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This iPhone 11 Night mode photo sample is going to blow your mind

Updated Sep 18th, 2019 2:27PM EDT
iPhone 11 Pro Max Review
Image: Apple

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Well, the early reviews are in and it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that bloggers and tech journalists love Apple’s new iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max. Early reviewers rarely say otherwise, of course, but this time around they also have a fairly major upgrade to work with. Early on in the rumor cycle, it appeared as though this year’s big iPhone update was going to be a fairly minor one. Early details from insiders were anything but impressive and leaked renders showed an iPhone 11 series that looked almost exactly like the iPhone XR and iPhone XS models from 2018. As it turns out, all of those renders completely missed the many subtle design changes Apple made to its 2019 iPhone models, which makes total sense when you consider the fact that they were based merely on basic design files that were stolen from the Foxconn factory where Apple’s iPhones are manufactured. Those files contain only the basic dimensions and details so all of the subtle changes that Apple made were nowhere to be found.

While the new design of Apple’s iPhone 11 series smartphones is indeed sleek, the power upgrade and the new features are where the phones really shine. At the top of everyone’s lists will likely be the huge battery life improvements that amount to as much as an additional 5 hours of usage time on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. But there’s plenty more that’s ready to wow us when the new iPhone 11 series hits store shelves on Friday, September 20th, and it appears as though the new cameras on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro really shine this year.

All three of Apple’s new iPhone 11 models have received huge camera upgrades for 2019. The base iPhone 11 gets a new dual-lens setup instead of the single-lens camera that was on the iPhone XR, and the dual-lens rear shooter from the iPhone XS and XS Max has been upgraded to a triple-lens camera system on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. We’ll spend plenty of time discussing camera performance in the coming weeks, but there’s one new feature of Apple’s upgraded cameras that we want to focus on today: Night mode.

We all know Apple was once the clear industry leader where smartphone cameras are concerned, but it had fallen far behind rivals like Huawei and Google in recent years. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models were expected to once again put Apple on par with its top rivals, and early reviews suggest that is indeed the case.

There’s one area in particular where Apple’s new iPhone 11 cameras are showing the biggest performance gains, and it’s all thanks to Google. The “Night Sight” feature Google introduced on its Pixel smartphones has led to huge low-light photography advancements across the industry, and now Apple’s iPhones have finally gotten in on the action with the new “Night mode” feature. Like Night Sight and all the other copycat features out there, Apple’s Night mode on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models use multiple exposures and some wonderful software stitching to dramatically improve the quality of photos shot in low light. How dramatic are the improvements? They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, but these two pictures are worth far more than that:

Here’s a closer look at that second photo:

All we can say is… wow.

In-depth comparisons like this one from TechCrunch show that Apple’s new Night mode on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones doesn’t always measure up to Night Sight on Google’s Pixel 3, but it’s still pretty mind-blowing that an iPhone 11 can snap a photo in almost total darkness and the image above is the result.

Zach Epstein
Zach Epstein Executive Editor

Zach Epstein has been the Executive Editor at BGR for more than 10 years. He manages BGR’s editorial team and ensures that best practices are adhered to. He also oversees the Ecommerce team and directs the daily flow of all content. Zach first joined BGR in 2007 as a Staff Writer covering business, technology, and entertainment.

His work has been quoted by countless top news organizations, and he was recently named one of the world's top 10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes. Prior to BGR, Zach worked as an executive in marketing and business development with two private telcos.