The iPhone 11
Apple unveiled the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max on September 10 with new colors, a dual-lens camera, improved durability, and a faster A13 chip. Pricing starts at $699, and iPhone 11 is sold alongside iPhone 11 Pro ($999) and iPhone 11 Pro Max ($1099).
- Great Performance
- Excellent battery life
- Awesome Cameras
- Affordable, despite awesome internals
- iOS offers regular, timely update
- Low resolution display
Apple on September 10, 2019, unveiled the iPhone 11, its new flagship $699 smartphone that offers a range of powerful features at an affordable price tag. Sold alongside the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 11 is going to be the iPhone perfect for most people.
Like the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 does not include 3D Touch, instead using Haptic Touch. Haptic Touch is supported across iOS 13, but it lacks the pressure sensitivity of 3D Touch.
Design wise, the new flagship phone features a glass body that comes in six different colors: White, Black, Yellow, (PRODUCT)RED, Purple, and Green.
The iPhone 11 doesn’t look much different than the iPhone XR, but Apple says it’s made from the toughest glass ever in a smartphone and offers improved water resistance (IP68), boosting overall durability. Spatial audio offers a more immersive sound experience, and Dolby Atmos is supported.
The camera system sets the iPhone 11 apart from the XR, with Apple introducing a new dual-lens camera that’s an improvement over the prior single-lens camera. The camera setup features a standard wide-angle camera and a new ultra wide-angle camera with a 120 degree field of view. Unlike the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, there is no telephoto camera lens.
4K video recording with extended dynamic range is available at 24, 30, or 60fps, and both of the cameras in the iPhone 11 can be used for recording video, with live swapping available using a simple tap.
The front-facing TrueDepth Camera system has been updated with a new 12-megapixel camera, and making Face ID up to 30 percent faster and able to work from more angles. For the first time, it supports 120 fps slo-mo video, allowing users to capture slo-mo selfies, aka “slofies.” The TrueDepth camera also supports next-generation smart HDR for more natural-looking photos and it can record 4K video at 60 fps.
Inside the iPhone 11, there’s an A13 Bionic 7-nanometer chip along with a third-generation Neural Engine. Apple says the A13 Bionic is the fastest chip ever in a smartphone with 20 percent faster CPU and GPU than the A12. New Machine Learning Accelerators allow the CPU to deliver more than 1 trillion operations per second, and the Neural Engine is faster than ever for real-time photo and video analysis.
When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 11 lasts for one hour longer than the iPhone XR. It supports up to 17 hours of video playback, up to 10 hours of streamed video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback, though it does not match the battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Fast charging is available, but unlike the iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 11 ships with a standard 5W charger and fast charging requires extra equipment.
The iPhone 11 features an Intel modem chip with Gigabit-class LTE, 2×2 MIMO, and LAA, Wi-Fi 6 support (802.11ax) with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, Dual-SIM with eSIM, and an Apple-designed U1 Ultra Wideband chip that improves spatial awareness and allows for better indoor tracking. In iOS 13.1, the chip allows for directionally aware suggestions for AirDrop so you can drop files to a person you point your iPhone at.
Apple is offering the iPhone 11 in 64, 128, and 256GB capacities with prices that start at $699. The iPhone 11 officially launched on Friday, September 20 and can be purchased from the online Apple Store and in Apple retail stores.
Like the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 features a precision-machined 7000 series aluminum frame that wraps around an all-glass enclosure. With its 6.1-inch display, the iPhone 11 is between the 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max in size.
The iPhone 11 has an edge-to-edge display with slim bezels and no Home button, adopting a notch at the top for the TrueDepth camera system. Because it uses an LCD instead of OLED display, the iPhone 11 has slightly thicker bezels than the iPhone 11 Pro models.
The device measures in at 150.9mm tall, 75.7mm wide, and 8.3mm thick, which is identical to the previous-generation iPhone XR.
iPhone 11 colors
The iPhone 11 continues to be available in six colors, but Apple introduced new colors this year. It comes in black, green, yellow, purple, (PRODUCT)RED, and white, with Apple eliminating the coral and blue shades that the iPhone XR was available in.
