Apple has launched iPhone 11 alongside iPhone 11 pros on September 20, 2019. You see, It was a great deal back then to purchase one. iPhone 11 was better than iPhone XR but both sold like hotcakes. The hardware and software were very good and work for hand in hand that the iPhone 11 was a dream come true. Apple is aware of it and launched it in a particular segment to capture the market and they did succeed in it. Today in 2023 with iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 around, we have the question, is it still the budget king iPhone 11 worth buying in 2023?
Let’s see in detail.
What a phone!
Now we need a rival to compare the iPhone 11 with.
When you’re an iPhone user yourself and looking to upgrade or planning to get an alternate phone, your obvious choice would be another iPhone. Going to an android is unlikely because you’re used to an iPhone.
Click to read why ios is better than android.
Therefore, we have chosen iPhone 12 to be a competitor of the iPhone 11. For the above-said reason, iPhone 12 fits better than any android at a price that is $200 costlier than that of the iPhone 11. This phone is chosen just for evaluating purposes.
So, is the iPhone 11 worth buying in 2023?
Let us see…
The battle of 4G vs 5G
You are aware of the fact that companies are pushing 5g now. 4G is more than capable of everyday usage to get the job done. But, having 5G is good and is quite important too. Let me explain.
When you buy an iPhone, you might not change it in a year or two. Mostly, the phone stays with you for 3 to 5 years. As time goes by 5G would be ubiquitous, at least in most cities and towns. So, it is good to have a phone equipped with 5G than feeling sorry later.
But is 5G important?
Yes, it is. 5G can theoretically provide 20 times more speed and shows a bit more efficiency than 4g for battery life. Also with a millimeter-wave, 5G can provide fantastic speeds like wired broadband. Yes, it is not available everywhere but in busy streets. Still, it is a technology worth considering.
Imagine you’re going to take up a train journey and at the station, you decided to watch a tv series while traveling. Well, with 5g, you can almost download most of the seasons required for train travel, then and there. 5g also has ultra-low latency. If you’re into gaming, this means a lot. Especially for competitive games, ultra-low latency is a ‘game-changer.’ So, is 5g important? Well, it is.
It is certainly important with a price difference of just $200. With a price difference of $200, you’re getting a whole new generation of telecom technology that is here to stay for a long time. It is not worth buying an iPhone 11. However, it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead.
However, if 5g is not important, iPhone 11 is a good buy.
You know that with every iteration of the iPhone there will be an improvement in the camera department. iPhone 11 has a nice camera. iPhone 11 is worth buying for it. The picture looks sharp and the colors are true to life-like and accurate. Apple has done their homework in color science very well. The skin tone appears accurate and intact. The HDR is promising with great shadow details and saturation. But with iPhone 12 apple offers much more for the camera department.
You get a camera with a bigger sensor. That outright improves the image quality and lowlight performance. Also, the aperture is wider now which is again good for low light performance. The camera is straight from iPhone 12 pro.
iPhone 12 has every required camera save the telephoto. Yes, iPhone 12 has a dual-camera setup. Like iPhone 11, the secondary camera is an Ultrawide lens. I am glad, they have included the Ultrawide instead of a telephoto lens.
Ultra-wide is much more of use compared to the telephoto lens. You can always move a couple of steps forward and fix the frame. This way, not only telephoto is needed, but ultrawide will help to compose a difficult shot more easily.
In addition to the bigger sensor, the night mode has improved as well. With a new algorithm in place, you will get a good night shot. The image certainly looks better than an iPhone 11. The noise in the photo is less. With a big aperture, the image is clear.
However, the biggest change in the camera is towards the video side. You know that iPhones capture the best video in the market. Now it is even better with Dolby vision HDR recording. Dolby Vision is one of the best standards for HDR cinema in the tech world and not even all the pro cinema cameras are capable of recording in Dolby vision.
However, iPhone 12 manages to do it. It is a huge feat for a phone. All the shadow details are preserved. The speckle highlights are shown and the video is extraordinary to view if you have a Dolby vision-certified display.
