Unlike in the Android world where one is thoroughly spoilt for choice, buying an iPhone is fairly simple and comes down more to what you can afford than what you really want.
If you're on a budget, pick up the 11 or the >XR. If you can afford it, take the 11 Pro. If you like the size and can afford it, get the 11 Pro Max. It's that simple.
While the Indian price tags are high enough to make anyone squeamish, whatever your choice, you can rest assured that you're at least picking up:
- One of the fastest phones in the world
- A great camera
- A phone with a UI that's second to none
- An entry to an unmatched app and device ecosystem
Introducing the Apple iPhone 11. Image: Anirudh Regidi/Tech2
These phones aren't without issues, though, and despite being the best phones that Apple sells, they're not necessarily the best phones for you.
But how do you decide? Do you shell out a premium for the iPhone 11 Pro or do you settle for the more sensible iPhone 11?
If you're considering the Pro, head here for Nimish Sawant's breakdown of what puts the 'pro' in iPhone 11 Pro. If your wallet won't allow it, continue reading for an analysis of the 11.
iPhone 11 is the fastest phone Apple makes
As it stands, the iPhone 11 is basically the fastest phone in the world. Apple's silicon is easily a year or two ahead of Android's best and even "gaming" phones like the ASUS ROG II (Review) and certified powerhouses like the OnePlus 7T (Review) are barely managing to compete with last year's crop of iPhones.
On the performance front, the iPhone 11 one-ups even the Pro phones because it features a lower resolution screen. A lower resolution means fewer pixels to drive which means there's less stress on the chip (the A13 Bionic, in this case) powering the phone.
This time around, the iPhone 11 also carries as much RAM as its more expensive siblings, making it a no-compromise device as far as performance is concerned.
While the phone doesn't support 5G yet, a technology that has yet to mature, it does support the fastest Wi-Fi standards, and 4G LTE that's a bit slower than what the best phones have to offer.
iPhone 11 carries one of the best cameras Apple makes
In what is certainly an upgrade to last year's model, the iPhone 11 features two cameras on the rear: a 12 MP f/1.8 wide and a 12 MP f/2.4 ultra-wide. These cameras are simply spectacular and the addition of Night Mode means that they're finally competitive with Google's Pixel and Huawei's Mate series of smartphones.
Screen-on time has gone from about 4-5 hrs on the XR to about 6-7 hrs on the 11. There are days where I've even seen 8+ hrs of screen-on time.
Sadly, the joys of stellar battery life are dampened by Apple's inclusion of the horrible 5 W charger. That charger is, I think, the slowest charger available on any phone over the price of Rs 10,000 in India. Thankfully, you don't have to charge the phone that often.
iOS 13 bugs, missing 3D Touch, UWB and more
If iOS 12 focused on bug fixes, iOS 13 focuses on introducing bugs. The OS features are great, when they work, but iOS 13 is also so buggy that it feels like I'm on beta software. Apps crash all the time, UI elements disappear, the phone freezes at random and features like Continuity refuse to work. I hope Apple does something about these issues soon, because these bugs can get very annoying.
The iPhone XR never had 3D Touch and the 11 also skips on the feature. I'm one of the few users who enjoyed 3D Touch and I'm a little sad that it's no more. While it makes no difference to the 11, the larger batteries in the Pro models as a result of eliminating 3D Touch do make up for the loss.
Other features include an updated machine learning core on the A13 Bionic chip, the introduction of Ultra-Wide Band tech and machine-learning enabled camera features (which we've explored in more detail in the iPhone 11 Pro review).
iPhone 11: To buy or not to buy
The iPhone 11 is a fantastic phone. It's powerful and capable, but it's design and display feel compromised.
After spending a couple of weeks with the phone, and having come from an iPhone X, here's my advice for you:
- Buy the iPhone XR if: you're coming from a much older device or just need an iPhone.
- Buy the iPhone 11 if: you're coming from a much older phone, can't afford the 11 Pro, and are fascinated by the ultra-wide camera.
- Don't buy the iPhone 11 if: you're coming from an iPhone X, XS or XR. If you're on the XS or XR, the 11 isn't worth an upgrade. If you're coming from a X, the 11 is functionally an upgrade, especially in the camera department, but you'll immediately notice the compromised design and display tech and the compromises will drive you mad. If you're on a X, save up for the 11 Pro or wait till the 11s comes out next year.