In yesterday’s article, I took a first look at the iPhone 11 Pro & the Pro Max so if you haven’t read it, you should certainly check it out!
But in this article I’ll be unboxing and taking a first look at the regular iPhone 11 and telling you why I think that this is the iPhone to get, for most people!
Ok, so first off the iPhone 11 comes in 6 colors. We have the standard White & Black. We have Green, Purple, Red, as well as Yellow. Last year we had the blue XR and this year we got the yellow one as I think that’s the 2nd best color after Red.
And taking a look at the box, the iPhone 11 comes in the same white box that we have seen in previous years. On the front we have a picture of the actual iPhone that you’ll find inside, the yellow one in this case. Some of the elements of the box are actually raised or indented, for example the camera modules are raised, the aluminium frame and so on. It’s a really nice touch!
Then on the sides we have the iPhone logo, there’s no number or anything on this at all, and it does shine in the color of iPhone that you bought, so yellow in this case. Another thing that shines is the Apple logo on the top and bottom of the box which also has that yellow glow to it. Finally on the back of the box, we have the capacity, along with a list of what is included inside.
Now, I do find it quite odd how the iPhone 11 box is noticeably thicker than the 11 Pro’s box, even though we get the exact same accessories inside. So we get the standard booklet, which includes the quick start guide, the sim eject tool, the warranty and the safety guide as well as a pair of Apple stickers. It would’ve been so nice if the stickers actually matched the color of iPhone, like it does on the 12” MacBook but we only have white stickers, just like we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s. Aside from this, we get a pair of lightning headphones, a USB type A to lightning cable. With the Pro’s we do get a USB type C to lightning cable but both iPhone still have a lightning port. Finally we get the same 5W charger that we have seen in previous years, but the regular iPhone 11 does support fast charging, so you’ll have to buy a fast charger separately, like the 18W one that comes as standard with the Pro’s.
First off I’ve got to be honest, I’m not really a fan of this design. It’s basically a merge between the iPhone 6’s design from 2014, that the iPhone 6S, 7 and 8 all had, and the brand new iPhone X’s design. The bezels are still as big as on the XR which looks pretty bad on a 2019 phone, especially if you add a case to this.
Now if you thought that the iPhone 11 Pro’s were thick, coming in at 0.5mm thicker than the XS from last year, well the 11 is even thicker than the Pro’s, measuring in at 8.3mm, so it does feel very bulky in the hand.
The display on this is still an LCD display which again is very odd to see on a phone that still costs $700 or £730, so it’s not a cheap device by any means. So comparing the display to the 11 Pro’s display there is a noticeable difference between the two. The 11 Pros’ display has significantly better contrast, and colors just pop instantly. Everything is also sharper since we have a QHD+ display compared to not even a 1080p panel on the regular iPhone 11. It’s not necessarily a bad display but on a $700 phone this should’ve been OLED. I’m sorry Apple but the Pixel 3a which costs $400 comes with a much higher resolution display, that’s also an OLED panel.
But those are pretty much all the negatives I have to say about this phone. The outdated design and the display.
Aside from that, it’s actually very very good.
It’s got the same A13 Chip processor as the iPhone 11 Pro’s. We also have 4GB of RAM on this, again, just like on the Pro’s. 4GB has now been officially confirmed on the Pro’s, unfortunately it’s not 6 or 4+2 where 2GB would be dedicated to the camera. So I find it so interesting how Apple promotes the performance on the Pro’s so much when the regular 11 has exactly the same level of performance, which is great! You get the same performance on the entry level iPhone 11 as you do with the much more expensive iPhone 11 Pro’s.
It also comes with fast charging support,even though we don’t have that fast charger included the the box, as I mentioned earlier.
As well as all those we get new and improved speakers, with special audio and dolby vision support, just like the iPhone 11 Pro’s do. Now, when comparing the 11 and the Pro’s sound quality. They’re actually very very similar. The Pro Max is definitely the best one but between the smaller Pro and the 11, I couldn’t really tell the difference.
Haptic touch is also the same one as on the 11 Pro’s, now that 3D touch got removed from the Pro’s and not only that, but the regular iPhone 11 also come with WiFi 6, just like the iPhone Pro’s.
When it comes to the camera system, we now get a dual camera module, one more than the single module that we had on the XR.
Now, on the Pro’s we have triple lens camera module, up from the dual one that we had on the XS’s. So we have the regular module, which Apple’s calling the wide, we have the zoom module and we have the wide angle module, which Apple’s calling the ultra wide.
On the 11 we’re missing the zoom module. Now, we did have a lot of leaks in the past, that suggested the 11 would be missing the wide-angle and getting the zoom instead. However, the way we have it now is just perfect. Zoom can always be simulated through software and digital zoom, but a wide angle shot is impossible to simulate through software, unless you take a panorama but even that won’t be as zoomed out as a wide angle shot would be.
