iPhone

iPhone 11 (2019) - FULL Review!


Apple used to release just a single new iPhone every year. But then in 2014 everything changed when Apple released two, rather than just one. We had the iPhone 6 and the much larger iPhone 6 Plus, for those that wanted a larger display size. From there on that’s what the lineup looked like, until 2018 when Apple added a third model, an iPhone “Lite”. This was a lower end iPhone for those that still wanted the latest specs and camera but don’t want to spend a ton on a new phone. That was the iPhone XR from 2018 which launched alongside the iPhone XS and the XS Max. 

This year Apple has done the same thing, they’ve released the iPhone 11 Pro and the 11 Pro Max which are the successors to the XS and XS Max from last year, and the iPhone 11 which is the successor to the iPhone XR from last year. As it turns out this is actually a very good iPhone and this is my full review with my final thoughts on Apple’s lowest end iPhone for 2019 which just like the Nintedo Switch Lite, ended up being better than the more expensive models. 

This article contains 7 different sections with my full thoughts on the Design, Display, Camera, Performance, Special Features, Battery Life & Value, so get all those snacks and drinks ready and enjoy!


DESIGN

Despite being the more recent model, the 11 (Right) has thicker bezels than the X (Left)

Despite being the more recent model, the 11 (Right) has thicker bezels than the X (Left)

Lets start off with the design the iPhone 11 which is a bit of a mix between the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X. What I mean by this is that it has the aluminium frame of the iPhone 8 rather than the stainless steel frame that the iPhone X and the Pro’s have, so it feels a bit less premium, but you still have that iPhone 8, 7, 6 feel in your hand. You also have the iPhone X style design on the front with the notch, however the bezels are thicker than on the iPhone X, and interesting enough the side bezels are actually thicker than on the iPhone 8. This is why this phone is a mix between the old iPhone 8 style design and the new iPhone X style design, and I have to be honest, I’m not a huge fan of this design.

The iPhone 11 Pro’s already look outdated as they are still using the exact same design from 2017 with the X so all look identical from the front, and the regular iPhone 11 looks just as outdated. This looks to me like an early 2017 design, considering that the iPhone X came out in late 2017 and already had a more modern design, when compared to the 11. Which is such a shame seeing as competitor devices like the Galaxy S10, the Note 10, the OnePlus 7 Pro and 7T Pro and many other smartphones already look so much more futuristic than the iPhones do. Just because of the lack of a notch and the full screen displays. 

Measuring 8.3mm in thickness, this is the thickest iPhone since the 4S (Left)

Measuring 8.3mm in thickness, this is the thickest iPhone since the 4S (Left)

Also the iPhone 11 is quite thick. At 8.3mm this is the thickest iPhone that Apple has released since the iPhone 4S in 2011, 8 years ago. Taking a look at the bottom of the phone, you’ll not only find a lightning port but you might also notice that the lightning port is not aligned perfectly with the screws and the speaker grill, like they are on the Pro’s for example.

Apple used to be the company that payed a lot of attention to detail, but unfortunately that hasn’t been the case for quite a few years now. 

The back however, does look better than I expected. On the mock-ups that we had it just look horrendous, but seeing it in person, on the final unit I think it looks pretty decent. I definitely prefer having the Apple logo in the middle, just like on the iPads and the MacBooks, and the camera module doesn’t look that bad either.

I do like how the inside of the camera module has the same colour as the back of the phone does, rather than being full black like it was on the mock-ups, and the glass inside the module is matte, whereas the glass on the rest of the back is glossy. Fun Fact, the iPhone 11 Pro has these reversed with a matte glass back and a glossy camera module.

But overall I’m not a big fan of this design. It’s the same one as the iPhone XR from 2018 which already had an outdated design compared to the iPhone X from 2017 and the colours are just not as vibrant as last year.

 

DISPLAY

Moving on to the Display, this is a bit of an odd one, since Apple gave the low end iPhone a medium sized display, rather than giving it the smallest display. We have a 6.1” display on the 11 compared to the 5.8” on the 11 Pro, and 6.5” on the 11 Pro.

To be fair it actually does make sense for it to be this way. People who want the smallest iPhone possible, still get all the features from the Pro, while people who want a cheaper iPhone still get a fairly big display, and at 6.1” this is a very good size display. It’s small enough for me to almost use it in one hand and large enough to comfortably view your content. When you compare it side by side to the 11 Pro Max, you can tell that the 11 isn’t that much shorter than the Pro Max is but it’s definitely not as wide, meaning that it’s much more comfortable to hold.

