The tentatively named iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max smartphones will succeed Apple’s current iPhone XR, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max family at an event next month. The new handsets will reportedly heavily focus on improvements in the camera department. According to Bloomberg, the high-end models will sport significantly upgraded video recording capabilities, “getting them closer to professional video cameras,” and be outfitted with a third sensor for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos and videos.
Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman and Debby Wu have summarized their expectations in terms of new iPhone features. I’ve excerpted and summarized the best bits of their reporting.
A new coprocessor
You don’t need me to tell you this as it goes without saying that each of the three upcoming smartphones will be powered by the new Apple-designed A13 Bionic processor.
All of the new iPhones will have faster A13 processors. There’s a new component in the chip, known internally as the ‘AMX’ or ‘matrix’ co-processor, to handle some math-heavy tasks, so the main chip doesn’t have to.
Now, that’s really interesting.
All iPhones from iPhone X onward have included dedicated machine learning hardware, called Neural engine. It’s included in the A11 Bionic and A12 Bionic chips and it’s almost certainly going to be embedded in the new A13 Bionic chip.
Gurman is speculating that the new matrix coprocessor may handle computer vision and augmented reality, which Apple has been pushing as a core feature of its mobile devices, but those functions are already hardware-accelerated on iPhones with the Neural engine.
I’m so eager to learn more about this!
The “pro” models are expected to feature a triple-lens rear camera while the iPhone XR successor should upgrade to a dual-lens rear setup. The wide-angle lens will be used, among other things, for a perspective-correction feature that Gurman previously mentioned.
Called Smart Frame, it would reportedly capture the area around the viewfinder so that the user is able to adjust the framing or perform automatic perspective and crop corrections in post.
The extra camera will let users zoom out and capture a larger field of view. The sensors will capture three images simultaneously and use new artificial intelligence software to automatically correct the combined photo if, for example, a person is accidentally cut out of one of the shots.
For privacy reasons, the extra information will be automatically discarded after a set period of time. Gurman also states that the triple-lens camera will help improve your low-light photography and take higher-resolution pictures “rivaling some traditional cameras”.
Major video recording improvements
The high-end models will rock significantly upgraded video recording capabilities that the report describes as getting them closer to professional video cameras. “Apple has developed a feature that allow users to retouch, apply effects, alter colors, reframe and crop video as it is being recorded live on the device,” the article has it. The front-facing shooter on 2019’s iPhone models could gain improved slo-mo recording at 120fps.
Bilateral wireless charging
We’ve heard this one before.
A new reverse wireless charging system similar to Galaxy S10 will let you charge the device wirelessly and charge other devices via your iPhone’s internal battery, wirelessly. An example given includes leaving the AirPods wireless charging case on the back of a new pro iPhone.
Multi-angled Face ID
The TrueDepth camera will be improved to capture data from a wider filed of view so that users can unlock the handsets more easily. According to the report, this will let you unlock your iPhone even when the devices are laid flat on a table. That could appease users who complain about Face ID not being a compelling Touch ID replacement for some use cases.
iPhones and sheen go together like a hand and glove, but don’t count on the next models to shine like a diamond due to their frosted glass appearance akin to Google’s Pixel line.
The high-end iPhones will look nearly identical to the current models from the front and feature the same size screens, but at least some colors on the back will have a matte finish versus the existing glossy look.
That’s one change I’m all for.
Aside from the aforementioned major improvements, a bunch of little things and under-the-hood tweaks should help improve user experience across the board. The cover glass will be stronger so the new models should hold up better when dropped. Enhanced water resistance will let them be submerged under water far longer than 30 minutes.
3D Touch is a goner, say hello to its replacement — Haptic Touch.
There also won’t be 5G support on any of these new phones, but a 5G modem is coming to next year’s iPhones. The iPhone XR successor will add a new green finish and a second rear lens for both optical zoom and much better depth-of-field portraiture photography.
What do you make of all this? Would the aforesaid improvements be enough to persuade you to upgrade from your existing iPhone model?
Do let us know by sharing your thoughts and observations in the comments down below.