The Apple iPhone 11 is an incredible phone and easily tops its predecessor with much-needed improvements. The cameras on the Apple iPhone 11 are some of the best we’ve seen in a smartphone and with the likes of the new A13 Bionic system-on-chip, it allows for improvements in camera quality and takes overall performance to a whole new level.
- Great value
- Incredible cameras
- Long-lasting battery
- Slow charger provided in the box, fast charger sold separately
- No improvements to display
- No USB-C port
Apple iPhone 11 review
Apple is one of the biggest names when it comes to the technology industry. Although Apple is most commonly associated with the Apple iPhone, Apple also sells other electronics, software, and online services. Each year, Apple release a new range of Apple iPhones, bringing the latest and greatest technology into three or four Apple iPhone models. This Apple iPhone 11 review will highlight the pros and cons of the base Apple iPhone 11 model.
For all Apple iPhone 11 reviews, please see below:
Apple iPhone 11 specifications
Released: September 20, 2019
Price (at release): £729 / $699
Colours: Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, (PRODUCT) RED and White
Storage: 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
Display: 6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD (326 PPI)
Processor: Apple A13 Bionic
5G Technology: Yes
Cameras: Dual 12MP rear cameras, 12MP front camera
Operating System: iOS 13 (Upgradable to iOS 14)
Weight: 194 grams
Apple iPhone 11 review: Design
This year, the Apple iPhone 11 comes with two new colours, green and purple. These two colours replace the previous year’s blue and coral options. The six available colours this year, black, green, yellow, purple, (PRODUCT) RED and white, have taken on more of a pleasant pastel look.
When compared to last year’s Apple iPhone XR, the Apple iPhone 11 looks near identical with pretty much the only difference being the new cameras. This year’s Apple iPhone 11 is armed with dual 12MP ultrawide and wide cameras, not to forget the 12MP front camera. This is a much-needed step up from last year’s Apple iPhone XR which only had a single 12MP wide camera and 7MP front camera.
The Apple iPhone 11 has the same glass and aluminium design, dimensions, weight, notch and screen size as the Apple iPhone XR. Although there hasn’t been much of a change in design, it seems the main focus for the Apple iPhone 11 were the cameras.
On the back of the Apple iPhone 11, there have been a few notable changes. With the addition of the new dual 12MP cameras, the camera housing design has added a slightly raised, rounded glass square. As well as this, the Apple iPhone logo has been moved downwards a little, giving it a more central look. Not only that but the word ‘iPhone’ has been removed.
In addition to this, at Apple’s September event, it was said that the Apple iPhone 11 glass is the “toughest ever in a smartphone, on the front and back.” This is great news if you’re prone to dropping things. As well as this, the Apple iPhone 11 is rated IP68 meaning it is splash, water and dust resistant (maximum depth of 2 metres up to 30 minutes).
At the bottom of the Apple iPhone 11, you’ll find that the Lightning connector remains, this is a huge let-down. Inside the box of the Apple iPhone 11, you’ll find it comes with a measly 5-watt charger. This 5-watt charger takes multiple hours to charge from 0% to 100% and when compared to similar smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, which can go from 0% to 100% charge in give or take 90 minutes, it puts the Apple iPhone 11 to shame.
However, it’s worth noting that although it’s not provided in the box along with the Apple iPhone 11, there is a more powerful charger which you can use with your Apple iPhone 11. If you can’t afford to spend multiple hours waiting for your phone to charge, we suggest you look into the Apple 20-watt plug and the USB-C to Lightning cable. The only problem with this is it will set you back quite a bit of money.
Apple iPhone 11 review: Display
The display on the Apple iPhone 11 hasn’t changed since the Apple iPhone XR. The Apple iPhone 11 still has a Liquid Retina LCD display, the screen size is still 6.1 inches, and still has the same 1792 x 828 pixel resolution at 326 PPI. Although this display still looks great, it can easily be improved with an OLED screen. The problem with still having the Liquid Retina LCD display is that it’s just not as colour rich as other phones using an OLED screen.
