The Good Even faster speed, improved battery life. The iPhone 11s come with a great new night mode and an ultra-wide-angle camera that can add extra detail to your photos. Fantastic camcorder.
The Bad Pro models only get 2x photos. Ultra wide angle camera does not add night mode. USB-C port is missing. The Pro phones have faster 18-watt chargers, but the iPhone 11 doesn’t. It still has a good (but not OLED) display.
The Bottom Line Apple may have missed flashy add-ons on phones this year, but the iPhone 11 is the best average model the company has ever made.
When you first hear the names of Apple’s new iPhones – iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max – you may have questions. Where is the iPhone X ($ 899 on Amazon) ? And what makes iPhone Pro … Pro? What happened to last year XS and XS Max ($ 1,000 on Amazon) ? This year’s new phones are groundbreaking sequels (literally and figuratively) to the three we received last year. For some people, the iPhone 11 just has to be better than the XS. And that’s really true. But for others, it’s nice to know where Apple is in the space of phones. Exist wild 5G speeds on the horizon , plus fanciful and expensive foldable phones like Samsung Galaxy Fold . And here is more expensive $ 799 Google Pixel 4 that actually makes the iPhone $ 1199 $ 699 look like even more value.
Apple has done a great job with the new features, including some major camera enhancements like Night mode for taking pictures in dimly lit situations and Deep Fusion is a new way to process iPhone 11 and 11 Pro photos made in situations where the lighting is bright enough for you to see, but nothing like this is outdoors on a sunny day.
But there is a good reason why the company called its more expensive and more fanciful phones this year “About”: Price. Apple reasonably targets the iPhone 1199 (£ 729, $ 1199) as a phone for most people in the same shape as the iPhone XR ($ 749 on Amazon) last year.
In fact, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are 85% the same phone. If you want to have a dedicated 2x optical zoom camera, different size options, better screen and trim, you’re going to pay 30% more. This is not to say that the $ 999 iPhone 11 Pro and $ 1,099 11 Pro Max are not great phones. Just the iPhone 11 actually is that fine. And that’s why Apple’s “value” phone with its great cameras, rugged design (which survived the fall of CNET and water trials) and iOS 13.2 earns the iPhone 11 the CNET Editor’s Choice Award.
Editors note, November 6: Updated based on CNET battery tests, water tests, and Deep Fusion photo processing scores. The original review, published September 17, is below.
It still starts at 64GB
The $ 699 iPhone 11 gets 64GB of storage, which is probably good for many people – a $ 50 reduction from last year’s base model iPhone XR. 128GB for $ 749 probably makes more sense if you shoot any video, and 256GB for $ 849 should only be considered if you shoot a lot of videos. Profon Phones add 512GB of a level you won’t need unless you’re shooting in 4K for a living. See the chart at the bottom of this review for complete pricing information, including prices in the UK and Australia.
Steven Soderbergh may have to switch to the iPhone 11 Pro for his next movie
Colors: The iPhone 11 is an interesting phone
For whatever reason, Apple still makes the iPhone 11 with the cheapest prices available in fun colors. There are two new colors called green and purple that look more like mint green and lavender. These new pastel colors replace last year’s blue and coral variants.
I have a green iPhone 11. Its color is nice, and the aluminum body color is much closer to seamless with glass. The glossy glass back feels the same as last year’s XR. Like the rest of the phone, except for the dual cameras, which are raised from behind and housed in a frosted glass chamber.
Up close with the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
In contrast, the iPhone 11 Pro models have metallic shades: silver, space gray, gold, and midnight green. The three cameras seem more industrial (possibly intrusive). The rear window is frosted, not glossy. They are made of steel instead of aluminum. And Pro phones feel much denser. They pack larger batteries, and steel adds weight.
I love that the iPhone 11 follows in the footsteps of the iPhone XR and again is the average size of a 6.1-inch phone – compared to two iPhone Pro models by 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches. I became a fan of the smaller iPhone 11 Pro like the iPhone XS last year.
Over the past few years, Apple has made great strides in camera quality, but so have many other phone makers like Samsung, Huawei, and Google. The race in the camera armor is something that painstaking photographers study closely, but I would argue that it has passed what most people need. The iPhone 11s are some of the best photos and videos you can buy today.
The 11 comes with a new ultra wide-angle camera, night mode for low-light photography, Deep Fusion processing for better indoor shots, faster autofocus and more crisp, more accurate color reproduction. To get a closer look at the difference between cameras this year and last year’s iPhone, read our comparison of iPhone cameras between iPhone 11 with Deep Fusion and iPhone XR . The ultra-wide offers a dramatic change in perspective that can be dizzyingly visually unique. It won’t be your transition camera, but it’s just a blast.
