iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XR Buyer's Guide

Alongside the new iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro models, Apple continues to sell previous-generation iPhone 11. While the iPhone XR has now been discontinued, some customers may be wondering if it is worth getting this older ‌iPhone‌ from a third-party store instead of the ‌iPhone 11‌. The two devices have quite a few similarities, but the ‌iPhone 11‌ takes a step forward in regards to cameras, battery life, and more.

iphone 11 vs xr

Design Very Similar

The ‌iPhone 11‌ has a very similar glass-and-aluminum design as the ‌iPhone‌ XR, with one major visual difference being its dual-lens rear camera system housed in a large, square camera bump. On the back of the ‌iPhone 11‌, the Apple logo is centered, and the "‌iPhone‌" brand name is no longer shown.

Otherwise, much is the same, including the display, bezels, notch, antenna bands, volume and side buttons, mute switch, speaker grilles, and microphones. The ‌iPhone 11‌ also sticks with the Lightning connector.

The ‌iPhone 11‌ comes in six colors, including green, purple, white, black, yellow, and (PRODUCT)RED.

iphone 11 colors 1
Both devices weigh in at just under half a pound and have identical dimensions.

Displays Same

The ‌iPhone 11‌ has the same 6.1-inch LCD as the ‌iPhone‌ XR, including a resolution of 1792×828 pixels for 326 pixels per inch, 625 nits max brightness, and True Tone and P3 wide color gamut support. The LCD panel keeps costs down compared to the OLED displays used for the iPhone 12 lineup.

Like the ‌iPhone‌ XR, the ‌iPhone 11‌ relies on software-based Haptic Touch for contextual menus and shortcuts. Unlike older iPhones, there is no pressure-sensitive 3D Touch layer built into the ‌iPhone 11‌'s display.

Performance Differences

The ‌iPhone 11‌ is powered by Apple's A13 Bionic chip, which is the second-fastest CPU in any smartphone ever, behind only Apple's A14 Bionic chip in the ‌iPhone 12‌ models.

iphone 11 display 1
Based on 7-nanometer architecture, the A13 Bionic features four high-efficiency cores that are up to 20 percent faster and consume 40 percent less power than the A12 Bionic chip in the ‌iPhone‌ XR. The A13 chip also has two high-performance cores that are up to 20 percent faster and 30 percent more efficient than the A12 chip.

Battery Life

Apple says the ‌iPhone 11‌ has up to one hour longer battery life than the ‌iPhone‌ XR overall. Based on Apple's internal testing, the ‌iPhone 11‌ is rated for up to 17 hours of offline video playback, up to 10 hours of streaming video over Wi-Fi, and up to 65 hours of audio playback per charge.

Like the ‌iPhone‌ XR, the ‌iPhone 11‌ supports Qi-based wireless charging, as well as fast charging for up to a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes with an 18W or higher USB-C charger.

Cameras, the Biggest Difference

The rear camera system is easily the ‌iPhone 11‌'s biggest upgrade over the ‌iPhone‌ XR. Unlike the XR, the wide-angle ƒ/1.8 lens is accompanied by an ultra-wide-angle ƒ/2.4 lens for a 120° field of view. The ultra-wide-angle lens allows users to "zoom out" to "0.5x" and capture four times more scene, according to Apple.

The ‌iPhone 11‌'s wide-angle lens also has an updated sensor that enables Night Mode for markedly improved low-light photos that are brighter and have less noise. This feature is similar to Night Sight on Google's newer Pixel smartphones.

iphone 11 colors collage
The ‌iPhone 11‌'s third-generation Neural Engine enables next-generation Smart HDR for more natural-looking photos. The Neural Engine also enables Deep Fusion, which uses advanced machine learning for pixel-by-pixel processing of photos, including texture, details, and noise.

Portrait Mode on the ‌iPhone 11‌ works with not only human faces, but also objects and pets.

There are also six Portrait Lighting effects available on the ‌iPhone 11‌, including Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and High‑Key Mono. This is up from three on the ‌iPhone‌ XR: Natural, Studio, and Contour.

‌iPhone 11‌ also features front-facing slo-mo video recording at 120 FPS.

