Is The iPhone 11 Still Worth Buying In 2021? My 2 Cents…

If you don’t care, need, or want 5G connectivity, the iPhone 11 – even in 2021 – still makes a lot of sense, especially now that is cheaper…

The iPhone 12 is now officially old. It has been replaced by the iPhone 13. But what if you don’t need 5G? What if all you want is a decent iPhone with plenty of power under the hood? Is the iPhone 11 still worth buying in 2020? Or are you better off with the iPhone 13?

As always, it depends – it depends on whether you want 5G, the latest A15 chipset, and Apple’s slightly new design language. If you can live without these things, then, yes, an iPhone 11 is totally worth buying in 2021.

And right now, thanks to the heavy emphasis placed on the iPhone 13 range, the iPhone 11 can now be had for a lot less money.

iPhone 11Three (UK)From £47 pm
iPhone 11EE (UK)From £39 pm
iPhone 11VerizonFrom $29 pm
iPhone 11AT&TFrom $10 pm
A Quick Overview of The Best Current iPhone 11 Deals For The UK and USA

iPhone 11 Price

If all you want is a functional iPhone, and you want value for money, meaning an iPhone that doesn’t cost the earth, an iPhone 11 – the phone itself is now cheaper, thanks to the release of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 – does make quite a bit of sense.

When it comes to the iPhone 11’s price, you’re looking at some pretty big savings. Even more, if you pick one up refurbished. Savvy users know this, though; any time a new iPhone drops – in this case, the iPhone 12 – the price of the older model, the iPhone 11, is reduced. Apple does this to speed up adoption of its older model, while demand for its newer (and more expensive models) spools up.

The design of the iPhone 11 is much the same as the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13, save for the side profile, and Apple’s A13 CPU is still one of the most potent mobile phone processors on the planet; it’s vastly more powerful than anything you’ll find inside an Android phone.

The camera, while not perfect, is decent-enough for the average user and iOS 15, Apple’s latest software, is now more useful than ever, thanks to the inclusion of widgets and a myriad of other tweaks and updates.

Add on to this the fact that Apple’s iPhone 11 will get iOS updates for at least another six years, and the case for buying an iPhone 11 in 2020 is very strong – if you’re the kind of user that places value for money higher than shiny new things.

Speaking personally, I never buy new iPhones. I always buy the previous year once the new iPhone has launched. The price comes down and phone networks and carriers cut their monthly fees, as they scramble to start shifting the newer models.

For the consumer, this is a good place to find yourself.

iPhone 11 PROS & CONS – A 2021 Perspective…

Apple’s iPhone 11 is a killer phone. It was the best-selling iPhone in 2019 and because it will still be available to buy in 2020 and beyond, it will likely retain this status until well into 2021.

Apple is brilliant with software updates too, so if you don’t need to worry about that – the iPhone 11 will get iOS updates until well into the late-2020s. The only thing missing, really, is support for 5G. If you can live with 5G on your iPhone, the iPhone is still a great buy in 2021, if you’re looking for great value for money.

Internally, you have all the specs and performance you’ll ever need. Apple’s A13 CPU is a monster – even by 2021’s standards. And while it isn’t quite as potent as Apple’s newer A14 CPU, it will still very much take care of business. For the average user, the A13 is already WAY more than you need.


My only slight issue with the iPhone 11 is its camera; you do have better options available inside cheaper phones now like the Pixel 4a 5G and Pixel 5, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S10e. And all of these phones run 5G too, so they’re slightly more future-proofed than the iPhone 11.

On the subject of battery life, this is one area the iPhone 11 truly excels. The iPhone 11 has a better battery than the iPhone 12 – by as much as four hours. And the reason for this is that it doesn’t run 5G. If you value battery life over faster mobile data, the iPhone 11 is vastly superior choice than the iPhone 12 at the moment.

These 5G battery issues have been fixed inside the iPhone 13, however, as Apple increased the size of their batteries by quite a bit.

Apple has already discounted the iPhone 11 by $100; it now retails – direct from Apple – for $599. This is for the basic 64GB model. If you want more storage – say, 128GB or 256GB – you’ll have to pay $649 and £749, respectively.

The iPhone 12, meanwhile, starts at $699 for the base model and moves up to $849 for the 256GB model. It costs more because the iPhone 12 now has an OLED display and 5G. And with Apple, this stuff comes at a premium.

iPhone 11 Release Date – When Did It Come Out?