Night mode is a major feature that helps Apple catch up with similar features from Google, Huawei and Samsung. And so far the Apple version is astounding.
Night mode, how it works and when it doesn’t work
Like the Google Pixel 4, the Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note 10 , it seems like impressive low-light photos are now in the wheelchair of every phone maker. The Apple version brightens up photos, makes less noise, and does it all automatically. How it works When you open the default camera app, your phone determines when it’s already dark enough to go into night mode. There is currently no manual way to start the mode.
Night mode uses adaptive bracketing and takes a series of photos, some with faster shutter speeds, others with shorter shutter speeds. The iPhone then merges all the photos together to reduce motion blur and enhance shadows. When I was shooting night mode, the sequence would take 3 to 5 seconds. When I put my iPhone on a tripod, I got a 10-second time and even was able to manually change it for a 28-second night mode.
I took a picture of a tree in my back yard, which was in total darkness. Below is a shot of an iPhone 11 using night mode and another one with last year’s iPhone XS.
The HDR-like feel of the photos retains some of the night effects, but at other times the photos may look like daytime. Night mode can be switched off by clicking on the icon and sliding the timer off, but so far this is an improvement in almost every case.
This is not a perfect tool: faces can blur, details can be lost. But it still struck me. Night mode effects work the same on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, but the Pro also gets a camera to use.
However, you cannot use night mode in ultra wide angle mode. This camera eventually looks much darker and does not have optical image stabilization. This is true for all models this year.
Ultra wide angle = dramatic camera
The latest camera has an ultra-wide 13mm equivalent lens, which is just fun to use. If the main wide camera is similar to a business suit, and the “body” lens is a sports blazer, then the ultra-wide equivalent of a Hawaiian shirt. This obviously is different and really changes the way we shoot. It won’t be great in any situation, but it can be evenly handy, such as when shooting in smaller spaces and artistically, adding drama to the mundane scene.
Apple balanced the distortion so there is little (what you want for this ultra-fast look), but it’s not terrible. I immediately found angles on my objects that made them look larger than life. The best part is that you can use an ultra-wide lens while shooting video. In fact, you can switch between cameras while recording. Apple even put in a cool zoom effect to switch lenses.
Undoubtedly, this can make terrific footage. Ultra-wide cameras are another trend in phone cameras. Apple promises some additional benefits here. The iPhone 11 gets an advanced infrared portrait mode that can handle close-ups of your pets and other things. All phones come with an enlarged viewfinder that now looks at what’s out of the frame to help you know when to use an ultra-wide lens.
The cool add-on also captures some of the ultra-short camera data in the Quick Quick video when you press and hold the camera button in the Camera app. It seems to be pulling in people who may be out of scope. I haven’t worked in this mode yet.
Apple will also use multiple cameras for future Deep Fusion feature coming to all phones next month. More on this below. He promises to put a superfoil made of several frames. It’s not quite Smart HDR, but it will work automatically. I was reminded of promises Nokia 9 , which was also intended to combine photos into a surprise.
Take a look at photos from the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max
Deep Fusion, aka “light mode”
The new Deep Fusion iPhone 11 processor shines in medium light. It is best to think of medium lighting as indoor lighting without natural lighting or for an office where your desk is far away from windows. The lighting is bright enough for you to see, but there’s nothing like it on a sunny day.
Like the Smart HDR, it takes multiple images and brings them together. But unlike Smart HDR, Deep Fusion does the analysis and optimizes things at the pixel level for details to appear, reduce image noise and improve brightness. The difference between iPhone 11 photography with Deep Fusion and XR without a new process is subtle.
Keep in mind that Deep Fusion processing is not the only one that enhances photos from the iPhone 11. There is improved clarity and focus from the phone’s new main camera. All in all, your photos will just look better effortlessly.
Below are photos of the public telephone at BART. The lighting was poor but did not cause the iPhone 11. Night mode (Also, holy hell, they still make phone phones!) Mark the text and scratches on the phone in a photo taken with the iPhone 11 compared to the one made with the XR. The details are so sharper. You can also see how the Deep Fusion iPhone 11 minimizes wall noise on the phone. Photo iPhone XR receives noise reduction smear processing.
