2017 was the first year in which Apple released three new iPhone models at the same event. While the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus marked a natural progression in the iPhone lineup, the brand new iPhone X with Face ID — and no home button — provided users a glimpse at the future of the iPhone.
The iPhone 11 is a successor to the iPhone XR and the name represents a reset in Apple’s naming strategy to emphasise that this is the “default” iPhone for everyone. Powered by Apple’s own A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone 11 trio are the fastest smartphones you can buy today, with the closest competition at the time of filing this review being last year’s iPhone lineup.
Perhaps the biggest improvements are in the camera department, achieved by both software and hardware changes. On the rear, you get Wide and Ultra Wide 12-megapixel cameras that produce excellent image quality in nearly all situations. Night Mode makes Apple competitive in low-light photography, and then some, which means the iPhone can finally compete favourably with offerings from Google, Samsung, and Huawei when it comes to night-time shots.
Just like the iPhone XR, this phone will offer you all-day battery life and iOS brings with it the promise of timely updates, something most Android OEMs falter with even today. However, it’s not a perfect phone.
The screen is the same low-resolution panel that we saw last year, and Apple continues to bundle a 5W charger with the phone, which is just appalling. While the former is something most people won’t notice thanks to the panel’s excellent colour accuracy and brightness, the latter is a pain point you will need to live with every day, unless you decide to buy a faster charger separately.
All in all, the iPhone 11 is an unexpectedly compelling upgrade, thanks largely to the significantly improved low-light camera performance. If you have your eyes set on last year’s iPhone XR, spend a little bit extra and get this one instead.