Apple just announced its brand-new iPhones: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
In 2017, the company changed the iPhone’s naming convention to “iPhone X,” a nod to the device’s 10th anniversary — and this year, Apple is changing how it names the iPhone again. Here’s the lowdown: The “11 Pro and Pro Max” are Apple’s high-end phones and successors to the XS and XS Max, while the more budget-friendly iPhone 11 is the upgrade to the iPhone XR.
(Apple should really name its devices with the release year, like cars. The 2019 iPhone. The 2020 iPhone. It’s so much easier! Whatever.)
The biggest difference between the two — the 11 Pro/Pro Max and 11 — is their screens. The 11 has an LCD screen, while the Pro and Pro Max have OLED screens, which have more contrast (in other words, blacker blacks and brighter whites). There is also another distinction between the two: the 11 has two camera lenses and the Pro/Pro Max lines have three.
Apart from screen and camera lenses, all three phones have a new, faster, and more energy-efficient chip (A13 bionic), and a slew of camera software improvements.
The front camera on all new iPhones is getting a big upgrade.
It’s now 12 megapixels, up from 7 megapixels in last year’s model. There’s an ultrawide capability and also slo-mo for, uh, slo-mo selfies.
The new iPhone Pro and Pro Max’s camera has three lenses.
The new three-camera system on the iPhone Pro and Pro Max is designed for better wide-angle photography (for 4x optical zoom range), higher-resolution images, and better 4K video recording.
The three lenses are telephoto, wide, and ultra wide, and you can switch between them using the iPhone’s zoom adjust tool. The ultrawide lens has a 120-degree field-of-view lens and f/2.4 aperture.
Apple gave the new iPhone Pro a matte texture, as well as heartier, more drop-proof hardware, and made the devices more waterproof.
The new iPhones are designed with a shatter-resistant glass material that, the company said, can withstand more kinds of drops. The smartphones can be submerged under water for longer, too.
It now comes with a more powerful charger.
The iPhone now ships with a bigger, 18-watt charging brick (last year's iPhones ship with 5-watt chargers) to power up the Pro and Pro Max’s battery faster. The iPhone Pro’s battery can last four hours longer than last year’s XS, and Pro Max lasts five hours longer than last year’s XS Max.
The iPhone XR upgrade, called the iPhone 11, now has two camera lenses in the back.
The iPhone 11 has better optical zoom and portrait mode capabilities than last year’s iPhone XR. It’s got a better battery that provides one hour more than the previous version (but Apple didn’t say onstage how many total hours that is).
The most headline-worthy news for the 11? PET PORTRAIT MODE IS NOW OFFICIALLY A THING.
On the iPhone XR, nonhuman portraits didn't quite work. The device, which has just one camera lens, adds background blur on photos digitally. The iPhone 11 (considered the XR "upgrade" because it has the same LCD screen and, at $699, is Apple's "budget" premium phone) has two lenses — just like the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus, iPhone X, and iPhone XS. The dual-lens system allows the camera to better understand depth, meaning it can blur pictures of anything, not just humans, more accurately.
There are also more granular camera improvements: a new Night Mode, better stabilization for videos, and second-generation smart HDR for better lighting.
Night Mode enhances low-light photos by making them look brighter. A similar feature was a standout in Google's Pixel phone (called "Night Sight") announced last year.
Pricing for the new iPhone 11 starts at $699. The iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999 and iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1099.
You can preorder on Friday at 5 a.m. PT, and they ship Sept. 20.
The iPhone 11 Pro is available in 64 GB ($999), 256 GB ($1149), and 512 GB ($1349) options, while the larger 11 Pro Max is $1099, $1249, and $1449 for the same storage capacities, respectively.
The iPhone 11 is $699 for 64GB, $749 for 128 GB, and $849 for 256GB.