The LCD Panel on the iPhone 11 compared to the OLED panel on the Samsung Galaxy S10

The LCD Panel on the iPhone 11 compared to the OLED panel on the Samsung Galaxy S10

Now, the display on the 11 is actually the main downgrade that you’re getting from the Pro. With the 11 we get an LCD display compared to the OLED displays that we get on the Pro’s. LCD is what Apple was using before the iPhone X. In LCD displays the pixels only provide the colour and not the light source. So you need a separate back light to light the pixels up. This means that when you are displaying a scene with black in it, the back light will still be on for the other pixels and the black would have this blue-ish grey-ish look. With OLED displays, there is no back light because the pixels are the light source themselves. This means that when you’re displaying black, the pixels are actually turned off entirely for that section, and therefore you get true blacks.

Also, if you’re using Dark Mode on iOS 13 the battery life would be improved by having an OLED panel, again because the display will be turned off for the sections where black is displayed. Aside from this, thanks to the OLED display, the Pro’s have a much better contrast of 2 million to 1, vs 1400:1 on the 11. 

Colours look more vibrant as well, with the display being brighter on the Pro, up to 1200 nits in HDR content compared to 625 nits, and yes the 11 Pro’s can actually display HDR 10 content natively. The viewing angles are also better on the Pro’s thanks to that OLED display, and the resolution is also higher as well.

We have 326PPI or pixel density on the iPhone 11 compared to 458 on the 11 Pro Max. Compare that to the 550 PPI that the Samsung Galaxy S10 has, and yes there is a pretty big difference especially with the 11.

Now realistically you would not be able to tell the difference unless you look at the phones very closely. However if you watch a lot of YouTube content, then I have some bad news for you. The iPhone 11 only has a 1792 x 828 resolution display, which is actually lower than 1080p. Which means that you would not be able to play 1080p videos on YouTube. Yes, the YouTube player does let you select 1080p but that doesn’t really mean anything since the display itself is sub 1080p. Also on iOS you cannot play any YouTube videos higher than 1080p anyways, even if you have an iPhone 11 Pro Max for example. 

But comparing the Video Quality on YouTube on the 11 to the 11 Pro, you cannot really that much of a difference between the two. However, when you compare this to the regular Galaxy S10 which actually costs less than the iPhone 11 now, there is a gigantic difference between the two displays in every single way. 

So I’m not saying that this is a bad display, it’s just that it’s nowhere near as good as the iPhone Pros, or pretty much any of the android competition at this price point.

 

CAMERA

So so far it doesn’t look good for the iPhone 11. It comes with an outdated design and a fairly downgraded display for its price, but the good news is that that is where all the downsides end, because everything else is very good on this phone.

The camera for example is mostly the exact same one that we get on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, which is overall the best smartphone camera on the market right now.

An example Night Mode photo from the 11

An example Night Mode photo from the 11

We have full 4K 60 video recording with the front camera, which no other smartphone can do at the moment. We have a wider field of view on the front as well, so whenever you’re taking photos you can zoom out to get more into the shot which you couldn’t do before.

HDR photography has been improved and so has night shots have been improved dramatically, with a dedicated night mode that kicks in automatically.

So this is a gigantic improvement from the XS.

We also have that ultra-wide angle module which lets you capture so much more in the scene. You can even record 4K 60 video with that module, which again no other smartphone can do at the moment.

You can smoothly transition between all 3 lenses, so this is overall the best smartphone camera on the market right now.

The Note 10 also has a very good camera, even a bit better in terms of the wide angle photography but video is much better on the iPhone, and I’m very glad that the 11 got mostly the same camera as the Pro’s did. I say mostly because it is lacking the zoom or the telephoto module which is not really a big downgrade since you can always zoom in digitally, it’s just that the zoomed in photos won’t be as sharp. 

 

PERFORMANCE

Performance wise this is a champion as well. No really, it has the exact same Apple A13 processor that the iPhone 11 Pro’s get, which is still the fastest processor in any smartphone, and is at least an entire year ahead of the competition, if not even more than that.

In addition we now have 4GB of RAM up from 3GB, matching the amount of RAM we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s.

In fact, because of that lower resolution display, the performance on this iPhone will actually be even better than on the Pros! And performance has been very good on my 11 Pro Max, for example the only issue that I’ve had and I still have this every now and then is RAM management. Sometimes apps keep refreshing in the background which is quite frustrating. I don’t have this issue at all on my Note 10+, but that also has 12GB of RAM compared to 4.

Make sure to watch our ultimate speed test of the iPhone 11 Pro Max versus the Note 10+, as the iPhone 11 will perform very similar to the iPhone 11 Pro Max. 

 

SPECIAL FEATURES

Moving on to the special features, we do actually get quite a few new ones.

