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How Apple's new iPhone 11 compares to last year's iPhone XR

By Shawn Knight · 9 replies
Sep 11, 2019 at 1:52 PM
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  1. That largely depends on what you are using today but is further complicated by the fact that Apple is keeping last year’s base model, the iPhone XR, around at a new lower price. Since the iPhone 11 directly replaces the iPhone XR, we wanted to compare the two on a spec-by-spec basis in hopes of providing some clarity to your buying decision.

    Identical size and shape.

    Size-wise, the iPhone 11 and the iPhone XR are identical. Both measure 5.96 inches (H) x 2.98 inches (width) x 0.33 inches (depth) and tip the scales at 6.84 ounces (194 grams). Presumably, you’d be able to use your iPhone XR case on a new iPhone 11 as all of the buttons and cutouts also appear to be in the same location.

    The same Liquid Retina HD display.

    The 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display on the iPhone 11 is also identical to the screen that shipped with the iPhone XR. The 1,792 x 828 resolution (326 PPI) True Tone display offers a 1,400:1 contrast ratio, 625 nits of brightness, Haptic Touch and the familiar oleophobic coating.

    Apple's new A13 Bionic chip with third-gen Neural Engine.

    Where things do start to change, however, is on the inside. The iPhone 11 is powered by Apple’s new A13 Bionic SoC which is 20 percent faster than its predecessor, the A12 Bionic chip inside the iPhone XR. Last year’s A12 is no slouch, mind you, as it still outpaces much of the competition today but you do get a speed bump with the latest model.

    Dual rear-facing camera array.

    The iPhone 11 features a secondary rear-facing camera whereas the iPhone XR only has one. The standard wide-angle shooter found on both phones is a 12-megapixel unit with a six-element lens and f/1.8 aperture. It has optical image stabilization, a 5x digital zoom, burst mode, geotagging and more. The iPhone 11 ups the ante with a second shooter, an ultra-wide camera with f/2.4 aperture and five-element lens with a 120-degree field of view.

    A new 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera.

    The front-facing TrueDepth camera also gets a mild spec bump on the iPhone 11. Whereas the iPhone XR features a 7-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture, the new handset has a 12-megapixel camera with f/2.2 aperture. This enables 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps and slo-mo video capture at 1080p at 120 fps. 4K and slo-mo isn’t possible on the iPhone XR’s front-facing camera.

    A cornucopia of colors.

    Both the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 are available in half a dozen color options including black, white, yellow and red. The iPhone XR additionally comes in coral and blue while the iPhone 11 replaces those options with green and purple. There’s no winner or loser here – it all comes down to personal preference.

    More local storage options.

    Apple’s new iPhone also gets the edge in storage capacity. Both units are configurable with 64GB or 128GB of onboard storage but the iPhone 11 takes it a step further with a 256GB option. If you want the iPhone XR, you’ll have to settle for a maximum of half that.

    Improved durability.

    The iPhone 11 carries an IP68 rating meaning it can withstand being submerged in up to two meters of liquid for 30 minutes. The iPhone XR, meanwhile, is rated at IP67 and is thus only good for 30 minutes at a submerged depth of one meter.

    Longer battery life.

    Apple’s iPhone 11 also scores a win in the battery life category. The new handset is said to last one hour longer than the iPhone XR, meaning you can get up to 17 hours of video playback on a single charge. Both are compatible with Apple's 18W charging adapter, granting a 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes.

    A more affordable iPhone.

    Ultimately, most buying decisions come down to price. The new iPhone 11 starts at $699 which is $50 less than the iPhone XR debuted at last year. The iPhone XR, meanwhile, is sticking around for another term, now starting at just $599.

    Masthead credit: Shara Tibken via CNET

    Permalink to story.

