Apple iPhone 11 vs Apple iPhone 11 Pro full review

Apple has unveiled its new iPhone range, which includes the introduction of a Pro tier. In this comparison review we see how the class of 2019/20 shapes up.

Price and availability

The new iPhones are available to pre-order from Apple now with a release date of September 20.

As has become the norm, there are three models to choose from, but Apple has altered its naming convention this year. Dispensing with extraneous letters and Roman numerals, the nomenclature has a much simpler form. There's the iPhone 11 (which is essentially the successor to the iPhone XR), and the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max (replacing the XS and XS Max).

Each one comes in three storage configurations. They are priced as follows:

  • iPhone 11 (64GB): £729/$699
  • iPhone 11 (128GB): £779/$749
  • iPhone 11 (256GB): £879/$849
  • iPhone 11 Pro (64GB): £1,049/$999
  • iPhone 11 Pro (256GB): £1,199/$1,149
  • iPhone 11 Pro (512GB): £1,399/$1,349
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max (64GB): £1,149/$1,099
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max (256GB): £1,299/$1,249
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max (512GB): £1,499/$1,449

As these are iPhones, you'll be able to get them from pretty much all retailers and mobile operators, as well as directly from Apple.

To ensure you get the cheapest price, read our Best iPhone 11 deals guide, or peruse the following iPhone 11 deals widget which will be updated on a regular basis:

And here's some more deals for the iPhone 11 Pro:

Design and build

As we've already stated, the iPhone 11 is essentially an iPhone XR with a few tweaks. In terms of size the two are identical, with dimensions of 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm and a weight of 194g.

The differences, at least in terms of construction, are improved waterproofing (IP68 instead of IP67), an extra camera on the rear and an upgraded one on the front. Otherwise, it's the same 6.1in LCD IPS display, coloured aluminium and glass chassis, twin speakers, lighting connector, and button arrangement.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: Colours

For a more detailed comparison of the two models, read our iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR review.

The new Pro range models are similar to the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max devices they replace, with marginal increases in the dimensions and weight.

Dimensions:

  • iPhone 11 Pro: 144mm x 71.4mm x 8.1mm; 188g
  • iPhone XS: 143.6mm x 70.9mm x 7.7mm; 177g
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 158mm x 77.8mm x 8.1mm; 226g
  • iPhone XS Max: 157.5mm x 77.4mm x 7.7mm; 208g

Display sizes remain the same, with the Pro using a 5.8in OLED panel and the Pro Max a 6.5in version, all of which retain the notch that first appeared back on the iPhone X.

iPhone 11 vs Pro vs Pro Max: Pro camera design

The main observable differences are found on the back of the devices. The iPhone 11 comes with dual 12mp cameras (Wide and Ultra-Wide), while the Pros features triple cameras (12Mp Wide, 12Mp Ultra-Wide, and 12Mp Telephoto). The front cameras have also seen attention, with the previous 7Mp TrueDepth optics replaced with new 12Mp TrueDepth units which also bring 4K video to the table.

Apple has also beefed up the waterproofing on the Pros, with the company stating they can survive depths of up to 4m for up to 30 minutes, while the iPhone 11 can only go to (a still respectable) 2m.

Features and technical specifications

As with the arrival of every iPhone generation, the new models come with the latest version of Apple's processors. This year it's the A13 Bionic, which Apple claims ups the performance over the A12 by 20% all while increasing energy efficiency by up to 40%.

These gains give Apple the confidence to claim substantially increased battery lives for the new devices, with the 11 Pro gaining four hours and the Pro Max five other their predecessors. The iPhone 11 doesn't quite make the same gains over the XR though, with only an additional hour added to the tally.

In terms of storage you'll be able to take the iPhone 11 up to 256GB (64GB and 128GB are also available), but the Pros skip the 128GB tier and offer 64GB, 256GB and 512GB instead. Of course, you'll pay handsomely for reaching those higher capacities.

All models now feature WiFi 6, Gigabit-class LTE, Bluetooth 5, NFC, and the usual range of connection options.