Water and Dust Resistance
The iPhone 11 has an impressive IP68 water resistance rating, which is up from IP67 in the previous-generation iPhone XR. It’s rated to survive a depth of up to two meters (6.5 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
The iPhone 11 Pro has is able to stand up to submersion in water up to four meters deep (13 feet) for up to 30 minutes.
With an IP68 water resistance rating, the iPhone 11 can withstand splashes, rain, and brief accidental water exposure, but intentional water exposure should be avoided. Apple warns that water and dust resistance are not permanent conditions and deteriorate as a result of normal wear.
Spatial Audio and Dolby Atmos
The iPhone 11 is built with a new spatial audio feature that’s designed to simulate surround sound for a more immersive audio experience. It also supports Dolby Atmos sound.
The iPhone 11 uses an LCD display that it calls the “Liquid Retina HD” display. It measures in at 6.1 inches and features a 1792 x 828 resolution at 326 pixels per inch.
Though the iPhone 11 has an LCD instead of OLED display, Apple says it is the most advanced LCD that’s been introduced in a smartphone, constructed with new engineering techniques. It is identical to the display in the iPhone XR, and is inferior to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max displays.
It has a 1400:1 contrast ratio, which is one of the areas where it falls far short of the iPhone 11 Pro models. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio, which means their colors are richer, blacks are blacker, and there is HDR support, which is unavailable in the iPhone 11.
Apple eliminated the 3D Touch feature in the iPhone XR and replaced it with a new Haptic Touch option, which has now rolled out to the entire 2019 iPhone lineup.
Haptic Touch is similar to 3D Touch and offers much of the same functionality, but it is not pressure sensitive so there are not multiple functions for each press. Instead, Haptic Touch is like a long press with haptic feedback.
The iPhone 11 is equipped with an A13 Bionic chip that’s faster and more efficient than the A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone XR. Apple says that the A13 Bionic is the fastest chip ever in a smartphone and so advanced that it’s “years ahead of the pack.”
The CPU’s two performance cores in the A13 are up to 20 percent faster and use 30 percent less power than the A12, and the four efficiency cores are up to 20 percent faster and use up to 40 percent less power.
The A13 chip features a next-generation 8-core Neural Engine that Apple says is faster than ever for real-time photo and video analysis. A pair of Machine Learning Accelerators allow the CPU to run up to six times faster, delivering more than 1 trillion operations per second.
The Neural Engine is up to 20 percent faster and uses up to 15 percent less power than the previous-generation Neural Engine. Apple says its Neural Engine powers the camera system, Face ID, AR apps, and more.
RAM and Storage Space
While there hasn’t been a teardown yet, rumors and benchmarks have suggested the iPhone 11 is equipped with 4GB RAM, up from 3GB RAM in the iPhone XR.
The flagship phone is available in 64, 128, and 256GB capacities.
TrueDepth Camera and Face ID
Face ID is the biometric authentication system used in the iPhone 11, which features a notch housing the True Depth camera system that enables Face ID.
In the device, the TrueDepth camera system has been improved with new hardware. It’s faster and it’s able to work from a wider range of angles, so it’s more efficient and quicker than ever.
Face ID is used across the iOS operating system for tasks like unlocking your iPhone, allowing access to third-party passcode-protected apps, confirming purchases in iTunes and the App Store, and authenticating Apple Pay payments.
Face ID works through a set of sensors and cameras built into the front of the iPhone 11, called the TrueDepth Camera system. To create a facial scan, a Dot Projector projects more than 30,000 invisible infrared dots onto your face, which are then read by an infrared camera.
With a built-in Flood Illuminator, Face ID works in low light and in the dark making sure there’s always adequate light to take a facial scan. Face ID works with hats, beards, glasses, sunglasses, scarves, makeup and all other accessories and items that might partially obscure a face, but it does need to see your eyes, nose, and mouth to work.
