Tech giant Apple unveiled three new iPhone models at its glitzy headquarters in California on Wednesday promising faster performance, increased battery life and revolutionary camera technology.
But industry experts warn the new series is missing a key component arch rivals Samsung and LG’s models aren’t: 5G.
The next generation mobile network has already started being rolled out in Australian capital cities and it’s expected most parts of the country will have higher speed access in the next couple of years.
Poor connectivity is a common bugbear for local mobile users, and anyone who signs up for a contract with this latest iPhone will have inferior speeds compared to others with access to 5G.
It’s an omission comparison site Finder’s money expert, Angus Kidman, says is disappointing considering the hefty price tags — iPhone 11 will set you back $1199, iPhone 11 Pro $1749, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max will cost $1899.
“People always want their phone to be faster because we’ve rapidly gone from just making calls to watching video,” Mr Kidman told news.com.au.
“We want high speed connection and I think there’s an expectation that if you’re going to pay $1900 for a phone then you should get premium service from it and, in network terms, that’s not going to be the case.”
Although 4G speeds are usually fast enough to download songs or stream video content, the older network commonly fails in crowded areas such as sporting events or concerts — a problem 5G promises to address.
In the past, Aussies have usually upgraded their phones once their two-year contract was up but research from Finder shows consumers are now holding on to their devices for more than three years.
“I’d be saying to anyone buying a new phone now make sure you get something that’s 5G capable because it’s going to give you better functionality for longer,” Mr Kidman said.
“Samsung was probably the first major brand to come out with 5G, there are some LG models out there as well.
“At the moment very few people have a 5G phone but the expectation is that the next premium device you buy, you’d want 5G built into it.”
In speed terms, Mr Kidman said there was very little difference between this model and Apple’s last model.
But EFTM tech commentator Trevor Long said 5G is still a limited network in Australia and the promise of next generation speeds would be problematic for the tech giant. The network rollout is still in its early stages, and even in the nation’s most populated city, only a handful of suburbs have coverage.
“It feels like that would be something Apple would want to avoid. They don’t want a disappointed customer buying a phone with a feature they simply can’t use,” Mr Long told news.com.au.
“It needs to mature more, we need to wait another year before 5G is getting a little better and that’s when it would make sense to have a 5G phone.”
Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing Phil Schiller said the “iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are the most powerful and advanced smartphones we have ever made.”
And the company’s chief executive Tim Cook told a packed media event the phones are “jam packed with new capabilities and an incredible new design”.
The iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch Retina display and powerful new camera capabilities.
A new triple-camera system provides a pro-level camera experience with an ultra wide, wide and telephoto camera, delivering improvements to lowlight photography and offering the highest quality video in a smartphone that is great for shooting action videos.
The ultra wide camera captures four times more scene, great for taking landscape or architecture photos. The new wide sensor with 100 per cent focus pixels and advanced software enables night mode (allowing the user to take photos in the dark) and delivers huge improvements to photos shot in indoor and outdoor lowlight environments, resulting in brighter images with natural colours and reduced noise.
The triple-camera system takes portrait mode to a new level with the ability to choose wide and telephoto framing, enabling portrait mode with a wider field of view, great for taking portraits of multiple people. The telephoto camera features a larger ƒ/2.0 aperture to capture 40 per cent more light compared to iPhone Xs for better photos and videos.
The iPhone 11 allows users to easily record video without switching out of photo mode with “quicktake”, by simply holding the shutter button to start recording.
Everyone’s selfies are about to get better with the “truedepth” camera that now records 4K video at up to 60 fps and 120 fps slow motion.
Pet lovers will be thrilled that “portrait mode” now also works with animals, not just humans.
FAST AND DURABLE
The powerful Apple-designed A1 bionic chip is the fastest chip of any smartphone.
The new models also have increased battery life. The iPhone 11 lasts an hour longer than the iPhoneXR, meanwhile the high performance Pro models — Apple’s most advanced iPhone to date — give users five extra hours of battery life per day.
The most powerful devices are also designed to be durable. iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature the toughest glass ever in a smartphone and are water resistant for up to four metres for up to 30 minutes, and are protected against everyday spills like coffee or juice.