Hardware

Mobile Phone

Long-term Field Test: 17.02.2020 to date


Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Another iPhone again

I had already picked up my pre-ordered iPhone 11 Pro Max on the first day of sale on 20.09.2019 and am now changing again?

Yes and no. The iPhone 11 Pro Max simply became too unwieldy for me as an everyday device. So I went back to using the not-yet-sold iPhone Xs as my main device and the 11 Pro Max at home as a mini TV because my Windows notebook kept crashing.
But because I missed the excellent camera, I ordered this iPhone 11 Pro one Sunday night.

This beautiful iPhone 11 Pro is worth a review, even though its successor iPhone 12 Pro with 5G has long been available and its successor 12s Pro will also be launched soon.

In my opinion, the 5G smartphones that are already available are almost all not fully developed. They get hot during long 5G use or are power hogs.

You can benefit from the 5G expansion even without your own 5G smartphone if your smartphone uses the latest LTE technology. This is because base stations to be upgraded to 5G receive the best possible data connection with fibre optics and the latest LTE technology as a basis for 5G!

So for now, this iPhone 11 Pro remains my main phone, the iPhone 11 Pro Max serves as a Wi-Fi hotspot and mini TV, and the iPhone Xs is a test device for new iOS versions and apps, Wi-Fi hotspot and backup phone.

This is my seventh test of an iPhone. Enjoy reading!

Photo: Original box Apple iPhone 11 Pro Gold, 512 GB

Photo: Original box Apple iPhone 11 Pro Gold

Online Purchase with Pick-up at the Apple Store

16.02.2020: Ordered online from Apple on Sunday night: iPhone 11 Pro 512 GB, colour: gold.

Pick-up at the Apple Store Frankfurt selected. Can be picked up tomorrow. Smiley17.02.2020: Picked up the appliance at noon without any significant waiting time.
This is what makes shopping fun!

Box Content

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro with iOS 13.0
  • Apple EarPods
  • Lightning-to-USB-Kabel
  • USB power supply unit
  • Tool to open the SIM card tray
  • Documentation

Photo: opened box with Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Photo: opened box with Apple iPhone 11 Pro in gold colour with 512 GB memory

Photo: opened box of iPhone 11 Pro Gold 512 GB

Photo: Underneath the iPhone in the box are the USB power supply, Lightning cable and EarPods

Tech Specs

Model: A2215 (MWCF2ZD/A)

Colour: Gold (also available in space grey, silver or night green)
Storage capacity: 512 GB (also available with 64 GB or 256 GB)
Dimensions and weight: 144.0 × 71.4 × 8.1 mm, 188 g

Display

Super Retina XDR Display with Haptic Touch
5.8 inch All-Screen OLED Multi-Touch (14.7 cm diagonal)
HDR display, resolution: 2436 × 1125 pixels; 458 pixels per inch
Typical contrast ratio: 2,000,000:1
Maximum typical brightness: 800 nits. Maximum brightness: 1200 nits (HDR)
Colour standard: P3
Grease-repellent coating, display zoom, one-hand mode, true tone display
Supports display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously

Processor

A13 Bionic chip with 64-bit architecture, neural architecture, integrated M13 motion coprocessor
Processor architecture: ARMv8.4-A
Microarchitecture: 2×2.65 GHz Lightning + 4×1.8 GHz Thunder
Main memory (RAM): 4 GB (type: LPDDR4X)

Cameras

12-megapixel camera with ultra-wide, wide-angle and telephoto lenses
Ultra-wide angle: f/2.4 aperture and 120° field of view
Wide angle: aperture f/1.8
Telephoto lens: aperture f/2.0
2x optical zoom, up to 10x digital zoom
Portrait mode with bokeh and depth control
Portrait light with 6 effects (natural, studio, contour, stage, stage mono, high-key mono)
Dual optical image stabilisation for wide angle and telephoto
Lens with 5 elements (ultra wide angle), lens with 6 elements (wide angle and telephoto)
True-tone flash with long-time synchronisation
Panorama recording up to 63 megapixels
Night mode
Sapphire crystal lens cover
Body and face recognition
Next generation Smart HDR for photos
Advanced red-eye correction
Geotagging for photos
Automatic image stabilisation
Continuous shooting mode
Self-timerImage formats HEIF and JPEG

Wireless Technologies

FDD‑LTE
Frequency bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 32, 66

TD‑LTE
Frequency bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 46, 48

UMTS/HSPA+/DC‑HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

LTE
Frequency bands 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 66

TD-LTE
Frequency bands 34, 38, 39, 40, 41

UMTS/HSPA+/DC‑HSDPA (850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100 MHz)
GSM/EDGE (850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz)

