Apple iPhone 11 First Impressions – Made for Fence Sitters

Apple is back with a best seller. Last year it was the iPhone XR, the coming year, it’s going to be the iPhone 11. Write this down, because the upgrades include an extra camera sensor with an ultra wide angle lens, we thought the A12 was faster but then we get the A13 Bionic in this one, which brings amazing features like extended dynamic range at 4K 60 fps, even on the ultrawide. The really average 7MP front camera on the XR gets upgraded to a 12MP crisp sensor with a wider angle field of view lens on the 11, and again thanks to A13, it does 4K 60 fps, with extended dynamic range up to 30 fps and of course, slofies. Personally, it is a dream come true upgrade from the iPhone XR I have been using till now. The best part? It is going to sell here, in India, for a starting price of Rs. 64, 990 (58, 990 if you pre-ordered) which is way lesser than the 74, 990 price with which the XR started selling. Fear not fence sitters, I used to be one of you and I know how you feel so hear me out – there’s a new phone in town and it’s made for you – here are my first impressions of the iPhone 11.

The first thing you need to realize is the Apple ecosystem starts with the iPhone. It’s been their flagship product ever since the first one was announced. Before the iPhone, it was the iPod. Now it should be clear why Apple puts so much focus into this one product line. So much so that they have figured out how to maintain quality and reach more people at the same time. Let me explain.

While the current iPhone looks radically different from the first one, there are some things that never change, like the alert switch for example.

Another thing that hasn’t changed with the iPhone since the 4 is all of them have great displays with a minimum of 326 ppi. I can give more examples, but here is the idea – through consistency Apple has created a comfortable place for expectations. There is a minimum quality that you can expect with iPhones and it shows with ever product in the iPhone line including the iPhone 11. Now let’s talk about the things that have changed.

In combination with the powerful A13 bionic, the dual lens camera on the iPhone 11 creates magic. A much improved smart HDR algorithm lets you take crispier photos with more realistic contrast and push 4k 60 fps videos WITH extended dynamic range. This was impossible in the last generation iPhones in which extended dynamic range AND image stabilization both were capped at 30 fps. Yes, even though the ultra wide angle lens doesn’t come with OIS like the main camera, it’s extremely smooth at all resolutions. The potential of these cameras are immense to say the least. Here are some samples if you are interested in pixel peeping –

Initial impressions – to my eyes, they don’t just look better than the XR but they are right there with the best of the best in the smartphone world. To think that you get the same cameras as the 11 Pro, at this price, is bonkers. Major props to A13 bionic.

Face ID is now faster and there is a 12MP sensor at the front now. Yes, it’s way more crispier and yes, you can take 120 fps slo mo footage on this. It can now shoot 4k 60 fps video with extended dynamic range and stabilization upto 30 fps. The field of view is also a lot wider, with a crop in option available in portrait. A solid much needed upgrade over the XR. Samples –

Another one of those minor but substantial changes is the improved stereo speakers that create a “sound field” using Apple’s new algorithms for loudspeakers. With this quality, Apple has managed to impress Dolby and hence the device is now Dolby ATMOS certified. I compared it with the XR side by side and can comfortably say, the new speakers are louder, more punchier and balanced than before. It’s just great quality. Another solid upgrade.

While Apple promises one hour more battery life thanks to the A13 Bionic, I am yet to see that difference reflect in my usage. Because the iPhone XR itself had  the best battery life of the last generation so I’m sure the 11 battery life is good. It has been great so far, but the 1 hour difference is subtle.

So here’s the thing. The Apple iPhone 11 is a no-brainer if you’re looking to upgrade from an iPhone 8. You don’t need to upgrade from the XR in case you are not invested in the changes listed above. If you are, by all means, get the 11. If you’ve been using a XS or a XS Max, you would be better off with a 11 Pro or a 11 Pro Max. But let’s think about the scores of people who have held out on buying an iPhone so far. Yes, I know, the iPhone is still “too costly” so hear me out, fence sitters. This is why you need to check this phone out.

Apple’s iPhone 11 is the best starter iPhone for several reasons.

  • It looks amazing and sounds amazing
  • It’s crazy fast and fluid
  • It’s got one of the best cameras in the market for both stills and VIDEO
  • It lasts long, really long
  • Standalone, it just works

With iOS 13, I feel there is no reason to hold back on an iPhone for software reasons. Honestly, you don’t need to depend on a PC for anything anymore thanks to full file system access, with support for pendrives and hard disks (make sure it’s FAT). There is wireless transfer with other phones over apps like ShareIT or better Airdrop with other iPhones. With our time mostly spent on the internet these days, especially in the days of Jio, the iPhone 11 can become the perfect beginning into the Apple way of life. You don’t have to worry about updates, you don’t have to worry about customer care and finally you don’t have to worry about your privacy. With all these assurances, the phone becomes a real tool that we can use for a longer time with less worry, so, what say, fence sitter? Would you buy the iPhone 11? Do you still think it is costly? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!