Along with using the same screen as the Apple iPhone XR the previous year, the Apple iPhone 11 still has a decent bezel around the screen. This is yet another disappointment as most modern phones now come with edge-to-edge displays at the very least. As well as this, the Apple iPhone 11 still only has 326 PPI, or pixels per inch, which is yet another disappointment. Generally speaking, the higher the PPI, or pixel density, the more detail you can see on your display.
For comparison, a competitor to the Apple iPhone 11, the Samsung Galaxy S10 has the same screen size of 6.1 inches, has a much higher resolution of 3040 x 1440 pixels and has 550 PPI.
When you’re paying a lot of money for an Apple iPhone, which is considered one of the best smartphones year on year, a high-quality display is just something you expect. Unfortunately, it seems this year has been one huge let down for the display.
In the future, we hope to see huge improvements in the display department. It would be a great upgrade to see next year’s Apple iPhone to include an OLED display with a much higher resolution and PPI. Although there are plenty of disappointments with the display, it’s not all that bad. The Apple iPhone 11 doesn’t have the best display on the market right now, but its display is still really good and perfectly fine for day-to-day use including services such as Netflix.
Apple iPhone 11 review: Cameras
The cameras on the Apple iPhone 11 have clearly been the main focus for this year’s Apple iPhone. The Apple iPhone 11 is armed with dual 12MP ultrawide and wide cameras, not to forget the 12MP front camera. This is a much-needed step up from last year’s Apple iPhone XR which only had a single 12MP wide camera and 7MP front camera.
The rear 12MP dual cameras are housed in a slightly raised, rounded glass square. This design may take some getting used to and is much more noticeable if you tend to use your phone on a flat surface, especially when typing.
The ultrawide lens has a 0.5x zoom compared to the standard wide camera. This allows you to essentially zoom out without having to move. This is great for tight environments such as the indoors where you may not have any room behind you.
With the addition of the new ultrawide camera, it opens up the possibility for so much more. When you’re using the standard wide camera, under the user interface you can actually see what you could capture if you were using the ultrawide camera. This small, yet great feature helps you know when you should be making use of the ultrawide camera.
As well as this, there’s also a great option that allows your ultrawide camera to take a picture at the same time as the standard wide camera. This acts as a backup in case the standard wide photo doesn’t capture everything that you was hoping to capture, these backup images last 30 days if not used.
One of the new features the Apple iPhone 11 brings is night mode. The long-awaited night mode greatly improves low-light performance and allows for incredible night shots. This is made possible because the Apple iPhone 11 will ask you to hold the phone as steady as possible for a few seconds so that the shutter can take multiple pictures, all at different sharpness and exposure levels, for it to then merge the data together, which results in an incredible low-light photo.
The front TrueDepth 12MP camera is also a much-needed upgrade from the TrueDepth 7MP front camera on the previous year’s Apple iPhone XR. As well as this came an improvement to the Smart HDR, with Apple referring to it as “Next-generation Smart HDR,” resulting in more balanced images. The front camera also allows for additional features such as Animoji and Memoji, not to mention the new feature Apple is calling ‘slofies’ – slow-motion selfies.
Another huge step for Apple has been Deep Fusion. Deep Fusion is Apple’s new image processing system which works in certain environments. Apple describes it as “an advanced image processing system that uses the A13 Bionic Neural Engine to capture images with dramatically better texture, details, and reduced noise in lower light.” This new feature is completely automatic and has no indication to show when it’s being used. There are a few scenarios where Deep Fusion won’t be used. Deep Fusion won’t be used when you’re using the ultrawide lens, shooting burst photos, or when you have the feature “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” turned on.
The Apple iPhone 11 also has very impressive video recording capabilities. All three cameras on the Apple iPhone 11 are capable of 4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps or 60fps (frames per second). Not only this but if you’re recording in 4K at anything below 60fps, you can change between the standard wide and ultrawide camera without experiencing any exposure changes or colour shifts.
What are the camera specs of the Apple iPhone 11?
- The wide lens is 12MP, f/1.8, 26mm, 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS.
- The ultrawide lens is 12MP, 120-degree view, f/2.4, 13mm, 1/3.6″.
- The front camera is 12MP, f/2.2, 23mm, 1/3.6″.
