick comparison
of the ultra wides in the 11 Pro and the Note 10. The Note 10 did a better
job exposing the sky but the 11 is just a much
sharper photo with more detail. You can see the same thing with selfies. The XS Max has pulled up shadows so much that it looks a little hazy. While the iPhone 11 evenly
pulls up shadows in Mario’s face but preserves the contrast
with the background. The Note 10 did all kinds
of goofy skin smoothing and the Pixel 3 looks great, but it has less detail than the iPhone. Just look at her eyelashes. Now there are places where the iPhone 11 didn’t win in our tests. The XS historically struggled
with backwards subjects. And while the 11 is a
definite improvement, this photo is really blue. And there’s basically no
detail in Mario’s face. I think the Note actually did
the best overall job here. And I think the pixel does
the best job in low light but the iPhone isn’t bad. It’s a lot better than
the XS was last year. Apple’s promised a new
mode for these situations called Deep Fusion, which is supposed to ship later this year, but I wasn’t able to test it. If it improves photos
taking this kind of light, then the iPhone will basically pull ahead in every situation. Apple also added a night mode this year and it’s really impressive. It preserves a ton more
detail than the Pixel. It comes on automatically in the dark and suggests an exposure
time which you can tweak or turn off if you want. The Pixel photo here looks more dramatic but look a little closer. The iPhone has preserved all of the detail in the brick and graffiti,
which is basically gone in the Pixel shot. Both of these night mode
photos look pretty similar but look at all the extra
detail in the bushes in the iPhone shot. Same with this shot. You’d never that fence was
even there in the Pixel photo. I think the Pixel produces
more dramatic looking shots out of the camera, but I would
rather have the extra detail from the iPhone. All in all, I think the
iPhone 11 camera does better in bright light than
the Pixel 3 and Note 10 and the night mode beats the Pixel 3 more often than not. If this promise deep
fusion update improves medium to low light performance, as much as Apple says it will, the iPhone 11 will once again be the smartphone camera to beat. Apple’s also made video
on the iPhone 11 better with improved stabilization exposure and the ability to record 4K60 video from any of the three cameras. – But isn’t really that good? Let’s put it to the test. Alright so we’re gonna
head out in New York City and we’re going to test
against the Note 10 , the Pixel 3 and the XS, to
see you does video best. We started out the water and immediately you can
see the color differences between the cameras. The Pixel landed into the warm tones while Samsung muddied the mid tones. And the iPhone XS, leaned
into the blues of the sky while the 11 Pro, balance the warm and
cool tones out the most. With the subject closer to the lens the Note 10 kept the flowers the sharpest, while the iPhone XS blurred
the background the most. Okay, we gotta test the
audio on all these phones. I’ll let you guys be the judge. Do I sound like the beautiful angel voice that I have, angelic voice? Of course the answer is yes. But on these phones, who’s to say? In low light, Apple isn’t afraid of under exposing the blacks whereas in Samsung and
Google will bring them up. Now the 11 Pro does do
a lot more smoothing to compensate for all the
noise this typically creates. The front facing camera
on the iPhone 11 Pro did a great job of balancing my skin tone and just the exposure in general. Even against this large neon light source. But it wasn’t as sharp as the Note 10. Now all these comparisons are great, but chances are you won’t be
recording on all the songs side by side at the same exact time. So let’s just talk
about the iPhone 11 Pro. The front facing camera now records in 4K and the selfie is exactly
how you’d imagine it. You’ll use it once and probably
never touched it again. The video from the rear
cameras though, is really good. Like in perfect light, it’s
honestly just impressive. Switching between lenses
is pretty seamless, in terms of color accuracy and exposure. And you can use the dial method or just tap the lenses
on the screen to switch. Now you can switch between
lenses when you shoot in 4K60. So make sure you set 4K30 or lower if you’re gonna be doing that. The ultra wide angle lens looks super cool even with the crazy distortion. But there is no image stabilization which shouldn’t be a
problem because naturally, the wider the lens,
the less need for that. Both the telephoto and wide
lens keep your shot stable and pretty sharp for a sensor their size. The color is punchy and pretty saturated and in perfect lighting,
you too can have that shot in iPhone look. But in low light, even the iPhone 11 Pro, when viewed on a screen
larger than its own comes to noisy blacks
and haloed highlights. My big issue though, why do I have to leave the camera app , to change the frame rates? It’s not intuitive and
it’s just time consuming. Apple just put it in the app. iPhones have always had great video, but the video on the 11 Pro is the best I’ve seen on
a smartphone, to date. And the gap is only getting bigger. Enough of me, back to Nilay. – The screen on the iPhone
11 Pro is a new OLED that Apple is calling the
super retina XDR display. There’s still an option, Apple is still doing fancy rounded corners and uniform bezels, which no one else the industry
is really managed to match. Those bezels are still pretty big though, especially compared to something
like the Galaxy Note 10. This is the third year of
the basic iPhone 10 design and apples competitors
haven’t been sitting still in trying to beat it. The big upgrades to the
screen are around brightness and power efficiency. Basically the screen can get
a lot brighter than before and it also uses up to 15%
less power according to Apple. Now in typical situations, Apple says the iPhone 11 Pro display can go up to 800 depths of brightness and that when you’re watching HDR content, the highlights will peek at 1200 depths. In normal situations, I don’t
think you’re gonna notice it. I’ve never had a problem looking at my iPhone XS display outside. But it’s a huge and obvious improvement, when you’re watching HDR movies. I never really bought the idea that previous iPhone
displays were Dolby Vision, but the iPhone 11 Pro
display, kind of pulls it off. It’s hard to capture this on video, but it’s just a lot brighter and punchier on the 11 Pro display compared to the XS. The Note 10 display
definitely looks as bright, but the iPhones color processing, looks way more natural to me especially with Apple’s
true tone system turned on. Of course Apple and Google
are still in a fight over video codecs, so you can’t
watch any 4K or HDR content on the iPhone 11 Pro from YouTube. So this video is not in
