Apple iPhone 11 Pro, Pro Max: Best and worst features
A fortnight back, at the jam-packed Steve Jobs Theater, Apple unveiled its latest iPhones including the first-ever "Pro" monikered handsets - iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The flagship phones come with a few design tweaks, some hardware upgrades, and a handful of new software features. Frankly, there is a lot to unpack, especially when looking at the best and worst features.
The new triple-lens setup features a 12MP wide-angle lens, a 12MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens. The arrangement offers greater versatility to users, allowing them to go 2x wide for landscapes or 2x closer for portraits. Apple has also introduced a redesigned camera app, improved night mode, and several cutting-edge photography features including QuickTake, Deep Fusion, and Slofies (slo-mo selfie videos).
Apple's Bionic A13 chipset is claimed to pack the fast CPU and GPU ever put into a smartphone. It has 8.5 billion second-generation 7nm transistors (A12 had 6.9 billion) and can perform 1 trillion operations/second. The chipset offers 20% faster CPU, GPU, as well as Neural Engine cores. That's evident from the high single-core score of 5,472 and multi-core score of 13,769 on Geekbench.
The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max last for four and five hours more than their respective predecessors. Apple has achieved these impressive numbers by packing slightly bigger batteries and the new power-efficient chipset. Additionally, the "Pro" models also come bundled with 18W adapters, providing faster charging than the dismal charging speeds offered by 5W chargers that came with iPhone Xs and Xs Max.
However, not all is hunky-dory about the new iPhones. When other OEMs are adopting an all-screen design, punch hole displays, or Waterfall screens, Apple's iPhone 11 Pro models continue to feature the two-year-old design. And to make things worse, the company's choice to highlight each camera sensor on the rear cluster is triggering 'trypophobia', or is getting roasted for looking like a shocking emoji, hotplate, and shaver.
Secondly, the new iPhones don't offer reverse wireless charging and the lack of this feature sucks. Competitors like Samsung and Huawei already offer two-way wireless charging on their flagships and you expect "Pro" iPhones to offer such capabilities. After all, this feature would have been appreciated by millions of Apple Watch Series 3/4/5 owners and Airpods users who have purchased wireless charging cases.
The fact that the new "Pro" iPhones come bundled with an 18W adapter is like an oasis in the desert. But given rivals like Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ and Huawei P30 Pro support over 40W wired charging (and offer two-way wireless charging as well), one wonders where Apple is investing all the money. Perhaps, everywhere that doesn't involve research, innovation and design.