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A closer look at the iPhone 11 Pro's top features

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max!

Last updated

After spending a month with the iPhone 11 Pro, let's look closer at the top features of the new top-of-the-line Apple smartphones.

A13 Bionic

Apple's A13 Bionic processor uses the same 7nm architecture as the A12 Bionic and has four high-efficiency cores and two high-performance cores.

But they've upped its power. The high-performance cores are 20% faster and consume 30% less battery while the high-efficiency cores are 20% faster and use 40% less battery.

Both the GPU and the neural engine are 20% faster and use less battery.

New colors

For the iPhone 11 line, Apple has mixed up the color scheme once more.

Some colors, such as space gray and silver have been around but now sport the svelte matte finish on the back coupled with the highly-polished sides.

Space Gray and Midnight Green
Space Gray and Midnight Green

Then we have midnight green that is entirely new to the iPhone line.

USB-C Fast Charge

USB-C Lightning cable and USB-C charger
USB-C Lightning cable and USB-C charger

To go with that "pro" moniker bestowed upon the latest iPhone, Apple has included the same 18W USB-C fast charger and USB-C Lightning cable that was included with the 2018 iPad Pro.

Apple touts that you can use it to charge your iPhone 11 Pro's battery 50% in only 30 minutes.

Apple's U1 chip

As a new addition, Apple has included the ultra wideband U1 chip. UWB is useful for location tracking in your immediate surroundings. Right now, not much supports that but Apple is utilizing it for AirDrop prioritization.

AirDrop using the U1 chip
AirDrop using the U1 chip

Point your iPhone 11 Pro at another iPhone 11 Pro and it jumps to the top of the AirDrop list.

We're sure Apple has more in store for this in the future.

Wi-Fi 6

Support for the faster Wi-Fi 6 on iPhone 11 Pro
Support for the faster Wi-Fi 6 on iPhone 11 Pro

Up from 802.11ac, Wi-Fi 6 — or 802.11ax — will allow for faster speeds thanks to improved performance in crowded networks. Apple says on a Wi-Fi 6 network users will see up to 38-percent faster download speeds.

Of course, you will likely need a new router to take advantage of that.

Faster LTE 4G

It isn't 5G, but iPhone 11 does feature 18-percent faster 4G LTE speeds on existing networks.

There are a lot of variables to test this out, but we will always take faster versus the alternative.


Battery life is outstanding on the new iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. iPhone 11 Pro gets four hours more than iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro Max can get up to five hours more than the XS Max.

Those are some huge numbers and day-to-day, we've noticed it.

Super Retina XDR display

The vivid and bright Super Retina XDR display
The vivid and bright Super Retina XDR display

iPhone 11 Pro's display clocks in at the same resolution as its predecessor, but ups all the other specs versus the iPhone XS. The new model now has a 2,000,000 to 1 contrast ratio, sustained brightness of 800 nits, and max brightness of 1200 nits for HDR content.

Live wallpapers

As is often the case, new iPhones mean new wallpapers.

New Live wallpapers
New Live wallpapers

With iPhone 11 Pro, we have a series of four new wallpapers that all feature a live animation as well as dark/light mode support. They are also somewhat color-matched to the different iPhone 11 Pro finishes.

Improved water resistance

Apple gave iPhone XS an IP68 water resistance rating, meaning it could be submerged in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes and it would be protected against harmful dust.

Improved water resistance
Improved water resistance on iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro takes it a step further with the same IP68 rating, but can now be submerged up to four meters for a maximum of 30 minutes.

Along the lines of durability, we have water resistance.

Apple is claiming iPhone 11 Pro has the strongest glass on a smartphone. While we aren't prepared to put that to the test on our own devices, stronger glass means that the front and back of your iPhone 11 Pro should be less prone to cracks and shattering than the year-ago models.

Ultra-wide lens

An interior ultra-wide shot on the iPhone 11 Pro
An interior ultra-wide shot on the iPhone 11 Pro

Ultra-wide angle lenses are becoming more popular, showing up on more flagship devices. That includes iPhone 11 Pro. It joins the existing wide-angle and tele lenses already outfitted.

This new lens can capture 170-degree shots which is great for epic landscapes or intimate close quarters.

Faster tele lens

Alongside the new ultra-wide, Apple has beefed up its other lenses. Starting with the telephoto lens. It now has a faster f/2.0 aperture. That will result in a quicker shutter in lower light which in turn means less grain.