The front-facing TrueDepth camera is able to capture 120 fps slo-mo videos for the first time, enabling a new feature that Apple is calling “Slofies.” These are slow motion front-facing camera videos similar to the slo-mo videos available from the rear facing camera in prior iPhones.
The wide-angle camera in the iPhone 11 has a new, larger sensor with 100 percent Focus Pixels that enables new low light capabilities such as a Night mode that’s designed to take much brighter pictures in low lighting conditions. It’s similar to Google’s Night Shift mode, brightening up the photo using software.
Night mode turns on automatically in low lighting conditions, and there’s no need to use the flash with it. When you’re in an area with poor lighting, the camera takes multiple images while optical image stabilization works to steady the lens.
The A13 chip is then engaged to align images to correct for movement. Sections with too much blur are eliminated, while sharper images are fused together. The contrast is then adjusted, the colors are fine tuned, excess noise is eliminated, and details are enhanced to create a final image that looks much brighter and crisper than the lighting conditions would normally allow for.
The wide-angle and ultra wide-angle lenses both work in video mode as well, and you can toggle between them with a tap when filming. The iPhone 11 shoots 4K video at 60 frames per second with both lenses, and the ultra-wide camera can capture four times more scene for better action shots.
The iPhone 11 supports Extended Dynamic Range when capturing video up to 60 frames per second, and optical image stabilization is available for video shot using the standard wide-angle camera.
An Audio Zoom feature is designed to match audio to the video framing for better sound when filming a video on the iPhone.
The iPhone 11 offers one hour of additional battery life compared to the iPhone XR. The iPhone 11 features a 3,110 mAh battery, which is higher capacity than the 2,942 mAh battery in the iPhone XR.
Apple says that it lasts for up to 17 hours during video playback, up to 10 hours for streaming video playback, and up to 65 hours for audio playback.
iPhone 11 is fast-charge capable, which means it can be charged to 50 percent battery life in just 30 minutes. Fast charging requires a USB-C power adapter that offers at least 18 watts, which includes 29/30W adapters from Apple (priced at $49).
The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max ship with an 18W USB-C power adapter and USB-C to Lightning cable, but the iPhone 11, because it’s cheaper, ships with a 5W power adapter and a standard USB-A to Lightning cable.
The iPhone 11 has a glass body with built-in wireless charging coils to support wireless charging functionality.
Apple uses the Qi wireless charging standard that’s also available in many Android phones, which means the new iPhones can charge wirelessly with any Qi-certified inductive charger.
The iPhone 11 works with 7.5W and 5W wireless charging accessories, but 7.5W charging is faster.
The iPhone 11 is equipped with an Intel modem chip that features Gigabit-Class LTE with 2×2 MIMO and LAA. That’s an improvement over the LTE Advanced in the iPhone XR, but it’s not quite as good as the Gigabit-Class LTE with 4×4 MIMO and LAA in the iPhone 11 Pro.
The iPhone 11 offers support for up to 30 LTE bands, which is useful when traveling.
Dual-SIM support, which allows two phone numbers to be used at one time, is included in the iPhone 11. Dual-SIM functionality is enabled through the inclusion of one physical nano-SIM slot and an eSIM.
Dual-SIMs work with select carriers in Austria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, India, Spain, the UK, and the United States.
The iPhone 11 has a new Apple-designed U1 chip that enables Ultra Wideband technology for improved spatial awareness. The chip lets the smartphone precisely locate other U1-equipped Apple devices, which is ultimately going to make it easier to find a device that’s lost.
Apple likens Ultra Wideband to “GPS at the scale of the living room,” which is accurate as the technology is designed specifically for improved indoor positioning.
Bluetooth and WiFi
The iPhone 11 supports Bluetooth 5.0. Bluetooth 5.0 offers longer range, faster speeds, larger broadcast message capacity, and better interoperability with other wireless technologies.
