Apple iPhone 11 review

Can the cheapest of the iPhone 11 series really capable to stand its own…

2019 saw the release of the iPhone 11 series from Apple that was supposed to take on the world of increasingly powerful Android phones and while the raw computing power of these Androids might still be a couple years behind the class leading A-series CPU’s from Apple, the sheer number of features that come loaded into these phones do give the iPhones a hard time.
With the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, Apple successfully leads the pack of high end smartphones with the exceptionally powerful A13 Bionic processor and the class leading graphics performance, mated to that the wonderful triple camera system and all day battery life, the 11 Pro series is out there for itself and ready to take on the world. That leaves the iPhone 11, where does it stand in the bigger picture for Apple and its strategy for selling phones.

Last year, things were simplified with the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max being the premium offerings with top of the line features and the iPhone XR being the cheaper alternative that ran the same processors and primary camera, replaced the OLED on the XS with a Liquid Retina LCD display and a massive battery but missed out on the telephoto lens of the XS but came in a variety of color options. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max thus seem to be the inherent successors to the XS and XS Max whereas the 11 is a direct successor to the cheaper XR.

The iPhone 11 in the same way as the XR, gets a Liquid Retina LCD display, massive battery, a variety of color options but misses out on the telephoto lens that the triple camera system on the 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have. It also misses out on the Night Mode on the ultra wide lens and the fast charger that comes in the box with the more expensive Pro series. But that doesn’t mean the iPhone 11 is a bad phone or isn’t good enough. In fact for the money, it’s a more bang for buck option which makes it incredibly popular globally as opposed to the Pro that struggles with the expensive price tag it comes with.

The design of the phone is an evolution of the iPhone XR’s design with glass back and aluminum finish on the bands. The back has glossy glass on the entire phone with the camera bump in a frosted glass finish. In essence, it’s the opposite of the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max that have a frosted glass finish on the back and the camera bump in a gloss finish. It comes in 6 colors — purple, yellow, green, white, black and (Product)RED. The phone feels premium to touch and hold, though the gloss glass back does feel slippery much like the last gen XR  and XS series. On the front, it looks exactly like any of the iPhone X, XS, XR series phones.

In fact, because of the same footprint as the XR it feels the same apart from the second lens that now comes in the larger camera bump. The 6.1inch display is the same as last year and sits right between the 11 Pro and Pro Max just like the XR did between the XS and XS Max. The camera on the iPhone 11 is simply put, incredible and sits right up with the flagship phones from other brands which is a great thing. In fact, it shares the same camera system from the more expensive Pro phones except for the Telephoto lens. The primary lens is wide lens with f/1.8 aperture along with OIS and the ultra wide lens is f/2.4 aperture with 120º field of view and gets 2x optical zoom with 5x digital zoom. It also gets Night Mode on the primary lens for low-light photography and Deep Fusion works on it too which apart from the telephoto lens makes this camera as good as you’d get on the Pro phones. Both the lenses however produce similar colors which is incredibly brilliant and is taken care by the processor to make things as seamless and the results in line with each other which is something to be appreciated as most other phones with multiple lens systems end up having different colors from different lenses which at times is quite disappointing. The iPhone 11 is a great phone to have if you’re into photography and is even better at video. The colors are true to life and very pleasant and the stabilization on the primary lens works like a wonder. It can record 4K video at 24, 30 and 60 frames per second and 1080p HD video at 30 and 60 fps.

Slow motion video can be recorded at 1080p at 120 and 240 fps too. The front camera on the phone is the same as the 11 Pro and Pro Max and is a 12 megapixel TrueDepth camera with a f/2.2 aperture and comes with Portrait Mode and 4K recording support. It also gets a wide mode like the Pro phones when put in landscape mode to accommodate more people which is handy and can also record ‘Slofies’ as Apple calls it which is slow motion video. That brings us to the storage capacities. The phone starts at 64 gigs of storage at 699$ which feels a little less, especially if you’re someone who takes a lot of 4K videos. The phone also gets 128 and 256 gigs options which come at 749$ and 849$ respectively. The pricing of the phone is in fact 50$ less on every variant than the launch price of the iPhone XR which is great but if you’re a storage junky, there is a 512GB option on the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.

The A13 Bionic is a complete monster with immense processing power and graphics strength which puts it far far ahead of even the latest Snapdragon 855+ in sheer firepower and is more efficient than ever. To know more about you can check out the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max review where we talk about it more in detail. All in all the iPhone 11 is a great phone for anyone who’s in the market with a budget and wants the greatest specs and some funky color options and is the phone that’ll cater to the demands of most customers and fights out more expensive offerings from other brands by undercutting them significantly at the price point. However if you really want more storage and the brilliant telephoto lens or the OLED Super Retina XDR display, you’ll have to spare a few more hundred dollars to move up to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.