The iPhone 11
/ It still has a notch!

Samuel Axon


Like the iPhone XR prior to it, the iPhone 11 is the default iPhone. It’s priced where flagship phones utilized to be priced, and it provides practically all the exact same functions as the pricey iPhone 11 Pro designs that likewise released this year.

Apple’s iPhone lineup today is stacked with fantastic phones at differing rate points, however. So where does the iPhone 11 fit in?

That’s what we’ll be aiming to address in this evaluation. And we’re calling this a mini-review due to the fact that we just recently released an extensive short article on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, and in 2015 we released a complete evaluation of the iPhone XR. This year’s modifications from the iPhone XR to the iPhone 11 are rather modest, so today we’ll concentrate on how this phone is various from this year’s flagships and its direct predecessor.

As constantly, let’s begin with the specifications.



The iPhone 11 determines 5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches (1509 x 75.7 x 8.4 mm), and has a 6.1-inch (1549 mm) LCD show with a resolution of 1,792 x 828, a common contrast ratio of 1,400:1, and an optimum brightness of 625 nits. The phone is available in 64 GB, 128 GB, and 256 GB storage setups at $699, $749, and $849, respectively.

Apple has actually included its A13 system-on-a-chip, that includes many elements: a main processing system, a graphics processing system, an image signal processor, the Neural Engine for artificial intelligence, and a lot more. Apple declares that practically all elements of the A13 are 20% faster than what we saw in the A12 that appeared in in 2015’s iPhone XR.

Apple iPhone 11 product image

Apple iPhone 11

( Ars Technica might make payment for sales from links on this post through.
affiliate programs).

The business likewise states that this chip is far more power effective, resulting in much better battery life. And on the topic of batteries, regulative filings have actually shown that the iPhone 11 has a 3,110 mAh battery, up from 2,942 mAh in the XR. Teardowns discovered that the iPhone 11 has 4GB of RAM– the like is seen in the more pricey.
iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, and up from 3GB in the XR.

On the cordless front, we have actually got a claim of gigabit LTE, plus Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. The iPhone 11 likewise has the U1 chip we talked about in our iPhone 11 Pro evaluation; this chip makes the phone location-aware in relation to other cordless gadgets close by. Today, the only function that taps this is the capability to AirDrop files to another current iPhone by physically orienting your iPhone 11 towards the target gadget. However there will likely be more utilizes for this chip in the future.

Apple has actually presented spatial audio for the iPhone this year. It offers a fuller, deeper sound field than previously, with Dolby Atmos assistance. You’ll still most likely wish to utilize earphones, however it’s a big enhancement over the XR’s stereo.

We’ll review video camera specifications in the video camera area of the evaluation, given that photography is a crucial focus of this upgrade– in truth, the video camera system is among the only things that’s significantly various from the iPhone XR we examined in 2015.


Whatever about the iPhone 11 looks similar to the iPhone XR other than for 2 things: the video camera system on the back, and brand-new color alternatives.

Colors consist of red, yellow, black, white, purple, and green– a number of which have a nearly ’90 s-throwback light shade to them. Our evaluation system is the traditional black. Like the XR, the iPhone 11 has a shiny glass back that enjoys to bring in finger prints as rapidly and as prolifically as possible. The iPhone 11 Pro phones that we examined previously today have a brand-new, matte surface for the back that is a little less vulnerable to that issue– though they are still made from glass.

Apple states the iPhone 11’s glass back is more resilient than what we got in in 2015’s phones. However it’s still glass, even if that glass is especially strong, and damage from a drop onto a tough surface area like concrete stays a danger. These phones are nigh-impossible for a user to fix ought to a break like that happen, and due to the fact that of the method they’re made, repair work from an Apple-certified service center or the Apple Shop include changing substantial parts of the phone to repair some quite fundamental things. So you’re taking a look at high repair work expenses if you do not likewise spring for AppleCare+.

The iPhone 11 likewise sports water resistance at approximately 2 meters of depth for approximately 30 minutes, another enhancement over the XR.

The video camera on the back has a totally makeover. Whereas the iPhone XR had one video camera, this one has 2: a wide-angle (returning) and an ultra-wide-angle (brand-new). The 2 lenses are lined up vertically and positioned within a large-ish, rounded square of glass extending from the back of the phone ever-so-slightly. Apple is eager to mention that both the video camera bump and the rest of the back are “precision-milled from a single sheet of glass,” and the glass does look good-looking when you’re up close.

That stated, I personally feel the video camera bump itself looks strange on the iPhone 11– moreso than in the Pro designs. I believe it’s due to the fact that the 2 lenses just inhabit half of the square-shaped bump, and while there are a couple other elements on the other side (like the flash), it looks uneven and appears like it may not have actually been needed have this whole square in location. Something more like what we saw with the two-camera systems in the iPhone X and XS phones would have looked a little bit more elegant.