Compared to Bluetooth 4.2, Bluetooth 5 offers four times the range, two times the speed, and eight times the broadcast message capacity.
WiFi 6 with 2×2 MIMO, aka 802.11ax WiFi, is supported. WiFi 6 is the newest WiFi protocol and it lets you download up to 38 percent faster than WiFi 5 (aka 802.11ac). WiFi 6 is a new WiFi protocol and it’s not widely used, but support is likely to become increasingly important over the course of the next few years.
GPS and NFC
Support for GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, and QZSS location services is included in the iPhone 11.
NFC with reader mode is included, and there’s a background tag feature that allows the iPhone models to scan NFC tags without the need to open an app first.
iPhone 11 Pro
Apple is selling the iPhone 11 alongside two more expensive devices, the 5.8-inch Pro model, priced at $999, and the 6.5-inch Pro Max version, priced at $1099.
The iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max are the top-of-the-line iPhones, designed for those who want the most advanced technology in an iPhone. All of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models share features like the A13 bionic chip, Face ID, TrueDepth camera system, and some photographic capabilities, but there are some notable differences.
The iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max feature OLED displays that are superior to the LCD display used in the iPhone 11, with HDR and a much greater contrast ratio for brighter, more vivid colors. The new higher-end iPhones use a stainless steel frame rather than an aluminum frame, and have a better water resistance rating (IP68 at 4 feet rather than IP68 at 2 feet).
Most notably, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max feature a triple-lens camera system with telephoto, wide-angle, and super wide-angle lenses, while the iPhone 11 has a dual-lens camera with wide-angle and super wide-angle lenses.
iPhone 11 Price
The iPhone 11 is available from the Apple online store, Apple retail locations, and third-party retailers. The iPhone 11 is priced starting at $699 for the 64GB model. There’s also a 128GB model for $749, and a 256GB model for $849.
iPhone Upgrade Program customers can get an iPhone 11 for $29.12 per month for the 64GB version. The 128GB model costs $31.20 per month, and the 256GB version costs $35.37 per month.
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|Model||A2221, A2111, A2223|
|Dimension||150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm|
|Body||Front/back glass, |
aluminum frame (7000 series)
|Protection||Scratch-resistant glass |
and oleophobic coating
|Color||Space Gray, Silver, Gold|
|Operating System||iOS 13|
|Chipset||Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+)|
|Storage||64Gb, 128GB, 256GB|
|Type||Liquid Retina IPS LCD capacitive |
touchscreen, 16M colors
|Screen size||6.1 inches|
|Pixel per inch||326|
|Resolution||828 x 1792 pixels|
|Dual||12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), |
1/2.55″, 1.4um, PDAF, OIS
12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
|Features||Quad-LED dual-tone flash, |
|Video||[email protected]/30/60fps, |
HDR, stereo sound rec.
|Dual||12 MP, f/2.2|
TOF 3D camera
|Video||[email protected]/30/60fps, |
|Wi-Fi standard||802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax, |
Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot supported
|Bluetooth||Yes v5.00,A2DP, LE.|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS,|
BDS, GALILEO, QZSS
|USB||Yes, 2.0 (proprietary |
|SIM Slot||Single SIM or Hybrid Dual SIM,|
(dual stand-by) IP68 dust/water
resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins)
|Loudspeaker||Yes, with stereo speaker|
|Messaging||iMessage SMS (Threaded view),|
MMS, Email, Push Email
|Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic|
|Wide color gamut|
|120 Hz touch-sensing|
|Siri natural language commands and dictation|
|Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified)|
|Charging||Fast battery charging 18W|
(50% in 30 min)
Qi wireless charging
Reviews for the iPhone 11 have been largely positive, with reviewers praising the new dual-lens camera system with its new ultra wide-angle lens and Night mode, allowing for crisp, clear photos even in low lighting situations.
Reviewers also praised the long battery life of the iPhone 11 and the low cost. At $699, the device is much more affordable than the 11 Pro and Pro Max, and aside from display and camera quality, the 11 is just as capable as its more expensive counterparts.
