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Good News My New iPhone 11 256 GB: Purchase Process, Experience and Review

JollyLNB

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The decision to switch to iOS has been outlined in this thread. Also, I will NOT be retiring my Xiaomi Redmi Note 5 in the coming months or years as I feel some things (particularly file transferring and management) can only be done on an Android device. This will be a very long post.

WHY I THINK THE iPHONE 11 IS THE BEST MAINSTREAM/VALUE-FOR-MONEY iPHONE IN 2021


I decided to buy an iPhone 11 over other iPhones because of the following reasons:
  • It is a significant value upgrade over the Xʀ which, while a good device and the most popular smartphone in the world in 2018, did not have that great of a display and lacked a lot of features. The Xs and Xs Max were ruled out. I felt it was not worth to spend less money on an older device that was good but not good enough.
  • At the same time the 11 is extremely close to the 11 Pro (Max) in its feature set and there is almost nothing on the Pro models that the 11 does not have. The Pros are way more expensive as well, even for the starting variant, which is well above the highest-storage 256GB variant I chose.
  • The iPhone SE 2020 is an awesome device for a very low price, on par with the 11/12 series, but only for those who like small form factors and absolutely insist on having the home button. I needed the new design, Face ID and dual cameras; it was not for me.
  • Moreover, I think the iPhone 12 series is too expensive, too hyped and not worth the money. True, 5G is rolling out at a steady pace, but it will be 3 years at least before I can realistically appreciate its coverage. No doubt, if you can blow ₹1.5 lakh on an iPhone, and/or if you are a celebrity, a social media influencer or simply a rich kid, I will recommend nothing less than the iPhone 12 Pro Max (or the iPhone 12 Pro if it feels too big). But for someone buying their first iPhone, there is no beating the iPhone 11, even in 2021, unless you think 5G and an OLED display is important enough for you to buy the 12 at a significant price increase.
  • Above all, the iPhone 11 is the only model to be available in purple, and I simply love that colour. No way I was buying any other iPhone colour, not when this one is around.
I would also like to comment on the storage. It goes without saying that 64GB is way too less even in today’s cloud world. With my Android phone, despite a 128GB SD card, I had to transfer photos to my external hard disk every couple of months. iPhones are never going to have an SD card slot, so 128GB is the bare minimum, but I intended to transfer all the camera photos from my old phone to the iPhone (though not the other screenshots, videos or other files, which stay on my old phone), so I went for 256GB to be absolutely sure. Also, I do not want to pay too much for iCloud.

THE PURCHASE

I am fortunate to study in Singapore (and now work, for my internship) since it is served by three big Apple Stores, in Orchard Road, Marina Bay Sands (the world’s only floating Apple Store) and the Jewel Changi Airport. All are world-famous tourist spots you tend to associate with Singapore, and they are exactly the kind of luxury place where you would expect to find a first-party Apple Store. This remains a dream in India. But my buying an iPhone directly from Apple was partly a practical decision and partly an emotional one.

Now, I have to say that AD, my friend and fellow student at the Nanyang Technological University, where I study, interned at Apple a few months ago. I admit it is largely thanks to her that I went ahead with this purchase. She had kept her iPhone 7 for many years and decided to upgrade to the iPhone 12 Pro in time for her birthday in November 2020, of course after receiving a huge employee discount. I had no such advantage or discount but that did not stop me as I was determined. It was her strong recommendation that I buy only directly from Apple since the local online sellers like Lazada and Shopee do not stock products directly from Apple the way Amazon and Flipkart do in India, and third-party resellers cannot be counted on. Therefore, heeding her advice, I decided to buy it from the Apple website and collect it from the Apple Store in Orchard Road.

On Sunday, 7 February, I placed the order for a 256GB purple iPhone 11, and on the evening of Monday, 8 February, I collected it and set it up at home using iTunes, my new iPad (which I bought two months ago) and my old phone.

THE INITIA(LISA)TION

You may know by know that Apple no longer provides charging adapters or EarPods in the box, so all that was there other than the documentation, the SIM eject tool and the iPhone itself was a Lightning-to-USB-C cable, which was not useful for me since none of my chargers use USB-C. Fortunately my iPad came with an 18W charger so that is what I use, along with a regular Lightning-to-USB charger I bought in January. Anyway, no charger in the box is better any day than the measly 5W brick earlier provided with the 11.

I also bought a transparent case, a transparent ceramic screen protector and a Lightning-to-3.5mm connector, along with a Lightning-to-EarPods headset. Of course, this only increased the base price, but there was no problem since I bought all these (including the iPhone itself) with my internship salary.

