Apple's new iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are emotions in a way for the tech company: they are bigger, heavier and thicker than last year's models, bucking the usual trend where Apple is trying to release ever thinner and lighter phones. Not by chance, the new real-life iPhones also promise significantly better battery life than the iPhone XS and XS Max: four hours better on the smaller phone and five hours better on the larger one.
For years, people have been asking why companies not only make phones a little bigger and heavier to offer better battery life. And with the iPhone 11 Pro series, it looks like Apple is finally taking notice.
To put the jump in the battery in perspective, the latest upgrades were for Apple iPhone 7 (two hours better battery life than 6S), iPhone X (two hours better than iPhone 7) and XS and XS Max (30 minutes and 1
However, it is a feature we have seen before: last year's XS phones faded in comparison to the iPhone XR, which is perhaps the longest lasting phone Apple has ever made. How? Because Apple made the decision to sell a larger and heavier phone – with a larger battery – that combined the same efficiency improvements that Apple did on the XS phones.
Improved efficiency plus a larger battery is obviously a winning formula for great battery life, and with the iPhone 11 Pro models it looks like Apple is applying the lesson inversely. The new 11 Pro phones are almost as thick and heavy as the standard 11 – the smaller iPhone 11 Pro is almost a quarter inch thicker and almost half an ounce heavier than the XS – probably because Apple has added meatier batteries to the new models.
We probably won't know for sure how big the batteries in the new iPhones are until someone rips apart, and probably the numbers still won't compare to anything like Samsung's Galaxy S10 and Note phones, which top out at 4,500 mAh – batteries that are almost guaranteed to be much larger than what Apple offers. And that's to say nothing about the (unfortunately un-funded) 18,000 mAh monster Energizer wanted to do. But all improvements here are welcome, especially if the battery requirements are in progress.
Apple says improving the batteries themselves is only part of the story: the company also emphasizes that the new screens in the 11 Pro are "up to 15 percent more energy efficient," and that iOS 13 itself is designed to run on the new phones more efficiently, and there's also a new custom power management unit (PMU) that Apple says is the key to offering improved battery life, but as we saw last year with the XS phones, that type of upgrade can only get things done so far. At a certain point, it comes down to how big the battery is.
Apple has historically been striving for thinness with an aggressive mindset over the last decade. and its laptops are thinner at the price of ports and a problematic keyboard. With the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max it looks like a tt the trend is finally reversing by prioritizing function over form.