On September 10th, 2019 Apple officially unveiled the iPhone 11 Pro (5.8-inch) alongside the more affordable iPhone 11 (6.1-inch), and iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5-inch). Similar to the Apple MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and Apple AirPods Pro, the “Pro” designation merely denotes the most premium, high-end version of the handset and marks the first time it’s been used for Apple’s iPhone line.
The iPhone 11 Pro release date was on September 20th, and it’s the model we’ll be covering in this post. If you’re looking for more information on the iPhone 11 Pro — including hardware, new features, and pricing information — then this post should cover everything you need to know about the iPhone 11 Pro and whether the iPhone 11 Pro is worth buying in 2021.
iPhone 11 Pro size
The iPhone 11 Pro screen size comes in two varieties — the regular 5.8-inch model and the 6.5-inch Max — both carrying many of the same design principles as 2017’s iPhone X. You’ll find the infamous “notch” at the top of the display with Face ID, along with a shiny metal frame sandwiched between the screen and all-glass back.
There are some small changes you’ll notice off the bat. For instance, the iPhone 11 Pro now features a frosted glass back and 3-lens camera hump that’s part of the same glass panel. It’s also the first time Apple has removed the “iPhone” text on the back, leaving only their trademark Apple logo (now positioned slightly lower) in its stead. This is something to keep in mind as you search for used models, as the absence of the “iPhone” branding was usually a dead giveaway that the phone was counterfeit — this is no longer the case.
The overall aesthetic, while very similar to previous versions, has changed slightly with the iPhone 11 Pro. In fact, the iPhone 11 Pro dimensions are almost identical to the iPhone XS and iPhone X before it, measuring in at 144.0 x 71.4 x 8.1 mm, and weighing 188g.
iPhone 11 Pro colors
iPhone 11 Pro colors are also similar to previous year’s models, coming in the standard Space Gray (black), Silver (white), and Gold (peach?) color options. But Apple didn’t stop there, introducing an entirely new color with the iPhone 11 Pro: Midnight Green. More of a light forest green hue (or HEX code #4e5850 to be precise), Midnight Green was a big hit with buyers, accounting for about 35% of all iPhone 11 Pro sales on Swappa. All in all, the iPhone 11 Pro colors are fairly muted, with the lower-end iPhone 11 featuring much more bright and vibrant color schemes.
iPhone 11 Pro camera
The super-advanced camera system is easily one of the best iPhone 11 Pro features. Apple made some major overhauls with the iPhone 11 Pro, both in terms of camera hardware and software. The most obvious these is the iPhone 11 Pro’s three rear cameras, featuring standard, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. Here’s what each camera lens offers:
- Standard lens – 12MP sensor with an f/1.8 aperture wide-angle lens (26mm focal length). This lens features optical image stabilization (OIS), and is likely the camera you’ll be using the most.
- Ultra-wide lens – 12MP sensor with an f/2.4 ultra-wide lens (13mm focal length). Delivers a 120-degree field of view, allowing you to capture up to 4x more of the scene than the standard lens. This lens does not work with Deep Fusion.
- Telephoto lens – 12MP sensor with a 62mm f/2.0 lens, providing 2x optical zoom and OIS. This is the lens used to shoot Portrait Mode photos. This lens is only available on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (not the regular iPhone 11).
Deep Fusion and Night Mode
In addition to the iPhone 11 Pro’s new camera array, Apple also introduced cutting edge software tweaks that take iPhone photography to a whole new level. The last big breakthrough we saw in iPhone photo quality was with Smart HDR (dramatically improved dynamic range) on the iPhone XS, which was great for improving photos in outdoor or well-lit environments.
Photo: Max Tech
Building upon that, Apple introduced Deep Fusion and Night Mode on the iPhone 11 Pro, which dramatically improves photo quality in medium to extreme low light conditions. The difference is like night and day (😏), and all made possible thanks to the iPhone 11 Pro’s more powerful A13 Bionic processor. Both Portrait mode with Portrait lighting also carry over from the iPhone XS, so you get all the improved photo features packaged nicely inside the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera app.
