Is the iPhone 11 pro worth it?

The Original iPhone in 2007
Me and my shiny new toy in 2007

I don’t typically like to spend a lot of money on tech. I actually got my first iPhone in 2007 by winning an online contest. I usually stick with a phone for a long time before upgrading. Until recently, I was still using an iPhone 6s. But 2 things happened: My iPhone 6s battery started die, and Apple released the iPhone 11 pro. It was time to ask, “Is upgrading to the iPhone 11 Pro worth it?”

Me and my shiny new toy in 2020!

The smart phone has changed our lives in so many ways. I think that’s obvious by now. I try to be judicious in my iPhone use. I strongly dislike the ball and chain aspect of constantly checking my social media apps (with the exception of instagram!). But the thing I have always loved most about the iPhone is the quality of the camera, and the ability to take great pictures, all the time.

I’m an amateur photographer so I don’t like spending a lot of money on camera equipment either. I’ve had the same Nikon D90 for 10 years, and it has served me well. But at a certain point, I started to notice that my iPhone photos at times were looking better than the Nikon photos, and the iPhone is so much less cumbersome. I started to imagine that a day would come that the iPhone camera would be the only one I needed. I started to research the iPhone 11 Pro and started to realize that the day had come!

So is the iPhone 11 PRO worth it?

A resounding yes! I am having so much fun with this phone, and I honestly don’t feel like I have scratched the surface of what it can do yet. My favorite feature by far is using Portrait mode. Although it was designed for shooting acutual portraits, I’ve been having a great time just shooting objects around the house:

Oranges on the Counter taken with an iPhone 11 ProKitty Fistbump, taken with iPhone 11 proAvocado and Coffee, taken with an iPhone 11 Pro

Actual portraits look great as well:

iPhone 11 Pro portrait of Peter in the yogurt aisle at Harris Teeter
Peter at the Teeter with Yogurt

The Portrait modes of studio light, contour light and stage light can create some really interesting effects on the fly. My kids and I have been addicted to making silly and dramatic selfies in the high key mono setting:


iPhone 11 high key mono selfie

It’s also interesting to use the stage light setting to make things around the house look very dramatic:

I haven’t really tested too many landscape shots, but this so far is my favorite. It was taken on an empty road, driving home after a Saturday night shift:

And then there’s night mode:
Anna and me, selfie at the skating rinkSkating at Skatezone, taken with iPhone 11 PROAnna Making a funny face roller skatingSkating at Skatezone, taken with iPhone 11 PRO

Overall, the iPhone 11 Pro has a really fun camera, and I think I am only just getting started on maximizing what it can do. It comes at a very hefty price tag for my frugal budget, but considering I was getting ready to upgrade my DLSR camera, I think this was a wise purchase. It would be a great investment for a small business owner, particular ones who rely on posting great photos on social media.