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Regarding carriers, my decision was simple. Unlike in India, where Airtel, Jio and more recently Vi (Vodafone Idea) have eSIM support, in Singapore, only M1, the smallest of the three big networks, supports it. The two bigger networks, Singtel and StarHub, support only physical SIMs. This was actually a blessing for me since I use Singtel. (In fact, I am interning at NCS, a technology company owned by Singtel.) So it was as simple as inserting my Singtel 4G SIM in the iPhone and keeping my Airtel SIM in my Android phone, which I use only for OTPs and bank SMSes. I did not have to bother about registering for the eSIM service and having to wait for it to be activated.

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I must mention a word about Quick Start. It can only be used if you have an existing iPhone or iPad, but I do have an iPad that I bought in December 2020. In a step as simple as scanning an image on the iPhone with the iPad’s camera, all my Apple ID information, saved Wi-Fi passwords, iCloud data and apps and settings were transferred to the iPhone in a matter of minutes. It is another small way in which Apple strives to create a seamless experience for its customers.

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I am not going to spend too much time talking over the obvious details, namely the 6.1" Liquid Retina display with True Tone, A13 Bionic chip, dual Wide and Ultra Wide cameras, Face ID and TrueDepth camera, and the absolute pleasure to use that is iOS 14. That, by the way, brings with it vital features like App Library that are simply invaluable to people like me shifting over from Android and suddenly finding they cannot arrange apps the way they want with a certain number of apps in each row and folder. This, along with Spotlight Search, is a lifesaver and a big way to avoid the messy home screens that have otherwise been synonymous with iOS.

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I will, however, mention the impact of Face ID and Apple Pay on me. Not only is Face ID much more effortless than the Touch ID that I have on my iPad (even though it will not work with a mask in this pandemic age), but its integration with Apple Pay is a revelation to me. In one tap and one look at the TrueDepth camera, I can pay for MRT (Metro) trains, buses and contactless payment terminals which would require a credit card to use. Of course, this is bearing in mind that Singapore’s advanced public transport systems and their payment methods are a distant dream in India, but I have to say that I am greatly impacted by the convenience.

There will no detailed elaborations about specifications like display, build quality and battery life—to which I have only one thing to say: Apple actively ensures that you get the very best out of the money you pay, and in these matters, it remains second to none.

Instead I would like to share an incident which demonstrates how Apple cares about its customers.


Many people switching over from Android to iOS are afraid they will lose their WhatsApp chats. Thankfully I was well aware of this and went ahead with buying a licence for third-party backup software. I used Backuptrans, which may look very antiquated and dated, but actually does a fantastic job, unlike Dr.Fone, which is good otherwise but refused to recognise my Xiaomi phone because it was unable to install a Connector app. Backuptrans has detailed instructions and tutorials on its website at every step of the way. This is something I strongly recommend for anyone considering buying an iPhone. Switching to iOS, despite popular perception, does NOT necessarily mean that you should sacrifice your precious WhatsApp chats.

But that is not even the point! After backing up all my chats and merging them with my iPhone backup in iTunes, I was ready to restore the backup to my new iPhone. The process was all but done when, to my complete horror, the hours-old device fell into a boot loop. It would show the Apple logo and switch off, then show the Apple logo and go blank, ad infinitum. Shell-shocked, I rushed to the Apple Store at Orchard Road, where they kindly offered a replacement iPhone within 14 days of purchase, free of charge, in case this one could not be rescued. After speaking to Apple Support, I had to force it to enter recovery mode while connected to iTunes. It turns out it was downloading the iOS 14.4 software update. After several hours of tension, to my immense relief, the iPhone updated itself and turned on as if nothing had happened. Not only that, but all my files, settings, etc. were completely intact, and so were my transferred WhatsApp chats, all 66,000 of them.

The point is not only that Apple creates hardware and software that works wonderfully well. Things can and do go wrong, but Apple was kind enough to offer a replacement iPhone completely free of charge. I have heard a similar story from @Siva bro which shows the lengths to which Apple goes to ensure the satisfaction of its customers. Even if the price is somewhat high, every rupee or dollar is well paid.

TL;DR: I have simply been blown away with not only my new iPhone per se, but the level of commitment that Apple has with regards to creating an harmonious environment of products that last, and ensuring that its customers are happy for years, even decades.

Still, I do not want to be called an Apple fanboy, as I realise every platform, whether iOS or Android, macOS or Windows, will have its share of restrictions, flaws and frustrations. I continue to use my Android phone, and I am not going to shift from Windows to macOS any time soon, but as far as phones and tablets are concerned, there is, at least since 2017, no one doing it better than Apple.

