The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max models are the first iPhones to be given Apple’s ‘Pro’ suffix. This differentiaton between consumer and professional models follows the same approach long-held with the MacBook Pro laptops and more recently with the iPad Pro.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max both feature what Apple claims to be the fastest chip ever used in a smartphone, the Apple-designed A13 Bionic processor. Built for machine learning, the chip has a faster Neural Engine for real-time photo and video analysis, with new ‘Machine Learning Accelerators’ that allow the CPU to deliver more than one trillion operations per second.
The iPhone Pro models will also feature a new ‘Super Retina XDR’ display, a custom-designed OLED which Apple said is the brightest yet in an iPhone. With up to 1,200 nits brightness, the Super Retina XDR features wide colour support with system-wide colour management and True Tone. Its two million-to-one contrast ratio and true blacks offers pro users a more vivid viewing experience for HDR videos and photos.
A new triple-camera system has been designed to give a pro-level camera experience, with Ultra Wide, Wide and Telephoto options, delivering improvements to low-light photography and offering the highest-quality video in a smartphone.
The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be available in four different finishes, including a new midnight green colour. The handsets have a textured matte glass back and polished stainless steel band. The devices also feature the toughest glass ever used for a smartphone and are rated IP68 for water resistance up to 4m for up to 30 minutes and are protected against everyday spills including coffee and soft drinks.
Battery life has also been improved, with Apple claiming that the iPhone 11 Pro will give up to four more hours of battery life in a day than iPhone X.
“iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are the most powerful and advanced smartphones we have ever made,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing.
“iPhone 11 Pro has the first triple-camera system in iPhone and is far and away the best camera we’ve ever made. It provides our customers with great range of creative control and advanced photo and video editing features in iOS 13. The Super Retina XDR is the brightest and most advanced display in iPhone and the A13 Bionic chip sets a new bar for smartphone performance and power efficiency.”
Given recent advances in smartphone cameras made by rival manufacturers such as Samsung and Huawei, as well as the demands and expectations of consumers (pro or otherwise), Apple needed to significantly boost the capabilities of its own flagship offering. The iPhone 11 Pro’s triple-camera system is claimed to capture the highest-quality video ever in a smartphone. Each camera in the triple-camera system is capable of recording 4K video with extended dynamic range and cinematic video stabilisation. Users can switch between each of the three cameras, while Audio Zoom matches the audio to the video framing for dynamic sound.
Still photography quality is also enhanced with the triple-camera system. The Ultra Wide camera, for example, captures four times more scene. These iPhone camera upgrades could also make the use of third-party clip-on lenses redundant.
At the event, Apple also teased a forthcoming photo feature dubbed Deep Fusion, an image-processing system enabled by the Neural Engine of A13 Bionic. Deep Fusion will use advanced machine learning to do pixel-by-pixel processing of photos, optimising for texture, details and noise in every part of the photo.
Other features of the iPhone 11 Pro models include a U1 chip that uses Ultra Wideband technology; faster, better Face ID; Dolby Atmos spatial audio; gigabit-class LTE up to 1.6Gbps; Wi-Fi 6, and dual-SIM support with eSIM. However, the iPhone 11 Pro models do not support 5G, a feature that is not expected until the 2020 models.
Apple also introduced the ‘entry-level’ iPhone 11, the successor to the iPhone XR, which was the best-selling variant of the last iPhone generation.
The dual-camera iPhone 11 shares many of the new features of its Pro siblings, including the A13 Bionic chip with everything that entails. The iPhone 11 is equipped with similarly strong glass and has a similar level of waterproofing to the Pro version, although its 6.1-inch all-screen display is Liquid Retina, not the Pro’s Super Retina XDR.
Most of the Pro’s camera upgrades are also incorporated into iPhone 11, including the Ultra Wide and Wide cameras, but not Telephoto.
The iPhone 11 will be available in six new colours – as hinted at in the colour palette of the preview graphic circulated on social media over the last week – although the Pro’s Midnight Green is not one of them.
