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Apple iPhone 11 (Pro Max) in the test: The best iPhone upgrade in a long time

Apple iPhone 11 (Pro Max) im Test: Das beste iPhone-Upgrade seit langem

tl; dr: iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro (Max) are the biggest camera changes in Apple's smartphone market. Up to three lenses deliver a significantly upgraded quality. The Pro model scores with OLED display and large battery, while the iPhone 11 is the sensible choice. Both combine the A13 SoC.

Apple continues to double-track the current iPhones and splits the portfolio in iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, the latter is also offered as an iPhone 11 Pro Max with a larger display. The iPhone 11 starts with its 6.1-inch display and 64 GB of storage at 799 euros. The iPhone 11 Pro with smaller 5.8 inches costs at least € 1,149, for the iPhone 11 Pro Max with 6.5 inches calls Apple € 1,249. Depending on the storage requirements, the prices rise up to 1,649 euros. The Pro models are thus among the most expensive smartphones on the market. The voluntary manufacturer's warranty is only one year instead of the usual two years.

iPhone prices since 10.09.2019

Specifications of iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro

OLED versus LC display

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro differ mainly in the display technology used and their sizes. The Pro models are the new “Super Retina XDR Display” based on a OLED panel from Samsung. This offers Apple in sizes of 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches, with the test was an iPhone 11 Pro Max used. The iPhone 11 comes again with “Liquid Retina HD Display” and 6.1 inches.

The OLED screens are offered with 2,436 × 1,125 pixels and 2,688 × 1,242 pixels, which ensures the iPhone 11 Pro Max despite pen-tile pixel arrangement for a sharp picture of text and images. Rich black as well as strong and at the same time natural colors in connection with the high maximum brightness provide an excellent representation. The manufacturer promises up to 800 cd / m² as typical maximum brightness, which is confirmed in the measurements. Pleasantly: At Apple, the maximum brightness always manual, and not only via the automatic mode retrieve. In HDR mode, peak values ​​of 1,200 cd / m² should be possible at certain points, with 881 cd / m² measured in the test with a minimum of 20 percent white. For smaller areas, the meter is not designed.

The iPhone 11 has to do without HDR support for Dolby Vision and HDR10 and achieves a lower brightness with specified 625 cd / m². However, it was possible to measure up to 661 cd / m² with 100 percent white content. Due to the backlight required by LCD, the perfect black of an OLED screen is not achieved, so that the contrast is just under 1,600: 1 normal, but for a LCD very good level. The with 1.792 × 828 pixels less fine resolution and the comparatively wide display margins are more likely to catch the eye.


Magnificent 6.5-inch OLED on the iPhone 11 Pro Max
Magnificent 6.5-inch OLED on the iPhone 11 Pro Max

The LCD of the iPhone 11 is good, but in terms of resolution only middle class
The LCD of the iPhone 11 is good, but in terms of resolution only middle class

Thicker display edges on the iPhone 11 LCD
Thicker display edges on the iPhone 11 LCD

Big notch for faster Face ID

This also applies to the still comparatively large Notch, which, however, quickly takes a back seat in view of the excellently functioning and secure Face ID. If you need to unlock your smartphone frequently, use Apple Pay, or confirm passwords, Face ID will quickly come in handy. The system is just as fast in everyday life as the best display fingerprint sensors and safer than conventional 2D methods only via the front camera. And with iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, the process is a touch faster.

No more 3D touch

3D Touch, on the other hand, flew out of the devices and was sacrificed in favor of larger batteries and uniform operation. In any case, the pressure-sensitive displays after the iPhone 8 were only installed in the iPhone X and iPhone XS, but not in the iPhone XR. Now Apple brings the smartphones back on a line and adapts them to the iPad, which uses a related operating system with iPadOS. “Haptic Touch” is the name of the 3D Touch replacement, which, by holding buttons for a long time instead of pressing firmly, triggers secondary actions such as application context menus or the preview of a new browser tab. In the test, 3D Touch was missing most when positioning the cursor over the keyboard, which is limited by holding the space bar for a long time instead of pressing firmly at any position on the keyboard.

Gained space for larger batteries

Without the sensor technology required for 3D Touch behind the display, there is more space for larger batteries. Apple advertises with up to 4 hours longer iPhone XS to iPhone 11 Pro, 5 hours more from iPhone XS Max to iPhone 11 Pro Max and at least 1 hour more from iPhone XR to iPhone 11. This is due to a more economical processor larger batteries that come with the iPhone 11 Pro Max up to 3,969 mAh (15.04 Wh). In the iPhone 11 Pro it is 3,046 mAh (11.54 Wh) instead of 2,658 mAh (10.13 Wh), the iPhone 11 3,110 mAh (11.79 Wh) instead of 2,942 mAh (11.16 Wh). The iPhone 11 makes the slightest jump, as even the iPhone XR had to do without 3D Touch.

Official term information from Apple

In the streaming test, the iPhone 11 scored just over half an hour better than its predecessor with just over 12 hours. Significantly larger is the difference in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which runs more than 16 hours 4 hours longer than the iPhone XS Max.

