Apple iPhone 11 review: the best $ 700 iPhone Apple has ever made – CNET


When you first hear the names of Apple's new iPhones – the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro max – You may have some questions. Where's the iPhone X? ($ 899 at Amazon)? And what does the iPhone Pro … Pro do? What happened to last year? XS and XS max ($ 1,000 on Amazon)? The new phones this year are (literally and figuratively) polished continuations of the three phones we received last year. For some people, the iPhone 11 just has to be better than the XS. And that's it. But for others, it's nice to know where Apple is in the larger landscape of phones. There are wild 5G speeds on the horizon, plus bizarre and expensive foldable phones to like Samsung Galaxy Fold, And then there's the more expensive $ 799 Google Pixel 4This makes the iPhone 11 seem even cheaper for $ 699.

Apple has done a great job with new features. including some serious camera improvements to like Night mode for taking photos in dimly lit situations and Deep Fusion, a new way to process photos with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro taken in situations where the lighting is bright enough to be seen but nothing else than being outside on a sunny day.

But there is a good reason why the company called its more expensive and stylish phones "Pro" this year: Price. Apple is targeting the iPhone 11 at $ 699 (£ 729, AU $ 1,199) as it is available in the same form as the iPhone XR for most customers ($ 749 at Amazon) last year.


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While the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max (left and top) have three 12-megapixel cameras, the iPhone 11 (right) only has two.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Essentially, the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are 85% exactly the same phone. If you want a special telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom, different size options, a better screen and better processing, you pay 30% more. That doesn't mean the iPhone 11 Pro for $ 999 and the Pro Max for $ 1,099 aren't great phones. It's just that the iPhone 11 is real The Good. For this reason, Apple's "Value" phone won the CNET Editors & # 39; Choice Award for the iPhone 11 with its wonderful cameras, solid construction (which has survived the CNET drop and water tests) and iOS 13.2.

Editor's note, November 6: Updated with results from CNET battery tests, water tests and evaluation of deep fusion photo processing. The original review, published on September 17, follows below.

Still starts at 64GB

The iPhone 11 model for $ 699 has 64 GB of storage, which is probably okay for many people – and it's a $ 50 drop in price compared to last year's basic iPhone XR model. 128 GB for $ 749 is probably more useful if you are recording a video, and 256 GB for $ 849 should only be considered if you are recording a lot of video. The Pro phones have a 512 GB level, which you only need when you turn your living in 4K quality. The table at the end of this review provides complete pricing, including UK and Australia prices.

Continue reading: Steven Soderbergh may need to upgrade to iPhone 11 Pro for his next film

Colors: iPhone 11 is the fun phone

For whatever reason, Apple is still making the cheaper iPhone 11, which is available in fun colors. There are two new colors, green and purple, that look more like mint green and lavender. These new pastel colors replace the blue and coral colors of last year.

I have the green iPhone 11. Its color is pleasant and the color of the aluminum case comes much closer to the color of the glass. The shiny glass floor feels just like last year. The same applies to the rest of the phone – with the exception of the dual cameras, which are lifted from the back up and placed on a frosted glass camera slot.

In contrast, all iPhone 11 Pro models have metallic tones: silver, space gray, gold, and a military midnight green. The three cameras look more industrial (perhaps more impressive). The rear glass is matt instead of glossy. They are made of steel instead of aluminum. And the pro phones feel much denser. They pack bigger batteries and the steel increases the weight.

I like that the iPhone 11 follows in the footsteps of the iPhone XR and is again the medium sized phone with a 6.1 inch screen – compared to the two iPhone Pro models at 5.8 inches and 6.5 inches. I came to prefer the smaller iPhone 11 Pro, like the iPhone XS last year.


In recent years, Apple has made impressive advances in camera quality, but so have many other cell phone manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, and Google. The camera arms race is something that hardcore photographers study closely, but I would argue that it has gone far beyond what most people need. The iPhone 11 cameras are some of the best for photos and videos you can buy today.