Gigabit-capable LTE with 4x4 MIMO and LAA

802.11ax WLAN 6 with 2x2 MIMO

Bluetooth 5.0

Ultra-wideband chip for spatial awareness

NFC with reading mode

Express Cards with power reserve

Localisation Function

Integrated GPS/GNSS
Digital compass
WLAN
Mobile telephony
iBeacon micro-location

Audio Calls

FaceTime Audio Calls
Voice over LTE (VoLTE)
Calling via WLAN

Video Calls

FaceTime video calls via WLAN and mobile phone

Audio Playback

Supported audio formats: AAC‑LC, HE‑AAC, HE‑AAC v2, Protected AAC, MP3, Linear PCM, Apple Lossless, FLAC, Dolby Digital (AC‑3), Dolby Digital Plus (E‑AC‑3), Dolby Atmos and Audible (Formate 2, 3, 4, Audible Enhanced Audio, AAX und AAX+)
Spatial audio playback. User-definable maximum volume

TV and Video

Supported video formats: HEVC, H.264, MPEG‑4 Part 2 and Motion JPEG
High Dynamic Range (HDR) with Dolby Vision and HDR10-contents
AirPlay Mirroring, photos and video output on Apple TV (2. Generation or newer)
Video mirroring and video output: Support for up to 1080p via Lightning digital AV adapter and Lightning to VGA adapter (adapters sold separately)

Assistant Siri

Use your own voice to send messages, make calls, create a reminder and more.
Get predictive suggestions, hands-free calling, listen to and recognise songs.

Reference: Apple

Power Supply

Manufacturer's information

Talk time (wireless): not specified
Internet use: not specified
Video playback (from device): up to 18 h
Video playback (wireless): up to 11 h
Audio playback (wireless): up to 65 h
Fast charging: up to 50 % in 30 min. with enclosed 18-watt mains adapter
Integrated lithium-ion battery: 3046 mAh
Wireless charging with Qi chargers
Charging via USB port on computer or mains adapter

Personal Tip

Save yourself the trouble of buying a Qi charger, because wireless charging takes a long time and heats up the device and battery considerably. Sustainability is a different approach, because the unnecessary heat load shortens the battery life and increases your electricity bill. For a fraction of the price, buy an external battery tank for emergencies, a USB charger and a high-quality USB-to-Lightning adapter cable as a reserve and always have it with you.

Perhaps this will be better solved in the future with the successor model iPhone 12 Pro (Max) or through better software adjustment, or a Qi charger with heat dissipation will solve the heat problem?
The higher power consumption remains and the much longer charging time is only practical without heat load for an iPhone stand at home, e.g. when watching a video podcast during the charging time.

Experience from daily Practice

The alphabetically sorted practical Topics

Battery Performance

Battery Runtime, Duration of Use, Battery Saving, Charging Time

Battery Runtime (Time after Battery Charge until next Charge)

Very individual, difficult to compare. Everybody defines infrequent users and frequent users differently, not to mention the term normal user.

Duration of Use

Little use: 2 days (rarely ask Siri for the time or weather, some emails/iMessages, calendar, notes, 1 h listening to music, minimal web). All with good to very good mobile phone coverage.
Heavy use: 1 day (reading a book [Apple Books app], Siri, many emails, iMessages or SMS, calendar, notes, calls, 5 h listening to music, 3 h web).

Battery Saving

In order to protect the battery, which cannot be changed by the user, I rarely push it to its limits, as this wears it out unnecessarily.
With about 30 % remaining charge, it is charged up to about 70 %. Deviations only occur when I check on the iPhone too late.
If you let the battery get almost empty and charge it up to 100 % (e.g. overnight), you stress it and also use up a full charge cycle every time.
Modern lithium-ion batteries can withstand 300-500 charging cycles. In practice, these are reached within 1-5 years, depending on the treatment.

Charging Time

You can expect these loading Times

Samples from my calendar notes

  • Charging time on USB-A 2.0 socket: 2:54 h (35 % to 70 %)(Notebook Sony VAIO Z12X9E/X)
  • Charging time at USB-A 2.0 socket: 2:12 h (35 % to 70 %)(AmazonBasics USB hub)
  • Charging time on USB-C 3.1 socket: 0:36 h (33 % to 70 %)(Apple MacBook Air 2020)
  • Charging time with USB charger: 0:39 h (29 % to 70 %)(Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-port USB)
  • Charging time with USB charger: 0:32 h (36 % to 71 %)(Anker 36 W 5 V/7.2 A 4-Port USB)
  • Charging time with Battery pack: 0:43 h (31 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerCore Edge 20,000 mAh)
  • Charging time with Battery pack: 0:30 h (38 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerCore Edge 20,000 mAh)
  • Charging time with 18-watt mains adapter: 0:23 h (31 % to 70 %)(Apple's fast charger)
  • Charging time with 18-watt power adapter: 0:25 h (32 % to 70 %)(Apple's fast charger)
  • Charging time on USB-C 3.1 PD socket: 0:24 h (31 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerExpands Elite)
  • Charging time on USB-C 3.1 PD socket: 0:24 h (35 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerExpands Elite)
  • Charging time on USB-C 3.1 socket: 2:21 h (35 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerExpands Elite)
  • Charging time on USB-C 3.1 socket: 2:27 h (30 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerExpands Elite)
  • Charging time on USB-C 3.1 socket: 3:07 h (30 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerExpands Elite)
  • Charging time on USB-A 2.0 socket: 0:47 h (35 % to 70 %)(Anker PowerExpands Elite)

