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iPhone 11 Pro: One week in

Prof. Rom Feria



The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max will be out in the Philippines on the 25th of October, with pre-orders starting on the 18th. As I have mentioned in my previous article, if you have last year’s model, upgrading might not be as attractive, unless you really want the better camera and better battery performance. If you are coming from the iPhone 7 or below, then by all means, upgrade — it is very well worth it.

Filipinos have four ways of getting the new iPhone 11 models — calling a friend overseas (friend can also be defined someone from Greenhills or one of the online shops), or buying it from Apple’s online store, or from your brick and mortar authorized resellers, or your favorite telcos.

iPhone 11 models from Smart and Globe have this unfortunate feature — they lock BOTH SIMs, eSIM and NanoSIM. This really defeats the purpose of having dual-SIMs — what is the point of having two SIMs connected to the same network, unless Smart and Globe are hoping that everyone has a separate personal and work/business SIM.

You are better off getting it straight from Apple or from your authorized resellers. The models are officially unlocked! You can use the nanoSIM for Smart, and the eSIM on Globe, if you have a Globe postpaid account. Yes, to date, only Globe supports eSIM, but only for postpaid accounts. I honestly do not know why Smart has yet to support it. I guess this is also why the Apple Watch GPS+Cellular is not officially available in the Philippines — which is a bummer!

Getting an iPhone 11 from overseas might get you a better deal in terms of prices (they’re often cheaper, no local tax), but there’s a caveat. The models I see sold in Greenhills are from Hong Kong, i.e. iPhone 11 (A2223), iPhone 11 Pro (A2220, A2217), which have dual nanoSIMs (no eSIM), which is entirely different from the rest of the world. The risk is that these models might not be serviced by local Apple authorized service centers, since they differ from the local models: iPhone 11 (A2221), iPhone 11 Pro (A2215, A2218).

If you decide to get the iPhone 11 models, at least you have an idea as to which one to get and where.

Setting it up

In almost all the new iPhones I get, I start from scratch, i.e., I don’t restore from back-up. However, ever since the Apple Watch was released, it was all encrypted back-up and restore for me. Here’s what I usually do with a new iPhone.

1.  Unpair the Apple Watch — this creates a backup.
2.  Do an encrypted back-up of the iPhone by tethering it to a Mac. This saves most encrypted data (Apple Watch backup, health data, WiFi passwords, email passwords), with the exception of Apple Pay data, and in some cases your bank app data.
3.  Turn on the new iPhone — update to the same iOS version as the backup. And restore from the encrypted backup.
4.  Pair the Apple Watch with the new iPhone.

One week in…

Coming from the iPhone XS, I find this new iPhone 11 Pro to be amazing. The battery life is way better, and the camera is better, although using the ultra-wide lens takes getting used to (yeah, you need to know when to use it… properly!). The Night Mode is really what its hyped up to be — finally, the iPhone catches up with Google’s NightSight, but with better implementation and user experience. I can’t wait for iOS 13.2 when Deep Fusion gets activated on the iPhone 11 models.

I have yet to try the camera for video, but coming from the quality of the photos, I am sure that the videos will come out great, too.

Since I have an AirPods paired with the iPhone, I rarely use the speakers — which I’ve heard are even better. This is another feature that I might just try when I get my game controller for those Apple Arcade games.

The new A13 Bionic processor is really fast! If I am not mistaken, the storage used by Apple is faster, too. I noticed this when saving data — there’s lag when using the iPhone XS, which is non-existent on the iPhone 11 Pro — or maybe it is just a illusion brought to us by iOS 13.1.2.

Yes, I am loving this new iPhone 11 Pro. I cannot wait for iOS 13.2 that brings Deep Fusion for better photos, among other things.

So what are you waiting for? Are you upgrading or not?

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