I’ve successfully made it back to my office after spending the afternoon at Starbucks covering Apple’s event and telling you guys about the new iPad and iPhone 11 Pro. In this article, I’m gonna break down the baseline iPhone 11 which succeeds last year’s iPhone XR. For what it’s worth, the phone looks pretty solid, and it might even offer a nicer upgrade path than the more expensive offerings.
Right off the bat, it’s clear the iPhone 11 is the successor to the XR. Its glossy back glass and fun colors make it obvious, but it’s also pretty clear this is a new phone. It has a couple of cameras on the back in a new, certainly weirder square camera bump that’s everything but subtly designed.
Another interesting tweak was made to the Apple logo. Instead of it sitting somewhere in the top half on the back of the phone, it now lives directly in the center of the device. Rumors suggested this was so you’d know where to place your AirPods or Apple Watch to wirelessly charge them, but that feature apparently got scrapped last minute.
Still looks nice, though.
As is the case with most other recent iPhones, the iPhone 11 is IP68 waterproof. The glass is also (apparently) the strongest ever put on a smartphone, but Apple says outlandish things like this all the time. Millions of users from around the globe will tell you if this is true, so wait a couple of weeks to see what happens when they start dropping them.
On the front of the iPhone 11, you still get a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display that offers the same resolution and features as the XR from last year. Because of this, it also means the phone ships with a notch, but luckily, its contents have been updated.
With the 11, Apple gave Face ID an upgrade which includes a wider field of view and faster identification. It’s probably, at the very least, a bit noticeable in terms of the difference between its performance compared to the XR, but I’ll have to test drive it first to know for sure.
Power & Battery Life
Under the hood of the iPhone 11, Apple includes an A13 Bionic processor that’s faster than last year’s A12. It’s apparently the “fastest CPU in a smartphone” with the “fastest GPU in a smartphone” to coincide. Apple did some work on power efficiency with the chip which, when paired with a slightly larger cell, should get you an extra hour of battery life over the iPhone XR.
What’s gonna be the main focus for many people buying this phone is the camera which Apple has upgraded. You still get a main 12MP lens like on the XR, but with the 11, you get a secondary 12MP sensor.
Notably, this isn’t a telephoto camera. Apple actually went the Galaxy S10e route by including a standard lens and an ultra-wide lens. The new camera UI in iOS 13 will give you a preview of both fields of view and give you the option to switch between the two at the tap of a button.
Apple also confirmed its new Night mode would arrive on the iPhone 11 in addition to Deep Fusion and its video-recording improvements. You can read about that stuff in my iPhone 11 Pro write-up which went live earlier today.
On the front, there’s also a new 12MP selfie camera that comes with a wide-angle lens so you can fit more people into your groupies. You also get slow-motion video compatibility so you can take (*strong gulp*) slofies.
All the Extra Stuff
Instead of over-analyzing all the little stuff with iPhone 11, I thought I’d just slap a list to the end of this article so you can sift through it at your leisure.
- It still comes with a 5W power adapter because Apple sucks.
- There’s a weird custom U1 chip inside that lets you point at people to send them stuff over AirDrop.
- The speakers are improved thanks to new spatial audio powered by Dolby Atmos.
- Wi-Fi 6 is here, and so is gigabit-class LTE.
- It ships in six colors: black, white, yellow, PRODUCT(RED) a new green, and a new purple (the green, yellow, and purple should be very trendy next spring).
Pricing & Availability
The iPhone 11, surprisingly enough, will start at just $699, making this the cheapest iPhone since the iPhone 8 back in 2017. It’s even available for cheaper when you trade in your current iPhone. Admittedly, the $699 price tag only gets you 64GB of storage, but if you trade in your current iPhone, you’ll probably be able to get that price down enough so you can upgrade to 256GB without having to shell out extra cash.
The iPhone 11 goes on sale September 20th. Preorders being Friday.