iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR: Are Either Models Worth It In 2023?

The iPhone 11 is a newer model than the iPhone XR and it is a superior phone in many ways. But the larger question here is whether either of these iPhones are worth buying in 2023. Let’s find out…

Key Takeaways [A 2023 Update]:

With Apple recently releasing its latest iPhone 15 series, how do older models like the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR stack up in 2023?

Neither support 5G, neither have OLED displays, and both of the phones’ camera modules are now starting to show their age.

But with prices reduced, the iPhone 11 and XR can be tempting options for those wanting to save money. But are these phones viable options in 2023?

Recommended Advice?

The XR and 11 are now too old to be considered good value for money. For optimal bang for your buck, go with a newer iPhone model like the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, or the iPhone 13.

If you want to save money and get excellent performance, go with either of the following models:

Here’s Why:

  • iPhone 12 – The base model iPhone 12 comes with 5G, an OLED display, and a very capable camera. It is also still a very potent phone in 2023.
  • iPhone 12 Pro – The iPhone 12 Pro comes with everything the iPhone 12 has + a massively updated camera module, better battery life, and more performance overall
  • iPhone 13 – For optimal value for money, the iPhone 13 would be our recommended option. It is fairly new, the camera is brilliant, and the battery life is vastly superior to what you get on the iPhone 12 series.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR


iPhone 11 vs iPhone XRPin

In terms of design, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR look nearly identical. They both have a 6.1-inch LCD “Liquid Retina” display with a notch at the top for the front-facing camera and Face ID sensors.

The displays have the same 1792 x 828 resolution at 326 ppi.

  • The iPhone 11 measures 5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches and weighs 6.84 ounces.
  • The iPhone XR is 5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches and 6.8 ounces. So they have the exact same dimensions, with the iPhone 11 being negligibly heavier.

Both phones have an aluminum frame and glass back to support wireless charging. They also come in a variety of color options, including black, white, red, yellow, blue, and PRODUCT(RED). The iPhone 11 adds a new purple and green color.

Overall, the iPhone 11 and XR look almost identical in terms of design. The only potential difference is the color options.

Winner: Draw


iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR: Are Either Models Worth It In 2023?Pin

As mentioned above, both the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR have a 6.1-inch LCD display with a 1792 x 828 resolution. Apple brands this its “Liquid Retina” display, with wide color support and True Tone technology to adjust the white balance based on ambient lighting conditions.

The iPhone 11 came out in 2019 and was the last iPhone to ship with Apple’s older LCD display tech. All iPhones after the iPhone 11 came with OLED displays across the board.

The displays have identical specs and technologies, so there is no discernible difference between the two. They offer the same quality and viewing experience.

Winner: Draw


iPhone 11 reviewPin

The camera system is one area where the iPhone 11 pulls ahead of the iPhone XR.

The iPhone XR has a single 12MP wide lens camera on the rear. It offers Portrait mode through software, but lacks optical zoom.

The iPhone 11 adds a second 12MP ultra wide lens camera, giving you a 2x optical zoom out. This allows you to capture more content in each frame. The ultra wide lens has a 120-degree field of view, compared to the regular lens’ 77-degree field of view.

The iPhone 11 also makes improvements to Portrait mode, through enhanced computational photography powered by the A13 Bionic chip. It can simulate different lighting effects like natural light, studio light, contour light, and stage light.

On the video front, the iPhone 11 can record 4K video at up to 60fps, while the iPhone XR is limited to 30fps. The iPhone 11 also brings extended dynamic range to video capture for brighter highlights and added detail in shadows.

For selfies, the iPhone 11 has a 12MP TrueDepth camera compared to the iPhone XR’s 7MP TrueDepth camera. Both can record 1080p video.

In summary, the iPhone 11 brings major upgrades like the additional ultra wide lens, enhanced Portrait mode, 4K/60fps video, and improved front camera. This gives it a decisive win in the camera department.

Winner: iPhone 11


iPhone 15 CPU chipsetPin

The iPhone 11 features Apple’s latest A13 Bionic chip, while the iPhone XR runs on the year-old A12 Bionic chip.

Apple claims the A13 offers 20% faster CPU and GPU performance compared to the A12. In addition, the A13’s Neural Engine performs machine learning tasks up to 6 times faster.

In real-world usage, these performance gains will translate into faster app launches, better gaming graphics, and speedier processing of photos and videos with computational photography effects.

The A13 makes the iPhone 11 definitively faster than the iPhone XR. If you care about performance, the iPhone 11 is the better choice here.

