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Apple iPhone 11 Review: Better Camera, Longer Battery Life, Lower Cost Model

iPhone 11, Apple

Allow me to just start by saying, that this smartphone is extremely fun.

Recently, I wrote a piece on the latest releases announced at the Apple conference, but nothing matches road-testing the new features for yourself.

Photography

When Women Love Tech attended an Apple briefing about the iPhone 11, it was immediately clear that the improved photography features were a point of excitement. The team showed me how it worked and what I could do. Naturally, it took a bit of time to grasp where everything is and how it all functions.

And, trust me, I’m no photographer, but some of the pictures I was able to take and edit, are truly impressive.

As you can see above, the picture on the left is the original, and the one on the right has been edited slightly. All I did was increase the brilliance, up the contrast and brightness slightly, augment the vibrance, and finally max out the warmth. The end product is a picture of the skyline that’s been given more life, a warmer element to it, and a generally more aesthetic look to it.

Particularly impressive is the camera’s ability to highlight and make the colours in the frame pop.

Above, the colours pop immediately. In the picture on the left, the softness of the pink is accentuated and meshed with the light blue of the late afternoon sky and light greys of the hanging clouds. On the right, the warmth and richness of the orange are contrasted by the darkness and heaviness of the grey clouds that physically dominate the shot, and yet the orange remains the focal point, almost piercing through the greyness with its tanginess.

Another new feature is the headline duo camera. What I found this does is get what would be a regular shot, and turn it into a wider, more expansive view. As a description, this might not sound so interesting, but it produces some fantastic shots that otherwise would not be possible on previous iPhones.

It brings in far more detail, and ultimately allows you to capture the bigger picture, so to speak. The picture on the left is of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney’s CBD. This building is quite big, and without the addition of the wide lens, there’s no way I was getting this much of the building in my shot at such a close range. As you can see, it also gives the building a bit of layer and life as it almost seems to be leaning back, without giving the whole fish-bowl look.

This is much clearer in the above pictures. The picture on the left has a very 2D, straight look to it, while the picture on the right, using the wide lens, reveals a larger surrounding and gives it more bounce and character.

The new night mode is also quite a handy feature for when you spot a potentially nice shot, but in a space where the lighting is significantly low. Personally, I felt it was cool when the iPhone recognised when I was shooting in low-lighting and would automatically enable night mode.

What would usually be a very pixelated picture, night mode significantly improves the lighting in the shot without the sometimes tarnishing effects of the flash. What’s impressive, though, is how the colours still manage to illuminate so well in the pictures. Above, the night lights placed in the leaves give off a golden glow.

Battery

This is undoubtedly one of the talking points of Apple’s iPhone range.

It dies too quick! exclaim the iPhone users. I have to charge it 10 million times a day to even make it home with my phone still alive!

And to be fair to them, I can understand where they’re coming from; but obviously as you can tell, hyperbole is a good friend of mine.

With previous models, you could, if you’re lucky, get to a half day without charging it. Now, it’s significantly improved, and I mean you can go a whole day without even thinking about the battery life.

And, clearly I’m not the only one who thinks so.

I even tried not charging my phone over night, and still managed to get a good half a day’s use of it the next day. Some people have experienced 10 hours of screen-time, which in the past has been unheard of.

So, yes, I can confirm, the battery life really has changed, and changed for the better.

Performance

The A13 bionic chip’s effect on the phone’s performance is one that is definitely noticeable. Switching between apps has never been quicker and easier, typing is faster, and scrolling is smoother. Using the iPhone 11 along with iOS 13 makes for a very enjoyable partnership.

If you want to quickly take a photo, it’s almost instantaneous. Switching from photos to videos and back to photos is super quick and perfect for those moments when you need both.

The video quality is fantastic, now being at 4K for the first time ever, and it shows. Watching Netflix or playing games on your phone looks better than ever.

iPhone 11, Mario kart

Apple have really improved the quality of their video, as you can see in the below video, it comes out very sharp and cinematic, and to make things even better you can now edit your videos. So now not only can you have professional-looking photos, but also director-like scenes, right in the palm of your hands.

And they’ve finally improved the bluetooth connectivity. Now, even the weakest of headphones and earbuds can connect and stay connected to your phone.

Design

At first, there were question marks over the design of the iPhone 11.

Why has it got two cameras? It looks so strange.

These little holes are triggering my Trypophobia, this is not okay!! (Trypophobia – a fear of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes)

Twitter had a field day.

But, honestly, it’s not that big a deal, you barely notice it throughout the day, because, really, how many times a day do we use our iPhones from the backside? Zero. The answer is zero times.

Besides all that camera business, the design is beautiful. Mine is in midnight grey, and it’s magnificent to look at, even regal. The smooth glass on the back and the metallic band on the outside give it a slick and aesthetic look.

The glass is supposedly the toughest type they’ve had yet and also water resistant to IP68 standards of up to 2 metres for 30 seconds, but in all honesty, I wasn’t too keen on dropping it or going for a swim with it to test it out. I think you can understand why.

Final Word

Overall, the iPhone 11 is a winner. It’s fun to use, super efficient, and long-lasting. Snapping photos in various places is enjoyable and gives the feeling you are a true professional when it comes to editing, and the experience of the new features is just cool to use. Is it a big step-up from the previous iPhone? Regarding the new photographic features, yes, but less so for the rest. But keep in mind it remains a solid device, and cheaper than its previous models.

The focal point of this year was its new dual camera, and triple camera for the iPhone Pro and Pro Max. That’s what excited Apple the most. But the performance and efficiency, especially in terms of the battery is definitely a fantastic addition. If you’re someone who likes photography, but doesn’t necessarily want to spend all that money on a professional camera, this could be for you. Keep in mind, the iPhone 11 is not a replacement for those higher grade cameras, but it does the job.

You can buy the iPhone here from RRP AUD$1,199

I would definitely recommend trying out the iPhone 11, but even with the strongest glass they’ve ever had for an iPhone, we still recommend using a quality case.

Here are some of our favourites:

We recommend Otter, who has some very durable and funky-designed cases for you to use to not only give your phone the protection it deserves, but a character of its own to make you stand out from the rest.

Otter’s LifeProof Collection (FLIP, NEXT, SLAM)

Otter + Pop Series (Symmetry and Defender)

OtterBox (Commuter, Defender, Strada, Symmetry)

These cases can also paired with glass screen protectors to ensure that your phone is protected from any bumps or fumbles. There are also anti-glare cases, as well as some specifically to combat scratches and scrapes.

Price List

Otter + Pop Symmetry $79.95
Otter + Pop Defender $99.95
OtterBox Symmetry $59.95
OtterBox Strada$79.95
OtterBox Defender $89.95
OtterBox Commuter $59.95
LifeProof NEXT$89.95
LifeProof SLAM$49.95
LifeProof FLIP$69.95
Amplify Screen Protection $64.95
Amplify Edge2Edge$79.95
Amplify Glare Guard$89.95
Alpha Glass$49.95

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Written by Emeric Brard

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