I had no intention of buying an iPhone 11 Pro. My iPhone X has 92% battery capacity and is still super fast. It does everything and is a wonderfully made smartphone, and could potentially have given me another 3 years of use.
The problem was that my wife needed to upgrade her iPhone 7 because the screen was getting smaller as her eyesight got weaker, a problem I also have nowadays. And so we decided to buy her an iPhone 11 because that was the cheapest way to upgrade her phone for one that offered the bigger screen and more than enough features for what she does with her phone.
As we sat working out how to deal with all of our SIM only contracts (we have the family under one account) we worked out that the Pro made more financial sense, even though it is a rip off. That sounds silly, but it’s not a rip off from Apple as such, but from EE in the UK. If you buy the Pro you pay £20 more per month over 2 years and £30 more as an initial payment which equals £510 more for a phone that costs £350 more at retail. They are skimming a hefty chunk for no reason and relying on people not noticing.
Anyway, I bought an iPhone 11 Pro (not from EE) and was as underwhelmed as I expected to be. There are reasons why owning the latest iPhone makes sense for me, freelance writing is the main one, but for the majority of other people I would view it as an extravagance if they already own an iPhone X or later.
I would love to write a ‘first 48 hours of use’ article, but that would be kind of pointless because the new hardware features are to be appreciated in the next few weeks, months and even years. You have to be a grown up when looking for the benefits of the Pro because you will not get a sense of newness here. It is an iPhone X in form and feels identical to me, to the point that I could not tell them apart when they are next to each other.
The extra battery life will be a big bonus because I really do push my iPhone every day and all extra battery is good in my view. It is obvious from the start that it is improved, but of course time will tell how well it holds up.
The camera (the electric shaver, oven hob, whatever you want to call it) is the big change here and is the feature that I will potentially appreciate as I look back at the memories I capture with the Pro. Again, I am no photographer, but I know what I need and that is to take close(ish) shots of static objects and of course my family.
So far I must say that I am very impressed by the results and in particular the consistency of the results, especially in Portrait Mode which has historically been somewhat haphazard for me. The results look like my son’s Canon DSLR at times which I realise is a big statement, but seriously this camera is a leap forwards and easily enough for what I need.
And that’s it, it really is. It is presumably quicker, but how would I know because the iPhone X is still super quick for me. Face ID does not appear to be quicker at all and there is no better angle perception in my tests so far, and that really is it.
Amazingly, for such an expensive phone there is so little to write about.
I tend to think about phones realistically these days because they don’t appeal to me with any overt fascination. They are tools that help me to do a myriad of things every day and they are indispensable, but the new revisions are rarely exciting and in particular the latest iPhones do not bring out any of the natural human emotions that a new design or completely new features would.
The iPhone is, and remains, by far the best tool for me. The camera is more than good enough for my needs, it is super fast and more reliable than any other digital product I own and it really does work.
Is it worth the money? No, of course it isn’t and the improvements on the 11 Pro over the XS are not huge, but when I consider the amount of use an iPhone gets for me it is potentially the most efficient product I own in terms of usage vs cost.
Is the 11 Pro a worthy or exciting update? Not really. Is it a brilliant phone in almost every way? Yes.
The photos above were taken indoors in poor lighting apart from the last one.