iPhone 11 is the phone most people who are upgrading to a new iPhone this year should get. The iPhone 11 is a very good phone. It is not a “Pro” phone, and it is not the most innovative smartphone available. But it starts at $699, even less than the $749 starting price of last year’s iPhone XR, the handset to which it’s the clear successor.
The non-Pro 11 has the same processor as its more expensive siblings and has a camera that puts it on par with competing devices from other manufacturers. If you can manage to wade your way through the mucky waters of Apple marketing terminology and distinguish what it is from what it’s being positioned as, you too will find that the iPhone 11 is a very good phone.
The iPhone 11 costs $699 for a base model with 64 gigabytes of internal storage. For years, Apple offered a paltry 16 GB of storage on its base models—barely enough to install the usual array of basic apps. But now 64 GB is the new 16 GB, which means it’s not much. Bumping up to 128 GB will cost you $749, the starting price of last year’s iPhone XR, and 256 GB will cost you $849.
The iPhone 11 Pro with 64 GB costs $999 and creeps up to $1,349 for 512 GB of storage. The iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099 and costs a whopping $1,449 for the maximum amount of storage.
The iPhone 11 has an anodized aluminum frame with slippery glass on the front and back. Apple claims this is the most durable glass it has ever used in its phones.
This year’s iPhone 11 has two rear lenses, a wide-angle lens and an ultrawide lens with a 120-degree field of view. The iPhone 11 (and the iPhone 11 Pro) also has an automatic night mode, which instructs you to hold the camera steady for a few seconds while it grabs enough information to produce a decent photo in a dark bar or restaurant. The selfie camera has been improved too.
All three phones capture 4K video at 60 frames per second, but the iPhone 11 has something called extended dynamic range, which is like HDR for video. This means the phone actually captures 120 fps and uses the extra frames to process highlights and lowlights in the video.
It has a liquid-crystal display, which Apple calls Liquid Retina HD. The iPhone 11 has no Home button and no headphone jack. It unlocks with a passcode or by scanning your face with Apple’s forward-facing TrueDepth camera. The iPhone 11 does, however, still charge via Apple’s proprietary Lightning port. All of the above applies to the iPhone 11 Pro phones too. And all of the new phones will ship running iOS 13.
The iPhone 11, along with the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, runs on Apple’s new A13 Bionic processor. Apple claims this system on a chip is packed with the fastest CPU and the fastest GPU ever shipped in a smartphone and that its dedicated machine learning unit, the chip’s eight-core neural engine, offers the highest level of machine-learning performance available on a mobile chip.