Battery Protocol

Very time-consuming, because I can't use an app or programme interface (API) for this. Out of enthusiasm for technology and because I really wanted to compare this with previously used smartphones, I had offered this in my previous tests, but it has become too labour-intensive for me.

Almost nobody reads it and it costs a lot of time if you do it properly.
And I do everything here quite properly or not at all.
Hobby should be fun and bring something to both the reader and me.

Measured Value Acquisition

I continue to record this data for the devices I use with screenshots and a calendar template for CalenGoo, which takes a maximum of one minute each. But I have no way to process this calendar data automatically. Therefore, I ask for your understanding that I no longer offer this as a standard for every smartphone test.

If I ever have the time and inclination, I'll transfer some of the values from my calendar.Maybe I'll experiment with a calendar export and load the file into my favourite editor, CotEditor. It may be that this saves time, then I'll add all the newer smartphone tests with available measurement data afterwards.

Apple's Energy-saving Mode

Apple's iOS operating system only activates power-saving mode when the battery has 20% remaining charge and deactivates it when the battery has reached 80%. I will never stress the battery like that without need! I usually charge at just over 30% to a maximum of 70%. It has proven itself!

Call Filter

Do Not Disturb (DND)

This is what Apple calls its rudimentary call filter.

Allow Calls

This is configured in the DND/Allow Calls settings menu:

  • Anyone (put callers through unfiltered)
  • None (block calls completely)
  • Favourites (finely adjustable positive list, only put friends/acquaintances/relatives through)

Favourites: Anonymous callers & troublemakers get busy signals or voicemail

Callers with a suppressed call number immediately receive a busy signal or are dropped on the mailbox if “DND” is switched on.

Remain reachable for Contacts with suppressed Number despite DND

Stubborn acquaintances and relatives who do not want to have call number transmission switched on for free by the network operator can still reach you at certain times if you do not activate “DND” for the whole day, but e.g. only 20:00-18:00. In this way, everyone would be let through between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., even if callers with a suppressed call number cannot be assigned to an address book entry.

You could formulate the announcement text of your mailbox accordingly:
"... landed on your mailbox due to a suppressed call number, ... please always call with activated caller ID in future!"

Alternatively, activate a rough positive List

If anonymous callers, stalkers, diallers and wrong-dialling fax machines are to be warded off, but otherwise every contact stored in the iPhone address book is allowed to call, you will find the ideal solution further down in the settings menu “DND/Allow calls”:

Groups

  • All Contacts

This option allows selection from contacts/groups

  • All (Contacts from added mail accounts, each mail account separately selectable)
  • Collected addresses
  • Contacts

If you want to create Contact Groups and avoid the iCloud (protection of privacy/observance of EU-GDPR), you need an app for this.
Recommendation: Contact Groups App by Thomas Kroll.

As soon as diallers of dubious advertising callers start ringing at short intervals without interruption and suppress your own telephone number or display a fake, constantly changing telephone number, “DND” must remain active, otherwise you are no longer reachable for serious callers!

Alternative to Apple's “DND”

I bought a real call filter (Advanced Call Blocker by wahooka) for my Smartphone Samsung Galaxy Note (Android OS) on 12 December 2010.
Since 24.03.2011, I had already been using a location- and time-dependent profile control called “Llama” on the above-mentioned smartphone.

iPhone finally gets Profile Control in 2021 (“Focus”)

My switch to Apple was like a culture shock, as there wasn't even a proper call filter with this phone and only since iOS 13 (?) has there been the option to dedicate a busy signal to anonymous callers!

This year, the iPhone will become a full-fledged phone in autumn, because it will finally get location- and time-dependent profile control with iOS 15! Apple calls this “Focus” and integrates “DND” as a part of it. Apple's customers have been waiting for this feature since iPhone 1!

Blocking individual Telephone Numbers

Since iOS 14.7 (?), unwanted phone numbers can be blocked directly from the call list, without having to save them in the address book!