  2. Kashim

    Kashim TS Addict Posts: 151   +145

    I would never buy a phone without an SD card slot, no matter who manufactures it. There's absolutely no reason NOT to include that slot, except to force people to buy a more expensive model if they want more storage instead of just inserting a card.
    MonsterZero likes this.
  3. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 633   +408

    A 12 megapixel camera in 2019. Just incredible that they would sell a single unit.
  4. p51d007

    p51d007 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,056   +1,319

    12MP is WAY more than 99% of people need anyway. The purpose of "more" is pretty much lost on most people anyway because most do not zoom/crop their photos after they take them. A GOOD 8MP sensor, is capable of producing an 11x17 (A3) size print, which is not something a lot of people do. More megapixels, if you remember that commercial for the MS phone years ago, where these two girls are at a concert, in the back, snap a photo of the stage, then crop the photo and zoom in, posting it to social media as if they were "right up front". More MP, gives you greater detail when zooming.
    The tradeoff, most of the time, is NOISE, or the sparkles/tiny dots that show up in an underexposed photo, which the software will try to mask, which will produce a flat photo.
    It would be better, to increase the size of EACH pixel, instead of adding more and more, but, people are into the "more is better". More megapixels, bigger cpu speed, more ram and on and on. It's mostly marketing, and people unfortunately fall for it.
  5. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,581   +1,178

    Yes there is: security.

    A Micro SD card slot can bypass apple security procedures.

    To each there own.

    I enjoy the thought that if my iPhone is lost that no one can get into my privacy without it deleting itself.

    Sure they can sell it for parts but that's about it.
    AudoBell and Shadowboxer like this.
  6. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Evangelist Posts: 1,581   +1,178

    Up till now, I've purchased the newest iPhone annually focused on just a handful of things.

    #1 iPhone 6 Plus I wanted for the larger display, the128GB storage and the touch ID

    #2 iPhone 7 Plus I wanted for the water resistance, the 256GB storage and the 4K camera.

    #3 iPhone X I bought just because they promised more battery life.

    #4 iPhone XS MAX I bought because it had everything the 7 and X had plus more battery life and most importantly the 512GB storage.

    Apple's problem is they are making perfect iOS devices and arguably perfect Flagship Phones which more than exceed social media needs. Facebook downgrades photos and Youtube downgrades videos. There's no need for a 30MP camera or 8K recording.

    I could have a Samsung J6 ($220) and get just as much done on Social Media as I could with my iPhone XS Max 512GB ($1567)

    Does anyone really print their photos anymore???

    Social Media sharing has almost completely eliminated the photo album.

    The only feature I truly was looking forward to was 1TB of storage.

    Without that feature I see no reason to upgrade this year.

    A faster CPU and Ultrawide camera just aren't enough for me.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2019 at 9:38 PM
    grumpiman and p51d007 like this.
  7. Tigre Marino

    Tigre Marino TS Rookie

    MicroSD cards on Android can be formatted to match their phone and encrypted ;)
    mbrowne5061 likes this.
  8. Cubi Dorf

    Cubi Dorf TS Booster Posts: 157   +56

    12 megapixel is more than any phone camera need because the lens not good enough to capture that much good pixel. The megapixel race is all marketing.

    OptimumSlinky likes this.
  9. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 633   +408

    Wrong again. Everyone who's ever addressed this topic hasn't used a real camera before or forgot that they actually exist. Of course resolution matters - if you want GOOD PHOTOS. If you don't care about good photography or just wanna use Snapchat filters then fine, go for it. Nobody is stopping you.

    But when we're talking about TECHnicsal Specifications, and what kind of camera takes a better photo, then resolution absolutely matters. As does lens quality, sensor quality, and signal-to-noise.

    And some guy here tried to tell us what noise was? Obviously that guy never used a WinPhone and had no experience with the Lumia 92X or 10XX phones, which are still hands-down the best cameras on any phone. I have two right here at home and they smoke even last year's flagship offerings, regarding their cameras.

    So yes, I'll go ahead and stand by my original statement and re-iterate that these modern flagships have garbage cameras across the board. 12MP for ~$1K? Pathetic.
  10. Robert Priest

    Robert Priest TS Rookie

    Couple of errors I’d like to point out - My XR is a 256GB, article says max is 128GB and plenty of 256GB XR’s for sale, but I doubt my case will fit, solely due to the new cameras... unless I get my scissors out I’ll be buying a new case.

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