Despite being the strongest glass on an iPhone, they are still susceptible to scratches

Despite being the strongest glass on an iPhone, they are still susceptible to scratches

For example, we get what Apple’s calling the strongest glass in a smartphone, which is what they have been saying for a few years now. We get this on both the Pro’s and the 11.  I already have scratches on mine and I actually ended up having my 11 Pro Max replaced because of this, but that’s actually how glass works. If you want to make a glass durable to drops you have to also make it flexible, and if you make it flexible it means that you add plastic which will make it scratch easier.

So yes, while the glass on the iPhone 11’s is way more durable to drops than older iPhones, they will still scratch. So do keep that in mind, I would consider buying a screen-protector if you haven’t already.

The water resistance has been improved on the iPhone 11’s

The water resistance has been improved on the iPhone 11’s

Aside from the improved glass, water resistance has also been improved on the 11. We now have up to 2m of depth up to 30min, from 1m for 30min which was what we had on the XR. This means that the iPhone 11 is now as water resistant as the iPhone XS was, and even more water resistant that the 8 and the X. The 11 Pro’s now have up to 4m of depth resistance, but personally I’ve submerged all of the iPhones from the 7 to the 11 Pro in swimming pools and even sea water and they were all fine. Do keep in mind that water damage is not covered under warranty. 

As well as those we also get the improved speakers that we got with the iPhone 11 Pro’s. So we get special audio playback and Dolby atmos support as well. 

But something that we do not get is a fast charger. Apple finally bundled one in the box of the iPhone 11 Pro’s but the 11 still gets that very slow 5W charger which is so annoying.

 

BATTERY LIFE

Speaking of chargers, let’s talk about the battery life.

So last year, ironically the iPhone XR had a better battery life than the XS & XS Max had, even though those actually had an OLED display, which was also more power efficient. The effect of this was that many people actually picked the iPhone XR over the XS’s, just because they wanted more battery life.

Well this year, things have changes.

Apple has now removed 3D touch from the iPhone 11 Pro’s and increased the battery size. Alongside the more power efficient Apple A13 chip, we get four more hours of battery life on the 11 Pro compared to the XS, and five more hours on the 11 Pro Max compared to the XS Max when playing back video. So that’s a massive improvement. But the iPhone 11 also get an improvement of one extra hour, over the XR from last year.

So while it’s not as good as the 11 Pro or Pro Max, it’s actually even better than the XR from last year which was already known to have the best battery life in any iPhone yet.

 

VALUE

So in the end. What are my final thoughts on the iPhone 11? 

Well, this lower end iPhone has the exact camera, aside from the zoom module, and the exact same performance that the much more expensive iPhone 11 Pro’s do. Those are the two things that are what most people care about the most in a phone; speed and camera.

So if you can look past the outdated design and lower end display I can assure you that you’ll absolutely love this phone! And at $700, $300 less than the iPhone 11 Pro and $400 less than the Pro Max, this is in my opinion the iPhone that’s worth it the most in 2019.

But is it the smartphone that’s worth it the most in 2019?

Well no, that would be the regular Galaxy S10, which offers a much better display, a more modern design than even the iPhone 11 Pro’s, and a triple lens camera module that is on par with the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

But if you’re an iPhone user this is the one that I would recommend to most people, and then you’ll have $300-$400 left to spend on AirPods or an Apple Watch.

iPhone 11 Unboxing - This is the iPhone to get!


In yesterday’s article, I took a first look at the iPhone 11 Pro & the Pro Max so if you haven’t read it, you should certainly check it out! 

But in this article I’ll be unboxing and taking a first look at the regular iPhone 11 and telling you why I think that this is the iPhone to get, for most people!


BOX

Ok, so first off the iPhone 11 comes in 6 colors. We have the standard White & Black. We have Green, Purple, Red, as well as Yellow. Last year we had the blue XR and this year we got the yellow one as I think that’s the 2nd best color after Red. 

Like previous models, the iPhone 11 comes in a white box, with an image of the phone on the front

Like previous models, the iPhone 11 comes in a white box, with an image of the phone on the front

And taking a look at the box, the iPhone 11 comes in the same white box that we have seen in previous years. On the front we have a picture of the actual iPhone that you’ll find inside, the yellow one in this case. Some of the elements of the box are actually raised or indented, for example the camera modules are raised, the aluminium frame and so on. It’s a really nice touch!

Then on the sides we have the iPhone logo, there’s no number or anything on this at all, and it does shine in the color of iPhone that you bought, so yellow in this case. Another thing that shines is the Apple logo on the top and bottom of the box which also has that yellow glow to it. Finally on the back of the box, we have the capacity, along with a list of what is included inside.