Thanks for patiently reading! :tup:
 
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Siva

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Congrats bro and thanks for taking the time to write your experience in detail! iPhone 11 is an excellent device, I'm sure it will last very long for you!
 

SarfaRaZ

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Congratulations bro . Thanks for the detailed review it'll be helpful for many 👍
 

JollyLNB

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Congrats bro and thanks for taking the time to write your experience in detail! iPhone 11 is an excellent device, I'm sure it will last very long for you!
No doubt it will! Your posts are a big influence regarding why the iPhone is currently simply the best phone of all.

Also, this phone is a gift to myself for my upcoming 21st birthday in March, so it is all the more special.

@Anish Pai bro,

I have been an iPhone user for roughly 3 years (Nov 2017) and I used Android phones (Mid-range and Flagship) for almost 7 years before finally switching to the iPhone. And I think I'm not gonna switchback in the near future. Lack of customization on iOS was always the reason for me to not switch to the iPhone. However, from the time I started using the Android phone (I started with a Moto Cliq XT), the customization gradually stopped making much sense even on Android. I used to Root and install custom ROMs on almost every Android phone I used, except for the phones I used in the 2016-17 period. This is because, as Android OS evolved through the years, it gradually started implementing most of the features in the stock ROM itself, that otherwise forced us to go to Custom ROMs. At the time, I realized that the main reason that I was avoiding an iPhone was no longer a reason not to make the switch, so I took the step.

Apple without a doubt, is the leading brand in the smartphone industry in terms of providing software updates to its phones. The fact that the iPhone 6S which was released 5 years ago, will receive the latest iOS 14 this fall and the iPhone 6, which was released 6 years ago still receives security updates is a testimony of Apple's commitment to its customers.

After Sales support of Apple is one of the best. I have practically experienced it once. My friend, who was using an iPhone 6 started facing some issues with it. It used suddenly hang and go unresponsive. We took it to the service center and it was just 1 day before the warranty expiry. They took the phone checked it and found that there was an issue with the phone body. It was ever slightly bent, not easily noticeable. They said they are going to replace it with a brand new phone. They called my friend the next day and asked to collect the new phone. This was just unimaginable to me, I have never seen this before with any of the smartphones I took for service. At that time, I was using an Android phone, and this incident certainly played a big role as well in my decision to switch to Apple. Just in comparison, the Samsung S7 Edge (I wasn't using it as I already switched by then) that I spent more than 50k died just after 1.10 years and the repair cost they quoted me was 30k. I posted a thread about it here. My friend was still using his replacement iPhone 6 then and he continued to use it till 2018!!

About the pricing, I wish it's lower than what it is, but Apple is Apple. However, there have been some very good deals on the e-commerce platforms lately on most of the Apple mobiles. For 50k, You would probably get an iPhone XS base variant during the sale. iPhone XR was available for as low as 37k on the Amazon Prime Day sale, but the prices of all the Apple phones increased since then due to the additional taxes Govt levied. Still, XR might be available for around that 40k mark during the sale period. I suggest you go for a model that has an LED display like X or XS. You have an option to wait till the new iPhone 12 models get released in September and the older models will be bound to get a price cut. You also have another option of buying the iPhone 7, which is the cheapest among the lot right now and see if you like the ecosystem. If you don't like it, you would have saved half the money and you could go back to Android after some time without much hesitation.

Finally, Please remember, iOS is vastly different than Android. It's restrictive. There are still a few things that I can't do on my iPhone easily because of all the OS level restrictions Apple applies. However, like all the Apple users say "IT JUST WORKS". So the choice is ultimately yours! I hope this helps! Feel free to ask, if you have any further questions.

Cheers!

I just experienced another incident with Apple's service standards. 10 days ago, my relative's iPhone 6S plus mobile's Wi-Fi stopped working suddenly. Then after 2 days, the phone's battery drained rapidly during the night and it finally died completely. It wasn't booting at all. They took it to the service center last Tuesday. The service center guys said they will send the Mobile to Bangalore. They also said, If there's no water damage or parts tampering, the issue will be addressed. Yesterday they called and informed that they are replacing the Mobile.

The ultimate twist in this whole scenario is, the mobile is already out of warranty (Bought in May 2019)!

I think Apple has some policy to address these hard brick issues, even when the mobile is not in warranty. Or maybe they have some threshold like 6 months post-warranty for such issues. In any case, this is what we expect from a company that sells such premium products.

Samsung on the other hand, abandons the customer, even if it's a flagship phone. As I said, I personally experienced it with my S7 Edge dying! Forget about out of warranty, even if the device is in warranty, one must face a lot of trouble to get a replacement.
 
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