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The iPhone 11 can switch between wide-angle and wide-angle lenses. The iPhone 11 Pro can do the same, but also offers a telephoto camera to get closer to your subject.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The 11 is equipped with a new ultrawide-angle camera, night mode for shooting in low light conditions, deep fusion processing for better indoor shots, faster autofocus and overall sharper images with more accurate color reproduction. For a closer look at the camera differences between this year's iPhone and last year, Read our iPhone camera comparison between the iPhone 11 with Deep Fusion and the iPhone XR, The ultrawide offers a radical change of perspective that can be visually unique. This won't be your camera, but it's just an explosion to use.

dinner ultra wide-iPhone 11

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This scallop plate is really the focus when taking pictures with the iPhone 11 ultrawide angle camera.

Patrick Holland / CNET

Night mode is an important feature that allows Apple to use similar features from Google, Huawei, and Samsung. And so far Apple's version has been impressive.

A shot of Brooklyn Bridge Park at night popping colors. More saturated colors are part of night mode.

Scott Stein / CNET

Night mode, how it works and when not

Like the Google Pixel 4, the Huawei P30 Pro and Samsung Galaxy Note 10Taking terrifying photos in low-light conditions now seems to be in every phone manufacturer's computer control. The Apple version brightens photos, absorbs less noise and does it all automatically. When you open the standard camera app, the phone determines when it's dark enough to switch to night mode. There is currently no manual way to trigger the mode.

Night mode uses adaptive bracketing and takes a series of photos, some with a slower shutter speed, others with a shorter one. IPhone then merges all the photos together to reduce motion blur and lighten shadows. When I took night shots in handheld mode, the sequence took about 3 to 5 seconds. When I put the iPhone on a tripod, I got 10 seconds and could even overwrite it manually for a night shot of 28 seconds.

I took a picture of a tree in my garden that was in total darkness. Below is a picture taken with iPhone 11 in night mode and another with last year's iPhone XS.

The HDR-like feel of the photos preserves some of the night effects, but at other times the photos can look like a day. The night mode can be deactivated by tapping the symbol and moving the timer. So far, however, this has improved in almost all cases.

It is not a perfect tool: faces can become blurred, details can be lost. Still, I was overwhelmed. Night mode effects work the same on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, but the Pro also has a telephoto camera that it can use.

However, you cannot use night mode in Ultrawide Angle mode. This camera looks much darker and has no optical image stabilization. This applies to all of this year's models.

Adjust the pictures properly and the Ultrawide Angle camera can do fun things.

Scott Stein / CNET

Ultrawide angle = acting camera

The latest camera has an ultra-wide 13mm lens that's just fun. If the main wide-angle camera resembles a business suit and the "telephoto" lens is a sporty blazer, then the ultrawide corresponds to a Hawaiian shirt. It's obviously different and changes the way you take pictures. It won't be great in every situation, but it can be equally useful as when shooting in smaller rooms, and it can be artistic to add drama to an everyday scene.

Apple has compensated for the distortion so there's a little (what you want for this ultra-wide look), but it's not terrible. I immediately found angles in my motifs that made them look bigger than life. The best thing is that you can use the Ultrawide lens when recording video. In fact, you can switch between cameras while recording. Apple even used a cool zoom effect for the transition between lenses.

Without a doubt, it can make for breathtaking shots. Ultrawide cameras are another new trend in phone cameras. Apple promises some additional benefits here. The iPhone 11 has an enhanced Ultrawide Angle Portrait mode that works with close-ups of pets and other things. All phones have a viewfinder with an expanded view that now shows a preview of the objects outside the recording. So you know when to use the Ultrawide lens.


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The Ultrawide camera is suitable for photos and videos.

Patrick Holland / CNET

A funky extra also captures some Ultrawide camera data in a quick-take video if you hold down the camera key in the camera app. It looks like it attracts people who may be out of frame. So far I haven't let this mode work for me.

Apple will also use the multiple cameras for one upcoming deep fusion feature coming to all cell phones next month. More on this below. It promises to deliver a super photo of multiple shots. It's not quite Smart HDR, but it will work automatically. I remember the promises of Nokia 9, with which photos should also merge to form a super picture.