Apple iPhone 11 review: Battery
Apple has never really been transparent about their Apple iPhone batteries, and just like the previous years, they haven’t stated the size of this year’s Apple iPhone 11 battery. However, the Apple iPhone 11 supposedly has a 3,110mAh battery. This is based on documents from the Chinese regulatory agency TENAA. If this is true, which it most likely is, it would’ve been nice to see the battery a little bigger. A 3,110mAh battery isn’t the worst size, but compared to competitors of the Apple iPhone 11, such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 which has a 3,400mAh battery, a battery a little bigger would’ve been much better.
According to Apple, the Apple iPhone 11 lasts up to 1 hour longer than the Apple iPhone XR. It’s also reported that the Apple iPhone 11 can last up to 17 hours of video playback, up to 10 hours of streamed video playback, and up to 65 hours of audio playback.
One huge issue we have with this year’s Apple iPhone 11 is charging. Inside the box of the Apple iPhone 11, you’ll find it comes with a 5-watt charger. This charger takes multiple hours to charge from 0% to 100%. When compared to similar smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10, which can go from 0% to 100% charge in give or take 90 minutes, it really puts the Apple iPhone 11 to shame.
Although this is a huge let-down, there is another charger Apple offers which will charge your Apple iPhone significantly faster than the provided 5-watt charger. This charger will set you back quite a lot of money for something considered to just come hand in hand at no additional cost for practically every other smartphone. If you don’t want to spend multiple hours waiting for your Apple iPhone 11 to charge, we suggest you look into the Apple 20-watt plug and the USB-C to Lightning cable.
Apple iPhone 11 review: Performance
The system-on-chip found in the Apple iPhone 11 is the new A13 Bionic. It features a very powerful CPU (Central Processing Unit) and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) and allows for features such as Deep Fusion, Apple’s new image processing system. The A13 Bionic chip is the fastest Apple has ever made.
The Apple iPhone 11 comes with iOS 13, Apple’s “most personal and secure mobile operating system yet.” There are quite a few new additions with iOS 13, but the main addition is dark mode. Dark mode kind of speaks for itself, it changes the colour scheme to darker colours, perfect for at night or low-light environments. When enabled, this won’t strain your eyes as much and might help you fall asleep faster, not to mention it doesn’t drain your battery as fast.
The Apple iPhone 11 comes with three internal storage options: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Although Apple iPhone competitors are starting to offer storage up to 1TB, 64GB is usually enough for the average user. The Apple iPhone 11 also has 4GB of RAM (Random Access Memory), which in most cases is more than enough for day-to-day activities.
Apple iPhone 11 review: Pricing
The Apple iPhone 11 was released in September 20, 2019. At release, prices started from £729 in the UK, and $699 in the US. Since the release of the Apple iPhone 11, the price has dropped and below are some of the best deals from Amazon.
How much does the Apple iPhone 11 cost?
The Apple iPhone 11 was released on September 20, 2019. At release, the Apple iPhone 11 started from £729 in the UK, and $699 in the US.
What are the differences between the Apple iPhone 11 and the Apple iPhone 11 Pro?
The Apple iPhone 11 Pro has a smaller but much better OLED display, has a bigger display resolution, comes with a telephoto lens, has a slightly smaller battery size, and is available in grey, silver, gold, and Midnight Green.
Is the Apple iPhone 11 worth buying?
If you're upgrading from the Apple iPhone XR, we don't believe there's been enough change to recommend the Apple iPhone 11. However, if you're still looking to upgrade, we recommend you check out the Apple iPhone 11 Pro or the Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max. If you didn't buy the Apple iPhone XR and you're looking for a great reasonably priced smartphone, we recommend the Apple iPhone 11.
Apple iPhone 11 review: Conclusion
It’s evident that the main focus with the Apple iPhone 11 has been the cameras. Compared to the previous year’s Apple iPhone X, the cameras have seen many great improvements, making the Apple iPhone 11 one of the best smartphones for high-quality photography. Although the camera quality of the Apple iPhone 11 is amazing, there are quite a few areas that let the Apple iPhone 11 down quite a bit. The main disappointment is the display, with no improvement at all over the Apple iPhone X. Other notable disappointments include no USB-C port, and a very slow charger included in the box, with the fast charger sold separately.