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Now is a good time to jump into the iPhone 11 range. With the iPhone 12, and its iterations, out, the price of an iPhone 11 Pro contract may well have dipped to affordable levels.
While the iPhone 11 is still available on Apple’s official website, its Pro and Pro Max versions are not. This shouldn’t put you off as there are some carriers still carrying the device. And what a device it is: the iPhone 11 Pro comes through in its display quality and camera abilities, as well as an improved battery life. If you don’t edit on your phone or don’t use the camera that often, at least not for anything other than selfies, the iPhone 11 (or even the iPhone 12) may well be more than enough.
If you want your phone to double as a very capable camera, though, and are a highly creative type of person who wants to know you’re getting the best results, maybe you won’t mind paying a bit more for an iPhone Pro. The display alone might make all the difference in your creative work.
The iPhone 11 Pro shares a lot of traits with the standard model, essentially being the same phone, with a few choice upgrades. We’ve marked the new features for the Pro (compared to the standard iPhone 11) with an asterisk:
5.8” liquid super retina display*
Ultra-wide, wide and telephoto cameras*
Dolby Atmos sound quality
Range of colours
Stainless steel and glass design*
64GB, 256GB or 512GB of memory
Water-resistant up to four meters for 30 minutes, dust/spill resistant*
4K video at 60fps
Wireless charging enabled
Fast charge options
Dual SIM (with eSIM supported networks only)
Face ID 30% faster reaction time*
There are three options for storage with the iPhone 11 Pro, two of which are also offered with the iPhone 11 (64GB and 256GB) but it’s the offering of 512GB that is exclusive to the Pro model. With this space, you’ll never need to worry about running out of room for all your high-quality images and videos.
Tempting as 500GB+ of storage may be, you don’t have to automatically opt for the biggest option, not least because it might add a hefty amount onto your bill every month. Consider what you use your phone for. It may be that your Pro will be a work-only phone, in which case you might get away with less storage:
64GB is ideal for:
Storing phones on the cloud (rather than on the phone)
Not gaming heavily
Not storing music on the phone but streaming instead
Not using too many large apps
256GB is suitable for most users, ideal for:
Wanting to keep some files on your phone
Keeping some film on your phone
Having space spare for images and film while using cloud storage
Supporting app usage
This is plenty space for everyday users
512GB is ideal if:
You use your phone for professional image capture and need as much storage as possible
You want your phone to be able to handle apps for editing etc.
You plan to shoot a lot of 4K video
You like to keep your files on your phone
As the iPhone 11 Pro cannot expand its storage beyond the amount you originally purchase, you should consider what’s best for your needs in terms of apps more than images. Images can be moved to the cloud, and Apple Photos makes that very easily achieved, but apps can only operate from your phone’s storage. We recommend that you opt for the 256GB version of the device, as 64GB means you will likely run out of storage.
Apple markets the iPhone 11 Pro battery as being four hours longer than the iPhone XS. While you should certainly get more than enough charge to see you through the day, you should also take these claims with a pinch of salt as battery life varies hugely from user to user. If you spend all day on a large editing app, for example, your charge is likely to go down faster than if you were just messaging once an hour.
The iPhone 11 Pro comes with a different range of colours to the iPhone 11, and also has a metallic finish for a more polished look:
While most network providers should be able to offer the full range of colours, you shouldn’t assume you’ll have the option of all four with your choice of provider.
The iPhone 11 Pro differentiates itself from the iPhone 11 standard most obviously in its camera offerings. Not only does it have a whole extra camera, it also ups the photography game with improved settings. The Pro moniker was made because of the camera array - the idea being that Pro iPhone variants come with the best cameras Apple offers.
iPhone 11 Pro cameras:
12MP Ultra wide camera
12MP Wide camera
12MP Telephoto camera
12MP Front camera
The combination of the powerful rear camera trio gives better image clarity, stabilisation and lighting which, already being close to unbeatable in the iPhone 11, are super-charged in the iPhone 11 Pro:
Edit film just like photos – rotate, crop, filter
‘Slofies’: Slow-motion selfies that film in 12fps
40% more light capture
36% brighter true tone flash
Six lighting effects for portraits
2x more height for panoramas
A big boost to the camera is also the ‘super retina’ display that shows them at their best. Displaying images at 485 pixels per inch, the screen is also designed to display better in sunlight.
Apple has improved on its cameras even more for the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, adding in a better sensor and Apple ProRAW format, a version of the RAW image format that pro photographers covet.