Block dubious Numbers directly from the Caller List

  1. open the caller list
  2. tap the (i) to the far right of the phone number
  3. tap on the red lettering „Block caller” at the very bottom
  4. the safety note appears:
    „You will not receive any calls, messages or FaceTime calls from the blocked person.”
    Block contact | Cancel
  5. tap „Block contact”, if you are sure, otherwise tap „Cancel”

If you make a mistake (e.g. slipped in a line, got the wrong contact), you can tap on “Unblock” immediately afterwards.
If you want to unblock the contact later or check all blocks already stored, you can do this via the settings menu:
Settings/Phone/Blocked contacts/Add contact. Search for names in the address book, select, done. While you're at it, you can also add annoying insurance agents, colleagues etc. When you are done, press Cancel in the top right-hand corner. This will take you directly back to the “black list” without selecting a new candidate and you can also undo blockings by swiping the name to the left. Then “Unblock” appears to the right of the entry, which you tap to confirm.

  • If you do not need to answer every call, you can use the phone app to
    Mute unknown callers” and
  • with Settings/Do Not Disturb/Allow Calls limit to „All Contacts
    – anyone who is not in the address book can then no longer bother you

Assistant Siri

Most technology enthusiasts and sci-fi fans would like to operate their computers by voice like in the sci-fi series Star Trek.

History

  • In 2007, the company Siri Inc. had started developing a digital assistant
  • In 2010, Apple bought the company Siri Inc. in April with all rights to the products and the iPhone 4s became the first smartphone with the digital assistant called Siri

Since then, the iPhone can be controlled by voice. Unfortunately, Steve Jobs had decided to let the very powerful software work online in a much slimmed-down way. angryThe original software could run on the iPhone without an online connection to the data centre and would not be as restricted as we know it!
But that will change with iOS 15 in autumn: on newer iPhones with enough computing power, Siri will then run locally without a server connection!

Purpose

I see the main purpose of a digital assistant as being to operate the smartphone without having to pick it up. Users of a Bluetooth headset are particularly happy about this possibility, because this way the iPhone can stay protected in the pocket as often as possible!

With most headsets, voice control is started with a long press on the answer button. If you use a headset on an Apple iPhone from version 4s upwards, the assistant Siri is also addressed via it and instead of saying “Hey, Siri!” you immediately state your wish. Siri answers questions about the weather, can send dictated messages, dial phone numbers, read out received messages, remind you of appointments, wake you up in the morning, play your own music, tell you the artist of a current music track and the scores of sporting events, etc.

Scope of Functions

A few practical Examples …

Stock Exchange

  • Share price of [name of the share]
  • How does the DAX stand?

Telephone and Contacts

  • Call [Name]
  • Dial [phone number]
  • Redial
  • Start FaceTime with [Name]

Find friends

  • Where is [name]?
  • Who is near me?

Messages

  • Send a message to [Name]
  • Send an iMessage to [Name]

Mail

  • Write a mail to [name] with the content: [content]

Appointments

  • When is my next appointment?
  • Appointments today? (short: appointments?)
  • What appointments do I have tomorrow?
  • Create an appointment tomorrow at [time]
  • Move today's appointment from [time] to [time]

Reminders

  • Remind me on [date] at [time]: [content]
  • Remind me of [content] as soon as I arrive home.

Notes

  • Note: [...] shop

Time and Alarm Clock

  • What time is it?
  • Time?
  • What date do we have?
  • Set alarm clock to [time]

System

  • Battery charge iPhone? (this is the only way Siri understands that the phone is meant, not headset)
  • Battery charge? (indicates remaining charge of the connected BT headset in %)
  • Switch [Function] on/off.
  • Is WLAN on?

Maps & Navigation

  • Where am I? (Siri used to name the street, now only the place)
  • Start navigation from here to home
  • When are we there?
  • Exit navigation

Music

  • Play Blue Monday by New Order
  • Play My Playlist [Name]
  • Play something by Yello
  • Pause

Weather

  • Do I need an umbrella?
  • Humidity?
  • How cold is it now?
  • How warm is it now?
  • What will the weather be like tonight?
  • What will the weather be like tomorrow morning? (max. 24 h forecast)

Sport

  • Name the current football results

Hey, Siri!

This way, you call the assistant and immediately attach the question or request to it when you hold the iPhone in your hand or have it on the table.
Siri understands freely formulated questions/instructions and also answers some questions with a comment …

Example: When asked “How cold is it now?”, Siri replied: “It's 6 degrees now, but I don't think it's cold at all, Michael”.

By the way

Siri finds less than 4 degrees bitterly cold, anything above that Siri comments with “... but I don't find it cold at all”.

There is a separate database for each language.

And from the time iOS 10 was distributed, Siri commented on all temperatures above about 20 °Celsius with “hot”.