Improved wide angle lens

iPhone 11 Pro cameras
iPhone 11 Pro cameras

The wide-angle lens was updated too with 100% coverage of Focus Pixels which means faster autofocus, particularly in low light.

Capture Outside the Frame

Now that Apple has three lenses to shoot from, they've created a new feature called "capture outside the frame."

An example of an image captured outside the frame
An example of an image captured outside the frame

Here, when you are shooting on the wide-angle lens, it captures an extra image using the ultra-wide lens. These are merged, so when you need to level the photo, you can do so without losing image quality.

The same applies to shooting with the tele lens.

Night mode

With the new cameras and powerful A13 Bionic, new photo modes have come to the iPhone 11.

Most prominent is night mode. It couples a series of long and short exposure shots to create a combined image with much more detail and much less noise.

Deep Fusion

Deep Fusion is Apple's name for its new computational photography tricks coming to the iPhone 11 with iOS 13.2.

The feature isn't fully available yet, but we have gotten to try it out on the beta and in a middle-to-low light, photos should see much more texture than when shot without Deep Fusion.

It is automatically used and not a feature to toggle on or off, and the early looks are promising.

Portrait mode

Portrait mode now works in 1X and 2X on iPhone 11 Pro
Portrait mode now works in 1X and 2X on iPhone 11 Pro

Portrait mode uses two cameras to capture depth and create the amazing shots we've come to love. On iPhone XS, it used the tele and wide-angle lens, resulting in always a 2X zoom when taking these pictures.

With iPhone 11 Pro, portrait shots can now be captured at 2X, as well as 1X combining the wide and ultra-wide cameras.


QuickTake on iPhone 11 Pro's camera app
QuickTake on iPhone 11 Pro's camera app

In the camera app of iPhone 11 Pro, holding the shutter button no longer just captures burst photos. Rather, it instantly starts recording a video.

It records as long as you hold the button, or you can swipe to the right to lock it into recording. Alternatively, holding and immediately swiping to the left will trigger burst mode capture.

Audio zoom

Microphone on iPhone 11 Pro
Microphone on iPhone 11 Pro

This feature allows the microphone on your iPhone to match the audio with the amount of video zoom. As you zoom in closer to the subject, the accompanying audio will get louder as well.

TrueDepth Camera system

Higher resolution selfies on iPhone 11 Pro
Higher resolution selfies on iPhone 11 Pro

Lastly, the front-facing camera and TrueDepth Camera system were updated. It has a new 12MP sensor — up from 8MP.

It also has a wider field of view, up to 85 from 70 degrees for those group selfie shots.

4K video

The rear shooter is just as capable as it was on the iPhone XS. But, on iPhone 11 Pro, the True Depth camera system is now able to record 4K video at 60 frames per second.


Recording a 'slofie' on iPhone 11 Pro
Recording a 'slofie' on iPhone 11 Pro

Apple's newly-coined term seems fairly straightforward. Use the TrueDepth Camera system of the iPhone 11 Pro to capture slow-motion selfie videos at up to 120 frames per second at 1080p.

Total package

All of these features make the phone great. But, like we said when we reviewed the iPhone 11 Pro, most of the examinations have come down to that camera, and maybe the battery life.

Getting an iPhone 11 Pro for one, or all, of these features is absolutely a jump worth taking if the iPhone is integral to your daily life and your iPhone is feeling pokey.

Where to buy

Ready to purchase an iPhone 11 Pro? There are a variety of iPhone deals going on now at top wireless carriers.

iPhone 11 deals

  • AT&T Wireless: Switch to AT&T and get up to $700 off with trade-in of eligible smartphone.
  • Verizon Wireless: Get up to $500 off a new iPhone with select trade-in and Unlimited. Plus, switch with Unlimited and get $200 more.
  • Sprint: Starting at $12.50 per month with Sprint Flex lease and select trade-ins.
  • T-Mobile: Save up to $1,000 on the iPhone 11 Pro when you switch and trade in a qualifying iPhone.
  • Walmart: Save up to $100 on the iPhone 11 Pro. Offer valid only on purchase with installment plan.
  • Sam's Club: Get a $150 Sam's Club gift card when you buy and activate the iPhone 11 by Nov. 8.
  • Visible: Get up to a $200 Prepaid Mastercard Virtual Account when you buy an iPhone 11 Pro and bring your phone number to Visible. Plus get 0% financing, no money down, no upgrade fees, and free overnight shipping for well-qualified customers.