The iPhone 11 launch date took place on September 10, 2019. Apple introduced three new iPhone models at the event – the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Following the official unveiling, Apple’s iPhone 11 range got its release date on 20 September 2019.

How old is the iPhone 11? At the time of writing, the iPhone 11 range is now around about 18 months old. When the iPhone 13 range launches during Q4 of 2021, the iPhone 11 range will be two years old. However, Apple really looks after its older iPhone models, so the iPhone 11 range is still a great option in 2021 and beyond, providing you don’t mind not having 5G.

Should You Buy A Refurbished iPhone 11?

So, that’s quite a saving already. Another good option, however, if you want to save even more money is to pick yourself up a refurbished iPhone 11 – these can be had for as little as $494 – though if you want an unlocked model the price goes up into the high $500 mark.


That’s still cheaper than buying an iPhone 11 via Apple, but not by much. For this reason, we’d advise that you go with a new iPhone 11 over a refurbished one right now – the savings just aren’t there yet.

By 2021, however, this will have changed. The price of a refurbished iPhone 11 will come down dramatically – by as much as $100 potentially. But this will not happen until the iPhone 12 starts shipping in volume. At present, there is still a high demand for the iPhone 11, so the price is still high.

The THING With 5G…

The main USP of Apple’s iPhone 12 lineup of phones is that they have 5G. That’s the big headline feature. But here’s the thing: not all places have 5G yet. If you’re in a rural area or outside a city or major conurbation, chances are you won’t have 5G coverage.

And you might not get 5G coverage until well into 2021, depending on where you are – the rollout of 5G varies as much as the phones that now use the standard.

For this reason, if you’re not 100% onboard with 5G and are happy enough with LTE connectivity when you’re out and about, why pay extra for an iPhone just to MAYBE get some 5G action? Why indeed…

Is The iPhone 11 Still Worth Buying In 2021? My 2 Cents…Pin

The argument for getting a 5G iPhone is fairly simple: by doing so you will future-proof your phone, meaning you will be able to run it longer without having to upgrade. This is a valid point too, and it is one of the main reasons why I have been giving serious thought to getting an iPhone 12.

I’m not too fussed about 5G right now but in six to twelve months? Yeah, I might want myself some 5G connectivity. And if that is the case, and I got a 5G iPhone 12 model, I’d be covered when 5G finally arrived in my local area.

5G is here to stay, that much is certain. But its rollout – like 4K TVs – will take awhile. Think back several years: no one had 4K TVs. Nowadays, most people have 4K TVs.

Things do change but the change, with respect to the adoption of 4K TVs, sometimes takes a few years. I think it’ll be the same with 5G, though it’ll probably happen quicker than 4K did as there are WAY more phone shipments per year than HDTVs.

In this respect, it’s just a numbers game. The more 5G phones you have, the more people there will be using 5G. Networks and carriers are now rolling out 5G everywhere, so it stands to reason by this time next year, a fairly large chunk of people will be using 5G pretty darn regularly.

Should You Buy iPhone 11 In 2020? Wrapping Up… 

This is the ONLY reason you’d get the iPhone 12 over the iPhone 11, though. Everything else being equal, the iPhone 12 is not that much of an update over the iPhone 11. Compared to the iPhone X or iPhone 8 Plus, yeah, the iPhone 12 is a major update.

But compared to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 12 is only a minor update (ditto the iPhone 13) – it has 5G, an OLED display, and slightly tweaked internals. To the VAST majority of users out there, the difference between using an iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 will be negligible.

Unless you want 5G. Then things are different. If you want 5G on your iPhone, you have to get the iPhone 12 or the iPhone 13.


Me personally? I’m kind of on the fence right now. Apple’s iPhone 13 isn’t a massive update but it does add in some significant updates and improvements over the iPhone 12.

For this reason, the idea of getting a discounted iPhone 11 now and waiting until 2022 for the iPhone 14 is starting to look very attractive to me. By that time, 5G will be more established (and a lot more useful) and I will know more about its actual benefits and how they affect me as a user.

The bottom line here is fairly simple, however: if you’re looking at an iPhone 11, and you want to save some money, the phone is still perfectly viable in 2021 and beyond. The iPhone 12/13 are great, but they are more expensive.

If you not fussed about 5G, get the iPhone 11. That’s probably what I’m going to do anyway…

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Richard Goodwin

Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.