So the question “How warm is it now?” was answered with “20 degrees, … hot!” (after a few weeks, Siri is no longer used to this).
When Siri wants to be funny, she answers questions about temperature: “No matter how warm it is outside – it's always room temperature inside. Just kidding”.

Cons of Siri

  • Foreign languages do not have the same priority at Apple as the mother tongue
  • Siri is not yet as quick-witted and witty in German as in her mother tongue
  • Siri does not yet manage combined questions (only ever ask one question)
  • Siri needs (until September 2021) a good data connection for almost everything

Data Synchronisation with your local Computer

Media Content

Screenshot: Import pictures and videos

Screenshot: Import pictures and videos

After establishing the USB connection with a Windows computer, Windows asks the user whether the pictures and videos found on the iPhone should be displayed in the Explorer window or copied to the hard disk (see illustration above). Without iTunes, this is the only way to at least get pictures and videos from the iPhone onto the Windows computer.

By the way, this rudimentary backup function even works when connected to a Rasperry Pi. The editors of the computer magazine c't once presented such a solution for Linux. Better than nothing, but not a comprehensive backup.

To keep media content (books, photos, music, videos) on the iPhone in sync with a local computer, Apple's desktop software iTunes or a third-party solution is required.

Backup with iTunes, Finder or iMazing

Since macOS version Catalina (approx. May 2020), synchronisation or backup has been integrated into the Finder, i.e. Apple's file manager.
Only customers without a Mac, i.e. with a Windows computer, must continue to struggle with a not so smoothly running iTunes version. There is no comparable solution for Linux users.

For data protection reasons, German business people must avoid Apple's iCloud. Use iTunes or, even better, iMazing with USB cable or WiFi connection at home. Security-conscious private users should also do the same.

Regular Data Backup with iTunes

Abbildung: optimale Backup-Einstellung für iTunes

Illustration: Optimal backup setting for iTunes

When recharging the battery in the evening at the USB port of your PC, you can have iTunes create an encrypted backup on the hard disk or SSD (see illustration). It is also possible to synchronise your music collection on the hard disk with the iPhone.

E-Mail, Contacts, Tasks, Notes

An iCloud email account can, but does not have to be created!
PIM data such as email, addresses, tasks and notes can be easily synchronised with your existing email accounts.

For this purpose, the EAS protocol is also supported, which works with Microsoft's Outlook, but also with 1&1 Mail Business, for example.
Advantage of EAS: easy to set up and all data is available at all times while on the move (older mails are only reloaded from the server if required when “entire period” is selected for synchronisation).

Important Safety Tip

Set transport encryption “SSL/TLS” with corresponding port!

Those who have Microsoft Outlook installed locally can keep it synchronised with the iPhone via iTunes (not tested myself).
I created a separate account for Posteo because I'm still using their calendar for a while (with CalenGoo).

I have uninstalled Apple's Mail app because I use Tutanota with their own Mail app.
I have never activated iCloud Drive and will never use it because American authorities can access it at any time for no reason.
I don't support mass surveillance because it's easy to become collateral damage: Backdoor keys are rarely carefully secured and are therefore very desirable targets for criminals.

Regular Data Backup with iMazing

However, iMazing, a Swiss quality product from the Geneva-based software company DigiDNA, is much better than iTunes. I already preferred it to iTunes on the Windows notebook and it is simply a dream. iTunes, on the other hand, was sometimes more of a nightmare on the Windows notebook.

iMazing automatically backs up the data from my iPhones to my MacBook Air via WLAN every day. Without a cloud. Works like a dream.
The feature-rich and user-friendly iMazing is the best manager for iOS devices on Mac and PC.
I have been using iMazing on my Windows notebook for years because Apple's patchwork iTunes is really no fun.

Portable High-End Equipment

17.02.2020: Listening to my favourite album “The Best Of The Art Of Noise (1992)” again, 2nd track: Yebo (Mbaqanga Mix).
This is ideal for testing the low bass reproduction! Another tip: 7th track: Legacy.

This is synthesiser sound, which – taken on its own – is not objectively suitable for testing the sound quality of a music player. Electronic music sounds good on any device. But I know this album inside out and have listened to it very often on various MP3 players (constant quality encoding; dynamic data rate up to max. 320 kbit/s).

For a real objective test of the sound quality, I used music titles with acoustic instruments and very often heard musicians' voices.
The listening test CD of the hi-fi magazine Audio was also very helpful for the objective test of the acoustics.

Linear smooth frequency response

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro can really show that it has a ruler-like frequency response down to the low bass range. Otherwise, the bass would not be so abysmally deep, undistorted and clear (unfortunately, I can't measure it).

Conclusion: one of the best high-end music players – but not with the included Apple EarPods!
They have too weak a bass response, but otherwise transmit quite neutrally (writes the press).
Since I don't think much of such gimmicks, I didn't even unpack the EarPods this time.