Now, I do find it quite odd how the iPhone 11 box is noticeably thicker than the 11 Pro’s box, even though we get the exact same accessories inside. So we get the standard booklet, which includes the quick start guide, the sim eject tool, the warranty and the safety guide as well as a pair of Apple stickers. It would’ve been so nice if the stickers actually matched the color of iPhone, like it does on the 12” MacBook but we only have white stickers, just like we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s. Aside from this, we get a pair of lightning headphones, a USB type A to lightning cable. With the Pro’s we do get a USB type C to lightning cable but both iPhone still have a lightning port. Finally we get the same 5W charger that we have seen in previous years, but the regular iPhone 11 does support fast charging, so you’ll have to buy a fast charger separately, like the 18W one that comes as standard with the Pro’s.

IMPRESSIONS

The new design of the iPhone 11 appears to be a blend of the X and the 6

The new design of the iPhone 11 appears to be a blend of the X and the 6

First off I’ve got to be honest, I’m not really a fan of this design. It’s basically a merge between the iPhone 6’s design from 2014, that the iPhone 6S, 7 and 8 all had, and the brand new iPhone X’s design. The bezels are still as big as on the XR which looks pretty bad on a 2019 phone, especially if you add a case to this.

Now if you thought that the iPhone  11 Pro’s were thick, coming in at 0.5mm thicker than the XS from last year, well the 11 is even thicker than the Pro’s, measuring in at 8.3mm, so it does feel very bulky in the hand.

The colours and the brightness on the Pro’s (Left) are significantly better than on the 11 (Right)

The colours and the brightness on the Pro’s (Left) are significantly better than on the 11 (Right)

The display on this is still an LCD display which again is very odd to see on a phone that still costs $700 or £730, so it’s not a cheap device by any means. So comparing the display to the 11 Pro’s display there is a noticeable difference between the two. The 11 Pros’ display has significantly better contrast, and colors just pop instantly. Everything is also sharper since we have a QHD+ display compared to not even a 1080p panel on the regular iPhone 11. It’s not necessarily a bad display but on a $700 phone this should’ve been OLED. I’m sorry Apple but the Pixel 3a which costs $400 comes with a much higher resolution display, that’s also an OLED panel. 

But those are pretty much all the negatives I have to say about this phone. The outdated design and the display.

Aside from that, it’s actually very very good.

It’s got the same A13 Chip processor as the iPhone 11 Pro’s. We also have 4GB of RAM on this, again, just like on the Pro’s. 4GB has now been officially confirmed on the Pro’s, unfortunately it’s not 6 or 4+2 where 2GB would be dedicated to the camera. So I find it so interesting how Apple promotes the performance on the Pro’s so much when the regular 11 has exactly the same level of performance, which is great! You get the same performance on the entry level iPhone 11 as you do with the much more expensive iPhone 11 Pro’s.

It also comes with fast charging support,even though we don’t have that fast charger included the the box, as I mentioned earlier.

As well as all those we get new and improved speakers, with special audio and dolby vision support, just like the iPhone 11 Pro’s do.  Now, when comparing the 11 and the Pro’s sound quality. They’re actually very very similar. The Pro Max is definitely the best one but between the smaller Pro and the 11, I couldn’t really tell the difference.

Haptic touch is also the same one as on the 11 Pro’s, now that 3D touch got removed from the Pro’s and not only that, but the regular iPhone 11 also come with WiFi 6, just like the iPhone Pro’s.

 

CAMERA

When it comes to the camera system, we now get a dual camera module, one more than the single module that we had on the XR.

The 11 (Right) is missing the Zoom Module that we get on the Pro’s (Right)

The 11 (Right) is missing the Zoom Module that we get on the Pro’s (Right)

Now, on the Pro’s we have triple lens camera module, up from the dual one that we had on the XS’s. So we have the regular module, which Apple’s calling the wide, we have the zoom module and we have the wide angle module, which Apple’s calling the ultra wide.

On the 11 we’re missing the zoom module. Now, we did have a lot of leaks in the past, that suggested the 11 would be missing the wide-angle and getting the zoom instead. However, the way we have it now is just perfect. Zoom can always be simulated through software and digital zoom, but a wide angle shot is impossible to simulate through software, unless you take a panorama but even that won’t be as zoomed out as a wide angle shot would be.

So for the most part we get the exact same camera we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, we have the exact same regular module and the exact same wide angle camera.

In addition, most of the camera features are also there as well, such as the Night Mode, the ability to take portrait mode shots on pets and objects, so not just people. 

We have the same brighter True Tone flash as well as the exact same improved SmartHDR processing that the 11 Pro got over the XS, thanks to that Apple A13 processor.

The front facing camera is very impressive as well. We now have a 12MP sensor, up from the 7MP one that we had before. This not only means that we can now shoot 4K video at 60fps, which is a first not just in an iPhone but in any smartphone on the front camera. But not only does the front facing video just looks stunning, but it’s also wider when compared to the XS and yes, we have the exact same front camera here, as on the 11 Pro.

