The iPhone’s camera has always been near the top of the list of the device’s standout features, and this year is no different. Today at an event in Cupertino, California, Apple announced three new iPhone models, all of them with redesigned cameras.
It’s not the first time Apple has launched more than two iPhones—a regular phone and a supersize version—at the same time. Starting in 2017, with the big reveal of the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and newly-designed iPhone X, the company seemed intent on doling out more smartphone options and reserving the most advanced features for the priciest phones at the very high end.
Each of the new handsets—the flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max, the smaller iPhone 11 Pro, and the standard iPhone 11—features a design that looks similar to previous iPhone X models. Sizes will also follow the design of last year’s iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR. The iPhone 11 Pro is smallest, with a 5.8-inch OLED screen that packs a few extra pixels and improved (brighter) color; Apple calls it a “Super Retina XDR display.” The standard iPhone 11 is a third of an inch larger with a regular OLED Retina display, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max clocks in with a phablet-ey “Super Retina XDR” display size of 6.5 inches.
All of the displays will have Apple’s trademark notch cutout up top, which holds a 7-megapixel selfie camera and the sensors needed for Face ID, Apple’s facial recognition unlocking feature. It should ID faces a little better, with a wider field of view and some improved sensors to detect your lovely punim even if you’re in an oddly lit place.
The glass on the back contours around the cameras and Apple claims it’s the “toughest glass” in a smartphone. The Pro models will have a soft-touch matte glass design that won’t attract fingerprints quite as much.
All three iPhone 11 models are up for preorder this Friday at 5 am Pacific. The standard iPhone 11 starts at $699 and the Pro models start at $999, with a $100 extra charge for the Max version. The 2018 iPhone XR is also still available, now at $599, and the 2017 iPhone 8 now costs $449.
Apple is not shaking up the design of the iPhone this year, but there are some significant camera changes. The rear camera’s lenses are situated in a molded square area on the back of the phone. The iPhone Pro models will have three cameras in that square and the standard iPhone 11 will have just two, both 12-megapixel. One of those lenses is a standard lens. Like the Samsung Galaxy S10 and a few other Android phones, the second lens will offer a 120-degree ultra-wide view, letting you “zoom out” 2x and see more of a landscape. The extra camera on the Pro lets you “zoom in” 2x, as well.