My audio test equipment: I use the Sony MDR-EX90LP as headphones.
These in-ear headphones in studio monitor quality offer a quite undistorted reproduction.

Messaging Machine for frequent Writers

iMessage protects Privacy through End-to-End Encryption

iPhone users use iMessage to chat when privacy is important to them …

As soon as iCloud Drive is used as a backup medium, the chats and data encrypted end-to-end until then are no longer protected because they are stored unencrypted in the iCloud or the key to the iCloud is already available to the American authorities.
Whoever observes the EU-DSGVO and respects the privacy of family, friends, colleagues, customers etc., avoids the iCloud!

iMessage targeted for Years

Again and again you can read in the IT news that iPhones of journalists and other people in danger have been spied on. Often the spy software got onto the iPhone unnoticed through a security hole in iMessage.

Cryptology professor Matthew Green now recommends Apple to rewrite the code base of iMessage completely (see: Reference).

Apple has always closed security holes relatively quickly, but as long as the code of iMessage is not significantly improved, successful attacks can always occur, according to Matthew Green.

Alternative: Threema

The use of Threema is much more secure. If desired, it works without any personal data such as telephone numbers. The Threema ID generated locally on your own device is sufficient.
With Threema, you can chat end-to-end in encrypted form and make tap-proof phone calls.
Please also read my article about instant messaging …

Telephony with excellent Acoustics

The Apple iPhone 11 Pro offers excellent sound quality and supports HD Voice (Plus) – even with Voice over LTE (VoLTE).
If the person you're talking to is also using VoLTE with HD Voice (Plus), you'll experience much better sound quality than with ISDN on a landline!
You can recognise callers (and their state of mind) immediately by their voice and conversations remain more relaxed because there is no more annoying background noise.

iOS

Apple iOS, formerly also known as iPhone OS

iOS Versions after Launch of this iPhone Model

  • 17.02.2020 shipped with iOS version 13.0
  • 17.02.2020 updated to iOS version 13.4
    To be continued soon …

Software (Apps)

Integrated Apps

Stocks, App Store, Files, Settings, Reminders, FaceTime, Photos, Find Friends, Health, Home, Calendar, Camera, Maps, Compass, Contacts, Mail, Find My iPhone, Music, Messages, Notes, Podcasts, Calculator, Safari, Siri, Voice Memos, Phone, Tips, Clock, Wallet, Watch, Weather, iBooks, iCloud Drive, iTunes Store

Free Apps from Apple

Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie, GarageBand, TV and Clips are pre-installed.

Highly recommended Apps in the Apple App Store

  • 1Blocker Adblocker with Firewall by Salavat Khanov
  • CalenGoo Calendar by Dominique Andre Gunia
  • Cesium Music Player by Mike Clay
  • Date & Time Calculator by Thomas Tsopanakis
  • DB Navigator by Deutsche Bahn
  • Strongbox – KeePass & PwSafe by Mark McGill

The current list of all tested apps can be found under Mobile Apps.

Missing Software

  • App for automatic location-dependent volume control
  • real call filter as has been a matter of course on other smartphone platforms such as Symbian OS, Android OS and BlackBerry 10 OS for many years

Addendum 20.06.2021: with iOS 15, Apple will finally deliver in autumn what actually belongs ex works.

High Quality Hardware

Acoustic Properties

The acoustics are excellent! Thanks to high signal-to-noise ratio, good channel separation and low distortion, the fidelity is outstanding!

Glass Housing with Stainless Steel Frame and Chassis

The excellently crafted case feels very good and is a pleasure to hold.

High-Resolution 5.85-inch Display

This OLED display shows photos and text sharply and in natural colours. The size of the screen is sufficient to be able to work on this website on the go. I even watch some episodes of TV series on this display.

A13 Bionic Processor: one of the fastest Smartphone Processors on the World Market

I had read it before I bought the iPhone, but now I notice every day that it's true.
Normal “daily business” leaves it completely cold, everything runs smoothly and the case is never very warm.
It's a pity that Apple stopped providing an interface to evaluate the temperature of the processor or the battery a long time ago.

Face ID replaced Touch ID – unlocking is comfortable

Since the iPhone X, your face has been used to secure your personal data. The fingerprint scanner of older iPhones does not recognise its user as reliably as the infrared camera in the iPhone 11 Pro. Depending on the weather (humidity?!) and the condition of my skin, my iPhone 6s Plus/7 Plus/8 sometimes didn't recognise me and I then had to type in my very long password. My iPhone 11 Pro only doesn't recognise me if I accidentally hold it too close or too low to my face. However, children and twins should do without Face ID because they could otherwise unlock each other's devices. Hand on heart: do children need such a sensitive iPhone with a glass casing? (No!)

