The dust has settled, you watched the launch event, read a few reviews, even played around on your mate’s shiny (matte) new handset, but now it’s crunch time - do you need to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro?
You’ve currently got the iPhone XS - you love your iPhone XS! But you’re also attracted by the 11 Pro’s undeniable charms, and you’ve got that early upgrade bonus in your contract. Or maybe you just feel like splashing out on a stylish new piece of tech?
But what are the big differences? Is the 11 Pro even enough of an upgrade to warrant an upgrade? Should you stick with your trusty XS? Or is that Pro moniker there for a reason?
We pitted the two iPhones screen-to-screen to see how the iPhone 11 Pro improves on the XS to help you make this all-important decision.
Want to read more about all three new iPhones? Check out our in-depth review..
Design and display
Shape and size wise, the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone are evenly matched. In recent years, Apple has taken a bit of slack for not quite breaking the mould when it comes to redesigning their handsets. The 11 Pro follows this potentially consumer-upsetting trend by adding only cosmetic differences to last year’s XS design.
Firstly, instead of a clear glass back, the 11 Pro now has an attractive matte effect, which really looks good in its new Midnight Green colour. As well as giving it a subtler look, the matte glass means the iPhone 11 Pro isn’t as slippery as the iPhone XS. Around the edges, the iPhone 11 Pro sticks with the stainless steel we saw on the XS, and just like last year’s iPhone, the 11 Pro is a gorgeous device that oozes “premium smartphone”.
Face to face, or display to display, Apple has enhanced what was already an excellent screen.
While the iPhone 11 Pro has the same 5.8-inch display found on the XS, but it’s been upgraded to a Super Retina XDR OLED screen that’s brighter and more energy efficient than the XS’s effort. When you put the two smartphones next to each other, you can really see the difference - everything looks sharper and clearer.
Another new screen development is the replacing of 3D Touch with Haptic Touch. Haptic Touch gives you an array of options when you press down on a chosen app. For instance, leap straight into group chat on WhatsApp, or open the camera directly into selfie mode so that your perfect pose doesn’t have to wait.
They may be little touches, but it’s often subtle touches that make a difference and the iPhone 11 Pro’s screen is both that little bit nicer to look at and makes apps that little bit easier to use.
Now, this is a feature that really has received a sizeable upgrade. It would be remiss to talk about the camera without mentioning the new design, which has caused a bit of controversy.
On the rear of the phone, the iPhone 11 Pro has added a third camera lens over the XS’s two. Instead of the XS’s sleek double camera array, the 11 Pro’s three cameras are placed in a square block which certainly stands out. If you want the back of your phone to be as minimal as possible it might be an eyesore, but you’re getting a really good camera set up for that cost.
The 11 Pro’s triple camera is made up of three 12MP lenses - wide angle, ultra wide angle and telephoto. This versatile trio of cameras will take your smartphone photography to the next level, and really improves on the iPhone XS’s efforts.
So as well as 2xZoom to zero in on objects and scenery, ultrawide lets you zoom out to get truly expansive landscape shots. So no more awkwardly craning back to get more into the image, or cramming everyone into the group shot.
The 11 Pro’s camera also has another feature that puts the XS in the shade - Night Mode. Now you can happily say goodbye to flash-face and red eye thanks to night mode’s remarkable illuminating skills.
The 11 Pro has added some megapixels to its front camera too. Where the XS front camera had 7MP, the new, improved Pro has 12MP to match the rear cameras. So selfies are sharper than ever, with all the details. If you’re having an off day and that’s too many details, iOS 13 has a host of editing options to iron out any creases and add some fancy filters.
Front video recording has seen a boost too, as you can now shoot in 4K UHD, as well as in slow motion. The latter feature has given birth to what Apple has called the Slofie.
The XS is certainly no slouch in the camera department, but the 11 Pro really does take iPhone photography to the next level.
So far we can see some decent improvements on the iPhone 11 Pro, but what about those hidden improvements?
Behind the screen you’ll find Apple’s new A13 Bionic Chip, which is an upgrade of the A12 Bionic Chip found in the iPhone XS. Without getting lost in tech jargon, what this basically means is the 11 Pro is faster and smoother than the XS, and it really shows. Apps loads instantly, there’s no lag when you’re using more than one at the same time and it uses your iPhone’s power effectively than the XS. Which also leads us to…….
When you’ve got a phone that uses energy more efficiently, that means you also get a battery that lasts longer, and that’s exactly the case with the iPhone 11 Pro. This is a section where the iPhone XS doesn’t even come close.
The iPhone 11 Pro lasts four hours longer than the XS, that’s the difference between running out of charge towards the evening and lasting till you get home.
So, is the iPhone 11 Pro worth upgrading to? For your money, you’ll get a phone that looks better (albeit marginally), has a sharper screen, much better camera and gives you more battery time to play with. The A13 chip gives much smoother performance too.
However, the iPhone 11 Pro isn’t cheap, and at £1,059 those feature improvements may seem like an expensive luxury.
If you’re due an upgrade and love taking photos, consign your XS to the old phone drawer and snap up the 11 Pro, the decision to upgrade is a simple one - go for it.
Still unsure? To see how other phones compare, check out our phone comparison table.
Check out all our cheap deals for the iPhone 11 Pro.
Prefer the iPhone 11? Find a range of deals here.
Go supersize and find a great deal for the iPhone 11 Pro Max.