Those iPhone 11 Pro camera improvements are also present when recording video, with the ability to switch between standard, ultra-wide, or telephoto lenses on the fly. You can also record in 4K 60fps with extended dynamic range, cinematic video stabilization, and stereo audio. That’s pretty darn impressive and makes the iPhone 11 Pro the best iPhone for both mobile photography and videography.
iPhone 11 Pro display
The iPhone 11 Pro’s other stand-out feature is the gorgeous 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR display. It’s an upgrade over the previous generation Super Retina HD display found on the iPhone XS and iPhone X before it. The Super Retina XDR display is similar to last gen’s sharp 2436×1125 resolution, delivering a 458ppi, but also features an improved 800-1200 nits of brightness vs the previous generation’s 625 nits.
Blacks were also improved, with the iPhone 11 Pro display featuring a higher 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio (once again, an improvement over the iPhone XS’s 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio). You’ll still find Apple mainstays like their True Tone display feature, which adjusts the white balance to match ambient lighting. As a result, the iPhone 11 Pro has earned a well deserved A+ rating from DisplayMate, and is the perfect match for Dolby Vision and HDR 10 video content.
iPhone 11 Pro battery life
The iPhone 11 Pro’s battery life is another important area where the phone shines. Although battery life is generally tough to measure given all the variables — how much you use your phone, how bright you like your display, and whether you’re watching videos or reading a book — Apple provides us with a number based on video playback. It really helps us figure out what to expect when compared against other iPhone models. For instance, if you have an iPhone 8 with a score of 13 hours, you know that can expect similar battery life if you’re considering moving to an iPhone SE (2020).
When it comes to the iPhone 11 Pro, battery life is rated for 18 hours of video playback or 11 hours of streaming. Of course, most people won’t be streaming video for 11 hours straight, so you know you can expect much longer depending on your own individual use. According to Apple, the iPhone 11 Pro lasts up to 4 hours longer than the previous iPhone XS (which was 30 minutes longer than the iPhone X).
The speed at which your phone charges is almost as important as battery life. Apple’s 18W fast-charge feature has been around since the iPhone X — giving you up to 50% battery in only 30 minutes — but the difference is that Apple now includes their 18W fast-charge adapter with the iPhone 11 Pro. A welcomed and added bonus.
Is the iPhone 11 Pro waterproof?
There’s no such thing as a fully waterproof iPhone, but Apple started including water resistance dating back to the iPhone 7. Since then, the iPhone’s water resistance rating has improved over the years. The iPhone 11 Pro offers an IP68 water/dust resistance rating. Now, that’s the same IP rating as the previous year’s iPhone XS. But while the iPhone XS was only rated for 2 meters of water up to 30 minutes, the iPhone 11 Pro is now rated for a maximum depth of 4 meters.
iPhone 11 Pro specifications
The iPhone 11 Pro features a veritable boatload of cutting edge technology, crammed inside a tiny handset that’s capable of big things. As we mentioned before, Apple’s “Pro” line represents the best they have to offer, so Apple enthusiasts looking to stay on the bleeding edge of tech will find the iPhone 11 Pro brings all the goods and then some. Here’s a quick cheat showing you all the hardware you can find packed inside the iPhone 11 Pro.
- 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR (2436 x 1125) OLED display
- A13 Bionic processor with U1 chip
- 12MP wide-angle (f/1.8), ultra-wide-angle (f/2.4), telephoto zoom (f/2.0) cameras
- 12 MP (f/2.2) front facing camera
- A13 Bionic processor
- 4GB RAM
- 3,046 mAh battery
- USB-C 18W fast charge
- Stereo speakers
- Wireless charging
- Water resistant up to 4m/30 min
- Face ID
With Apple launching a new iPhone model every year, it’s hard to keep up. Even if you consider yourself an Apple fan, you may not have time to scour the net looking through launch day articles that only point out a handful of new features. For those wondering how Apple’s latest iPhone 11 Pro is different from the previous year’s iPhone XS, here are some quick bullet points highlighting the most noteworthy new additions. Click below to learn how the iPhone 11 Pro compares to other iPhones.
