iPhone 11: Worth an upgrade?

by Rob Duke | Sep 12, 2019

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The new iPhones are here! Check out the most exciting new features, and our verdict on whether they’re worth the extra cash. 

What models are available and how much do they cost?

Just to keep us on our toes, Apple changed things up with the naming conventions this year. The cheapest version is the iPhone 11 (replacing the iPhone XR) and starts at £729.

The souped-up version is called the iPhone 11 Pro (replacing the iPhone XS) and starts at £1,049.

There’s also a larger version - the iPhone 11 Pro Max (replacing the iPhone XS Max). Its £1,149 starting price-tag makes it the most expensive iPhone ever released. Time to start saving those pennies (and/or considering a supplementary paper-round).


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iPhone 11 features

Similar displays, similar designs

As expected, the cheapest iPhone 11 comes with the same 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display as the iPhone XR. While it’s a brilliant screen, you’ll need to splash out on the iPhone 11 Pro or the Pro Max (5.8-inch and 6.5-inch respectively) to get the unrivalled Super Retina XDR display.

In terms of how the handset looks, they’re almost identical to the last iterations aside from additional camera lenses and the raised areas around them. If it ain’t broke and all that...

Improved cameras

Where the XR only had a single 12 Megapixel Wide camera, the standard iPhone 11 has dual 12MP Ultra Wide cameras with Night mode. It’ll also record 4K video up to 60 frames-per-second.

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max both have a third telephoto lens which means you can also take better photos at range. All models have had their front-facing camera bumped up to 12MP too. Result!

Judging by the impressive photos and videos we've seen so far, Apple could have the camera-setup to beat in 2019.

Boosted batteries

The battery on the iPhone XR impressed last year. It outperformed the XS models and was the first iPhone able to make it through a full day.

Apple claim you’ll get an extra hour out of the iPhone 11 - up to an impressive 16 hours for general usage. However, the premium models got a bigger overhaul this year, which arguably takes the shine off the cheaper handset. Still, it’s good to see Apple finally taking battery life seriously across the board.

Faster processor

Every version of the iPhone 11 uses Apple’s new A13 Bionic chip, which is (as you might expect) their most powerful processor ever.

They’ve also claimed it has the “fastest GPU/CPU in a smartphone”, which is a rather bold statement considering some of the beasty Android handsets on the market. One thing’s for sure, it's absurdly fast

Other improvements

The level of water and dust resistance has been improved on all devices. They’re all IP68 rated and can last a bit longer at a greater depth when submerged. Perfect for the accident prone among us (ie: me).

Wi-Fi and 4G connectivity have also been upgraded so you should experience slightly faster connections and better location detection.

The devices also carry a new U1 Ultra Wideband chip which means you can physically point at the person you want to share files with on AirDrop. Possibly a tad gimmicky but a nice touch.

Audio quality and volume should also be better thanks to the inclusion of Dolby Atmos and Spatial audio playback. Wavy.

The verdict

Even though we're very impressed with the new iPhones, it still feels like another year of evolution rather than revolution.

Is it worth an upgrade? Depends on what your current handset is. If you’ve already got the brilliant iPhone XR, a move to the standard iPhone 11 mightn’t rock your world.

However, there’s more to gain if you’re moving from an iPhone XS to an 11 Pro because of the 4-5 extra hours of charge.

If you’re on an older Apple or Android handset, or you’re looking to make the jump from one of the cheaper iPhones to a premium device – prepare to be blown away.

You might also like:

Gadget insurance with Protect Your Bubble: get award-winning cover in under 3 minutes*.

iPhone Xs Tips and Camera Tricks: Find out how to get the most out of your handset.

How 5G will change the world: Find out why we’re excited about a new era of connectivity.


*Underwriter Assurant General Insurance Limited. Gadget age restrictions, T&Cs & excesses apply. Customer UK 18+.

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