4K for watching an iPhone. Sorry about that. Apple has also updated
the audio on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, something
they’re calling spatial audio. It’s basically a surround decoder. If you’re watching a Netflix
movie with Adobe 5.1 sound or game encoded in 7.1,
you’ll get virtual surround from the stereo speakers. The iPhone 11’s also support Dolby Atmos, which is a little silly for
stereo speakers, but it’s there. There’s also a standard
wide stereo support like last year for everything else. All in all, the iPhone
speakers sound really loud and generally better than ever. There’s no more 3D touch
on the iPhone 11 Pro, it’s been replaced by what
Apple calls haptic touch, which is basically just
long pressing on things with haptic feedback. In most places, you don’t
really notice it’s gone and some things are actually
will easier to figure out. Opening the camera from the lock screen, feels the same to me. Rearranging icons on the home screen is a little simpler to figure out since there’s a context
menu that pops up now. Picking at links in Safari, is a little different in iOS 13, but it’s also a little simpler. The only place I truly miss
3D touch was the keyboard. You could press down
anywhere on the keyboard to move the cursor around on the XS but with haptic touch
on the iPhone 11 Pro, you can only press and
hold on the space bar. Now I never really realized
how many times a day I use that one specific 3D
touch feature and I missed it. But if the trade off is that there’s more room inside
the case for bigger battery, I’m fine with it. Apple claims the iPhone 11
Pro lasts four hours longer than the iPhone XS and
that the iPhone 11 Pro Max, lasts five hours longer than the XS Max. As I mentioned earlier, it’s really hard to test those claims. Apple doesn’t run a strict battery test that we can just repeat. Instead, it’s getting that number by taking its huge data
set of iPhone usage and apply it to a model of the new phone. So you’ll notice that the only
hard numbers Apple publishes are like hours of video playback. Simple tests of a single task, which isn’t how anyone uses a phone. All that said, the battery
life on the iPhone 11 Pro has been impressive. I’ve been using an 11 Pro
Max is my primary phone for the past week, and it has consistently
run for 12 to 14 hours on a single charge. And about 10 hours of screen
on time, off the charger is reported in battery settings. That is a huge improvement over my XS Max, which generally runs
for eight to nine hours, on a single charge. The smaller 11 Pro has
been just as impressive. That’s the phone Becca
used for her testing and it still had 50% of its battery left the morning after she shot
her part of the review. It turns out a slightly thicker phone with a bigger battery was
the right move after all. Inside the new iPhone 11 Pro, there’s the new A13 bionic processor, which as usual benchmarks
far above the competition. There’s a lot of headroom
here for things like AR, games and high end photo and video apps but its not like the A12 bionic
in the iPhone XS is slow. Most of this extra power will useful towards the end of this phones
life, not the beginning. Face ID is a little bit faster
and works at more angles but it’s not particularly dramatic, it just works a little bit better. I think this is the best
kind of iterative update. It made a thing that
was already pretty good a little bit better and anything that makes
securing your phone a little bit better is great. And most intriguingly, there’s a new chip inside the
iPhone 11 its called the U1 which does precise positioning using an ultra wideband radio. Apple says the forthcoming iOS 13.1 update will allow you to just point the phone at another U1 device, to put it at the top of your airdrop list. But none of that works
yet, so we’ll just see. (calming music) Obviously the iPhone 11 Pro runs iOS 13 and I have to tell you,
iOS 13 is pretty buggy. I saw all kinds of glitches and crashes during my week of testing and
iOS 13.1 is already in beta and scheduled for wide release
by the end of this month. So it really seems like
Apple just squeaked this thing out the door and
is racing the fixed bugs. I asked Apple about some of these glitches and they told me they’re
always fixing bugs and iPhone owners generally auto update. But if you’re on the
fence about upgrading, you might wanna wait until
some of these bug fix updates actually ship. Assuming all the bugs get fixed, the biggest new feature
in iOS 13 is dark mode which is very nice. But otherwise, this is a
lot of tiny little updates. There’s a swiping keyboard now. Reminders is a much better app. There are better photo editing tools and you can edit videos as well. Apple maps keeps getting a
tiny bit better every year. Siri’s voice is slightly smoother. It’s a lot of little things
that add up into a big update but if you handed this
phone someone using iOS 12, they might not even notice
unless dark mode was on. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at
$999 with 64 gigs of storage, which doesn’t seem like
quite enough for that price. And the 11 Pro max starts at $1099. You can spec the pro max
all the way up to $1449 with 512 gigs of storage, which means that you can
pay an awful lot of money for this phone if you want to. If you’re in the iOS ecosystem
and it’s time to upgrade, it’s a pretty tough choice this year. The standard iPhone 11
offers almost everything you get from the pro for $699. And I think most people
should get the iPhone 11. You’ll still get the improved main camera, the fun new ultra wide lens,
the a 13 processor and iOS 13 and all the rest. The extra money for the Pro, basically buys you a far superior display, a telephoto camera and
improved LTE performance. And if you want a smaller phone, the iPhone 11 and Pro
is a little bit smaller than the iPhone 11. Which seems a tiny bit unfair to people who want a smaller phone. The entire lineup is
still pretty big though. So if you’re hoping for
something to replace that aging iPhone SE, you’re not gonna love
any of these options. I’m very picky about displays and cameras, so I’m gonna get an iPhone 11 Pro. In fact, the cameras on
the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are so improved that I think they’re worth the year over year upgrade
from last year’s models for the first time in a long time. Adding the improved battery
life in the iPhone 11 Pro stands out is a major
step forward from the XS and one of the best
flagship phones of the year. Or it will be, when Apple fixes iOS 13. Hey everybody, this was obviously
the iPhone 11 Pro review. We also review the iPhone 11, that was a fun collab
we did with Dieter Bohn. Watch both videos, they’re
both on the channel and then let me know which of these phones you think you’re gonna buy or if you’re waiting for the Pixel Four.

