iPhones are great smartphones, especially for photographers, with excellent on-board cameras. But there’s no escaping the fact that they’re also a pricey proposition. This year, Apple launched two iPhones models at the same time, the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro. Which of these two new iPhones makes the most sense for you to buy as a photographer? Find out in our iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 comparison.
The standard iPhone 11 is quite a bit cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro, but interestingly, it shares many of the same specifications – particularly when it comes to the onboard camera(s). With this post, we’ll compare the two models across some key camera specifications to see which one tempts you the most. Let us know which one you’d pick!
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Lenses and sensors
This is one of the biggest differences between the two models. The standard iPhone 11 uses a double lens setup, offering a standard wide-angle (26mm equivalent, f/1.8), and a new ultra-wide-angle module (13mm equivalent, f/2.4). If you go for this option, you’ll be sacrificing any optical telephoto options, though you will be able to digitally zoom.
Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 Pro includes the same two lenses, as well as an additional telephoto option which offers a 52mm equivalent, just like we saw on the iPhone XS. Furthermore, the aperture of this lens has been widened to f/2.0 (it was f/2.8 before), so it will now let in more light and should serve you better for shooting in gloomy conditions.
All of the sensors across all of the lenses are 12 megapixel devices. The standard and telephoto lenses feature optical image stabilisation, but the ultra-wide angle doesn’t on either model.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Screen
Here’s another fairly big difference.
The iPhone 11 features a Liquid Retina LCD, which is 6.1-inches in size. In terms of resolution, it’s 326ppi and 1792×828 pixels. The iPhone 11 is only available in one size.
By contrast, the iPhone 11 Pro has two sizes. The iPhone 11 Pro is a 5.8-inch device, with a new Super Retina XDR display which boasts a higher resolution of 458ppi, and 2436×1125 pixels. There’s also an iPhone 11 Pro Max which is 6.5-inches, and 2688 x 1242 pixels (still 458ppi).
Both screens offer a great display – and in all likelihood, unless you’re looking at both types of phones side by side, you’ll struggle to spot a huge difference on if you go for the lower resolution iPhone 11. However, as photographers, you’ll likely want the best possible display for your photos and videos, so it’s worth considering going for the better option.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Battery Life
Battery life is something that Apple is often criticised for, especially when compared to other manufacturers on the market.
For the iPhone 11, Apple promises that you’ll get one hour more battery life than the iPhone XR, while the iPhone 11 Pro should give you four hours more than the iPhone XS, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max should give you five hours more life than the iPhone XS Max.
Apple is a little bit coy when it comes to sharing exact battery-life specifications, but either way, it sounds fairly promising. If you’re a particularly avid photographer or videographer, it’s probably still worth having a battery pack on standby if you’re going to be away from a charging point.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Design
The iPhone 11 measures 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.33mm, and weighs 194g. That puts it in the middle of the iPhone 11 Pro, which measures up at 144 x 71 x 8mm, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which comes in at 158 x 77.8 x 8.1mm.
Which one you’d be most tempted by will likely be down to personal preference – some prefer the largest screen possible, which is great for displaying your photos and videos at their best, while it’s arguably much easier to use a smaller device.
A slightly superficial thing to note is the colour choice. The iPhone 11 gives you more “fun” colours, with a range of bright options, while the iPhone 11 Pro uses more “serious” colours, including a new “midnight green” (dark green) option.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Video
Video features are shared across both models. Both offer up to 4K video recording at 60fps, and all available with whichever camera/lens you want to shoot with. This means that the iPhone 11 Pro is more flexible as you’ll have that ultra-wide-angle to work with.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Special Features
There’s a range of extra features which are shared across both models. That includes Portrait mode (which now works for pets as well as humans), High Key Light Mono Portrait mode, to give the impression of shooting in a studio, Smart HDR and QuickTake which allows you to quickly grab video while you’re shooting stills.
It’s great that you get features like this no matter which model you go for, and in fact some of these features will also be available for older iPhone models via iOS 13 which is due for full release soon.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Memory
As is common with iPhones, you won’t be able to expand your phone’s memory once you’ve made your purchase so it’s worth thinking about which capacity to go for.
Both the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro start with a basic memory offering of 64GB, available at the lowest price. Photographers – and particularly videographers – might want to give some thought as to whether it’s worth investing in a larger capacity iPhone if you intend to take a lot of pictures and video with it.
The iPhone 11 standard can be picked up in capacities up to 256GB, while the iPhone 11 Pro goes up to 512GB. An alternative to paying for extra capacity is to ensure that your files are consistently backed up to a storage service, such as iCloud or Google Photos, allowing you to remove some files from the device to free up space.
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Price
The standard iPhone 11 price starts at £729 (64GB), rising up to £879 for the most capacious (256GB). That’s not “cheap” by any means, but it’s a chunk of change cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro, which starts at £1049 (64GB), up to a rather hefty £1499 for the 512GB version. If you’re keen to have the latest iPhone but you don’t want to shell out a small fortune, the iPhone 11 represents fairly decent value for money (by Apple standards).
iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11: Conclusion
The good news is that whichever iPhone you choose, you should be getting something with a very capable camera system. The bad news is that weighing up the pros and cons will likely leave you in somewhat of a predicament.
If you can afford to splash the cash, we’d definitely recommend going for the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro (or the iPhone 11 Pro Max if you want the larger screen and have even more money to spend). For the extra outlay you get a more flexible camera (with the telephoto lens included), a better screen and longer-lasting battery. It seems likely you’ll be satisfied to keep the phone for longer as well by investing more to begin with.
Alternatively, if you’re not too bothered about a telephoto lens and aren’t too worried about battery life, the standard iPhone 11 makes for a great choice. The display isn’t as good as the iPhone 11 Pro, but whether you’d really be able to spot the difference in isolation is debatable.
Which one are you tempted by?