More stable video and better overall video
I already loved the iPhone video features. I shot some test shots on new phones and was interested in the additional stabilization of the processing. The iPhone X and XS were already good enough for me to go and shoot the Apple Demo Room. The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro do it better, but I found that the wide camera was a bit smoother than the ultra-wide.
The video does not use night mode, but the video looks better in dark places. However, video in darker places gets darker than photos (even without night mode). In our review video, we used a few videos to read this.
Slower selfies and wider selfies
Wide-angle front camera is welcome. It can digitally zoom in or out to provide a wider look that includes more people and people. The front 12MP front camera looks better and I was pleased with the results, but you should be able to use a wider camera. Sometimes I ended up looking like a little face in a mountain of shirts.
My kids instantly started tinkering around with the slow selfie feature. Yes, that’s it slofie . However, this is not Live Photography. It’s just video mode. This is very difficult to do because the file sizes are large. However, I have a lot of slow motion frames at 120 frames per second when my kids stick out in their tongues.
Speed, yes, but really, battery life
After conducting our official battery tests and living on the iPhone 11 for over a month, we found that the battery life is about the same as last year’s iPhone XR. In our iPhone 11 streaming video tests, it lasted 13 hours 52 minutes compared to the 12 hours 7 minutes of the iPhone XR in the same test. In daily use, the iPhone 11 lasted about one and a half days.
The A13 processor and RAM are the same for all new iPhone models (4GB of RAM and a seemingly equally fast benchmark processor). It’s a little faster in one task and more of a multitasking leap. Graphic performance, in theory, looks great, approaching last year iPad Pro .
There are some other things to note
The LCD is the same as last year, and it is absolutely fine. The striking sound of Apple’s Super Retina XDR display in the iPhone 11 Pro is technically taller, brighter and brighter than the iPhone 11. But when compared side by side, most people (myself included) have a hard time finding the difference. Apple handles its LCD liquid crystal display perfectly on the iPhone 11. This does not seem like a compromise, except when you look at dark images with subtle light details. Oh, and the recess is exactly the same as before. I prefer not to, but at least I’m used to it.
I’m annoyed that they don’t have USB-C charging, or a way to charge the Apple Watch or AirPods from behind, as Samsung phones allow you to charge your Samsung watch and Galaxy Buds . The iPhone 11 Pro now comes with the best 18-watt charger, including at least the more useful Lightning-to-USB-C cable. But the usual iPhone 11 doesn’t.
Wi-Fi 6: The new Wi-Fi standard is faster, but I didn’t see any changes to the iPhone XS on my home 100Mb network.
Read more: The iPhone 11 supports Wi-Fi 6: Here’s what it means to you
Faster cellular (but not 5G): The Gigabit LTE is on the iPhone 11, which the XR didn’t have. The iPhone 11 still has 2×2 MIMO antennas. On the iPhone 11 Pro, you get 4×4 MIMO, which can improve signal strength and speed, but over time we’ll see what the differences are.
Better water resistance? (See you)
The iPhone 11 is rated for 2 meters of water resistance within 30 minutes. The iPhone 11 Pro is rated at 4 meters in 30 minutes. In our Water Immersion Tests for iPhone 11 and 11 Pro (with the help of an underwater drone) the phones proved that they were more than capable of diving beyond what they were intended for.
Drop test: iPhone 11 failed to crack
Last year’s The iPhone XS did surprisingly well in our fall test . XR, not much. All 11 phones had improved glass, according to Apple. We ran a drop test on both the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. We dropped each phone from four different heights: 3, 6, 8 and 11 feet. From 8 feet and below, both phones survived to hit the concrete floor. The iPhone 11 Pro is the only one to suffer damage. A few pixels on the 11 Pro screen stopped working, and there was a slight crackle and an aluminum bumper and a cosmetic scratch on the top lens body. The camera itself still worked.
From 11 feet, both phones still didn’t crack, but the rear iPhone 11 camera stopped working and the iPhone 11 Pro SIM card tray popped up. It was easily pushed into the game, but a small bulge appeared along the seam where the screen joins the stainless steel frame. For more information, read the information this is the story of the CNET crash test for the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro .
Spatial Awareness chip U1
Ultrawideband ( UWB ) is a technology that can offer placement features more accurate than Bluetooth. This year’s iPhones have a new U1 chip that can come on other devices or even rumors about Apple’s location later this year. Apple promises that using the U1 AirDrop chip will now work more accurately, pointing one iPhone 11 to another iPhone 11. It can also improve AR by placing beacons in space. U1 features will be available until September 30 with iOS 13.1, so we’ll check back then.
