The bump is big. It’s inescapable. The bump will distract you. And the bump is not that bad. It’s visible on both the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro, but the bump on the Pro seems far more visible thanks to the three cameras crammed into the bump, and Apple’s decision to make the glass around it glossy.
You will notice this bump. And you will be viscerally aware of the fact that its calling attention to the only real noticeable difference between the 11 and the 11 Pro.
Oh sure, as we discussed yesterday, the battery life on the Pro is expected to be superior, the display should be nicer, and the charger will charge faster — but none of those things grab the eye the way the three trypophobia-inducing cameras do.
The cameras are the stars of the show. It’s why Apple spent quite a bit of time talking about “computational photography mad science” and Deep Fusion, a future software feature that will take nine images at once with the Pro’s cameras and then crunch them into a single super sharp image.
It’s why we heard a lot about night time photography and sat through an entire video shot on the Pro’s three cameras, plus another demo that showed off shooting with all three cameras at once.
Apple wants you to be hyper-conscious of these cameras and the bump — the bump highlights them nicely.
I’m not sure it’s the worst thing in the world either. If you survived the notch and the X’s original big bump, you’ll survive the bump on the new iPhones. The lenses are about as tall as the lenses on my X, there’s just a lot more of them. The square itself is less one big bulging bump and more a very slight rise largely exacerbated by the two-tone glass finish. If the glass on the backs of the 11 and 11 Pro were all one texture, the bump conversation would be nearly negligible.
But Apple decided to get into the matte glass game, so here we are.
The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max both have matte glass backs that pick up fingerprints fast and behave, initially, exactly as you’d expect matte glass to behave when met with hundreds of greasy journalist hands.
However, Apple applied an oleophobic finish to the glass so, in my experience, it seems very easy to clean the glass back up with the wipe of a cloth. It’s silly, but that’s a big deal. Matte glass devices tend to get real ugly real fast because they absorb finger grease so quickly.
I didn’t get a lot of time with the Pro — certainly not enough to decide if it’s worth a $500 premium — but the time I did spend was spent with the cameras.
Apple was eager to point out the crucial control the 11 Pro camera and video apps provide. And sure enough, the Pros I handled gave me more fine-tuned control over the cameras than I’ve ever had before from an iPhone — at least while using Apple’s camera app.
Apple has absolutely been behind every other big phone maker when it comes to the camera. Google got to superior night photography before Apple, and Huawei and Samsung both beat it to the triple-camera punch. But Apple’s finally punching back, and while we won’t know how well it succeeds until we actually review the 11 Pro and Pro Max, we do know one thing right this minute: Apple really wants us to care about its phone cameras. So it’s given them a lil’ boost.