Connectivity Compared

With both 802.11ax Wi-Fi and Gigabit-class LTE, the ‌iPhone 11‌ theoretically has faster download speeds than the ‌iPhone‌ XR, but real-world performance is typically limited by multiple factors such as location and network congestion.

The ‌iPhone 11‌ also features an Apple-designed U1 chip that enables ultra-wideband support for improved spatial awareness. The chip enables the ‌iPhone 11‌ to precisely locate other U1‑equipped Apple devices, such as other iPhones and Apple's AirTags.

Storage and Pricing Differences

‌iPhone 11‌ is available in 64GB and 128GB for $499 and $549 respectively, while the ‌iPhone‌ XR will be available in similar storage configurations for prices around $100 lower than this.

Tech Specs Compared

Below you'll find tech specs for ‌iPhone 11‌ and ‌iPhone‌ XR, with each difference bolded.


iPhone 11

  • 6.1-inch LCD display

  • 1792×828 resolution and 326 PPI

  • True Tone display

  • Dual 12-megapixel rear cameras (wide and ultra-wide lenses)

  • Single 12-megapixel front camera

  • Portrait Mode with Depth Control: humans, pets, and objects

  • Six Portrait Lighting effects

  • Next-gen Smart HDR

  • A13 Bionic chip with third-gen Neural Engine

  • Face ID

  • ‌Haptic Touch‌

  • Lightning connector

  • Fast charging capable: up to 50% charge in 30 minutes

  • Qi-based wireless charging

  • IP68-rated water resistance to a depth of 2 meters for up to 30 minutes

  • 64/128/256GB

  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and eSIM)

  • Gigabit-class LTE

  • VoLTE

  • 802.11ax Wi‑Fi with MIMO

  • Bluetooth 5.0

Plus…

  • ‌Night Mode‌ photos

  • Front-facing slo-mo video recording at 120 FPS

  • QuickTake video recording shortcut

  • Dolby Atmos sound

  • U1 chip for spatial awareness

iPhone XR

  • 6.1-inch LCD display

  • 1792×828 resolution and 326 PPI

  • True Tone display

  • Single 12-megapixel rear camera (wide lens)

  • Single 7-megapixel front camera

  • Portrait Mode with Depth Control: humans only

  • Three Portrait Lighting effects

  • Smart HDR

  • A12 Bionic chip with second-gen Neural Engine

  • Face ID

  • ‌Haptic Touch‌

  • Lightning connector

  • Fast charging capable: up to 50% charge in 30 minutes

  • Qi-based wireless charging

  • IP67-rated water resistance to a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes

  • 64/128GB (256GB discontinued)

  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and eSIM)

  • LTE Advanced

  • VoLTE

  • 802.11ac Wi‑Fi with MIMO

  • Bluetooth 5.0

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR Verdict

The ‌iPhone 11‌ is a rather iterative update to the ‌iPhone‌ XR, but users who take lots of photos may find the camera advancements worth spending an extra $100 on. The ‌iPhone 11‌ is also one year newer than the ‌iPhone‌ XR, so it should receive an additional year of iOS updates.

Related Roundup: iPhone 11
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

NickName99 Avatar
31 months ago
I have an XR. The only thing I want on the 11 is night mode. Not enough to upgrade. Feels good for once to skip, actually.
*edit* just like with Google Night Sight, this isn’t for moving subjects, you have to hold still a few seconds using this app!

Here’s a good Night Mode solution for $2.99, I bought it for my iPhone X and it works really well:

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/neuralcam-night-mode-camera/id1474856599

Quick test I did last night, standard Camera app vs NeuralCam:


Attachment Image
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
TracesOfArsenic Avatar
31 months ago
Exclusive to 11. Requires the better cameras.
Does it though, or is that what Apple want you to believe? They were pushing how important AI was for many (if not all) of these "pro" features and if the competitors' night modes are anything to go by they're done through computation rather than "the latest lens that our old camera didn't have".
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sasparilla Avatar
31 months ago
Have to add for advantages for the Xr is the blue color. Was planning on getting a blue 11. :(

Would not be surprised if the spatial awareness stuff and the wide angle 2nd camera gets used for AR stuff in the future (was really surprised they didn't do something with it during the keynote - cause otherwise a zoom camera would be a no brainer choice for a 2nd camera).