In the truest Sense of the Word: outstandingly good Camera

Apples Designer ignorieren jegliche Kritik und lassen die Linsen der Hauptkamera auf der Geräterückseite weiterhin ein Stück aus dem Gehäuse herausragen. Das hat seinen Grund: eine gute Optik besteht aus mehreren Linsen mit entsprechendem Abstand und die brauchen Platz! Eine plane Rückseite verschafft zum Beispiel eine Leather Case, von Apple „Leather Case” genannt. Die hat für die Linsenausbuchtung eine genau passende Öffnung und damit bekommt die Rückseite die gewünschte plane Oberfläche. Diese Kamera macht wirklich herausragend gute Fotos. Bei sehr wenig Licht sind diese etwas verrauscht, aber bei genügend Licht entspricht die Qualität der von Kompaktkameras.

Apple's designers ignore all criticism and continue to let the lenses of the main camera on the back of the device protrude a little from the housing. There is a reason for this: good optics consist of several lenses with the appropriate distance between them, and they need space! For example, the “Leather Case” by Apple provides a flat back. It has an opening for the lens bulge that fits exactly, giving the back the desired flat surface. This camera really takes outstandingly good photos. In very low light, they are a little noisy, but in sufficient light, the quality corresponds to that of compact cameras.

Localisation via GPS, Galileo, GLONASS and QZSS

Thanks to the use of four satellite systems, localisation is always possible, provided there is a clear view of the sky.

Lightning Connector and Cable

A Lightning plug can be easily and precisely inserted into the Lightning socket. Better than the Micro-USB socket that used to be common with other manufacturers.
This is as good as the USB-C sockets and plugs now common everywhere except iPhones.
If you don't care about detail and build quality, you won't miss the detail, I do.

Photo: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Gold, left side, volume buttons

Photo: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Gold, left side

Photo: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Gold, right side

Photo: Apple iPhone 11 Pro Gold, right side

fitBAG Nappa Leather Sleeve for Apple iPhone 11 Pro

No smartphone without a leather case from fitBAG

When I buy a smartphone, I always buy a leather case from fitBAG for it …

Photo: fitBAG nappa leather sleeve

Photo: black fitBAG nappa leather sleeve

Photo: fitBAG nappa leather sleeve

Photo: black fitBAG nappa leather sleeve, other side

Stainless steel and glass are susceptible to scratches. That's why I protect my iPhone with a nappa leather case from fitBAG (made in Germany).

Leather Sleeve or Leather Case for Apple iPhone 11 Pro

Glass and Stainless Steel need good Protection

You want to protect an expensive iPhone from damage. Some use leather cases, others foils. Foldable flip cases made of genuine leather are also a popular solution. The disadvantage of these products is that you can hardly feel or see the beautiful case directly with your hands. Another solution are sleeves from which you take the smartphone out to operate it. I like such sleeves from fitBAG best and that is why I have been a regular customer there for years.

 

Who wants to feel naked Glass with Stainless Steel Frame

Bags from fitBAG are not expensive despite being made to measure!

If you want to feel naked glass with a stainless steel frame in your hand, you can save the money for Apple's leather case (a whopping €59 after all)! Instead, buy a fitBAG leather case for a third of the price. Specify the iPhone model and its case dimensions +3 mm so that it is not too tight and the iPhone can be removed comfortably. After a few weeks of use, the case will widen a tiny bit, but by then the outer buttons would be heavily stressed, which is too risky for me (I'm very fussy). From many years of experience, I can assure you that fitBAG's nappa leather cases are made exactly to customer specifications.

Optimum Protection through Combination

Apple's leather case makes a beautiful leather back without a protruding camera lens!
If you have the leather case made by fitBAG with the dimensions of Apple's leather case, you have a very secure transport protection for the valuable iPhone!

Pros

  • Tempered glass front and back – buy Apple's leather case if you prefer a leather back
  • Stainless steel housing frame in surgical quality
  • absolutely flawless processing quality
  • very efficient coordination of software and hardware
  • good reception performance when using LTE
  • excellent noise-free sound quality when telephoning (supports HD Voice & HD Voice Plus = EVS)
  • supports VoLTE (extremely fast connection setup, battery-saving, HD Voice & HD Voice Plus = EVS)
  • outstandingly good acoustics even when playing music, with a linear-smooth frequency response from 18 Hz to almost 20,000 Hz
  • Reliability and stability of the operating system
  • Storage with secure hardware encryption
  • Apple Messenger iMessage for chatting with end-to-end encryption (only if you avoid the iCloud!)
  • Face ID quickly unlocks the iPhone, can also be used for purchases in the App Store (if desired, no compulsion)
  • Software keyboard with intelligent word suggestion algorithm – BlackBerry converts discover the ingenious role model!
  • Display with excellent performance in resolution, brightness and colour fidelity
  • 4 GB RAM
  • Model with 512 GB internal memory also available in Germany
  • Very user-friendly
  • Safari web browser with very fast page loading and reading mode for suitable web pages
  • Very good camera with full automatic and few, but very useful functions
  • Ideal for smartphone testers: screenshot by pressing the right side key and upper volume key simultaneously
  • ex works no bloatware