What’s new on the iPhone 11 Pro?
- Shatter-resistant matte glass finish (back)
- Midnight Green color option
- Super Retina XDR display with support for Dolby Vision and HDR10
- Brighter display with 800 nits max brightness (up from 625 nits)
- A13 processor is 20% faster than the previous generation A12
- Third, ultra wide-angle camera lens with 120-degree field of view
- Night Mode & Deep Fusion
- True Tone flash is brighter
- 4K video in 24, 30, or 60fps
- 3D Touch removed (replaced with standard Haptic Touch)
- Improved water resistance (4m vs previous 2m)
- Improved 12MP front-facing TrueDepth camera (vs previous 8MP)
- Front-facing camera can shoot 4K 60fps and 120 fps slo-mo video
- Face ID now 30% faster
- Battery life is 4 hours longer than the iPhone XS
- 18W fast charger with USB-C to Lightning cable in the box (50% battery in 30 minutes)
- Apple U1 Ultra Wideband chip with directionally aware suggestions for AirDrop
iPhone 11 Pro carrier models
There are three iPhone 11 Pro models specific to various regions. The iPhone 11 Pro A2160 is the North American model that you’ll find sold in the Apple Store as “Unlocked and SIM-free.” This model works across all US carriers and specifically supports AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon frequency bands. Unfortunately, none of these models support 5G low-band or 5G Ultra Wideband.
It’s worth noting that while all iPhone models sold in the Apple Store are sold unlocked, there is an exception to this rule. An iPhone 11 Pro purchased with an AT&T Installment Plan is the only version locked down to AT&T. However, if the phone is purchased outright, it will also be sold unlocked.
iPhone 11 Pro (A2160) frequency bands
|Network type||Frequency / bands||Tech||Gen|
|GSM/EDGE||850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz||GSM||2G|
|UMTS/HSPA+/DC-HSDPA||850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz||GSM||3G|
|CDMA EV-DO Rev. A||800, 1900 MHz||CDMA||1X/3G|
|LTE FDD||Bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 29, 30, 66, 71||LTE||4G|
|TD‑LTE||Bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48||LTE||4G|
Other region-specific iPhone 11 Pro models include the iPhone 11 Pro A2215 for Europe and Asia — also known as the global/international model — and the iPhone 11 Pro A2217 for China and Hong Kong.
For more on iPhone 11 Pro network compatibility — including a full list of each network’s specific frequencies and bands supported by the iPhone 11 Pro — head over to our iPhone 11 Pro Network Compatibility page and click the button below to visit our unlocked iPhone carrier compatibility guide.
Is the iPhone 11 Pro worth it?
The iPhone 11 Pro is well worth buying in 2021. Prices for a brand-new iPhone 11 Pro weren’t exactly what anyone would consider cheap. When it was still available at Apple, a new iPhone 11 Pro was priced at $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), and $1,349 (512GB). While there is a more affordable model in Apple’s 2019 iPhone lineup — the regular iPhone 11 — you’ll have to sacrifice some hardware features and performance in order to save a few bucks. Our advice? Buy a gently used iPhone 11 Pro in the Swappa marketplace.
On Swappa, you’ll find steep discounts on the iPhone 11 Pro — and with prices dropping all the time, it’s always a good time to buy. Right now, the current used price for an iPhone 11 Pro on Swappa starts at $550 and varies depending on the model and storage size. Whether you’re looking to upgrade or replace your existing device, you can find the best deals on an iPhone 11 Pro by hitting the button below. Happy shopping. ♻️