Apple upgrade cycles have become regular enough to set your clock to, and each iteration on their iPhone is always the best they have ever made.

2019 is no different, and yet this is by far the best iPhone ever made. Huge leaps in photography and speed along with general improvements have resulted in a significant upgrade on the iPhone XS from last year.

The hardware

The new iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max do not look very different from the Xs of prior vintage.

The solid luxurious build along with smooth curves and the front-facing notch mark these phones as iPhones. Very little has changed from the previous model; there are new more hardened glass front and back, and the stainless steel frame comes in a fresh green tone. The instantly noticeable change is on the rear where a massive square cluster of three cameras a flash and a microphone reside.

Internally there have been some significant changes as well. Apple does not focus on the technical specs yet they always offer some of the fastest, if not the fastest processors in the mobile space along with other technological enhancements that set the iPhones apart from their competitors. The iPhone 11 Pro range is no different.

A new A13 Bionic processor complete with AI facilities which apple calls Bionic along with increased memory makes the new iPhone 11 Pros speed demons, along with IOS 13 they are noticeably faster and more fluid than their predecessors. Games opened quickly pictures save fast, and there is no lag at any point no matter how many apps are open or how complex the task.

Video editing software and massive spreadsheets open quickly and render pretty much instantly. The screen has gained a better picture and lost the force touch feature. This is something I did not notice until I tried some specific functions that worked with force touch. Apple has improved the haptic feedback to mimic some of the force touch elements. Overall the quality of the screen and the ease of use more than make up for this minor loss.

Wifi 6 is standard along with 4×4 Mimo 4G, no 5G as yet. The speed in general use of the iPhone 11 Pro for calls and data was excellent with the clarity of calls and speed of downloads slightly clearer and faster than older models.

The camera

Apple had been losing out to some Android competitors which feature up to five cameras on some models and overall photographic performance that made the older generation iPhone appear lacking. Google has an exceptional night mode Huawei has zoom functionality that beats anything in the mobile space.

Apple response was to add a long-distance lens and improve the sensors across all the cameras. The magic, however, is in the software. Building on the power of the A13 Bionic chip and its specific AI processor Apple has matched and in some respects exceeded the best that android based smartphones can offer.

Coupled with high-quality lenses this technical computation photography capability along with the smooth slick camera interphase puts the iPhone 11 Pro into a league of its own.

The iPhone 11 Pro takes exceptional pictures in almost all conditions from near dark to shots into the sun. Taking photographs is simply a matter of framing the shot, selecting the zoom and pressing the button. The iPhone 11 pro does the rest, and the results are genuinely spectacular.

The improvement in the pictures and videos is worth the upgrade all in itself. The iPhone Xs had a decent camera, but the iPhone 11 Pro setup is simply in another league.

I could go into the numerous modes features and options, but from standard happy snaps to portrait mode using blur to massive wide-angle shots, the iPhone 11 Pro is superb. Colours are well-rendered pictures have fantastic detail, and excellent contrast and low light photography is simply amazing.

The battery

In answer to the ever-present battery anxiety, Apple has made a smart choice.

The iPhone 11 Pros are a touch thicker and heavier than the models they replace. The difference is noticeable side by side but is forgotten as soon as cover is used. The benefit is four to five hours more life from the battery which has been increased in size. This increase in battery life is very noticeable when travelling the iPhone 11 Pro never dies, often going till late evening before needing a change.

When used for a normal working day the new iPhone 11 Pros easily gave a full day of service with lots of pictures calls and browsing the web.

The software

IOS 13, which started life a little buggy and after many updates, which is a bit atypical of Apple, has settled down in version 13.2. IOS has always offered the smoothest most integrated mobile experience with enough functions and power to satisfy most users.

The consistency of the interface extends to the apps which like for like are more polished and simply better than their Android counterparts. Android has become an excellent operating system, and for the most part the apps across both operating systems are mostly identical in use and function.

The main benefit with IOS is its seamless integration with the hardware and the substantially consistent user experience across the entire platform including all the apps. IOS on Apple does simply work. Android aficionados can enjoy the massive flexibility of Android, while Apple users get on with their day.

The combination of massively powerful hardware and a highly integrated and optimised operation system makes the new iPhone 11 Pros a real pleasure to use.


Inevitably the question is, do you upgrade to the latest iPhone Pro? In addition, is it necessary also to spend the extra from the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 11 Pro? The simple answer is yes.

The iPhone 11 Pro and the Pro Max cameras are so good they alone make the upgrade worth the effort. If you have the first generation iPhone X or an older model it’s a considerable leap forward in every respect.

The jump in everything except the camera over the iPhone XS models is more subtle as Apple ensures that the latest version of IOS optimize their older models as much as possible. The iPhone 11 Pro is without question the finest iPhone yet that almost goes without saying, yet Apple devices are more than the sum of their parts. The overall quality of the iPhone 11 Pro models is exceptionally high from build to screens to functionality and once the exceptional camera is factored in they represent excellent value for the admittedly elevated price.

As always if you are an Apple fan and user and your contract is up for renewal then the iPhone 11 range is a perfect upgrade. The move from Android flagships is more complicated, yet as a package, I feel the Apple iPhone 11 Pros are the most complete and high-quality mobile devices on the market narrowly beating the exceptional Samsung Galaxy note 10.

Available across the country from Apple retailers and mobile networks from R21,999.00.

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Steven Ambrose | Techhuman | @ambio | mail me |




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