iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro: What you need to know

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has announced its latest iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max at its San Francisco launch event. It also announced a new iPad and the Apple Watch series 5 and a number of new services such as Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade. 

The iPhones are always the stars of the show, and this year didn’t disappoint. This is what you need to know about the three new iPhones.

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iPhone 11: A sequel to the iPhone XR

iPhone 11: Specs

  • Price: from $699
  • Release date: 20 September 2019
  • Screen: 6.1-inch Liquid Retina 326 ppi
  • Rear camera: 12MP wide camera and 12MP ultra-wide camera
  • Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth camera, 4K video, slo-mo video
  • Colors: Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, (PRODUCT)RED, White
  • Battery life: 1 hour longer than iPhone XR - 17 hours video playback claimed

The iPhone XR was the cheapest iPhone launched last year and is by far the most popular. The iPhone 11 is the traditional sequel – more of the same with some key improvements.

There’s little change to the design, so if you’ve seen and iPhone XR or X then you’ll know what to expect. The back looks different, thanks to the new camera lenses, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice too many other changes.  

There’s a slick 6.1-inch Liquid Retina screen and a new A13 Bionic chipset to power it all. Apple claims this is the most powerful processor in any smartphone. That’s a bold claim and we’re not sure how Apple has been comparing performance. 

Cameras are one of the most important aspects of high-end smartphones so it’s no surprise Apple went all out this year. This is the first time we’ve seen a dual-lens sensor on an entry-level iPhone.

There are 12MP ultra-wide and wide cameras that work in tandem to produce shots. This year sees Night mode make a return. This setting helps take better pictures when the light is low by reducing noise (the little white dots) and boosting brightness. 

Apple also claims the iPhone 11 has the best video capabilities of any smartphone and can shoot in 4K, slo-mo and time-lapse – which is nothing new. It will also be easier to take smoother videos, however, as Apple claims to have improved image stabilization.

iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max: The first Pro iPhones

iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max: Specs

  • Price: from $999 (Pro), $1099 (Pro Max) 
  • Release date: 20 September 2019 
  • Screen: 5.8 or 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR 458 ppi 
  • Rear camera: 12MP wide, ultra-wide and telephoto cameras 
  • Front camera: 12MP TrueDepth camera, 4K video, slo-mo video 
  • Colors: Gold, Space Gray, Silver, Midnight Green 
  • Battery life: 4-5 hours longer than iPhone Xs - 18-20 hours video playback claimed

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are the high-end iPhones Apple launched this year. As such they come packing some extra features you won’t find on the much cheaper iPhone 11.

Aside from their size these iPhones pack almost identical features. One has a 5.8-inch screen while the Pro Max comes in with a mighty 6.5-inch display. The only other difference we know of so far is that the Pro Max has slightly more staying power with a quoted 20 hours of video playback on a full charge compared to 18 hours for the 11 Pro. 

The iPhone 11 Pro also has the same processor as the iPhone 11 – the A13 Bionic – and the same front-facing camera, but that’s where the similarities end. 

The Pro has a stainless steel and textured matte glass design which makes it more water-resistant than the iPhone 11 – 30 minutes in 4 meters of water versus 30 minutes in 2 meters of water. It also has a slick three-camera system that adds a 12MP telephoto camera to the wide and ultra-wide angle cameras on the iPhone 11. That means you’ll be able to zoom more, without losing out on image sharpness. 

The screens on the Pro phones are also a major step up. They are OLED as opposed to the iPhone 11’s LCD, which means dark scenes will look better. They also support high dynamic range (HDR) which means truer-to-life colors and are a lot brighter to boot. 

iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro: Which should you buy?

All three new iPhones are impressive, but the iPhone 11 makes a lot of sense at $699. That’s by no means cheap for a smartphone, but it’s not as expensive as many iPhones we’ve seen in the past, and it packs a lot of great tech. If you can’t stretch to it then the (still very good) iPhone XR has taken a price cut to $599. 

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max will have their own converts. If you want a smaller iPhone then the Pro is the smallest of the current crop you can buy, while big-screen enthusiasts will like the look of the giant 6.5-inch screen of the Pro Max with lust. The $1099 price tag attached to it is less appealing. 

You still have a little while to wait to make your decision, however, with the new phones on sale from 20 September 2019.

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Evan Kypreos

Evan has been a tech-head since he was handed a ZX Spectrum at the age of 6 and has always been the one analyzing and recommending products to his friends and family or explaining how things work and how to fix them when they don't. He has been working on magazines and websites since 2000 and was Editor-in-Chief of Trusted Reviews covering topics such as mobile, tablets, audio, computing and smart home for 7 years as well as supporting the tech and buying advice sections of Time.com, Space.com, LiveScience.com and NME.com. In his 20+ year career, he has reviewed and covered everything from laptops to coffee machines and smartphones to smart thermostats and has been quoted on the BBC, among others. He won IPC Media's Editor of the Year in 2013 and has been shortlisted for multiple AOP Digital Publishing and PPA Digital Publishing awards.