Turning the phone landscape whilst in the Selfie camera will trigger wide selfie

Turning the phone landscape whilst in the Selfie camera will trigger wide selfie

Something else that’s cool is when you rotate your phone in landscape, it switches to the full resolution of the sensor, and lets you take some even wider shots, thanks to that extra 5MP resolution.

Now normally your selfies would be 7MP in resolution so they will be automatically cropped from that 12MP resolution that the front camera has. However you don’t get any image distortion, like you get on something like Pixel 3XL that does have a wide angle lens on the front. 

So really, the only feature that you’re missing on the 11, camera wise, is the lack of that zoom module. But you can still zoom in digitally, your shots won’t be as good of course. Apart from they’re the exact same cameras as on the Pro’s.

PRO VS REGULAR

So both the Pro and the Regular 11 are pretty similar, but one big difference is the price. The 11 costs $700, while the 11 Pro costs $1000, a significant $300 difference between the two, with which you could buy an Apple Watch Series 4, or the Series 3 which now costs $200, or even save towards a Series 5 which costs $400.

But in that case, why does the Pro even exist, and what extras does it offer over the regular 11?

Well, just 4 things really.

A comparison between the frames of the 11 (Left) and the Pro (Right)

A comparison between the frames of the 11 (Left) and the Pro (Right)

The 1st one is a more premium design. We still get the glass on the front and back which Apple is still calling the toughest glass in a smartphone. The only difference here is that with the 11 Pro’s we get a matte glass back and a glossy camera cutout, whereas on the 11 we get a glossy glass back and a matte camera cutout - so quite the opposite here. Also the frame of the phone is made out of aluminum on the 11 compared to stainless steel on the 11 Pro’s.

The 2nd improvement that you’re getting with the 11 Pro’s is that display that I mentioned before which is in my opinion the biggest improvement. High resolution, brighter 800 nit vs 625 nit panel when outdoors, better color reproduction, better HDR content playback and of course OLED versus LCD.  But the 11’s display still supports DCI-P3 color gamut, just like the MacBook Pro’s do, so it’s still a very good display for an LCD panel.

Unfortunately YouTube still doesn’t allow you to view videos in higher than 1080p on Apple devices, due to Apple’s lack of support for Google’s VP9 codec, which means that you’re not really missing out on as much as you would think. 

The 3rd reason to get the 11 Pro would be for that zoom or telephoto lens which, personally, I don’t think is a strong enough reason to upgrade.

Finally, the 4th reason is the battery life. The iPhone XR already had an amazing battery life last year. In fact, it even lasted more than the more expensive iPhone XS & XS Max did. In fact lot of people, even other tech reviewers that I know, chose the iPhone XR over the XS Max, just because of that improved battery life.

But this year the iPhone 11 offers 1 hour more than the XR did last year, so it’s even better. However, the 11 Pro gives you 1 extra hour over the 11 does when playing back video, and the 11 Pro Max offers you 2 extra hours over the regular 11 , again when playing back video. So if you need the best possible battery life that would now be the 11 Pro Max. 

A breakdown of the battery lives of each of the new iPhones

A breakdown of the battery lives of each of the new iPhones

Now there are a few more differences between the two, like the improved water resistance up to 4M compared 2M on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, or up to 512GB of storage on the Pros, but these 4 categories; design, display, zoom camera and battery are the biggest ones.

 

CONCLUSION

So whilst the Pro does have a few benefits over the Regular, I’m not sure if it’s enough. If you just need a new iPhone and you don’t want to spend $1000 on a new phone the regular iPhone 11 does the majority of the things that the Pro does.

But if you are looking for a new phone and you’re open minded about Android, there are many other options that are even better than the 11 is, like the Galaxy S10e or the S10, which now costs even less than the 11 does and offers you a triple lens camera module that’s very similar in quality, a much better OLED display with no notch and an in-display fingerprint reader. I think that’s the best deal for a smartphone today. Of course you also have phones such as the OnePlus 7 Pro which for the same price offer you an even better display with a 90Hz refresh rate, no bloatware, and a full-screen display with no notches or cutouts at all.

But if you’re looking for just a new iPhone the iPhone 11 is certainly the most worth it over its counterparts!

iPhone 11 Pro Max VS Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus - Which One to Get?


Apple has just unveiled the new iPhone 11’s this week. And we got 3 of them. The iPhone 11 is the successor to the iPhone XR. The iPhone 11 Pro is the successor to the iPhone XS, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the successor to the iPhone XS Max.