The iPhone 11 Pro uses Face ID to keep your phone secure, and ramps up the reaction time by 30%, so it only takes a glimpse to get you in. You can unlock, sign in to apps and start using Apple Pay with just one look.
An eSIM is an embedded SIM, meaning it’s a SIM card built into your phone. Unlike a regular SIM card, you can’t just take it out, so if you’re not on a network that offers compatibility with this technology, you essentially can’t use this feature at all. The iPhone 11 Pro, just like the iPhone 11 will support dual SIMs but only through eSIM technology. Currently, the only networks supporting this, or aiming to support it, are EE, O2 and Three.
Prices for the iPhone 11 Pro haven’t dropped quite as much as we would have liked after the iPhone 12 was released. You are still looking at paying a premium for this handset - although if the price does look a little high, then check if this is the price for a 12-month contract and not a longer contract. Where a good deal becomes a great deal on phone contracts is in the extras or in the convenience. Do you want to pay off your phone straight away? Then a Giffgaff unlocked phone might be ideal. However, if you want your phone suited and booted, say with the latest entertainment services, then EE or O2 might be better with their respective Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video free trials.
Make sure you think about all of the following before going ahead with any deal:
Are you able to get the precise colour and model you want from your chosen provider?
Does the contract length suit you?
How soon can you upgrade?
Is there warranty included?
What does the network offer: good coverage, roaming, data caps etc.
Perks per provider: freebies, entertainment bundles etc.
Home service bundles e.g. mobile and home broadband
Is there flexibility on paying off your handset early?
Can you alter your contract data limit freely?
How expensive is the iPhone 11 Pro?
The iPhone 11 Pro is going to be a big investment no matter how you approach it. This is a premium brand and this is just about the most premium phone it has on offer at the moment. That said, there are plenty of great deals out there, so you should be able to find one that works for you.
Pay monthly is a popular choice for most, and with so many plans differing in length and allowance, there’s a healthy range of price points too. There are two network providers offering iPhone 11 Pro deals right now.
You can also choose to pay for your phone outright. Don’t expect this option to come without a serious hit to your savings though, the 64GB option sells at around £900. The following mobile providers stock the iPhone 11 Pro as a SIM free or pay as you go option:
You might also want to look to Amazon, Argos, John Lewis or Apple directly, but just make sure to always stick to trustworthy retailers. The iPhone 11 Pro currently (as of December 2020) costs £919 from Amazon. Apple is selling only the iPhone 11 through its site.
There are a number of accessories you can get for the iPhone 11 Pro. Here are some of the latest devices you can pair with your device:
Apple AirPods Max
It may seem counterintuitive for a pricier ‘pro’ phone to have a smaller screen, but this simply comes down to convenience. Say if you are a pro, you need a phone that’s easy to slip into your pocket and go with you anywhere. The size difference is also minimal, so don’t let it put you off. Also remember that the display is amped up to super retina technology in the Pro as well, so it’s quality over quantity.
No, the iPhone 11 Pro doesn’t support 5G neither do any of the iPhone 11 models. If you want 5G on an iPhone, then you have to head to the iPhone 12 range.
There’s been something of a long-running competition between these two brands, and both deserve their place at the top of the smartphone market. The Samsung family of phones has, to a certain extent been more about the tech and capabilities of the phone as a whole, while Apple, quite early on, placed a lot more weight on its camera, and it’s something it continues to excel at. Ultimately, you should think about what you want your phone for, creatives might prefer the camera and the general appeal of an iPhone, while others may think you get more bang for your buck with a Samsung which doesn’t limit 5G, expandable storage, dual SIMs or using headphones. That said, there’s far more than just these two brands out there, so get comparing!
If you just want to get your hands on some form of the iPhone 11 then the standard model is your cheapest option (and the option that is still available to buy from Apple’s official site, as of December 2020). There’s essentially nothing you can do on an iPhone 11 Pro that you can’t do on an iPhone 11, but for that extra ‘pro’ suffix, you get a more polished experience all round.
This depends on what you want. Do you want your new phone to be packed with entertainment bundles? Then the best network for you is one that offers trials of Prime Video, Disney+ or Spotify. Do you want your contract to be easily changeable or even to bounce between suppliers? Then an unlocked phone from a network like giffgaff might work out nicely.
The iPhone 11 Pro is going to take a bite out of your pocket money whichever way you want to pay for it. Arguably, going for a pay monthly deal might save you a bit of cash as your data and phone are rolled into one monthly bill, plus some potential perks, though if you don’t want to be stuck paying off a handset for a whole three years, a SIM free option may suit you.
Last updated: 22 December 2020