I'm tempted to finally upgrade my 8 Plus and I'm tempted by the iPhone 11 but will I notice the difference with the lower resolution screen?
It's still retina resolution (the same resolution (dots per inch) as the base 8). I had a 8 Plus and didn't notice the difference with the Xr.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ryecoke Avatar
31 months ago
Question about Night mode.... is this a 11 and 11 pro exclusive or is it going to be a software update for the Xr?
Exclusive to 11. Requires the better cameras.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
thadoggfather Avatar
31 months ago
I never understood the power efficiency gains in relation to battery

So the 11 with a13 has 40 percent efficiency gains but only yields one hour more battery (and that’s the marketing claim, too) with same screen and resolution and all the rest except a dual camera? How does that make any mathematical sense?

Still xr gets excellent battery life and I’d expect no less of the 11
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GeoStructural Avatar
31 months ago
I need a Product(RED) iPhone Pro. It would be beautiful.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

ios 15

Apple Releases Minor iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 Updates

Wednesday January 12, 2022 10:05 am PST by
Apple today released minor 15.2.1 updates for iPhone and iPad users, and the software comes one month after Apple launched iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 with a slew of improvements. The iOS 15.2.1 and iPadOS 15.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General >...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With LG's 32-Inch UltraFine OLED Pro Display

Wednesday January 12, 2022 1:12 pm PST by
LG in December announced the launch of its new 2022 32-inch UltraFine OLED Pro display, and in our latest YouTube video, we went hands-on with it to see how it compares to Apple's Pro Display XDR and whether it might be worth picking up depending on the price point. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Officially named the "32BP95E," the display features a resolution of ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole

iPhone 14 Pro Now Rumored to Feature Both Pill-Shaped and Circular Cutouts

Wednesday January 12, 2022 9:26 am PST by
Apple is widely expected to remove the notch on iPhone 14 Pro models, but there have been conflicting rumors about the new design. Early rumors suggested that Apple would adopt a hole-punch design with Face ID somehow moved completely under the display, and later it was rumored that there would be a pill-shaped cutout instead. Now, display industry consultant Ross Young has claimed that...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
iPhone 14 Mock Pill Blue Feature

iPhone 14 Pro Again Rumored to Feature Upgraded 48-Megapixel Camera

Wednesday January 12, 2022 6:18 am PST by
iPhone 14 Pro models will feature a 48-megapixel camera, according to Taiwanese research firm TrendForce. Specifically, this refers to the rear-facing Wide camera, which is currently 12 megapixels on iPhone 13 Pro models. The addition of a 48-megapixel Wide camera on iPhone 14 Pro models has already been mentioned by multiple sources, including analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who expects the upgraded...
wordle

Clones of Popular 'Wordle' Game Flooding App Store, Including One Charging $30 Per Year [Updated]

Tuesday January 11, 2022 1:39 pm PST by
If you're a regular internet user you've probably heard of popular web-based daily guessing game Wordle, created by Josh Wardle. The game, which is entirely free to play, was introduced last fall and has been spreading like wildfire. Wordle asks players to guess a five letter word by identifying which letters are in the word and are located in the right location. Players get six guesses per...
apple employees trio

Apple Outlines $30M Bag Check Lawsuit Settlement on Legal Website

Wednesday January 12, 2022 3:28 pm PST by
Apple in November settled a long-running lawsuit over employee bag checks, with the Cupertino company agreeing to pay $29.9 million to employees who were subjected to off-the-clock bag searches, and now details about the settlement are available on Apple's website. California employees first sued Apple in 2013, and in 2015, the case escalated into a class action lawsuit. Employees claimed...
iMac 27 inch 2020 sale

Deals: Apple's 21.5-Inch iMac Hits Record Low Price of $599.99 ($499 Off) [Update: Out of Stock]

Thursday January 13, 2022 4:05 am PST by
Amazon today has a great deal on the 2017 Intel 21.5-inch iMac (2.3GHz, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD), priced at $599.99, down from $1,099.00. This is the best price we've ever tracked on this model, and it's only available at Amazon. The sale price will be reflected after an automatic coupon is applied at checkout. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...