“You’re going to spend most of your time shooting with the standard 12MP wide camera, so it’s a good thing it’s such a solid performer,” writes Chris Velazco for Engadget.
“It’s super fast at locking onto your subjects, and you’ll find plenty of rich colors and detail in your photos.”
The improved Smart HDR functionality is noticeable, some reviewers note. You get better results across the board, and iPhone 11 is better at recognizing faces — and their features.
“Apple’s Smart HDR system is a lot smarter this year,” explains Niley Patel for The Verge. “It’s more willing to blow out highlights, it keeps shadows dark, and it can recognize faces and hair and apply different processing to them.”
“I think the iPhone 11 cameras are so good that they’re worth a year-over-year upgrade from the XR; I don’t usually say that.”
Some say iPhone 11’s camera system is even better than that of iPhone XS. Not just because it can shoot Ultra Wide photos, but in general performance in many situations.
“The iPhone 11 is a very good camera, and in a lot of situations it even performed better than last year’s top-of-the-line iPhone XS,” writes Lauren Goode for Wired.
“In terms of performance, the iPhone 11 is a dream in use,” says Pocket-lint. “Games load fast, apps are speedy with no lag, the device doesn’t get too hot, and everything zips along nicely as you would expect from a flagship device.”
“The phones are fast,” Goode adds. “Downloading apps is fast. Switching between apps is fast. Processing and editing photos is fast. Apple Pay is faster on this phone; Face ID feels slightly faster.”
But is there a significant improvement over the 2018 lineup? Apple says the A13 is up to 20% faster than the A12 in last year’s devices. The chances of you actually noticing that are probably slim, though.
“Realistically, the iPhone 11 doesn’t feel 20 percent faster than the models it replaces,” Engadget explains.
“If you’re coming from an iPhone XR, XS or XS Max, the iPhone 11 will only seem marginally faster at day-to-day tasks like launching and loading apps and playing intense games.”
If you’re switching from an Android, however, you will almost certainly feel the difference.
iPhone 11’s screen is nowhere near as good as the OLED screens in iPhone 11 Pro. It’s not as sharp, as bright, or as colorful. But it is the best LCD screen Apple has ever shipped in a smartphone.
“If you’re upgrading to the iPhone 11 from another phone with an LCD display, you won’t notice much of a difference,” Wired explains. “It feels harsher on the eyes, and media looks different” than on the iPhone 11 Pro’s OLED Super Retina XDR.
“The good news is that Apple makes great LCDs, and this LCD is great,” The Verge adds. “Unless you really, deeply care about displays, it’s more than fine.”
“I would bet most people won’t be able to see a meaningful difference,” between iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, Patel concludes.
“In day-to-day use, the differences don’t matter,” Engadget says.
Some say that the iPhone 11 is more than enough for some, and that you should only consider spending $300 more on a Pro model if you really, really care about having an OLED screen.
“We loved the Apple iPhone XR when it launched in 2018. It was, and still is, an excellent device. The iPhone 11 builds on that excellence,” says Pocket-lint.
“It still makes some compromises compared to the iPhone 11 Pro models – the finish isn’t as premium, the screen isn’t as impressive and the camera lacks a couple of features – but overall, it’s a superb device that offers the biggest appeal in terms of technology and price point from the 2019 iPhones.”
“There are advantages to splurging on the Pros, but after getting a feel for what the iPhone 11 is capable of, those benefits won’t always justify spending the extra $300,” says Engadget. “Like I said before, the iPhone 11 is the best new iPhone for most people, and it’s unquestionably the one I would buy for myself.”
“I’d only spend the extra money on the iPhone 11 Pro if you really care about the display,” says The Verge. “I don’t think you’re missing out on much by not having a telephoto camera lens, to be honest. I personally care quite a bit about displays, so I’m getting a Pro, but I think most people will be very happy with the iPhone 11.”
Related roundup: iPhone XS