The iPhone 11 might be largely the same as the XR, including essentially the same design in new colours, but spending a bit more will get you a new processor and much better cameras.
Price When Reviewed
Apple iPhone 11: $499 (64GB) | $549 (128GB) | (256GB discontinued)
Apple iPhone XR: $499 (64GB) | $549 (128GB)
Best Prices Today: Apple iPhone 11
As expected, the iPhone 11 is here but should you buy it or get the older iPhone XR model from last year? Here we explain what’s different including price, design and specs.
It’s no surprise that your choice largely comes down to whether you want to spend more on the 2019 iPhone to get the latest design and features.
Price and availability
As is fairly typical, Apple has introduced the iPhone 11 range but also kept some older smartphones on sale at lower prices.
So while the iPhone 11 is just £729/$699, opting for last year’s XR model will save you some money becuase it starts at £629/$599. It’s available to pre-order at 1pm UK time on 13 September and then goes on sale 20 September.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the iPhone 11 comes in more storage options as we’ll explain below. Also see our complete iPhone buying guide.
Design and build
It’s clear that despite lacking the ‘R’ in the name, the iPhone 11 is the new version of the XR. It’s the cheaper and colourful iPhone in the range.
There are different colours to choose from this time including green and purple but we actually prefer the XR hues. You may disagree, of course.
Colours and the rear camera module aside, the iPhone 11 essentially has the same design as the XR. All the buttons, ports, and the like are all in the same place so it won’t feel hugely different in the hand. The pair even have the exact same dimensions and weight – namely 8.3mm thick and 194g.
The iPhone 11 has a slightly better waterproof rating at IP68 instead of IP67 so you can dunk it in up to 2m of water for up to 30 minutes instead of 1m.
Design-wise, it’s really about the new colours and the slightly better waterproofing.
Specs and features
So the price and design aren’t hugely different, so are there many reasons to buy the iPhone 11 over the XR when it comes to specs?
Well there’s actually not a huge amount to speak of that’s new on the iPhone 11 overall. Apple is still using the same 6.1in Liquid Retina display from the XR (with Haptic Touch) and elements like wireless charging and Face ID also remain the same.
The iPhone 11 comes with a newer A13 Bionic processor, is available in a larger 256GB storage capacity and you get Wi-Fi 6. However, photography is the biggest difference here.
The XR is limited to just one camera, while the iPhone 11 has a secondary ultra-wide angle offering a 120 degree field of view. The phone can also handle 2x optical zoom, has more Portrait modes as well as some new stuff like Night Mode.
At the front, the iPhone 11 also boasts a 12Mp TrueDepth camera which can shoot 4K video. That’s a nice jump from the 7Mp camera on the XR which is limited to 1080p video.
Apple also says that the 11 should last an extra hour of battery life compared to the XR.
Here is a comparison of the iPhone 11 and XR:
|iPhone 11||iPhone XR|
|iOS||iOS 13||iOS 13|
|Colours||Black, green, yellow, purple, white, (product) red||White, black, blue, yellow, coral, (product) red|
|Display||6.1in Liquid Retina Display (1792×828, 326ppi) LCD||6.1in Liquid Retina Display (1792×828, 326ppi) LCD|
|Processor||Apple A13 Bionic||Apple A12 Bionic|
|Rear camera||12Mp wide, f/1.8, OIS + 12Mp ultra-wide, f/2.0, 2x optical zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, Night Mode, True Tone flash||12Mp f/1.8, OIS, 5x digital zoom, Portrait Lighting, Portrait Mode, quad-LED flash|
|Front camera||12Mp TrueDepth, f/2.2, 4K video||7Mp TrueDepth, f/2.2, 1080p video|
|Video recording||4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps||4K at 24/30/60fps, 1080p slo-mo at 240fps|
|Biometric security||Face ID||Face ID|
|Wireless||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6 802.11ax||Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 5 802.11ac|
|Apple Pay (NFC)||Yes||Yes|
|Dimensions||75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm||75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm|
|Price||From £729/$699||From £629/$599|
|Buy SIM-free||Order Now||Order Now|
|Buy on contract||Order Now||Order Now|
It’s clear that the iPhone 11 is really the replacement for the XR due to its almost identical design and range of colours. It also shares some specs like the Liquid Retina display.
The XR is still a decent choice, and is cheaper of course, but getting the iPhone 11 gets you a newer processor, optionally more storage and much better cameras.
If photography is important, which it likely is, we’d say getting the iPhone 11 will be worth it.