“iPhone 11 is the next generation of iPhone, packed with great new capabilities in an incredible design, including new Ultra Wide and Wide cameras for gorgeous videos and photos, the power and ease of use of iOS 13, and A13 Bionic — the fastest chip ever in a smartphone that quickly handles the tasks that matter most to people every day,” said Schiller.
Pre-ordering for all iPhone 11 models begins on Friday 13 September and the phones will be available in stores from Friday 20 September.
Apple Watch Series 5 was also announced. The latest iteration of Apple’s best-selling wearable device now features an ‘Always-On’ Retina display, built-in compass (showing heading, incline, latitude, longitude and current elevation) and three new Compass complications, and international emergency calling, which allows users with cellular models of Apple Watch Series 5 to make international calls to emergency services, anywhere in the world, even if a cellular plan has not been activated and no iPhone is nearby.
The emergency calling feature also works with fall detection, whereby the Watch will automatically place an emergency call if it senses that the user has taken a hard fall and has been motionless for a minute.
The Always-On display is a deviation from previous Watch models, which have to either be raised or tapped to wake the screen. The watch faces have been optimised for the continuous display to preserve battery life, as the screen dims when the user lowers their wrist, returning to full brightness when raised or tapped.
The Watch’s low-temperature polysilicone and oxide display (LTPO), ultra-low power display driver, efficient power management integrated circuit and ambient light sensor work together to achieve this.
Apple Watch Series 5 will also be available in a wider range of materials, including aluminium (now 100 per cent recycled 7000 series aluminium), stainless steel, ceramic and two all-new titanium models.
The most popular iPad in Apple’s tablet range also got an upgrade, with the new seventh-generation model featuring a 10.2″ Retina Display, support for Apple Pencil (first generation) and Smart Keyboard, and the new iPadOS.
Priced from £349, the new iPad uses the A10 Fusion chip, which Apple positioned as being perfect for immersive augmented reality (AR) experiences that take advantage of the iPad’s enhanced cameras and sensors. Greater multitasking ability and smooth gameplay and video will be key to the success of Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.
Both of these new Apple services were also given stage time at the event. Apple Arcade, due to appear on the App Store from 19 September, is a subscription service for ad-free, exclusive games. For £4.99 per month, users get unlimited access to the entire catalogue of over 100 new and exclusive games, all playable across iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac and Apple TV.
Some of the games will support external handheld controllers, including current Xbox and PlayStation game controllers, in addition to touch controls and Siri Remote.
Apple Arcade will launch with a one-month free trial and none of the games will be available on any other mobile platform or subscription service. Apple Arcade games can all be played offline and a single subscription includes access for up to six family members with Family Sharing.
As with all of Apple’s ‘app stores’, the catalogue is expected to grow exponentially, as more games are added every month. Apple Arcade will be available on September 30 on iPadOS and tvOS 13 and in October on macOS Catalina.
Apple TV+ will launch on 1 November, priced at £4.99 per month. An all-original video subscription service, Apple is lining up new shows, movies and documentaries, including “The Morning Show,” starring Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell; Oprah Winfrey’s book club; a psychological thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, and a feature film, The Banker, starring Anthony Mackie and Samuel L. Jackson.
“With Apple TV+, we are presenting all-original stories from the best, brightest and most creative minds and we know viewers will find their new favourite show or movie on our service,” said Zack Van Amburg, Apple’s head of worldwide video.
“Each Apple TV+ original offers its own unique story, fresh perspective and powerful message — all meant to entertain, connect and inspire cultural conversations.”
Apple’s offering – going up against established heavyweights such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and the forthcoming Disney+ service – will be available both online and offline, ad-free and on demand, on the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch, Mac and other platforms, including online at tv.apple.com. The Apple TV app is also available on select Samsung smart TVs, and will be added to Amazon Fire TV, LG, Roku, Sony and VIZIO platforms in the future.
It was also confirmed that customers who purchase any iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, iPod touch or Mac will also get one year of Apple TV+ for free. Again, through Family Sharing, up to six family members can share one Apple TV+ subscription.