As expected, Apple announced three new iPhone models at a special event at the Steve Jobs Theater on Tuesday. The most affordable of the trio is the new iPhone 11, the spiritual successor to last year’s iPhone XR. The iPhone XR was seen by some as the iPhone to get if you couldn’t afford the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max — instead of the great entry-level flagship iPhone that it was — so the rebranding should help Apple establish the iPhone 11’s rightful place in the 2019 iPhone lineup as the “default new iPhone for most people”.
The iPhone 11 looks and feels just like the iPhone XR, and much like its predecessor, it puts colours front and centre of the experience. It will be available in six colours — the Coral and Blue colours from last year have given way to Purple and Green, while the other four iPhone 11 colours — Black, White, Yellow, and (Product) Red — sport slightly different finishes than the iPhone XR. The Yellow iPhone 11, for example, looks less shiny than the iPhone XR and will appeal to those who like understated finishes (as understated as a yellow can be, that is).
The 6.1-inch display still packs a resolution of 828×1792 pixels, which is alright, but as we noted in our iPhone XR review, not something you expect from a phone at this price level. The display’s LCD — while the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max pack OLED panels — but in terms of colour reproduction and overall quality, it is among the best LCD panels money can buy.
The iPhone 11 — like the other two new iPhone models — is powered by the Apple A13 Bionic chip, and if past performance is any indication, Apple’s claim of extending its lead over the competition shouldn’t be too far away from the truth. Apple is also touting improved battery life and IP68 water resistance up to 2m for 30 minutes with the iPhone 11. It’s worth remembering that the iPhone XR is IP67 rated.
But the area where Apple is promising the biggest improvements in the 2019 iPhone lineup is camera. For its part, the iPhone 11 packs dual rear cameras, with the wide f/1.8 aperture 12-megapixel camera backed by the ultra-wide f/2.4 aperture 12-megapixel sensor. The presence of Night Mode is a first for the iPhone lineup, promising a boost to low-light photography similar to ones seen on flagship Google, Huawei, and Samsung smartphones.
The second rear camera on the iPhone 11 gives it the full suite of Portrait Lightning effects available across the iPhone lineup. Apple says the iPhone 11 trio also come with “next-generation” Smart HDR for photos, a dedicated night mode for enhanced low-light photography, and the selfie camera has been improved as well.
Needless to say, it was impossible to test all of these claims in the limited time that we spent with the devices at the Steve Jobs Theater, so stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for our full review of the iPhone 11, where we will share our comprehensive analysis of all aspects of their performance.
In terms of pricing, there’s good news for prospective buyers in India. The iPhone 11 price in India starts at Rs. 64,900, which is Rs. 12,000 less than what the iPhone XR was launched at roughly 12 months ago. The iPhone XR has since been selling at a much lower price point in recent months, a development that helped Apple regain the top spot in the premium smartphone market in the country.
On the face of it, the iPhone 11 looks like a promising refresh and we’ll soon find out if customers in India agree when the phone goes on sale in the country on September 27. Stay tuned to Gadgets 360 for a full review of the iPhone 11.
Disclosure: Apple sponsored the correspondent’s flights and hotel for the launch event in Cupertino.