By Nate Kammerer
Apple announced a lineup of new products this week, including the newest iPhone. On stage, Apple announced the iPhone 11, successor to last year’s iPhone XR, and the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, the successors to last year’s flagship Xs and Xs Max.
The new iPhones are not a significant update; the phones have most of the same hardware as last years’ models with a bigger focus on the internal processor and camera system, as well as faster Face ID and longer battery life.
Also new this year, Apple made some changes to their naming scheme, dropping the roman numerals and calling the higher-end models “pro”. The Pro phones are incremental updates to the iPhone Xs models and will still start at $1,000 for the smaller model. The phones do have some new features, with a new liquid retina OLED screen, a triple lens camera system and a powerful A13 bionic chip.
The iPhone 11, priced at $699, is less of an update. The phone is Apple’s budget option, the equivalent of last year’s cheaper iPhone XR. Besides the new processor and extra camera lens, the iPhone 11 is the same as the XR.
The 11’s price tag seems like a bargain, but when you compare the specs to similar phones, it’s less impressive. iPhone 11 has a 1792 by 828 LCD screen, the same pixels per inch as the iPhone 4, which is basically the equivalent of 720p. Along with the low resolution screen, the phone has relatively large bezels and the same notch as the 2017 iPhone X.
This year, Apple has put a bigger emphasis on the phone’s cameras, with 3 camera units in the Pro models. The heavily criticized camera design now pacts a telephoto zoom lens, a regular lens and a new wide angle lens housed in a large square bump in the top left corner of the phone.
Unfortunately for power users, the 2019 iPhones didn’t quite live up to the rumors. “All these other features they could have added that would have made me think it’s fine to name it ‘Pro’ aren’t there,” said tech reviewer Marques Brownlee to his 9 million YouTube subscribers. The phones do not have reverse wireless charging, 5G capabilities, stylus support, high refresh rate displays, USB C or under-screen fingerprint readers.
The new phones are well-built, powerful machines, but they are still lacking some key features seen in other 2019 smartphones.