Cons

  • Reception characteristics with GSM and UMTS only average
  • Apple's music app has been broken optimised (impractical, many use the Cesium Music Player for this reason)
  • Switching to silent mode only with mechanical switch, that's really old-fashioned!
  • Camera shutter release is much too loud and therefore annoying during screenshots (cannot be turned down!)
  • no automatic location or time-dependent switching of ringtone volume possible (has been available for Android for 10 years)
  • Memory not expandable via memory card slot
  • not available with 1 TB storage
  • Storage size suitable for everyday use and future-proof extremely expensive (at least 256 GB are a must due to lack of expandability!)
  • no exchangeable battery – battery not easily exchangeable by the customer
  • enabling the programming interface "Core NFC" grants only minimal access to the near-field radio chip (1)

Note

(1): Just one of many practical NFC applications that unfortunately cannot be used with the iPhone:
eTicket (time ticket for local public transport) via the RMV app in order to check the expiry date of the ticket subscription.
Until Apple comes to its senses, this function is reserved for Android users. Even consumer protection in Canada could not prevail.

Conclusion: limited recommendable!

Because of some Apple peculiarities, no blanket recommendation is possible.
If you are willing to compromise and accept the disadvantages (perhaps even because of the unbeatable advantages), you will get a very nice and solid smartphone!

Not all customers make these compromises

Enough storage space only for a hefty surcharge

The maximum memory expansion is worth the extra price to me – with less memory, an iPhone is completely unusable for me!
I generally use smartphones as a jukebox for my large and still growing music collection and, since quite decent cameras have been built in, also as an always-on camera. And as a document scanner, the iPhone with the right app is excellent. But the memory is not expandable, so the model with the largest built-in memory is a must.

High Surcharge for better Service in Case of a Warranty Claim

Despite Apple Care+ insurance, in the event of a claim there are allegedly no new devices, but repaired used devices. That's why I no longer take out insurance.

Alternatives

Similar Models and Successors

  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max – Glass housing, stainless steel frame, 4 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 6.46-inch OLED display, triple camera (tele/WW/SWW)
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro – Glass housing, angular stainless steel frame, 6 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 6.1-inch OLED display, triple camera + Lidar, 5G
  • Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max – Glass housing, angular stainless steel frame, 6 GB RAM, max. 512 GB storage, 6.7-inch OLED display, triple camera + Lidar, 5G

Memory expansion impossible – don't save at the wrong end

Expansion of the internal memory is not possible – there is no slot for a memory card! 64 GB is a bad joke these days, because:

  • the smartphone camera takes excellent photos in high resolution
  • the MP3 music collection grows and grows
  • eBooks and audio books also need space

If you underestimate the amount of memory you need, you will not be able to use your iPhone as intended for long, then it will limit you and become virtually unusable.

Only if you want to use an iPhone as a luxury phone without collecting pictures or music will 64 GB be enough in the long run.
If your interests change later and you do want to store music collections or photo albums, you're screwed …

But there is the iCloud, isn't there?

Storage outsourcing to a cloud requires a reliably available data connection so that required data can be downloaded quickly at any time. Without a WLAN connection, this will be more expensive in the long run than the additional price for an iPhone with enough memory, as real mobile flat rates remain a luxury in Germany. Talking about additional price: 5 GB are free you have already paid for with the price of the device – they are neither enough for backups nor for further data collections. 0.99 EUR/month (50 GB) or 2.99 EUR/month (200 GB) are not expensive, but this is meant to encourage the population to upload their personal data!

You should care that all secret services have access to the iCloud at any time – for business use (EU-DSGVO) and also to protect privacy, the use of the iCloud is therefore absolutely taboo!
The transport encryption of the iCloud is very weak! TLS 1.0 is supported (perhaps forced by the NSA as a backdoor substitute?)!
“Nice service” for intelligence services and criminals worldwide!

Also bear in mind that iMessage conversations are only encrypted absolutely securely as long as no backup is made to the iCloud! As soon as the iCloud is used for a backup, these iMessage conversations are available to American authorities unencrypted!

Reference

Tech Specs about Apple iPhone 11 Pro: Apple Support Website

iMessage: Code better be completely rewritten
heise online news 07/2021 (German-language)
Matthew Green: A case against security nihilism

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