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iPhone 11 Reviews: Is It 100% Worth The Upgrade?

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iPhone 11 Reviews: Initial Verdicts From Around The Web…

REVIEWERRATINGNOTES

  • Excellent camera
  • Terrific battery life
  • Lower price

  • Compelling ultra-wide camera
  • New Night mode is excellent
  • Long battery life
  • Superfast A13 Bionic processor

  • Improved camera
  • New range of colors
  • Good battery life remains

Best iPhone 11 Deals (UK & US Networks)

iPhone 11 Video Review

iPhone 11 Reviews – In A Nutshell… 

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Apple’s new iPhone 11, the entry-level model, for want of a better phrase, appears to be the real star of the show this time around. Like the iPhone XR before it, the iPhone 11 delivers BIG on value for money, performance, imaging, and battery life.

But unlike the iPhone XR, there are fewer concessions this time around; you have a brilliant, dual-lens camera, improved battery life, and Apple’s brand new A13 CPU, which will deliver breath-taking performance across the board.

MORE: The Best iPhone Case Brands (Our #1 Picks For Ultimate Protection)

And the best bit? Apple’s iPhone 11 is cheaper than the iPhone XR – prices start at just $699. This for me is what really makes the iPhone 11 so darn interesting. It is also the #1 reason why the iPhone 11, not the iPhone 11 Pro/Pro Max, will be the best-selling iPhone in 2019 and 2020.

Why You’d Get The iPhone 11:

  • Value For Money – Prices Start At $699
  • Incredible Battery Life
  • Improved Performance Over XR, Thanks To A13
  • Vastly Improved Camera
  • Multiple, New Color Options

iPhone 11 Camera Review

Apple’s main competition – with respect to imaging – is Google’s Pixel range of phones; right now, they’re considered the best. Pixel doesn’t bother Apple’s bottom line, as Google’s brand is still relatively niche, but the Pixel phones do have what many consider to be the best overall cameras.

This year’s iPhones want to change that, however, and initial reviews from Apple’s trusted review sites all seem to agree: the iPhone 11’s camera is not only better than the iPhone XR’s, but it is also on par and, in some cases, better than the Pixel 3’s.

This is largely down to Apple’s introduction of a second camera unit on the rear, an ultra-wide f/2.4 camera. It also improved the sensor inside the main f/1.8 camera. And the result? Improved clarity, depth of field, and low-light performance. Initial tests show that Apple’s iPhone 11 takes more natural shots in low-light versus the Pixel 3.

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On top of this, Apple has also improved the camera’s Smart HDR using a technology it calls semantic rendering. Smart HDR can now recognize faces and hair and apply separate processing to them. Crazy, right? This feature also makes shots far less noisy; images captured on the iPhone 11 are better than similar images taken on the iPhone XS, a phone that is vastly more expensive.

Will it be better than the Google Pixel 4’s camera? Hard to say, as the Pixel 4 still isn’t official. What we do know about the Pixel 4, however, is that it will feature a heavily updated camera array and that could well mean it reasserts itself over the iPhone 11 as the #1 best camera phone on the planet.

Either way, the improvements Apple has made inside the iPhone 11 prove the company is still one of the best in the business when it comes to camera technology. The difference in performance and quality – even when compared to last year’s iPhones – is night and day. And that, my friends, is a significant point in and of itself…

iPhone 11 Review – Battery Life 

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Apple says the iPhone 11’s battery life will provide 60+ minutes more than last year’s iPhone XR. The initial reviews we’ve seen back this claim; all agree the iPhone 11 will go all day, no problem.

In fact, nearly every one of the initial iPhone 11 reviews mentions battery life – in a positive manner. The iPhone 11’s battery life is the same size as the iPhone XR’s. Apple has made improvements, not with size, but with optimizations enabled by its new, more efficient A13 chipset.

The result? Apple’s iPhone 11 – like the iPhone XR – has some of the best battery performance you’ll find on a handset inside 2019/20.

iPhone 11 Review – Design 

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Design is, perhaps, the least interesting thing about the iPhone 11. It looks more or less identical to the iPhone XR. Granted, there are new colors for the iPhone 11 available – notably green and purple – but from an external perspective, there’s really not much to talk about, save for the new camera array on the back.

The iPhone XR was – and still is – a great-looking phone. Do I wish Apple has changed the design slightly? Honestly, not really. Why mess with a willing formula just for the sake of it? It doesn’t make any sense. Improving core metrics like the camera, overall performance, and battery life make far more sense. As does Apple’s decision to sell the iPhone 11 for less than the iPhone XR.