So let’s see how the iPhone 11 Pro Max compares to Samsung’s own flagship, the Galaxy Note 10+ and see which one is actually worth getting.

This article is split into 7 different sections: Design, Display, Camera, Performance, Special Features, Battery & Price, so get those snacks ready and heres everything you need to know!


DESIGN

Ok, so starting off with the design these 2 phones are very different. 

The Note 10+ is noticeably taller and also wider than the iPhone 11 Pro is, and while they’re both pretty much impossible to use in one hand, just because of how massive they are, the Note 10+ is even more difficult to handle.

The Note 10+ (Left) is only 0.2mm thinner than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but its curved design makes it feel even thinner.

The Note 10+ (Left) is only 0.2mm thinner than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but its curved design makes it feel even thinner.

However, the Note 10+ is quite a bit thinner than the iPhone is, measuring 7.9m m vs 8.1mm, which is noticeable in the hand mostly because of the curved front and back that the Note has, as opposed to the flat design on the iPhone.

The iPhone does have some more premium materials so to say, with a full stainless steel frame, as opposed to polished aluminium. We also get what Apple’s calling the world’s most durable glass in a smartphone on the front and back, and we also get a matte glass back rather than the glossy glass that we get on the Note.

The smaller camera cutout on the Note (Right) means you have more screen real estate to view content

The smaller camera cutout on the Note (Right) means you have more screen real estate to view content

However, just looking at the design alone the Note 10 just looks better. Not only does it have noticeably thinner bezels than the iPhone does but it also only has a very tiny camera module cutout in the middle of the display and that’s it. There’s no massive notch taking up almost the entirely of the top portion of the display, like it does on the iPhone.

This is also the 3rd generation of iPhone’s with the exact same design! Samsung however has updated their design every single year. That’s the reason why the iPhone is starting to look old and outdated since it looks the same as the 2018 and 2017 models.

Now if we take a look on the back we have 3 camera modules on both but Samsung’s modules are vertically aligned, while on the iPhone we have this nest of modules. It honestly looks like a kitchen hob.

So whilst you might prefer the design of the iPhone but there is no denying that the Note has a much more modern design, and definitely takes this one. 

 

DISPLAY

Moving on to the display, Apple has now updated the display on the iPhone 11 Pro’s and they’re calling this the Super Retina XDR display. Essentially we now get a higher brightness of 1200 nits vs 1000 nits in HDR content and 800 nits vs 625 on the XS Max when outdoors, and we also get double the contrast to 2M:1 from 1M:1.

So that’s pretty impressive but, fun fact, this is actually the exact display panel technology that Samsung already uses in the Note 10+. Same exact panel the only differences are the resolution and the size. So resolution wise the Note 10+ features a 3040x1440 resolution panel at 498PPI, whilst the iPhone 11 Pro Max features a 2688x1242 resolution panel at 458PPI, so the iPhone has a slightly lower resolution display. 

The 6.8” display, coupled with the smaller bezels means that the Note (Left) is the best display on the market right now

The 6.8” display, coupled with the smaller bezels means that the Note (Left) is the best display on the market right now

But that’s not really something that you’ll be able to notice that easily between the two, however what you’ll definitely be able to notice right away, is the display size. We have a 6.5” panel on the iPhone compared to 6.8” panel on the Note 10+. Add that to the fact that we have an almost invisible camera cutout, and the Note 10+’s display is just so much better. You get to see more content, with less obstructions. The Note 10+ is just the best smartphone out right now, for viewing content. 

Also, if you care about HDR content, both support HDR content but the Note 10+ also supports HDR10+, while the iPhone supports Dolby Vision.

So, display wise the Note 10+ takes this one as well. 

CAMERA

The camera layouts of the Note (Left) and iPhone (Right)

The camera layouts of the Note (Left) and iPhone (Right)

Now on to the camera, both phones now have a triple lens camera module on the back. This means that you have your regular lens, you have a telephoto or zoom lens, and then you also have the brand new wide angle lens which lets you capture so much more in the shot. 

Wide angle is something that we didn’t have on iPhones before, so the iPhone 11 Pro is the first iPhone to feature one, but this is something that we’ve had on android phones for years now. However what Apple does very well here, is that unlike the Note which uses very different sensors for these 3 cameras, Apple tried to match them up as close as they could and only touched the lenses.  In fact, Apple even factory calibrates the 3 modules in order for them to be a close as possible in terms of color and exposure, and the calibration is also done automatically in the background, before you even take a shot. 

What this means is that you can smoothly transition between the 3 lenses, and it will feel as if you’re only using one lens with a ton of zoom capabilities. In addition, all the shots would be identical between the 3 cameras in terms of color and exposure, unlike the Note 10 which will produce very different results based on the lens that you use. Now that is just incredible! No other smartphone manufacturer has done this before, so this is indeed a key selling feature of this new iPhone.

