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Apple iPhone 11 review: a likely future best-seller

Apple iPhone 11 review: a likely future best-seller

Announced in September during the traditional back-to-school keynote, the iPhone 11 is the new consumer smartphone from the Cupertino firm. Succeeding the iPhone XR, the device's mission is to become this year's most popular iPhone thanks to its more affordable price tag than the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. So how does it perform on a daily basis? Is it the most interesting iPhone of 2019? Here's our complete review.

Rating

Good

  • Build quality
  • Software optimization
  • Performance
  • Camera
  • Battery life

Bad

  • Old-fashioned design
  • 5-Watt charger included
  • No USB-C
  • 64GB entry-level storage

Apple iPhone 11 release date and price

The iPhone 11 is the successor to the iPhone XR. For this new phone, as for the whole of this new range, Apple has abandoned Roman numbering to return to a classic numbering system. The change is not insignificant, the American giant also wants to install the iPhone 11 as a real iPhone and not a low-cost or budget iPhone. Better still, it has even reduced the price, which is incredible when you think about the brand's usual strategy.

So cough up $699/£729 for the version with 64GB of storage, $749/£779 for the version with 128GB or $849/£879 for the model with 256GB. Six colors are available: white, black, green, yellow, purple and red (each purchase of an iPhone 11 in red contributes directly to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS).

For our review, we tested the black version with 64GB of storage. However, if you are interested in an iPhone 11, I strongly recommend that you choose the 128GB model with more storage and future flexibility.

Same old design

Compared to the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 has not changed much aesthetically  in terms of size, the display and the materials used. This is not necessarily a bad thing in itself because the device retains an elegant style, although it is a little outdated. It is thanks to this choice that Apple was able to reduce the price of its device.

From the front, it is therefore impossible to distinguish an iPhone 11 from an iPhone XR. There are quite massive bezels on all sides and a rather large notch that houses the various sensors for Apple's facial recognition, Face ID, which is still just as effective in everyday life, even in the dark.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 front full
The iPhone 11 looks like any other iPhone / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

However, looking at the back of the iPhone 11 reveals that it represents more than just the worthy successor to the iPhone XR. Its dual camera is probably the most striking feature, and Apple has integrated two sensors into a square photo module in the upper corner of the phone, similar to the latest Google Pixel 4. The new second camera is an ultrawide-angle sensor. However, compared to its older brothers, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the iPhone 11 does not have a telephoto lens.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 fullback
The photo module slightly protrudes but does not interfere with the stability of the iPhone 11 / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

For the rest, we find Apple's excellent finish throughout and the treatment given to each element of the smartphone (screws, loudspeaker grille, button adjustment) is impressive. The smartphone, although slightly larger than the iPhone 11 Pro, remains perfectly usable with only one hand. Its weight (194 grams) remains comfortable and does not interfere with handling, even in the long term.

The iPhone 11 is also waterproof because it is IP68 certification. However, unlike its older brothers, it does not go beyond this certification for submersion up to four meters deep.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 back side 2
On the right side, there are the volume knobs and the famous knob for switching between vibrating or ringing mode / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

An LCD display

Apple has not made much effort compared to last year for the display of its smartphone. If in terms of design, it doesn't bother me, but it's a little more problematic for the quality. If I ignore the fact that the iPhone 11 offers an LCD screen (and not OLED) for 700 bucks, I have to highlight  the definition of the device: 828 x 1792 pixels, or a density 326 pixels per inch, for this diagonal of 6.1 inches.

Certainly, many users will probably not be bothered by this definition, but the difference is obvious with Android competitors, even those marketed for half the price. Just take the example of the newly announced Realme X2 Pro and its OLED Full-HD display with a 90 Hz refresh rate for €399... Add to that some quite visible bezels, especially when you watch multimedia content, and you will certainly understand my disappointment.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 bezels
The screen bezels are quite visible / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

Fortunately, Apple is catching up with a Haptic Touch mode which replaces the 3D Touch and above all an almost perfect calibration. The colors are bright whilst remaining realistic, the brightness is also excellent and the contrasts for a screen of this technology are stunning. I can' complain about the quality of the viewing angles either. In short, the iPhone 11 display is fine, but Apple could have done better in my opinion.

iOS 13 out of the box

I will not go into detail on the software part. If you would like to know more about iOS, I encourage you to read our other two reviews dedicated to the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Just know that iPhone 11 includes the latest version of iOS 13. While this is probably the most complete version in the history of iOS, the fact remains that the user experience offered by the smartphone is excellent. Navigation is smooth, multitasking is done in a flash, and applications open and close quickly. Like Android 10, a dark mode is also included. I found that iOS has become less simple over the years, and the parameters have become quite complicated.

In the end, everything runs very well and the iPhone 11 and gives a feeling of security at this level, an impression reinforced by Apple's extremely powerful software optimization. Moreover, a special mention to iOS for its ease of data transfer between not only two iPhones but also from Android to iPhone.