Choose an even less expensive XR?
The iPhone XR , the straightforward ancestor of the iPhone 11, is now selling for $ 100 less, starting at $ 599. If you are not interested in wide-angle cameras or night-time photography, I would say do it. If you received the XR last year, the iPhone 11 is definitely not enough reason to upgrade.
What does Pro do for you?
If you can’t tell, I think the standard iPhone 11 has everything you need for the price, except this telephoto lens. No matter what the extra camera lens or the extra battery life, the brighter OLED display and stainless steel case add up to $ 300, depending on how much you appreciate the features.
I’m leaning towards the smaller iPhone 11 Pro as my favorite iPhone this year. But for most people who sell iPhone updates, I recommend the iPhone 11. Or just wait. With last year’s phone you are fine, and I would even go for it if you have an iPhone 8 or iPhone X. Next year’s iPhones could be part of a major upgrade cycle that probably includes 5G. And Google is new Pixel 4 phones there is another option.
This year’s iPhone 11 models are an upgrade, but they are good. And all three are worthy of being called “About.”
Features of iPhone 11 vs. iPhone 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max, XR, XS, XS Max
|iPhone 11||iPhone 11 Pro||iPhone 11 Pro Max||iPhone XR||iPhone XS||iPhone XS Max|
|Display size, resolution||6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina; 1,792×828 pixels||5.8-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,436×1,125 pixels||6.5-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,688×1,242 pixels||6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina; 1,792×828 pixels||5.8-inch OLED Super Retina; 2,436×1,125 pixels||6.5-inch Super Retina OLED; 2,688×1,242 pixels|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.94×2.98×0.33 in||5.67×2.81×0.32 in||6.22×3.06×0.32 in||5.9x3x0.33 in||5.7×2.8×0.3 in||6.2x3x0.3 in|
|Dimensions (millimeters)||151x76x8.3 mm||144x71x8.1 mm||158x78x8.1 mm||151x76x8.3 mm||144x71x7.7 mm||158x77x7.7 mm|
|Weight (ounces, grams)||6.84 oz; 194g||6.63 oz; 188g||7.97 oz; 226g||6.8oz; 194g||6.2 oz; 177g||7.3oz; 208g|
|Mobile software||iOS 13||iOS 13||iOS 13||iOS 12||iOS 12||iOS 12|
|Camera||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)||12-megapixel (wide)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)||12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)|
|Front-facing camera||12-megapixel with Face ID||12-megapixel with Face ID||12-megapixel with Face ID||7-megapixel with Face ID||7-megapixel with Face ID||7-megapixel with Face ID|
|Processor||Apple A13 Bionic||Apple A13 Bionic||Apple A13 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB||64GB, 256GB, 512GB|
|RAM||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||Not disclosed||Not disclosed|
|Battery||Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 1 hour longer than iPhone XR||Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 4 hours longer than iPhone XS||Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 5 hours longer than iPhone XS Max||2,942 mAh (not officially disclosed by Apple)||2,658 mAh (not officially disclosed by Apple)||3,174 mAh (not officially disclosed by Apple)|
|Fingerprint sensor||None (Face ID)||None (Face ID)||None (Face ID)||None (Face ID)||None (Face ID)||None (Face ID)|
|Special features||Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging||Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging||Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging||Water-resistant (IP67), dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging||Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging||Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging|
|Price off-contract (USD)||$699 (64GB), $749 (128GB), $849 (256GB)||$999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)||$1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB)||$749 (64GB), $799 (128GB), $899 (256GB)||$999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)||$1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB)|
|Price (GBP)||£729 (64GB), £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB)||£1,049 (64GB), £1,199 (256GB), £1,399 (512GB)||£1,149 (64GB), £1,299 (256GB), £1,499 (512GB)||£749 (64GB), £799 (128GB), £899 (256GB)||£999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB)||£1,099 (64GB), £1,249 (256GB), £1,449 (512GB)|
|Price (AUD)||AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,279 (128GB), AU$1,449 (256GB)||AU$1,749 (64GB), AU$1,999 (256GB), AU$2,349 (512GB)||AU$1,899 (64GB), AU$2,149 (256GB), AU$2,499 (512GB)||AU$1,229 (64GB), AU$1,299 (128GB), AU$1,479 (256GB)||AU$1,629 (64GB), AU$1,879 (256GB), AU$2,199 (512GB)||AU$1,799 (64GB), AU$2,049 (256GB), AU$2,369 (512GB)|