45 entries

YouTube battery test 200 cd / m²

Unit: hours, minutes

    • Motorola Moto G7 Power (Android 9.0)

    • Huawei P30 Pro (Android 9.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy S10 + (Android 9.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ (Android 9.0)

    • Cat S61 (Android 8.1)

    • OnePlus 6T (Android 9.0)

    • Asus ZenFone 6 (Android 9.0)

    • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (iOS 13.1.1)

    • OnePlus 7T (Android 10.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy Note 9 (Android 8.1)

    • Samsung Galaxy S10e (Android 9.0)

    • OnePlus 7 Pro (Android 9.0)

    • BlackBerry Motion (Android 7.1.2)

    • Samsung Galaxy S10 (Android 9.0)

    • LG G8s (Android 9.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy A50 (Android 9.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy S9 + (Android 8.0.0)

    • Huawei Mate 20 Pro (Android 9.0)

    • Sony Xperia XZ1 Compact (Android 8.0)

    • BlackBerry Key2 (Android 8.1)

    • Google Pixel 2 XL (Android 8.0.0)

    • Lenovo Moto Z2 Play (Android 7.1.1)

    • Huawei P20 Pro (Android 8.1)

    • Motorola One (Android 8.1)

    • Samsung Galaxy S8 + (Android 7.0)

    • Google Pixel 3a (Android 9.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Android 7.1.1)

    • LG V30 (Android 7.1.2)

    • Samsung Galaxy S9 (Android 8.0.0)

    • Huawei Mate 10 Pro (Android 8.0)

    • OnePlus 6 (Android 8.1)

    • Motorola Moto Z3 Play (Android 8.1)

    • Apple iPhone Xs Max (iOS 12.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy S8 (Android 7.0)

    • Apple iPhone 11 (iOS 13.1.1)

    • BlackBerry KeyOne (Android 7.1.1)

    • Google Pixel 3 XL (Android 9.0)

    • Samsung Galaxy A6 (Android 8.0)

    • Apple iPhone Xr (iOS 12.0.1)

    • Google Pixel 2 (Android 8.0.0)

    • LG G7 ThinQ (Android 8.0)

    • Nokia 7 Plus (Android 8.1)

    • Motorola Moto X4 (Android 7.1.1)

    • Sony Xperia 1 (Android 9.0)

    • Apple iPhone X (iOS 11.1.1)

    • Motorola One Vision (Android 9.0)

    • Sony Xperia XZ2 Compact (Android 8.0)

    • Sony Xperia XZ3 (Android 9.0)

    • Motorola Moto G6 (Android 8.0)

    • Motorola Moto G7 Plus (Android 9.0)

    • Motorola Moto G7 (Android 9.0)

    • Huawei Nova 2 (Android 7.0)

    • HTC U12 + (Android 8.0)

    • LG G6 (Android 7.0)

    • Nokia 6.1 (Android 8.1)

    • Honor 8 Pro (Android 7.0)

    • Xiaomi Mi Mix 2S (Android 8.0)

    • Sony Xperia XZ1 (Android 8.0)

    • HTC U11 (Android 7.1.1)

    • Sony Xperia XZ Premium (Android 7.1.1)

    • Apple iPhone 8 Plus (iOS 11.0.2)

Converted to everyday life, this means that a frugal user can get away with the iPhone 11 Pro Max for the first time for two days. However, if the smartphone is used all-encompassing, the realistic service life is more like a day and a half. And users like those in the editorial office, who are often on the go or at trade fairs, are pleased that even with intensive use of the camera, hotspot, a lot of e-mail and WhatsApp in the late evening, no battery problems arise. The iPhone 11 performs just as well as the iPhone XR and is also a safe companion for the entire day, but without the reserves of an iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Pro models with 18 watt power supply

All three models support both wired and wireless charging on Qi standard charging cradles. Apple's exclusive Pro models include an 18-watt, USB-type C-powered power supply, after over a decade of even the miserable 5-watt power supply in the box for even the most expensive devices for more than a decade. This is the normal iPhone 11 continues, because not comprehensible, Apple has chosen the power supply next to the displays and the camera to one of the pro features.

Half a pound iPhone please

The renunciation of 3D Touch and the larger batteries do not weigh each other on the Pro models. The iPhone 11 Pro is 11 grams, the iPhone 11 Pro Max even 18 grams heavier than the direct predecessor. In conjunction with the clear case case used in the test, you drag half a pound in your pocket with you on the largest iPhone. This is a compromise that is gladly taken in view of the improved terms. After years of complaining about ever thinner iPhones in favor of more elegant designs and to the detriment of the maturity Apple has responded, so that can hardly be complained.

This is especially true if you use the current smartphones without protective cover to take the excellent workmanship under the microscope. Because here Apple delivers the prices from the appropriate quality, although the higher quality materials are reserved for the Pro models. There, a polished frame made of stainless steel meets a matt glass back, while the iPhone 11 brushed matte aluminum meets a shiny glass back. High quality is also that.

IP68 for up to 4 meters water depth

The processing is excellent in both series, which is noticeable by practically non-existent gap dimensions, precisely bordered keys and rich pressure points selbiger. If you want to use one of the iPhone 11 Pro underwater, you can do so according to IEC standard 60529. IP68 now classifies up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to 4 meters (fresh water) – previously it was a maximum of 2 meters. With the iPhone 11 it can take up to 30 minutes at a depth of up to 2 meters – here it was 1 meter before.

While the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro look very similar to their direct predecessors when viewed from the front, it is the camera next to the new glass that shows the current generation. This summarizes Apple in a two-stage Hubbel from first glass and then the lenses. In photos, the dual or triple-camera construct looks much more monstrous than in reality, but it still provides for some tilting on the table. Interesting detail: In the case of the iPhone 11 with a glossy glass back, the two cameras are surrounded by frosted glass, while the iPhone 11 Pro with a matt glass back has shiny glass around the three cameras.

On the next page: New Triple and Dual Camera

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