Also all 3 iPhone camera modules support 4K 60 video recording, unlike the Note 10+ on which just the main lens supports 4K 60 for whatever reason. And you can also preview and I believe even record with all the camera modules on the iPhone at the same time, using 3rd party apps such as FilmicPro.

So, as you can probably tell, the camera is the main selling feature of the iPhone.

Apple is using that insanely powerful A13 processor, which I’ll talk about in a second, to process every frame of the 4K 60 video, add noise reduction, exposure compensation, color correction and more, in real time! And because of this, the iPhone 11 Pro Max has the best video recording capabilities of any smartphone on the market right now. Even the front camera, can now record in 4K 60 fps as well, as opposed to 4K 30 on the Note 10+.

The flash is brighter on the iPhone too, we have a QUAD-LED flash compared to a single flash. The telephoto lens is also better, since it is not only a larger sensor than on the Note but also an f/2.0 aperture rather than the f/2.1 on the Note, so it can let more light onto the sensor. However, the Note does have an f/1.5 aperture main lens which activates in low light and lets more light to the sensor than the f/1.8 aperture main camera on the iPhone does. But they both feature a night mode now, so low light photography is pretty good on both.

We will be doing a full camera comparison between these two so make sure you keep an eye on the channel for more on that.

 

PERFORMANCE

When you talk about the performance of these two phones you have to take into account that even the Apple A12 processor from the iPhone XS that was released a year ago, is still more powerful than the Snapdragon 855, and even the brand new Exynos 9825 that Samsung has just added to their Note 10+ a month ago. But the iPhone 11 Pro Max now comes with the Apple A13 processor which is even more powerful than the A12 was, which means the Pro Max is now 2 years ahead of the Note 10+ in terms of the raw performance.

However, the Note 10+ comes with 12GB of RAM compared to 4GB of RAM on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. There were some reports that the Pro Max might have 6GB but that’s not confirmed as of yet. Now, my Note 10+ can easily keep a ton of apps open in the background, even apps that I opened 3 days ago. My iPhone XS Max on the other hand, which has 4GB of RAM, struggles to keep open apps that I opened just a few hours ago, and I’m pretty certain that this issue will still be present, to a lesser extent of course, even with 6GB of RAM.

So raw performance is much better on the iPhone, RAM management is better on the Note.

Split screen capabilities on the Note mean that it is a great tool for business users

Split screen capabilities on the Note mean that it is a great tool for business users

Now you can have a quantum processor in your smartphone, but that won’t matter at all, if it’s not being used to its full potential and you do have some amazing camera features and a lot of high end games that do take advantage of that extremely powerful processor on the iPhone. However I personally use my phone for either social media or productivity when I’m on the go and the iPhone 11 Pro Max still does not have any split screen support which, for me at least, is a huge deal breaker.

When I went to IFA last week, I had to create a calendar schedule based on some events that I had in a PDF. On the Note it was extremely easy to do that, I just opened both the calendar and the PDF viewer side by side and created the events. If I had the iPhone that would’ve been a pain since I would have had to constantly switch back and forth between the apps and remember what I had in the previous one. Not only that, but you can actually have 3 apps open on the Note at the same time, with one of them being S-Notes or even a video-pop-up and in that case have 4 apps. On the iPhone you’re restricted to 1 app which for me, as a business user means that it is not a Pro device in any way.

With the addition of a monitor, and a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, Samsung phones, including the Note can be used like desktop PCs

With the addition of a monitor, and a Bluetooth mouse and keyboard, Samsung phones, including the Note can be used like desktop PCs

Speaking of a Pro Device, you can actually connect your Note to an external display and boot into something called DeX. DeX mode turns your UI that you see on the monitor into something similar to windows. This way you get a full desktop experience with full desktop apps such Chrome and Microsoft Office, and if you attach a wireless keyboard and mouse and there you go, you have now turned your smartphone into a desktop PC experience. Again, this is something that you cannot do with the iPhone.

So overall, even though the iPhone is more powerful than the Note you can do more things with the Note and for me, that’s what matters the most.

SPECIAL FEATURES

But what about Special Features? Do these phones have any unique selling points that the other one does not? Well yes, they both do.

Let’s start with the Note 10 shall we?

We have microSD card support, which lets you expand the storage even more, to up to 512GB of extra storage, fairly inexpensively. We also get 256GB of storage on the baseline model rather than 64GB on the iPhone

Editing in Lightroom is super easy with the S-Pen

Editing in Lightroom is super easy with the S-Pen

Then there’s the S-Pen, the built-in stylus that sits inside your phone which you can of course take it out whenever you want to and use it for sketching, signing documents, or my favourite, photo editing in Lightroom. It’s amazing to have such a precise tool with you for when you want to do any photo editing on the go.