Displays

Each iPhone in the current range offers a different screen size again, with the iPhone 11 employing a 6.1in LCD IPS panel, while the Pro has a 5.8in OLED and the Pro Max a 6.5in OLED.

iPhone 11 vs Pro vs Pro Max: Camera interface

The Pro panels are a step up from last year though as they feature Super Retina XDR displays that offer the same resolutions but double the contrast ratios. Just as before, the top-tier iPhone displays are superior to the cheaper model, as Apple sticks with LCD IPS for the iPhone 11.

This is perfectly acceptable, as iPhone LCD panels have always looked good, but doesn't match the deep colours and sharpness of the OLED panels.

Cameras

All the models this year have gained an additional camera, with the iPhone 11 leaving behind the single shooter of the XR and now coming equipped with dual 12Mp optics. These are comprised of an f/1.8 Wide and a f/2.4 Ultra-Wide.

We're not sure how good this is yet, as the Telephoto is a useful focal length, but if you're into landscapes then the Ultra-Wide will be a real bonus. On the Pros there are triple lenses available, adding a 12Mp Telephoto f/2.0 into the mix.

iPhone 11 vs Pro vs Pro Max: Cameras

These feature a new Night Mode for low-light level shooting, optical image stabilisation (dual on the Pros), Smart HDR, and a range of new Portrait options. Video tops out at 4K @ 60fps, plus there's a new Audio Zoom feature that acts as a virtual unidirectional microphone to focus on the subject rather than the wide sound capture that usually happens on phones.

Perhaps one of the most useful tweaks is the ability to now capture video by holding down the red shutter button, no matter which mode you're in. This avoids missing those vital moments by having to switch from camera to video.

The front-facing TrueDepth cameras have all been bumped from 7Mp to 12Mp and now have the ability to record 4K video with stabilisation. Apple also unveiled a new slo-motion selfie feature which has the unfortunate name of "Slofie".

Here's a full breakdown of the technical specification for the iPhone 11 range.

  iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro Max
Display 6.1in IPS Liquid Retina HD, 1792x828, 326ppi 5.8in OLED Super Retina XDR, 2436x1125, 458ppi, HDR 6.5in OLED Super Retina XDR, 2688x1242, 458ppi, HDR
Processor A13 Bionic A13 Bionic A13 Bionic
Storage 64GB/128GB/256GB 64GB/256GB/512GB 64GB/256GB/512GB
Expandable storage No No No
RAM TBC TBC TBC
Front Camera 12Mp f/2.2 TrueDepth 12Mp f/2.2 TrueDepth 12Mp f/2.2 TrueDepth
Rear Camera 12Mp Ultra Wide f/2.4, 12Mp Wide f/1.8 12Mp Ultra Wide f/2.4, 12Mp Wide f/1.8, 12Mp Telephoto f/2.0 12Mp Ultra Wide f/2.4, 12Mp Wide f/1.8, 12Mp Telephoto f/2.0
Video 4K up to 60fps (front and rear) 4K up to 60fps (front and rear) 4K up to 60fps (front and rear)
Charging Fast charging and wireless Fast charging and wireless Fast charging and wireless
Battery TBC TBC TBC
WiFi WiFi 6 WiFi 6 WiFi 6
LTE 4G LTE 4G LTE 4G LTE
Dimensions 150.9mm x 75.7mm x 8.3mm 144mm x 71.4mm x 8.1mm 158mm x 77.8mm x 8.1mm
Weight 194g 188g 226g
Price £729/$699/£779/$749/£879/$849 £1049/$999/£1199/$1149/£1399/$1349 £1149/$1099/£1299/$1249/£1499/$1449

Software

As is customary, the new iPhones will be accompanied by a new OS. This time it's iOS 13 which brings a Dark Mode, advanced Portrait mode controls, new editing for photos and videos, security enhancements, performance increases, and a variety of other nips and tucks. For a more comprehensive looks at what's on offer, read our complete guide to iOS 13.

Verdict

Apple has made the choices quite clear this year. If you just want a normal iPhone that can run all the apps, take great pictures, has a large screen, and will have strong performance for the next few years, then the iPhone 11 is the one to choose. Especially when you compare the price to the Pros.

That being said, if you desire the premium option, with triple cameras, longer battery life, OLED displays, higher storage options, and are willing to pay for those extras, then either of the Pros will be devices that will make you very happy indeed.

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