Apple iPhone 11 Pro-hands-on size comparison front apps
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple’s latest trio of iPhones bring a range of upgrades, as always, and they also mark a new naming convention. The iPhone 11 builds on the iPhone XR, while the iPhone 11 Pro replaces the iPhone XS, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max replaces the iPhone XS Max. If you’re shopping for a new iPhone or considering an upgrade, then you’ll be keen to know what this year’s iPhone has to offer compared to the last two versions. Grab a drink, kick back and relax, as we unpack the differences between the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone XS, and the iPhone X.

Specs

iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone XS iPhone X
Size 144 × 71.4 × 8.1mm (5.67 × 2.81 × 0.32 inches) 143.6 × 70.9 × 7.7 mm (5.65 × 2.79 × 0.30 inches) 143.6 × 70.9 × 7.7 mm (5.65 × 2.79 × 0.30 inches)
Weight 188 grams (6.63 ounces) 177 grams (6.24 ounces) 174 grams (6.14 ounces)
Screen size 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR OLED 5.8-inch Super Retina AMOLED display 5.8-inch Super Retina AMOLED display
Screen resolution 2436 × 1125 pixels (458 pixels per inch) 2436 × 1125 pixels (458 PPI) 2436 × 1125 pixels (458 PPI)
Operating system iOS 13 iOS 13 iOS 13
Storage space 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB
MicroSD card slot No No No
Tap-to-pay services Apple Pay Apple Pay Apple Pay
Processor Apple A13 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic Apple A11 Bionic
RAM 6GB (TBC) 4GB 3GB
Camera Triple-lens 12MP Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto rear, 12MP TrueDepth front Dual 12MP rear, 7MP TrueDepth HD front Dual 12MP rear, 7MP TrueDepth front
Video 4K at up 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps 4K at up 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps 4K at up 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps
Bluetooth version Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0 Bluetooth 5.0
Ports Lightning connector Lightning connector Lightning connector
Fingerprint sensor No No No
Water resistance IP68 IP68 IP67
Battery Up to 18 hours of video playback

Fast charging (18W charger)

Qi wireless charging

2,658mAh

Fast charging (15W charger sold separately)

Qi wireless charging

2,716mAh

Fast charging (15W charger sold separately)

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace Apple App Store Apple App Store Apple App Store
Network support T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
Colors Midnight Green, Space Grey, Silver, Gold Gold, Silver, Space Gray Space Gray, Silver
Price $999 $999 $999
Buy from Apple Apple Apple
Review score Hands-on 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

Performance, battery life, and charging

Apple upgrades its processor every year, making it faster and more efficient every time. The iPhone 11 Pro has the latest A13 Bionic which is superior to the A12 Bionic in the iPhone XS, which in turn is superior to the A11 Bionic in the iPhone X. The A13 is roughly 20% faster and uses 40% less power than the A12. Whether you’ll feel a big difference is debatable because the iPhone X has yet to find a game or app it couldn’t run, but if you jumped straight from it to the 11 Pro, everything should feel a beat faster. The iPhone XS has 4GB of RAM, so it’s more capable at multitasking than the iPhone X which makes do with 3GB. We suspect the 11 Pro will have more RAM, but this has not been confirmed yet — Apple doesn’t mention RAM, so we’ll have to wait for a teardown.

Battery capacity is another thing Apple doesn’t reveal, but it claims the iPhone 11 Pro can go for four hours longer than the iPhone XS. This is likely down to the more efficient processor, rather than any increase in battery size. Both the iPhone XS and the iPhone X support fast charging at 15W, but they don’t come with the necessary charger — you have to buy it separately. Apple has thankfully seen fit to include an 18W charger in the box with the iPhone 11 Pro. All three support Qi wireless charging.

Winner: Apple iPhone 11 Pro 

Design and durability

The iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone XS, and iPhone X are clearly related, and you’ll have to look quite closely to tell them apart. Each has a 5.8-inch screen with slim bezels and a large notch at the top. They all sport stainless steel frames and glass backs. The square camera module on the back of the 11 Pro is all that sets it apart, though it’s also being offered in a new green variant, and it’s very slightly bigger and heavier than its predecessors. The iPhone XS and iPhone X are identical.

There have been significant improvements in durability. The iPhone X could withstand submersion in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes without damage; the iPhone XS upped that to 2 meters, and the iPhone 11 Pro ups it again to 4 meters. Apple also showed off the new iPhone surviving a drop test, but we would still advise buyers to look at picking up one of the best iPhone 11 Pro cases to avoid disaster.

Winners: Apple iPhone 11 Pro 

Display

iphone 11 pro max review apple hands on jc pascals wager gameplay 1
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Apple first adopted superior OLED technology in its displays with the iPhone X and that 5.8-inch screen remained unchanged in the iPhone XS. The iPhone 11 Pro has the same size screen and the same 2436 x 1125-pixel resolution, but Apple has increased the maximum brightness and bumped the contrast ratio up from 1 million-to-one to 2 million-to-one. You may notice a slight difference when viewing HDR content, but despite the huge number it’s not going to be noticeable in most scenarios and the display that’s in the iPhone XS and iPhone X is still great.

Winners: Apple iPhone 11 Pro 

Camera

Apple iPhone-11 Pro-hands-on camera mode face recognition
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you’ve been looking for a significant upgrade in the iPhone 11 Pro this is where you’ll find it. The iPhone XS and iPhone X had identical camera suites combining a 12-megapixel main lens with an f/1.8 aperture and a secondary 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture. They also both had a 7-megapixel camera around the front, paired with a time-of-flight sensor to enable Face ID.

The iPhone 11 Pro has a triple-lens setup comprising a 12-megapixel main lens with am f/1.8 aperture, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens with an f/2.4 aperture and a 120-degree field of view, and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an f/2.0 aperture. The new ultra-wide-angle lens will enable you to take much wider shots, potentially capturing four times more scene, and the larger aperture in the new telephoto lens will make for better low light performance. The iPhone 11 Pro also boasts a 12-megapixel lens in its front-facing camera now.

Winners: Apple iPhone 11 Pro 

Software and updates

Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max hands-on comparison with Pro
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The new iPhones herald the end of 3D Touch, in favor of haptic touch, but all of these iPhones are going to run iOS 13, which means the software experience is going to be identical. They will all continue to be updated at the same time for the foreseeable future.

Winner: Tie

Special features

iphone 11 pro max review apple hands on jc camera lenses 1
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The improved camera is the headline feature for the iPhone 11 Pro, but there are a couple of other points of interest on the spec sheet that set it apart from the iPhone XS and the iPhone X. Perhaps most important is the support for Wi-Fi 6, which should allow for faster download speeds once you have the available network to take advantage. There’s also Ultra Wideband technology which brings spatial awareness to the iPhone 11 Pro and is set to enable “directionally aware suggestions” to AirDrop with iOS 13.1. This could prove to be a handy new feature.

Winner: Apple iPhone 11 Pro 

Price and availability

The iPhone 11 Pro is a replacement for the iPhone XS, which itself replaced the iPhone X. Apple doesn’t sell the older two anymore, though you can still find them elsewhere, and there is a thriving used iPhone market. The 11 Pro starts at $999, just like its predecessors, and it will be widely available at all major retailers and from all the major carriers from September 20.

Overall winner: Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Naturally, the iPhone 11 Pro is a better phone than the iPhone XS or the iPhone X. The newest addition to the Apple family has a more versatile camera, a faster processor, more stamina, and a more durable design. But none of these slight upgrades are earth-shattering and if you already own an iPhone XS, or even an iPhone X, you don’t need to rush to the nearest Apple Store just yet.

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