So for the most part we get the exact same camera we have on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, we have the exact same regular module and the exact same wide angle camera.
In addition, most of the camera features are also there as well, such as the Night Mode, the ability to take portrait mode shots on pets and objects, so not just people.
We have the same brighter True Tone flash as well as the exact same improved SmartHDR processing that the 11 Pro got over the XS, thanks to that Apple A13 processor.
The front facing camera is very impressive as well. We now have a 12MP sensor, up from the 7MP one that we had before. This not only means that we can now shoot 4K video at 60fps, which is a first not just in an iPhone but in any smartphone on the front camera. But not only does the front facing video just looks stunning, but it’s also wider when compared to the XS and yes, we have the exact same front camera here, as on the 11 Pro.
Something else that’s cool is when you rotate your phone in landscape, it switches to the full resolution of the sensor, and lets you take some even wider shots, thanks to that extra 5MP resolution.
Now normally your selfies would be 7MP in resolution so they will be automatically cropped from that 12MP resolution that the front camera has. However you don’t get any image distortion, like you get on something like Pixel 3XL that does have a wide angle lens on the front.
So really, the only feature that you’re missing on the 11, camera wise, is the lack of that zoom module. But you can still zoom in digitally, your shots won’t be as good of course. Apart from they’re the exact same cameras as on the Pro’s.
PRO VS REGULAR
So both the Pro and the Regular 11 are pretty similar, but one big difference is the price. The 11 costs $700, while the 11 Pro costs $1000, a significant $300 difference between the two, with which you could buy an Apple Watch Series 4, or the Series 3 which now costs $200, or even save towards a Series 5 which costs $400.
But in that case, why does the Pro even exist, and what extras does it offer over the regular 11?
Well, just 4 things really.
The 1st one is a more premium design. We still get the glass on the front and back which Apple is still calling the toughest glass in a smartphone. The only difference here is that with the 11 Pro’s we get a matte glass back and a glossy camera cutout, whereas on the 11 we get a glossy glass back and a matte camera cutout - so quite the opposite here. Also the frame of the phone is made out of aluminum on the 11 compared to stainless steel on the 11 Pro’s.
The 2nd improvement that you’re getting with the 11 Pro’s is that display that I mentioned before which is in my opinion the biggest improvement. High resolution, brighter 800 nit vs 625 nit panel when outdoors, better color reproduction, better HDR content playback and of course OLED versus LCD. But the 11’s display still supports DCI-P3 color gamut, just like the MacBook Pro’s do, so it’s still a very good display for an LCD panel.
Unfortunately YouTube still doesn’t allow you to view videos in higher than 1080p on Apple devices, due to Apple’s lack of support for Google’s VP9 codec, which means that you’re not really missing out on as much as you would think.
The 3rd reason to get the 11 Pro would be for that zoom or telephoto lens which, personally, I don’t think is a strong enough reason to upgrade.
Finally, the 4th reason is the battery life. The iPhone XR already had an amazing battery life last year. In fact, it even lasted more than the more expensive iPhone XS & XS Max did. In fact lot of people, even other tech reviewers that I know, chose the iPhone XR over the XS Max, just because of that improved battery life.
But this year the iPhone 11 offers 1 hour more than the XR did last year, so it’s even better. However, the 11 Pro gives you 1 extra hour over the 11 does when playing back video, and the 11 Pro Max offers you 2 extra hours over the regular 11 , again when playing back video. So if you need the best possible battery life that would now be the 11 Pro Max.
Now there are a few more differences between the two, like the improved water resistance up to 4M compared 2M on the iPhone 11 Pro’s, or up to 512GB of storage on the Pros, but these 4 categories; design, display, zoom camera and battery are the biggest ones.
So whilst the Pro does have a few benefits over the Regular, I’m not sure if it’s enough. If you just need a new iPhone and you don’t want to spend $1000 on a new phone the regular iPhone 11 does the majority of the things that the Pro does.
But if you are looking for a new phone and you’re open minded about Android, there are many other options that are even better than the 11 is, like the Galaxy S10e or the S10, which now costs even less than the 11 does and offers you a triple lens camera module that’s very similar in quality, a much better OLED display with no notch and an in-display fingerprint reader. I think that’s the best deal for a smartphone today. Of course you also have phones such as the OnePlus 7 Pro which for the same price offer you an even better display with a 90Hz refresh rate, no bloatware, and a full-screen display with no notches or cutouts at all.
But if you’re looking for just a new iPhone the iPhone 11 is certainly the most worth it over its counterparts!