100 Replies to “iPhone 11 Pro review: the BEST camera on a phone

  1. I’m upgrading from the X to the 11 Pro Max. I’ve wanted a bigger display ever since I bought my gf the Xr but I can’t sacrifice the OLED screen lol. Using my upgrade and getting a decent deal after it’s all said and done. Really wish they’d drop the 64g model and replace it with a 128g. I had to get the 256g which is fine but I probably would have settled for 128g

  2. I'd be entirely happy with the regular iPhone 11, but I'd really prefer the smaller screen on the 11 Pro. But for an extra $400?

  3. Not even close. Is the title serious? I will buy an iPhone, but I’m not kidding myself saying “it’s the best” “the king”. Since the presentation I could see the night mode is indeed good. But by no means close to note 10, p30 pro or pixel 3 in many aspects. The fact that they didn’t make any live presentation for it and even the samples they showed in the presentation were very poor. Even with the night light to help improve performance and deceive most people. Why I’m buying the iPhone then? Simple. iOS, better software support. Long term device that will work as good as new even years from now. And even knowing that is not the best in most of the specs, is the more complete overall. Not the best, but one of the best. It’s just really sad how “tech” reviewers deceive the people for likes. Just say it how it is. One of the best and most complete. Not the best 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️. Why is that difficult to accept?

  4. I'm waiting to buy the 5G iphone next year when they have the next gen Qualcomm modems. It should be well worth the wait when considering the current prices of the iphones.

  5. am i the only one who see the note 10 camera way better than the other ones ?
    For the sake of clarification==>
    I own an iPhone X and I am an apple fan since the first iPhone and I will keep the iPhone because of the ecosystem but clearly I am annoyed to see again and again the android phone having much better camera 🙁

  6. Why do they act surprised when the new phones have the best camera ever on a phone? That's how technology works, it should get better every year.

  7. So basically your buying a camera great thanks apple for the apple camera in Android world your buying a new phone that shows great performance and battery life

  8. Here in Brazil the iPhone is too expensive for the majority of people and we are not attached to the iMessage. So the Galaxy S10 is a much better deal in comparison, if you care about your money of course.

  9. i can't get behind this until the new huaweis are out and the pixel 4 but so far so good for iphone. The new iphone is great at catching up with old phones.

  10. the 11 pro has big bezels???? why do people keep pushing for phones that literally look like just a slab of glass lol it’s so inconvenient.

  11. I love the image processing of Apple but it doesn't give me a blue neon light like in 6:15 & 6:35. I really like the Samsung's super steady shot feature on a video. That thing is really incredible. No need for gimbal.

  12. I think if you used note 10+ instead of note 10, which is fear comparison to the 11 pro, you will say it's best bla bla bla!

  13. In 17 minute video they explained that worlds best iphone has best camera only. What about the reverse wireless charging, fast wireless charging, 90hz display, Fast Charging, depth sensor, and design ?

  14. I will pay someone money to find out the stock song or original song they are using at 0:53 omg. For real HMU, I’ll pay you.

  15. Not sure why people use night sight as a benchmark. As someone who owned a pixel, Huawei and OnePlus 7 pro, both nightscape and night mode on the Huawei beat the pixel for me in almost all situations. They have been improved so much with updates. Not sure why American reviewers neglect he Huawei phones. I still felt they took the best photos. You can still import them.

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