(Pocket-lint) – Apple announced the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max in September 2019. They were then succeeded by the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max in September 2020.
If you’re in the market for a new iPhone but you don’t want the latest models, you’re in the right place.
The iPhone 11 sits above the iPhone XR and is still available to buy from Apple alongside the iPhone 12 models. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max took the place of the iPhone XS and XS Max, but while all are discontinued through Apple, you might be able to get hold of them elsewhere.
Here is how the three 2019 iPhones compare to help you work out which is the right one for you.
You can also read our separate features on how the iPhone 11 compares to the iPhone XR and how the iPhone 11 Pro models compare to the iPhone XS models.
What’s the same across the iPhone 11 series?
- No 3D Touch
- Storage options
The Apple iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max all run on the same processor, like the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max.
For 2019, that processor was the A13 Bionic chip with a third-generation neural engine (it’s also in the iPhone SE (2020)). The three models also come in the same storage capacities – 64GB, 256GB and 512GB – none of which have microSD.
All three models also come with an improved front camera compared to their predecessors offering a 12-megapixel lens, next-generation Smart HDR for photos and Portrait Mode, as well as Portrait Lighting.
Face ID is on board all three models (as you would expect) and it too was improved compared to older models with more angles supported. All models launched on iOS 13, but they would now support iOS 14, delivering the same user experience and the same new features.
What’s different between the iPhone 11 series?
Whilst the three iPhone 11s share numerous similarities – including power, software and a similar (though not identical) design, there are a few differences to consider before you make your choice.
- iPhone 11: Dual camera
- iPhone 11 Pro: Triple camera
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: Triple camera
One of the main differences between the iPhone 11 series is their camera capabilities. The iPhone 11 comes with a dual camera, while the iPhone 11 Pro models come with a triple rear camera.
The iPhone 11 has dual 12-megapixel ultra-wide and wide cameras with the ultra-wide lens offering an aperture of f/2.4, while the wide lens has an aperture of f/1.8. The iPhone 11 Pro models have a triple 12-megapixel sensor setup, with the same two lenses as the iPhone 11, along with a telephoto lens offering an aperture of f/2.0.
All models have Night Mode, Auto Adjustments, Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control, Portrait Lighting with six effects and next-generation Smart HDR for photos. The Night Mode is very good, offering much better low light capabilities across all three devices.
The iPhone 11 has 2x optical zoom out, digital zoom up to 5x, while the iPhone 11 Pro models have 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out and 10x digital zoom. The optical zoom out refers to the ultra-wide-angle lens, allowing you to get more in the shot. Only the Pro models have 2x optical zoom in thanks to the third telephoto lens. The Pro models also have dual optical image stabilisation, while the iPhone 11 has standard optical image stabilisation.
- iPhone 11: 6.1-inch, LCD, 1792 x 828, True Tone, Haptic Touch, 625nits
- iPhone 11 Pro: 5.8-inch, OLED, HDR, 2436 x 1125, True Tone, Haptic Touch, 800nits
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: 6.5-inch, OLED, HDR, 2688 x 1242, True Tone, Haptic Touch, 800nits
Display sizes differ between the three iPhone 11 models, as they did for 2018’s iPhone XR, XS and XS Max and resolutions differ too with the iPhone 11 offering a pixel density of 326ppi and the iPhone 11 Pro models offering pixel densities of 458ppi. The 11 Pro models are also brighter. You’ll notice this difference if you’re looking at the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models side-by-side but otherwise, the iPhone 11’s display will be more than sufficient for most users.
The iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch screen like the iPhone XS, the iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch screen like the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display like the iPhone XS Max.
The Pro models also have OLED displays like their predecessors, allowing for punchier colours and blacker blacks than the iPhone 11 and its LCD screen, but again, this is only really noticeable if you place the devices together. The Pro models do have HDR support though, which the iPhone 11 does not, meaning you’ll see less detail on the standard iPhone when watching HDR-compatible content.
- iPhone 11 Pro: 144 x 71.4 x 8.1mm, 188g
- iPhone 11: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm, 194g
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: 158 x 77.8 x 8.1mm, 226g
As with the display sizes, the physical footprint between the three 2019 iPhones differs.
The iPhone 11 Pro is the smallest and lightest, followed by the iPhone 11 and then the iPhone 11 Pro Max. With the frosted glass finished on the iPhone 11 Pro models though, the iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn’t look as big as the iPhone XS Max did. It’s an optical illusion of course, but for those that wanted the larger model but thought it looked to big in 2018, you might find yourself thinking differently here.
The iPhone 11 is a great in-between device in terms of size though.
- iPhone 11: Dual camera, aluminium frame
- iPhone 11 Pro models: Triple camera, stainless steel frame
While the design is similar across the three 2019 iPhones, with all offering a notch on the front at the top of the display, there are differences on the rears, as well as material choice.
The iPhone 11 Pro models have a square camera housing with three camera lenses, while the iPhone 11 has a dual camera. All models have an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, but the Pro models can be submerged up to four-metres for 30 minutes, while the iPhone 11 can only be submerged up to two-metres for 30 minutes.
The Pro models also have a textured matte glass and stainless steel design, while the iPhone 11 is made form aluminium and standard glass. In the flesh, the Pro models are really beautiful, especially in the green and gold colour options. They look more premium than the iPhone 11 but this is something you will only notice when they are next to each other. Otherwise, the iPhone 11 is a lovely, solid device in its own right.
- iPhone 11: Up to 17-hours, wireless charging
- iPhone 11 Pro: Up to 18-hours, wireless charging
- iPhone 11 Pro Max: Up to 20-hours, wireless charging
Batteries were claimed to have improved for the 2019 iPhone models when they first launched, and while Apple doesn’t detail specific capacities, they did improve in our experience. The iPhone 11 is said to last up to 17 hours, while the iPhone 11 Pro is said to last up to 18 hours and the iPhone 11 Pro Max is said to last up to 20 hours.
We were really impressed with the battery life of 2019 devices though during our testing. Both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Max will see you through a day and evening without a problem in our experience.
All three models offer wireless charging but none have reverse wireless charging on board. All three models are also fast-charge capable, but only the Pro models come with 18W fast chargers in the box.
- iPhone 11: 6 colours
- iPhone 11 Pro models: 3 colours
Colour options vary between the standard iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro models.
The iPhone 11 was available in Purple, Yellow, Green, Black, White and Product(RED) when it first arrived. They were more muted than they were for the iPhone XR and lovely as a result.
The iPhone 11 Pro models were available in Midnight Green, Silver, Space Grey and Gold. The Midnight Green and Gold are fabulous and really stand out, especially with the matte rear.
- iPhone 11: From $699/£729
- iPhone 11 Pro models: From $999/£1049
Pricing between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models unsurprisingly differs.
The iPhone 11 started at $699/£729 when it first launched, the iPhone Pro started at $999/£1049 and the iPhone Pro Max started at $1099/£1149. As mentioned, only the iPhone 11 is available through Apple now, and it is cheaper, but you might still find the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max at a good price elsewhere now they have been succeeded.
The Apple iPhone 11 is the cheaper option of the three 2019 iPhones and it’s great value. For many, it will be the one to buy from this trio of handsets.
The iPhone 11 Pro models offer some great features, specifically camera capabilities, design materials and better displays, but they are also particularly pricey compared to the standard iPhone 11.
The iPhone 11 offers more colours than the Pro models, even if it isn’t as premium in design, it sits in the middle in terms of size and while it misses out on a couple of features compared to the Pro models, such as optical zoom in terms of camera and a punchier display, it still offers a great camera with Night Mode and brilliant results.
Writing by Britta O’Boyle.