We also have a TOF (time-of-flight) sensor on the back, which is basically what Apple uses on the front. A 3D depth sensing camera. Apple uses this for FaceID and unlocking the phone, while Samsung uses this on the back for improving the portrait mode and also for 3D scanning objects, which doesn’t really work that well, but hey, it’s there.

There is also an in-display fingerprint reader on the Note and probably one of my favourite features, reverse wireless charging. This means that you can place other wireless charging devices like the AirPods 2 or even an iPhone on the back of the Note 10 and it will charge, just like that! This was supposed to be coming to the iPhone 11’s but it got removed in the end.

Always-On is something that has been on androids for a while now, but has only just been added to the Apple Watch Series 5 and not yet on the iPhone

Always-On is something that has been on androids for a while now, but has only just been added to the Apple Watch Series 5 and not yet on the iPhone

And we also get another one of my favourite features on the Note, which is an always on display. Apple still doesn’t have this on the iPhones but they’ve just added it to the Apple Watch Series 5. Now what this does is that it shows you the time and your notifications on the display, all the time. So you dont have to tap it or lift the phone or anything like that, and I absolutely love it! It’s pretty much like having a smart desk clock! Love it!

Finally the Note 10 does have a USB C port compared to the lightning port Apple still has on the iPhone.

But what does the iPhone have that the Note doesnt?

Aside from the obvious FaceID, we do have a 120Hz input rate for the touch screen. However, this is not a 120Hz refresh rate panel, but your taps are registered much more accurately than on the Note. 

Water Resistance is also better on the iPhone, up to 4m for 30 minutes rather than 1.5m for 30 minutes on the Note 10. 

Apple also removed 3D Touch and added an improved haptic engine. They already had the best haptic engine in a smartphone, although the Note was extremely close to the iPhone’s. But now the iPhone 11 Pro Max’s should be even better. 

The iPhone also has a brand new U1 chip with will allow you to very precisely locate other devices that also have the U1 chip with a margin of error of just 5cm. This will especially be useful when Apple releases the Tile like trackers by the end of the year.

But that’s pretty much it in terms of special features that the iPhone has. Really the biggest advantage, or disadvantage, of having an iPhone is the Apple ecosystem. You do get locked into it very quickly but it is indeed the best ecosystem there is. Especially if you buy an Apple Watch and a Mac and AirPods, it’s just amazing how fast and smooth they can all communicate, rather than being completely separate devices. 

 

BATTERY

So with all of those features and processes, how do the batteries compare? And which one will last you longer on a quick charge?

Well on paper the Note does have a larger battery with 4300mAh compared 3500mAh on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But the Note 10+ also has a larger display which does require more power and lets not forget the S-Pen that’s always charging inside your phone.

They do both support fast charging, up to about 50% in 30 minutes which is good and we finally have a fast charger bundled inside the box of the iPhone which we didn’t have before. However, the Note 10+ can be charged to full in just over an hour, and if you buy an even more powerful 45W charger from Samsung, it can be fully Charged in just 40 minutes which is nuts! 

Now, Apple does claim that this new iPhone 11 Pro Max lasts 5 hours more than the iPhone Xs Max did, so I’m extremely curious to testing that out. Definitely stay tuned for the full in-depth review in a few weeks and I’ll be covering my experience with the battery life in detail.

PRICE

So, so far the iPhone won in the Performance and Camera sections (at least on paper), while the Note has won in the Design, Display and Special Features, and the Battery was a tie for now. But having said all this, how much are they?

The 64GB model of the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the same price as the 256GB model of the Note 10+

The 64GB model of the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the same price as the 256GB model of the Note 10+

Well, the Note 10+ costs $1100 in the US and £1000 in the UK for the baseline 256GB option. The iPhone 11 Pro Max costs $1100, so same price as the Note in the US, but £1150 in the UK, so £150 more. Hower this is only for the baseline 64GB model and not the 256GB variant. The Pro Max, for the 256GB option costs a whopping £1,299 in the UK, which is nearly £300 more than the Note, and $1,249 in the US, so only $150 more.

 

CONCLUSION

So, having said all that, what do I think? Who won?

Well there’s no denying that the Note 10+ is the better phone. It not only offers you more features and higher end components but it also does that at a lower price.

However, iOS is still more polished with better app support and more quality apps in general. And if you’re into the Apple ecosystem already, the iPhone’s the better option for you. I’m really curious to testing out that camera so definitely stay tuned for more videos and articles on the iPhone 11 Pro once it officially released on the 20th of September.

Let us know in the comments below which one you thought was better!