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The iPhone 11 is the new iPhone standard . It seems like a truism so written, true, but it is a concept that should be explored. When last year Apple introduced the iPhone XR in the catalog, the feeling was that this model lived in some way outside the main evolutionary branch of the device; a slightly different iPhone to reduce the price of entry to apple phones.
The change of name of his successor and the improvement of some of the components have completely altered this perception. The iPhone 11, despite some limitations, is the new iPhone and the iPhone 11 Pro, an additional product line focused on a consumer with more specific needs as with Mac or iPad.
It is also somewhat cheaper - a little - than its predecessor, something unusual in the history of the company. It is still a premium product but after a week using it I think it is an iPhone that will please the vast majority of users because it solves some of the problems that until now dragged the phone, such as night photography, limitations in portrait mode of the XR and the quality of the front camera.
A tougher iPhone
The camera module is undoubtedly what defines the new iPhone models but there is much more to tell about them. Although slightly, the design has changed, and for the better. The iPhone 11, which is available in six colors, opens a new aluminum and glass chassis in which the camera module has been carved from a single block. In the hand the touch is more pleasant and has a better grip than the iPhone XR and according to Apple - I have not been able to verify this - it is the toughest glass used in mobile telephony.
It has improved water resistance - now it lasts 30 minutes at 2 meters deep - and as an additional detail, it includes a better speaker system capable of creating virtual surround sound, compatible with the Dolby Atmos standard.
The screen is still a 6.1-inch LCD with the same thickness in the frames - significantly larger than in Pro models - but they have the same quality as in the XR, which was already very high despite the lower resolution compared to its siblings. Little to reproach here except that the new OLEDs of the Pro range are obviously more desirable and that the price of the device could justify having it.
Power for years
This year's iPhone releases a new processor, the A13 Bionic. Apple has been manufacturing the most powerful and advanced mobile phone processors for years and this year is no exception. The A13 is a waste of power. It is 20% faster than the A12 when it comes to calculations but it has a new graphic processing unit that is also 20% more powerful and consumes 40% less along with modules specially designed for machine learning tasks.
The distance that separates Apple from other manufacturers in this field is quite high and the integration of software and hardware often allows it to be conservative with other phone components such as RAM. The iPhone 11 is no exception at this point, with 4 GB of memory . It is not a problem, everything goes spectacularly fluid as usual and is the same amount as in the Pro, but a greater amount would have shielded the phone for whatever comes in the future.
This year the A13 includes several energy saving functions that manage to give the phone one more hour of autonomy . Since the XR was already one of the most enduring phones, it is a welcome change. A week is not enough time to get a real idea but in general, it can be said that autonomy is not going to be a problem.
The camera, protagonist (despite having one less)
With power to spare, the main task of the processor, this year, is to help the cameras. The 12-megapixel main sensor is similar to last year , equivalent to a 26mm in conventional photography, but with an improved and very fast autofocus system that covers the entire sensor area.
The new one is also a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens with a field of view of about 120 degrees, equivalent to 13 mm. in traditional photography.
From the outset, this new lens allows you to capture photographs from a different and much more interesting perspective , if only for the novelty. For landscape or city photography, you can create unique compositions and effects.
There are other advantages. Now the iPhone allows you to shoot a photo with the main camera and save the information that captures the wide angle to re-frame the photos after shooting them if, for example, we have cut the feet or part of the head of someone in the photo. The option is disabled by default and doubles the space that the photo occupies in memory for 30 days. after that time discard the additional information.
Thanks to the fact that it now has two cameras, the iPhone can now take pictures in portrait mode of pets and objects, detecting the depth of the scene due to the difference in perspective. The XR had to detect a face in order to apply this effect because it used a machine learning model that was much more limited.
Finally, the video quality has been improved and it is possible to record with both cameras in a continuous zoom. In the analysis of the new iPhone Pro we will deepen this function and other camera features, such as the HDR function - high dynamic range - or night photography (Spoiler alert: yes, it is better than night photography in Google Pixels ).
But beyond the quality of the cameras where Apple has really embroidered it is in the interface of the new camera application , which intuitively shows the framing options and activates the night photography mode automatically. It is really a pleasure to use it and one of the reasons why I personally still consider the iPhone as the best camera. Not everything is the end result, but also the capture process.
Selfies and Slofies
Apple has also improved the front camera of the iPhone , which was undoubtedly one of the pending tasks, and has done so with a new 12-megapixel sensor and a lens with greater angle.
At the outset, this achieves a very desirable effect: now FaceID , the biometric identification unlocking system, works at slightly more extreme angles and on a greater range of distances. It cannot be used in landscape mode for completely inexplicable reasons (the iPad Pro, for example, it can) but the new angles make using FaceID much more comfortable and reliable. With iOS 13 it is also 30% faster.
But the new camera and the new lens also get another effect, which is to be able to make signs with a much larger field of view - perfect for group photos - just by turning the phone or pressing a button (by default the front camera shoots with a cutout at 7 megapixels that results in the angle it used to have on previous iPhone).
The front camera records video in 4K at 60 frames per second and is also capable of "slofies", that is, slow motion videos with 120 frames per second and HD resolution. They are fun and I anticipate many in Instagram stories over the next few months with this effect.
Making it difficult for the Pro
Adding the front and rear cameras, the iPhone manages to save a year in which it has seen how its rivals in the Android world took giant steps in the world of mobile photography. Even without the telephoto lens of the Pro models, the iPhone 11 is a spectacular camera that produces incredible results with every shot.
What would change on the phone? Two things . The first that the input model had more than 64 GB capacity . Little space considering what photos and videos occupy.
The second is that Apple had banished at once the 5-watt charger with USB-A and used the 18-watt with USB-C that now accompanies the Pro models. In full 2019 it makes no sense to continue with this adapter to save cents in a device that is supposed to be high end.
The iPhone 11 goes on sale this Friday at a price of 809 euros . Apple allows you to deliver a previous phone to get a discount of up to 500 euros and pay the product in installments in some cases.
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