Winner: iPhone 11

Battery Life

iPhone 11 worth it 2023Pin

According to Apple, the iPhone 11 lasts up to 1 hour longer than the iPhone XR. Specifically, Apple claims the following battery life:

iPhone 11

  • Up to 17 hours video playback
  • Up to 10 hours video streaming

iPhone XR

  • Up to 16 hours video playback
  • Up to 9 hours video streaming

In day-to-day usage, most users should get about 5+ hours of screen on time with the iPhone 11, compared to 4-5 hours on the iPhone XR.

Both phones offer wireless charging and fast charging support. But the iPhone 11 has a slight edge in battery life thanks to the efficiency of the A13 chip.

Winner: iPhone 11

Storage Options

The iPhone 11 doubles the base storage compared to the iPhone XR. The storage tiers are:

iPhone 11

  • 64GB
  • 128GB
  • 256GB

iPhone XR

  • 64GB
  • 128GB

With the iPhone 11, you’re getting 128GB for the same $699 base price as the 64GB iPhone XR. And you have the option to go up to 256GB.

The additional storage provides more room for photos, videos, games, and apps. Especially if you capture 4K video on the iPhone 11.

Winner: iPhone 11

Other Features

Aside from what we’ve covered already, the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR are evenly matched in other areas:

  • Face ID facial recognition
  • IP68 water / dust resistance
  • Stereo speakers
  • Dual SIM with eSIM (GSM model only)
  • WiFi 6 (802.11ax)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • NFC
  • Lightning connector
  • iOS 13 software

There are no differences in terms of wireless connectivity, authentication, speakers, splash resistance, or software features.

Winner: Draw


Here’s a look at the pricing:

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 64GB (Unlocked)64GBUnlocked$219.99
iPhone 11 128GB (Unlocked)128GBUnlocked$264.99
iPhone 11 64GB (T-Mobile)64GBT-Mobile$219.99
iPhone 11 256GB (Unlocked)256GBUnlocked$299.99
iPhone 11 64GB (AT&T)64GBAT&T$219.99
iPhone 11 128GB (AT&T)128GBAT&T$264.99
iPhone 11 128GB (T-Mobile)128GBT-Mobile$264.99
iPhone 11 256GB (AT&T)256GBAT&T$299.99

iPhone XR

iPhone XR 64GB (Unlocked)Unlocked64GB$174.99
iPhone XR 128GB (Unlocked)Unlocked128GB$189.99
iPhone XR 64GB (AT&T)AT&T64GB$174.99
iPhone XR 64GB (T-Mobile)T-Mobile64GB$174.99
iPhone XR 256GB (Unlocked)Unlocked256GB$224.99
iPhone XR 128GB (AT&T)AT&T128GB$189.99
iPhone XR 256GB (AT&T)AT&T256GB$224.99
iPhone XR 64GB (Verizon)Verizon64GB$174.99

Winner: iPhone 11

iPhone 11

The only area where the iPhone 11 is starting to show its age relates to its lack of 5G and its camera tech which, although not bad by any stretch of the imagination, pales in comparison to what you get on more modern phones. If you can stomach all that and you’re looking for a super-cheap, hassle-free phone that’ll get iOS updates until 2026, the iPhone 11 is probably well worth a look in 2023

  • Now Very Cheap ($236)
  • iOS Support Until 2026
  • Still Has Plenty of Performance
  • Modern, Classic Design
  • Easy To use

Which Should You Buy?

The iPhone 11 is the clear winner in this head-to-head comparison. The upgrades to the rear camera system, selfie camera, processor, and base storage make the iPhone 11 a considerable step up from the iPhone XR.

But I would advise anyone reading this in 2023 to go with a newer iPhone model. For one, you’ll get better support over the next several years – both the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 are nearing the end of their official support lifecycle.

If you want the maximum value for money and the most bang for your buck (in the short and long term), I’d recommend the iPhone 13. It’ll get iOS updates until the late 2020s, it has an OLED display, 5G support, and the camera is brilliant.

It is also now very approachable, price wise too. And if you’re after value for money, the iPhone 13 is hard to beat in 2023…

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Michael Grothaus

Michael Grothaus is an American author and journalist with a flair for exploring the intersection of technology, creativity, and digital culture. With a background in film, journalism, and creative writing, he brings a unique perspective to the world of mobile technology. His work has been featured in renowned publications like Fast Company, The Guardian, and Engadget. At KnowYourMobile, Michael leverages his extensive knowledge to guide readers through the complexities of mobile devices, helping them make informed choices in the fast-paced tech landscape.

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