Given all of the above, I think even the most ardent Apple-hater could probably forgive the company for not really touching the overall industrial design of the iPhone 11.

iPhone 11 Verdict

REVIEWERRATINGNOTES

  • Excellent camera
  • Terrific battery life
  • Lower price

  • Compelling ultra-wide camera
  • New Night mode is excellent
  • Long battery life
  • Superfast A13 Bionic processor

  • Improved camera
  • New range of colors
  • Good battery life remains

Best iPhone 11 Deals (UK & US Networks)

Apple’s New iPhone 11 Range Detailed

iPhone 11iPhone 11 Pro & Pro Max

Display:
  • Liquid Retina HD display
  • 6.1‑inch (diagonal) all-screen
  • LCD Multi-Touch display
  • 1792‑by‑828‑pixel resolution 
Display:
  • Super Retina XDR display
  • 5.8‑in or 6.5-inch (diagonal) all‑screen OLED
  • Multi‑Touch display HDR display
  • 2436‑by‑1125-pixel resolution
CPU: A13 Bionic chip, Third‑generation Neural EngineCPU: A13 Bionic chip, Third‑generation Neural Engine
Camera:
  • Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide cameras
  • 2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 5x Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control
  • Portrait Lighting with six effects 
  • Optical image stabilization (Wide)
Camera:
  • Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras 
  • Telephoto: 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 10x
  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control
  • Portrait Lighting with six effects
  • Optical image stabilization (Wide)
Capacity: 64GB, 128GB, 265GBCapacity: 64GB, 265GB, 512GB 
Price: Starts $699Price: $999 (iPhone 11 Pro); $1099 (iPhone Pro Max)
  • iPhone 11 – The iPhone 11 replaces the iPhone XR. It is the cheapest iPhone model in the iPhone 11 range. Prices start at $699. The design remains much the same as before. All the action takes place inside the handset, thanks to Apple’s A13 CPU, which is 20% faster than the outgoing A12. The iPhone 11 also features an updated, dual-lens camera for vastly improved imaging performance.
  • iPhone 11 Pro – The iPhone 11 Pro replaces the iPhone XS. It is the smallest iPhone in the iPhone 11 range with a 5.8in OLED display. On the back, you have Apple’s updated triple-lens camera array. Inside, you have the A13 CPU which will bring performance boosts and extended battery life – 4+ hours over the iPhone XS.
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max – The iPhone 11 Pro Max replaces the iPhone XS Max. It is the largest of the new iPhone 11 models; it has a 6.5in OLED display and the most potential storage (512GB). It has the same camera as the iPhone 11 Pro. Inside you have Apple’s A13 CPU and the latest battery in the range. This one is for the most hardcore iPhone users.

MORE: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro & iPhone 11 Pro Max DETAILED In Full

Best Value iPhone 11 Model?

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As always, Apple’s new iPhone 11 range is decidedly expensive. The top of the line iPhone 11 Max Pro starts at $1099 for the base model, while the entry-level iPhone XR replacement, the iPhone 11, starts at $699. Once again, the iPhone 11 delivers the most value for money here. It has an excellent, updated camera. The same CPU as the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max and, best of all, it is cheaper than last year’s iPhone XR, Apple’s best-selling iPhone.

MORE: 

If you don’t need a triple-lens camera and you can do with an OLED display, the iPhone 11 will more than suffice for most users. It is an insanely powerful phone, thanks to Apple’s new A13 CPU, and it packs in a far more advanced, dual-lens camera compared to what we got with the iPhone XR.

My advice? If you want to save some money and still get 80% of the benefits, go with the iPhone 11. Want the best of the best and the biggest display? Go with the iPhone Pro Max. Another alternative for the super-savvy would be to get a reconditioned iPhone XS Max – you could save 40% doing this.

Things To Keep In Mind…

  1. No 5G – None of the iPhone 11 models support 5G; you’ll have to wait until 2020 for 5G on iPhones.
  2. The Pixel 4 is Coming – Google’s Pixel 4 range is scheduled to land in October. The Pixel 4 and the Pixel 4 XL are expected to feature a market-leading camera system. The handsets will run Android 10 and are likely to be cheaper than Apple’s iPhone 11 range – even the base model. If cameras are important to you, it might be worth holding out and seeing what Google comes to the table with.
  3. They’re Still Expensive – There’s no way of getting around it; Apple’s top tier iPhones are still very pricy. However, Apple has made the entry-level iPhone 11 cheaper than the iPhone XR, so that’s definitely a step in the right direction. If money’s tight but you still want an iPhone, my advice would be to go with the iPhone 11 – it’s shaping up to be a great handset with a killer camera.

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