3 min Devices

Three months with the iPhone 11 Pro

iOS 13

A reason why we’ve waited with this review, instead of publishing it within the first weeks, has to do with the software. Generally, major iOS releases are quite solid when they launch, but iOS 13 was pretty buggy, to say the least. In fact, the 13.1 update was already a week after the launch of the iPhone 11 series.

To give Apple credit: they have been working hard on solving all major bugs that users have reported, fixing most of the flaws in iOS 13.2 and smoothing out a slew of smaller ones in iOS 13.3. Apple-users might grumble and complain about buggy behaviour, but they generally see their gripes fixed within a reasonable time; something that can’t be said for the Android competition. With iOS 13.3 (released early December) it seems that Apple is back on solid ground.

We won’t review iOS 13 here, but we do want to point out its main features: the OS is faster and more efficient than ever, speeding up app launch times and Face ID. After years of speculation, a Dark Mode has finally been introduced and thanks to Apple’s strict guidelines for app developers, it functions really well on both OS and app level. A pleasant touch is the option to switch to Dark Mode automatically, after sunset. The Photo app offers much more editing options for photos, Live Photos, Portrait Mode photos, and videos, and when filming, it’s now possible to change certain camera settings without leaving the app. The volume HUD has been redesigned to be less intrusive, there’s much better control over which apps get to use your location data, and there’s a ton of Emoji and Animoji options for those who like this sort of stuff. We also have to mention the Sign in with Apple functionality, which is a secure alternative to logging in with Facebook or Google. And if you’ve got AirPods, you can now easily share what you’re listening to with other AirPods users.

Why the Pro is not Pro

After using the iPhone 11 Pro for three months, it’s clear that Apple has once again delivered an amazing product. The improvements over the iPhone XS are substantial for casual consumers, professional users, developers, and photography buffs. However, we still think the phone does not deserve the Pro name. Looking at what separates the iPad from the iPad Pro, we’re looking at features that we would have loved to see replicated to the iPhone.

First off: the ProMotion display of the iPad Pro, which dynamically changes the refresh rate of the screen based on content and usage. There’s a rumour floating around that Apple will integrate ProMotion in the 2020 iPhones, but it should already have been a part of this year’s Pro line-up.

The other Pro feature we would have liked to see in the iPhone 11 Pro is the Smart Connector, a cable-less connector third-party accessories such as external keyboards. If you’re using your iPhone as an on-the-road business device, the Smart Connector makes a lot of sense.

And finally, support for the Apple Pencil. Users have been asking for proper stylus support for years, and the Apple Pencil / Pencil 2 truly is a great piece of technology. Unfortunately, it’s not compatible with the screen technology used in the iPhone. We were hoping that the ‘Pro’ in iPhone 11 Pro finally meant that we’d be able to use the Apple Pencil with our smartphone, but alas.

Table of contents