When the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro launched last year, they did not bring anything new to the table. Apple just managed to pack everything neatly and offer a product with a fit and finish that somehow other OEMs could not match. Six months later though, the smartphone market has once again changed radically. Are the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro worth buying now? Or should you look elsewhere?
The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are still great handsets, by all means, its just that they are now missing out on features that are quickly going to become mainstream in 2020. If you buy an iPhone now, you are going to miss out on the following features:
High Refresh Rate Display
The iPhone 11 Pro lineup has among the best OLED displays in the market — they are bright, big, have great viewing angles and color accuracy. But they miss out on one important thing: a high refresh rate. Quite a few flagship smartphones have already been announced last year with a 90/120Hz refresh rate and this year, the tech is going mainstream. Samsung’s Galaxy S20 lineup already ships with 120Hz displays and other OEMs are also expected to announce their premium and flagship smartphones with a 90 or 120Hz display. In fact, we are even seeing $250 smartphones launching in China and Asia with a 120Hz refresh rate.
A high refresh rate display makes a massive difference in daily use. All UI/UX interactions are noticeably smoother and the impact will be most visible while scrolling and swiping. Once you experience a device with a 120Hz display, there’s no going back to a 60Hz display. When Apple launched the iPhone 11 Pro with its new ‘Super Retina XDR’ display six months ago, it should have gone with a 90Hz or 120Hz panel.
Apple’s port strategy is a hot mess. The MacBook/Pro and iPad Pro lineup feature USB-C ports and yet, the iPhone 11 Pro continues to ship with a Lightning connector. Every Android smartphone in the market — be it a mid-range device or a flagship — now ships with a USB-C connector. Yet, for some strange reason, Apple continues to stick to the Lightning connector on its iPhone lineup.
Apple switching to USB-C port will open up the market for a lot of accessories to just work with the iPhone without any dongles or adapters. It would also help in further expanding the market of USB-C accessories and push all companies to adopt it as the universal connector. iPhone owners are missing out on a lot due to Apple sticking to the Lightning connector on its Pro smartphone lineup.
Given that iPhone owners tend to use their phones for 3 years, Apple should have added 5G connectivity to the iPhone 11 Pro lineup. Almost all flagship Android smartphones launched in the last six months have shipped with 5G and the missing connectivity on the iPhone 11 Pro lineup sticks out like a sore thumb now.
I do strongly believe that 5G networks still have some ways to go before they are ready for the mainstream. However, that does not mean Apple should not have included 5G support on its iPhone 11 Pro lineup. The current Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 modem can only connect to mmWave or 600Mhz 5G network at one time, but the inclusion would have still been worth it especially from the viewpoint of 600Mhz band support.
Better Optical Zoom
Apple dramatically improved the camera performance of the iPhone 11 Pro lineup this year. While it also improved the telephoto camera, it still stuck to it offering 2x optical zoom. Compared to the likes of the Huawei P30 Pro/Mate 30 Pro and Galaxy S20 series offering 4x-5x optical zoom and up to 100X hybrid zoom, the 2x optical zoom of the iPhone 11 Pro feels awfully limited. Once you use a phone with 3x-5x optical zoom, you realize just how limited a 2x telephoto lens is.
Right now, if you want such a kind of zoom versatility in your smartphone camera, you will have to look at options other than an iPhone 11 Pro.
Reverse Wireless Charging
This might seem like a nitpick but once you get used to your phone having reverse wireless charging, there’s no going back. It is an incredibly useful feature to have, particularly for people who are always on the move. Imagine your AirPods and its charging case running out of battery. You can simply put the AirPods case on the back of your iPhone to charge it. Or using your iPhone to charge your Apple Watch. This is possible on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S20, Huawei Mate 30 Pro and P30 Pro, but not on the iPhone 11 Pro. Apple was rumored to include reverse wireless charging on the iPhone 11 Pro but changed its mind at the last minute.
With the number of wireless accessories that we use with our smartphones increasing, having reverse wireless charging on a smartphone can be incredibly useful. You might not make use of it on a daily basis, but in a pinch, it could be really useful.
What About the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro?
Unless the coronavirus outbreak gets even worse, Apple will announce the iPhones by the second week of September and launch them later in the month. The iPhone 12 lineup is expected to pack all the features mentioned above — 5G, high refresh rate display, bigger camera sensor with better optical zoom, and reverse wireless charging. Other notable improvements include a refreshed design, bigger screen sizes, faster A14 chip with 6GB RAM, It is unclear if Apple will switch to USB-C on its iPhone lineup or not though.
While the iPhone 12 lineup will pack most of the features mentioned above, they are still six months away from being released. This brings up the question as to whether you can wait six months to upgrade your existing smartphone or not? If you already own an iPhone and could possibly wait, then you should. If not, you need to look at some flagship Android offerings in the market right now.
Will you not buy the iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro for the reasons mentioned above? Or they are not a big enough deal-breaker for you? Drop a comment and let us know!