Apple iPhone 11 review
Apple’s iPhone has never been a cheap smartphone to own.
Year after year, iPhone prices have steadily climbed – hitting an all-time high with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which also launches this Friday. But Apple is also trying something new in 2019.
The iPhone 11 arrives packing more features than its predecessor but it now starts at a lower price.
That makes this new handset a very appealing option, especially since it includes a number of upgrades you’d expect to only find on the most expensive Apple smartphones.
It’s a smart move from the US firm and one that could prove hugely popular.
If you’ve been thinking about an upgrade and are unsure if this is the smartphone for you, here’s our full iPhone 11 review.
iPhone 11 review • From £729
- PROS – A13 Bionic processor is epic • Dual camera offers a massive improvement • Even better battery life • Face ID still leads the way • Good price
- CONS – Screen isn’t as good as OLED • No fast charger in the box • Only available in one screen size.
The iPhone 11 is basically an improved version of Apple’s entry-level iPhone XR.
But that’s no bad thing.
The iPhone 11 features a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display
Since it arrived last year, the XR has been incredibly popular and this latest upgrade now makes it infinitely better with a faster processor and all-new dual-lens rear camera.
And Apple has also dropped the starting price compared to the iPhone XR, with the entry-level iPhone 11 setting you back £729, compared to the £749 price tag on the XR last year.
Not only will it cost you a little less, but there are also some snazzy new colours. So, if you weren’t taken with any of the finishes on the iPhone XR last year, the new Green, Yellow, Purple, PRODUCT (RED), Black and White colours might appeal.
Shiny new colours and a lower price tag are all nice, but the rear-camera is easily the most seismic change on the iPhone 11 – and probably the single biggest reason to upgrade your phone.
Unlike the older XR, which only had a single camera, the handset now gets boasts two rear snappers, which provide plenty of photographic treats.
Apple iPhone 11 now includes a dual rear camera
These include being able to shoot images with a new ultra-wide angle lens, meaning you can squeeze in whole skyscrapers into the frame, huge groups of friends, or try some arty new shots for your Instagram profile. You can also now add DSLR-style depth of field to more than just photos of human faces – something that’s not an option on the iPhone XR.
Another added extra is the amazing new Night Mode, which works just as well as Apple boasted during its keynote presentation last week.
This new setting allows you to shoot photos in near total darkness without the need for flash and the results are truly impressive.
What makes this feature even better is just how easily it is to use. That’s because the iPhone automatically does all the hard work for you – there’s no need to switch to a new mode within the camera app or anything. Just point the viewfinder at darkness and it’ll flip-on Night Mode automatically.
Of course, there are some manual controls if you want to experiment and the overall results are jaw-dropping – with images appearing as if they’ve been shot in daylight.
Apple isn’t the first to include this technology but it’s been worth the wait for the Cupertino-based company to catch-up. The iPhone’s Night Mode will give its rivals a serious run for their money.
Apple iPhone 11 with night mode turned off
Apple iPhone 11 with night mode turned on
If you love shooting video, there’s a lot to like about the iPhone 11 too. It is very accomplished with both the Wide and Ultra Wide cameras support high-quality 4K video up to 60 frames-per-second.
Apple has added a nifty new shortcut for those who really like to record movies as you can now long press on the camera shutter button while in photo mode to instantly start a video record.
As well as the rear camera getting an upgrade, there’s also a couple of nice additions to shooting selfies this time around, too. This includes the ability to squeeze more people into your shots via a wider angle lens, which is instantly enabled when you hold the phone in a landscape orientation.
Another fun extra is the addition of slo-motion selfies, or “slofies” as Apple has named it.
The dual camera allows for improved bokeh effects
Apple iPhone 11 can now add depth of field to pictures of pets
This is sure to fill your social media feeds in the coming weeks and is the first time iPhone fans have been able to use the front-facing camera to record video at these reduced speeds.
If photography isn’t really your bag, there’s still a few meaningful upgrades in the iPhone 11.
While the iPhone XR was already leading the way when it comes to raw power, things are being pushed to a new extreme with the iPhone 11.
That’s because it’s powered by the new A13 Bionic, which is not only blisteringly fast but also more efficient.
All of that means you can perform heavier-duty digital tasks – editing videos, playing gorgeous mobile games, and chatting away on FaceTime for hours – without making a massive dent in your battery life.
In fact, the A13 Bionic features two performance cores that are up to 20 per cent faster and use up to 30 per cent less power than the performance cores in the A12 Bionic chip. And that’s on-top of the two-times faster app loads that you get from iOS 13, too.
The new iPhone 11 includes an Ultra Wide lens
The iPhone 11’s design may not suit all tastes
From what we’ve seen so far in our time with the iPhone 11, this phone is an absolute beast when it comes to performance and you’ll probably find you have way more power than you’ll actually ever need and a battery that keeps going for longer.
Along with the camera and processor, you’ll also find a more durable design which can survive underwater at a depth of two meters for up to 30 minutes. So you don’t need to worry if you accidentally spill something on your shiny new phone.
Although we’ve not dropped our review device, this is being touted as the strongest iPhone to date with its front and back glass strengthened with a dual ion-exchange process, which will hopefully mean it survives a little better when slipping from your hands.
Other notable features include the brilliant Face ID security scanner, which is now faster than before and there’s better speakers, faster Wi-Fi and the ability to refill the iPhone 11 wirelessly.
There’s plenty to like about the iPhone 11… but we do have some minor niggles.
Firstly, we’re not totally sold on the new design with two large cameras on the back looking a little awkward.
Apple iPhone 11 review
Then there’s the 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display which isn’t quite as good as the OLED panel found on the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro.
You probably won’t notice a real difference when using the phone day-to-day but place these devices side by side and things become more obvious with the Pro’s screen offering a brighter and more vivid experience.
The thicker bezel which surrounds this screen means you don’t get the same viewing experience found on its more expensive sibling and it’s only available in this one size which might not suit all pockets.
Our final criticism is around charging as the iPhone 11 only ships with a 5W wall plug that refills things at a pretty slow speed. Of course, you can buy a faster power pack but it’s a shame that fans will need to spend more money to make use of this better technology.
Apple iPhone 11 review
There’s no doubt iPhone 11 is the Apple smartphone many have been waiting for.
It’s one of the fastest phones on the market thanks to the new A13 Bionic processor, which also extends the battery life by an extra hour compared to the iPhone XR – already a battery life king.
The camera upgrade is also a huge step forward with fans now able to shoot images with an ultra-wide lens and the option to add the brilliant bokeh-style blur to more of your images.
However, it’s the Night Mode that really sets the iPhone 11 apart from its predecessor.
The setting is an absolute triumph and you’ll be genuinely amazed by how well it works – there’s no question it will change the way you shoot photos when the lights starts to fade.
Other nice additions including wireless charging, improved Face ID, and that more robust design which should help it cope with the perils of life in your pocket.
As we mentioned earlier in this review there are some niggles with the new iPhone 11 and not everyone will love the new look. But this is a very good smartphone at a price which feels like a bit of bargain compared to the last few years of Apple smartphones.
iPhone 11 isn’t the most exciting upgrade, but the improvements are in all the areas they need to be – and are almost guaranteed to ensure Apple has a hit on their hands.
New iPhone 11 comes in a number of colour options
• Apple’s iPhone 11 comes in six colours including purple, green, yellow, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.
There’s also three size options with 64GB, 128GB and all 256GB all available at launch with prices start ing from £729.
It arrives in stores this Friday.