Originally published Sept 17. Updated Sept 26 to add link » iPhone 11 Pro review: Apple scores near perfect 10, thanks to battery life, cameras and phenomenal performance – ZDNet

And for the most part, everyone agrees Apple made a good, solid phone. It’s a bit faster, has much improved cameras, more durable design, and a longer, all day, battery. The new base model, the iPhone 11, also starts US$50 less compared to last year – US$700 / CDN$979.

But it’s pretty much the same LCD display as last year.

Not everyone thinks you should be upgrading this year.

But after testing the new lineup for the past week, Brian X. Chen at the NY Times doesn’t think you should upgrade this year »

None of this is enough to warrant an immediate upgrade if you have had your smartphone for only two years. The latest iPhones just aren’t a big leap forward from last year’s iPhones or even the iPhone X from 2017.

So here’s what I ultimately suggest: You should definitely upgrade if your current device is at least five years old. The iPhone 11 models are all a significant step up from those introduced in 2014. But for everyone else with smartphones from 2015 or later, there is no rush to buy. Instead, there is more mileage and value to be had out of the excellent smartphone you already own.

Brian goes on to say »

If you spent $1,000 on an iPhone X two years ago, then hold off. The iPhone 11s just aren’t enough of an innovation leap to warrant $700-plus on a new smartphone.

Nilay Patel at The Verge disagrees »

I was also extremely impressed with the iPhone 11’s video capabilities. All three cameras can take 4K60 now, and if you record in anything less than 60 frames per second, you can switch between the wide and ultra-wide lenses with no color shifts or exposure changes, which is impressive. The only Android phones that compete with Apple in video are from Samsung. But Apple’s still ahead, and the gap is getting wider.

As mentioned, we spent a ton of time testing photo and video in our iPhone 11 Pro review, including a deep dive into video, so if you want more, go check it out there. But I think the iPhone 11 cameras are so good that they’re worth a year-over-year upgrade from the XR; I don’t usually say that.

Gareth Beavis at TechRadar claims the camera on the iPhone 11 will now surpass its Android rivals in many low-light situations »

Whether you’re in a sort-of-dark situation, or focusing a tripod-mounted phone at the night sky, there’s a setting that enables you to make what would normally be a badly-lit photo look as clear as… well not quite as clear as day, but wonderfully bright.


The results are startling, elevating Apple to the level of Huawei, Samsung and Google when it comes to taking low-light and night photos – and in some ways enabling it to surpass its rivals. Night mode can make photos shot at 1am look as if they were taken in late afternoon, and if you can get your subjects to remain still, you’ll take great snaps.

However, try to photograph a scene that includes motion – people dancing at a concert, for instance – and it’s a world of blur. You’ll need to manually turn off night mode, and that’s a little bit of a nuisance when you’re trying to get a quick snap.

Lauren Goode at Wired (paywall) was less enthusiastic about the photo improvements of the new iPhone 11, and also wondered which iPhone 11 she’d choose, even if budget was not a factor »

When pitted against other leading smartphones, the iPhone 11 Pro Max wasn’t always the obvious standout. The Google Pixel 3, a less expensive and soon-to-be-outdated phone took crisper photos of a floral arrangement in a very dark bar. An iPhone 11 Pro Max photo of my friend Kayla, captured in a dark sushi restaurant, showed a lot of detail in easy-to-miss spots like her hands, or the slight wrinkles of her shirt. But Kayla, a video producer, and I both agreed that the color and temperature of the photo was off, whereas the Pixel 3’s photo, while cooler, was more true to life.


In my experience, it took me about 23 hours to drain the battery of the iPhone XS Max from 94 percent (I took it off the charger a little early) down to 57 percent. That’s a whole day on less than half a full charge. The Max hasn’t died on me yet, as I’ve been intermittently charging it over the past week. The iPhone 11 Pro is supposed to add an extra four hours to last year’s iPhone XS battery claims, though I have not yet been able to thoroughly test that assertion.

The extended battery life on the iPhone 11 Pro Max is still not enough to convince me to buy a chonky phone. If I had to choose between all three new iPhones, and budget was not a factor, I would buy the iPhone 11 Pro. The smaller size is right for me, and its camera is a step above the two-lens camera module on the iPhone 11.

Does that make it a “Pro” phone? The answer to that is about as subjective as the quality of a smartphone photo in 2019.

Joanna Stern from The Wall Street Journal (paywall) lauded the battery life »

iPhone 11: In my full day using the 11 as my primary phone (email, a lot of Twitter and texting, phone calls, too much tapping through Instagram), I was left with a 15% charge by 11:30 p.m. The iPhone 11 streamed video on YouTube for 13 hours and 20 minutes—about 20 minutes longer than the XR. (Apple promises an extra hour of battery life.)

iPhone 11 Pro: With the 11 Pro as my primary phone, I was left with just under a 10% charge at 11 p.m. That’s far longer than I used to get with the X but not as long as with the 11. The 11 Pro streamed video on YouTube for 13 hours—three hours longer than the XS.

iPhone 11 Pro Max: On 11 Pro Max battery-testing day, I was left with a roughly 20% charge by lights out. I could go to sleep and wake up with enough juice to get me through the morning. Even after a grueling day of camera testing at the New York Renaissance Faire, it had 25% left, while the other two were in the dreaded 10% territory.

Video » Scott Stein from CNET spent a week playing with the three iPhone 11’s and asks if they are for you. Spoiler » He says they are not necessary updates, they are good updates. »

Video » Mark Spoonauer from Tom’s Guide says the Apple iPhone 11 is a major upgrade over last year »

Mark Spoonauer’s written review is here.

Video » Andrew O’Hara from Apple Insider asks if you should upgrade if you have last year’s iPhone XS or XS Max »

Lots More at » USA Today, CNETMacRumorsCNBCZDNet, Fast Company, Digital TrendsCult of Mac, Daring Fireball, 9to5Mac, 9to5Google, MacStories, SlashGear, MacDailyNews, iPhone Hacks, Cult of Mac

Best headline goes to » An iPhone 11 Pro Review For Dogs (And Their Owners) – BuzzFeed