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Apple iPhone 11 review: This could be a winner

Nandagopal Rajan
Apple iPhone 11 review: At Rs 64,900, the new iPhone 11 is priced lower than the previous iPhone XR, and it comes with a dual-camera at the back. Here’s our full review.

Apple iPhone 11 Review: When it was launched last year, the iPhone XR was the third, more affordable, phone. Its successor, the iPhone 11, is however the base model for what Apple has to offer in 2019. There is no R in the same of the successor and that is thanks to the big success of the iPhone XR. With the iPhone 11, which is even more affordable than its predecessor, Apple must be hoping to go a step further in sales.

But does the iPhone 11 have the fire power to become a runaway success across the world? After all, it is not just the price that matters to a lot of users.

Apple iPhone 11 price in India: Rs 64,900 for 64GB, Rs 69,900 for 128GB and 79,900 for 256GB

Apple iPhone 11 specifications: 6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina HD display, 1792 x 828 pixel resolution at 326 ppi | A13 Bionic chipset | Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide cameras with 2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 5x, Ultra Wide: /2.4 aperture and 120 field of view, Wide: /1.8 aperture | TrueDepth Camera (Front camera) 12MP camera with /2.2 aperture | Battery: One hour longer than iPhone XR | IP68 rating for dust and water resistance |

The 6.1-inch LCD display too has been left untouched, though it now adds Dolby Vision and HDR 10.

Apple iPhone 11 review

The iPhone 11 looks a lot like the iPhone XR. In fact, it is the same, except for the camera module which now is a square with two lenses, a flash and a microphone. The camera slot has a trademark iPhone look, even though it is the first time Apple has used it, because the shape is similar to that of the app icons on iOS. From the glass back to the aluminium frame, everything else stays the same, though you have a new Green and Lavender Purple colour to choose from now.

The 6.1-inch LCD display too has been left untouched, though it now adds Dolby Vision and HDR 10 making the viewing experience much more pleasurable. Also, the phone now has a IP68 rating, making it better at dust and water resistance. The iPhone 11 offers a good grip despite being a reasonable sized smartphone.

The camera slot has a trademark iPhone look, even though it is the first time Apple has used it, because the shape is similar to that of the app icons on iOS.

The one feature that has all Apple fans excited is the dual camera on the iPhone 11. The phone has two 12MP cameras, one wide and the other ultra-wide. The wide-angle camera itself is not a new concept, but Apple s take of a wide-angle camera is. In fact, the 120-degree field of view is packed into a 4:3 frame, which is unique and giving a whole new perspective. While if does not give the images a fish eye look, especially in landscapes, it ends up being a different way to showcase a landscape photo.

The iPhone 11 is also a good handycam replacement because you can shoot 4K at 60FPS using both the lenses and this ability to switch to ultra-wide for video is seamless. I loved the fact that even with slow-motion, both the lenses come into play. The video experience on this phone is the smoothest I have seen so far and it also stays cool even after long 4K shoots.

However, the default camera is the regular wide and this is exactly the same as last time. The selfie camera has meanwhile got some serious muscle. It is a 12MP camera now with the ability to shoot 4K videos. It also offers a wider frame, in case you want to fit in more people into a selfie. While a wide-angle selfie is not new, Apple is introducing the concept of a slowfie with this front camera. Yes, you can shoot a slow motion of yourself with this camera, which I think is a fun feature to have. I don t have much use for it though.

An ultra-wide shot with the iPhone 11 (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)
An ultra-wide shot with the iPhone 11 (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

Apple has also rolled out its version of a Night Shot with the iPhone 11 series. The camera takes a series of images and patches it up to give you a bright, colourful and vibrant image even in pitch darkness. The effect is almost magical, but also eerily unreal. This magic is powered by the A13 Bionic processor which has enough intelligence to be able to decide it is time to switch on the mode, take images before the user presses the trigger, then take more when she does and package all of that into a composite image. The camera is like a torch, shedding light where there is none. This is computational photography at its best, despite the noise you will still see in the photo.

A Night shot taken with the iPhone 11. The room was completely dark except for the lamp acting as the one source of light. (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)
Another Night Shot taken with the Apple iPhone 11. (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)
A photo taken with the iPhone 11 in bright sunlight. (Image source: Nandagopal Rajan/Indian Express)

In fact, Apple is so confident about its processor-camera combo that you will be able to see more of this magic happen in the form of high-resolution Deep Fusion photos later this year.

The A13 Bionic is faster that its predecessor, but is not hugely different when it comes to user experience. It can do things better when it comes to processing AI and ML features on the device itself, but you will not be able to make out a difference in comparison with last year s device. But you know the A12 cannot do the night shot, and that should leave you assured.

The battery life on the iPhone 11 has improved slightly, so on certain days you might end up getting more juice out of this phone with maybe an hour extra before you reach for the charger. And you have fast charging on the phone now and can get up to 50 per cent battery in just about 30 minutes.

Apple iPhone 11 review: Verdict

The best feature of this new iPhone is the price, though. At Rs 64,900 in India, this phone is way cheaper than what the iPhone XR was when it launched. Add a few deals and you might get it for even less. A brand new iPhone still a very aspirational brand in India selling at a price point below Rs 60,000 could be the start of something big for Apple, especially just ahead of the holiday season. For a lot of India s looking to pick up an affordable iPhone in other words, an older model the iPhone 11 might offer the option to be more current.

With an overall package that is dependable and packs a punch in terms of features and processing power, the iPhone 11 makes a good upgrade for anyone on iPhone 7 or earlier models. But for others, it might be better to hold on for another year. Also it offers a choice for those looking at an expensive Android option. This iPhone might just kill it.