Ashwin Rajagopalan

Thanks to all the pre-launch leaks, we already knew that this year’s iPhones were not going to be a radical overhaul – something that’s being tipped for 2020. But even if you were not following all those rumours and leaks that get shriller as each September iPhone event approaches, you knew that Apple would reimagine the camera. It’s only when you start using the new iPhone camera that you realise that Apple has truly aced the smartphone camera.

Let’s dive straight into the camera. We put the iPhone 11 Pro under the scanner and this device (along with the larger Pro Max) is kitted with a rear cam that combines three 12MP lenses. The first big wow factor is lowlight photography. Apple’s new Night Mode is unsurprisingly intuitive. You don’t have to search for night mode on your camera menu; the camera automatically senses that you are in a low-light zone and makes the switch. It also shows you how many seconds you need to keep still to allow the cam to stitch multiple images to produce the perfect night shot. Google’s Night Sight solution has led the way in software optimisation but Apple’s Night Mode produces brilliant, natural lowlight images.

The 11 Pro and Pro Max become the first Apple smartphones to sport an ultra-wide lens and then there’s Portrait Mode, the iPhone’s forte that gets even better with this triple cam. Apple has added extra fizz to the selfie camera with the new slow-mo mode. It’s why it’s also applied for a US trademark for the word slofie. This is likely to become a popular hashtag in the months ahead. Apple combines stellar hardware and a whole bunch of AI and software tweaks to deliver one of the finest smartphone camera experiences out there. So, what else is new? We’ll start with the A13 bionic processor.

Apple’s next-gen chipset powers all the new iPhones and makes them lightning quick; something I noticed while gaming. It also impacts battery life, it’s why many users who probably opted for the larger XS Max last year might consider the smaller 11 Pro thanks to improved battery usage. I lean towards the smaller 5.8-inch OLED (1125 x 2436 pixels) display, it’s easier to use with one hand and less bulky. We noticed a significant improvement over last year’s XS (Apple claims a four-hour difference) despite heavy camera usage during our review phase.

If you prefer larger screen real estate for all your Netflix marathons, then you might gravitate towards the larger 11 Pro Max with a 6.5-inch display. Both devices get a boost with Apple’s new XDR (eXtreme Dynamic Range) display that doubles the contrast ratio (over last year’s XS duo) making the colours even more vibrant. It’s one of the many improvements aside from a stellar camera that make a compelling case for an upgrade to the Apple iPhone 11 Pro.
The iPhone 11 Pro starts at Rs 99,900 while the iPhone Pro Max starts at Rs 109,900. Both phones come in space gray, silver, gold and the new midnight green finishes.

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