I likewise feel that the iPhone XR is simply type of large. It’s not a really elegant-looking gadget; it’s rate over kind here, with a great deal of small compromises to bring the expenses down however in fact build up in regards to visual experience. Naturally, that sort of thing is subjective, and it’s likewise not actually that essential in the grand plan.

Aside from these notes, the iPhone 11 looks similar to the iPhone XR, the style of which we discussed at length in our evaluation in 2015.

Electronic Camera

The greatest modifications the iPhone 11 presents over the iPhone XR remain in the numerous video cameras on the gadget. On the back, we have 2 12- megapixel video cameras, up from one in the XR. The 12 MP, wide-angle lens with a ƒ/ 1.8 aperture returns, however it’s signed up with by a 12 MP, ƒ/ 2.4 aperture ultra-wide-angle lens with a 120 ° field of vision. This enables taking pictures reveal far more in confined areas– or simply in any area, actually– than the wide-angle lens permitted. We’ll have a look at that more carefully briefly.

A brand-new video function called QuickTake lets you take a brief video just by holding your finger down on the shutter button to begin taping, then releasing to stop. And Apple has actually made huge enhancements to the front-facing video camera. It’s gone from 7MP to 12 MP and supports 4K video at approximately 60 frames per 2nd (up from 1080 p). It likewise supports slow-motion video (formerly just supported on the rear video cameras), so you can take “slofies” at 1080 p and 240 fps.

The story here is that, at this lower-than-flagship rate point (although this rate point utilized to be a flagship rate point prior to the price tag began increasing over the previous number of years, however I digress), lots of Android alternatives provided much better video camera systems than the XR provided. Apple is closing the space here with enhancements in both software application and hardware.

For instance, the Google Pixel 3 provided a function called Night Sight that improved images taken in low-light scenarios to be far more legible. The function likewise eliminated sound and lightened up things up while preserving and even presenting attractive-looking contrast. Apple has actually responded to that here with Night Mode, which does the exact same thing. Night Mode utilizes the wide-angle lens and needs you to sit tight still for a time period (you can specify for how long for various outcomes), then produces a low-light image that does not look as dreadful as mobile phone video camera low-light images traditionally have.

Here’s an example handle the iPhone 11.

The brand-new ultra-wide video camera enables you to zoom out to 0.5 x, from the typical 1x of the standard wide-angle lens. This indicates you can record more of a scene; you toggle in between the 2 lenses by just tapping a button in the Electronic camera app. The shift utilizes some insane machine-learning-driven strategies to make the shifts smooth and assist you get a sense of which lens to utilize when, and it’s quite classy.

Here’s what the distinction appears like in between the 2 zoom levels:

You should not anticipate a big distinction in typical pictures taken with the typical wide-angle video camera compared to either in 2015’s iPhone XR or this year’s iPhone 11 Pro. We didn’t have an XR on hand to test, however as you can see in the pictures listed below, it’s difficult to compare the routine pictures taken with the 11 and those taken with the 11 Pro. Nevertheless, Apple has actually enhanced on Smart HDR this year, a computational photography function that assists draw out contrast and colors in pictures. The previous execution often did unreal-looking things with human faces, and Apple has actually enhanced on that in this model.

Given that the iPhone XR just had one video camera, it needed to depend on a software application service to produce a few of the Picture Lighting impacts that were presented in2017 I’m not a fan of Picture Lighting even on the high-end phones, and I didn’t believe it looked excellent on the XR. With this 2nd video camera, Apple appears able to get some depth details, due to the fact that Picture Lighting has actually enhanced.

It’s still not a really appealing function, however, as the images are frequently filled with odd mistakes around things like hair or glasses. Apple has actually nevertheless included Secret Light Mono, a brand-new Picture Lighting impact that puts a white background behind the target in a monochromatic picture.

And whatever I stated in the iPhone 11 Pro evaluation about the advantages and drawbacks of this artificial intelligence and ISP-driven photography represents the iPhone 11, too.

The A13 and its elements, in addition to Apple’s software application, are making a great deal of choices for you about how the image must look by default. The outcomes stand out, and mobile phone pictures look much better than they ever had previously due to the fact that of these strategies. However if you’re aiming to take a great, tidy image with no computational magic going on, you’re normally going to run out luck.

I do not believe the majority of people will care, however. That criticism mattered more for the iPhones Apple called “Pro.” In this case, it fits the item: these functions enable non-photographers to utilize a gadget that is not a professional-quality video camera to take pictures that the majority of the time look much better than novices have actually had the ability to attain previously.

It’s not distinct to Apple’s phones– Google and its OEMs are doing likewise remarkable work over on the Android side– however that does not matter. If you’re purchasing a flagship-or-close-to-it mobile phone today, there’s some cool photography things going on for amateur picture-takers.