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iOS 13 ensures a good user experience / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

A monster of power

As usual, Apple never really communicates on the technical specs of its phones. Nevertheless, the iPhone 11 has all the characteristics of a high-end smartphone. Like the entire iPhone trio, it features the latest A13 Bionic processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. The RAM, although lower than in many Android smartphones, is not a problem. Apple optimizes its hardware to software perfectly.

As expected, the smartphone has always been extremely responsive and fast during my test , even with the most demanding games such as Asphalt 9 or PUBG. The iPhone 11 has almost nothing to envy to its older brothers and seems well equipped to last several years without any worries, even with the next versions of iOS.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 back side
Yes, the iPhone 11 is a little power monster / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

Below, you can see the benchmarks tests performed on the smartphone, along with the results of some of its main competition.

Apple iPhone 11 benchmarks results

  Samsung Galaxy S10 OnePlus 7 Pro iPhone 11 Pro Max iPhone 11
3D Mark Sling Shot Extreme ES 3.1 4905 5374 5396 4989
3D Mark Sling Shot ES 3.0 4872 6958 5419 6858
3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited ES 2.0 53189 65.808 96 915 97 077
Geekbench 5 (Single / Multi) 704 / 2283 733 / 2748 1338 / 3512 1308 / 3173

Nice stereo sound

It is not easy to offer good sound quality on a smartphone . The challenge is indeed important for manufacturers because such a device offers little space to do so. However, the iPhone 11 is doing very well in this area. Stereo sound (a loudspeaker in the lower right-hand corner and a front loudspeaker at the top) provides a soft and spatial sound that wraps well. Even at high volumes, the sound remains perfectly clean, rich and well-balanced without forcing too much on the bass or treble frequencies. Clearly, it's one of the best smartphones in the business.

Of course, the headphone jack is missing and you can use Bluetooth headphones, earbuds with a Lightning plug or use the Apple Lightning dongle (not provided and sold by Apple for $9).

AndroidPIT iPhone11 button
There's no headphone jack on iPhone 11 / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

An excellent camera phone

As explained above, the smartphone has two cameras:

  • A 12-megapixel, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS
  • An ultra-wide-angle sensor of 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm

At the front, there is a 12-megapixel, f/2.2, 23mm front-facing camera.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 camera
Finally a wide-angle sensor on an iPhone / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

I have written a detailed test of the iPhone 11 camera that I invite you to read my impressions below:

In short, the iPhone 11 allows you to capture excellent shots, but without being the best photophone on the market, the results are generally similar to those of the iPhone 11 Pro and it's a very pleasant surprise. The automatic mode is very good and the iPhone 11 is an excellent camera phone that can be easily relied upon on a daily basis. The photo application is also pleasant to use. The night mode is also very good and the smartphone perfectly meets expectations. On the video side, the iPhone 11 is the king in this field and the addition of modes like slow-motion selfies will surely help to seduce a large audience.

You can also consult the photos I took with the smartphone at the link below:

Better battery than the iPhone XR

Long criticized for battery life, the new generation of the iPhone puts an end to this concern. The iPhone 11 comes with a 3,110 mAh battery that offers good endurance. Without reaching the results of the 11 Pro, the iPhone 11 perfectly ensures a day of battery life, even with intensive use. If you are a fairly classic user, you can even go well beyond a single day.

Unfortunately, even if the smartphone is compatible with the 18-Watts fast charge which can deliver 50 percent of battery life in 30 minutes, Apple had the bright idea not to provide the compatible charger. Instead, we have to settle for the good old Apple 5-Watt charger. You will need to invest $30 for the 18-Watt charger. It's quite petty and stingy, I find, from the American manufacturer. I am not surprised, but at $699 you expect moe than a 5-Watt charger in the box. As last year, the smartphone is also compatible with wireless charging. Reverse wireless charging is not available at the moment but Apple may unlock the feature via software later.

androidpit battery iphone 11
The iPhone 11 is a companion you can count on for more than a day / © AndroidPIT

I could not perform our usual benchmark test for battery life, as the application is not available on iOS.

Apple iPhone 11 technical specifications

Dimensions: 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm
Weight: 194 g
Screen size: 6.1 in
Display technology: LCD
Screen: 1792 x 828 pixels (324 ppi)
Front camera: 12 megapixels
Rear camera: 12 megapixels
Flashlight: LED
RAM: 4 GB
Internal storage: 64 GB
Removable storage: Not available
Number of cores: 3
Connectivity: HSPA, LTE, NFC, Dual-SIM , Bluetooth

Final verdict

The iPhone 11 is an excellent smartphone that delivers a great user experience every day. It has an excellent camera, very good battery life and the software will delight most users looking for an efficient and durable smartphone over time. Certainly, Apple's smartphone can be criticized for only an LCD screen, HD definition, a Lightning port and a fairly high price. But the fact is that the complete package offered by the iPhone 11 remains very good and Apple has certainly done a lot of things right with this model.

AndroidPIT iPhone11 iphone11pro iphone11promax
The iPhone 11 (in the middle) is the most interesting iPhone to buy in 2019 / © AndroidPIT / Ben Miller

In my opinion, the iPhone 11 is a good choice for the majority of users who want to buy an iPhone in 2019. The $300 that separates this model from the Pro version seems excessive.

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