The phone has a second-generation Dolby vision recording and only the latest Dolby vision devices can show the video with full glory. Compared to iPhone 11, it is a huge leap forward to have a Dolby vision camera in iPhone 12. So, is it worth buying iPhone 11 for $200 less? Probably not. But it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead for a difference of $200 and the iPhone 12 is completely worth it.
Why not a great display?
I know, the iPhone 11 has an awesome display. Yes, the display can show the DCI p3 color gamut. They are bright and beautiful. However, it has its own gripes as well. The display is just a 720P panel. That is from the iPhone 8 days. Although most of the users don’t find it annoying, if you’re a pixel peeping gentleman, you have a piece of bad news.
720P isn’t quite enough for the mammoth of a display. Fortunately, iPhone 12 comes with a solution that not only addresses the resolution issue (with an updated 1080P display) but also a few other gripes of the iPhone 11. When you buy a phone worth more than $500, you expect it to have an AMOLED display.
It is because the picture quality of the AMOLED display is better than that of an IPS LCD panel. You will enjoy it more especially if you stream video content on your phone. If you’re a fan of Netflix shows you have a piece of good news. The all-new display supports HDR as well. Although the iPhone 11 supports HDR on its display, it will not come closer to an AMOLED display. For the record, iPhone 12 has a display that peaks at 1200 nits. The brightness is a lot and even many TVs don’t offer this level of brightness. Comparatively, iPhone 11 has only 625 nits of peak brightness.
As the display is AMOLED, you get a Super Retina XDR display with a resolution of 2532‑by‑1170 with a pixel per inch of 460. 460 PPI is definitely sharper. One of the gripes I have with the iPhone 11 is that the display is not really edge-to-edge. You will see that the bezels are thick. But with the new AMOLED screen, the screen to display ratio is higher. You will get an edge-to-edge display and it is absolutely gorgeous to look at.(86.0% screen-to-body ratio)) As always, True Tone is going to take care of the white balance.
With AMOLED you get an excellent contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1. The blacks are pure blacks and it feels as if the pictures pop out of the screen during nighttime viewing. I think it is well worth spending $200 more to get iPhone 12 instead of iPhone 11 even for the display alone. So, is it worth buying iPhone 11 for a $200 difference in price compared to iPhone 12? Probably not. But, it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead of an iPhone 11 for a difference of $200.
Now almost all mid and high-end phones come with wireless charging. iPhone 11 has it too. It supports Qi wireless chargers. The issue is that they are not fast enough like a wired charger. If you need universal wireless charging, iPhone 11 is worth buying.
But it is convenient to have a wireless charger on board. iPhone 12 takes it to a next level. Apple has introduced MagSafe wireless charging technology with iPhone 12. The MagSafe is not like the one from the Apple MacBook Pro range of computers but it is different. The MagSafe connects to the iPhone like a magnet and falls in place for ideal charging. Bring the MagSafe charger closer to the back of the iPhone and both cling together.
You don’t have to position a wireless charger so that the phone aligns with the charging coil. Mag safe is very simple. Just connect it and forget it. The MagSafe can now do 20Watts of charging and it is faster than other wireless chargers. Additionally, you will get accessories like the case, wallet, etc. that are compatible with the MagSafe charger. Although iPhone 11 has it, iPhone 12 takes it to a different dimension altogether.
For a price difference of $200, it is worth having MagSafe compatibility for future reference. So, is it worth buying iPhone 11 for $200 less? No. But it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead for a difference of $200 and it is technically a smart decision.
Square design matters
Apple has brought in the rounded body since Apple iPhone 6 days. It stayed there for too long from iPhone 6 to iPhone 11. It is long overdue for apple and they have changed the styling in 2020. Now we get a square version like iPhone 5. It doesn’t affect the functionality of the iPhone much. But this makes iPhone 12 appear a lot thin, light, and small.
Apple changes the design once In a while and the design stays for a longer period of time. I think it is worth spending $200 to get the new design as the old one will be obsolete next year. And so, Is it worth buying iPhone 11 for $200 less? Probably yes. But it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead for a difference of $200 and it is completely worth it.
Better the processor better the life
iPhone 11 is not slow by any means. It outperforms many of the androids in terms of performance. It has a 7nm process-built processor. This makes the phone plenty fast that you don’t require a processor more than this for day-to-day life tasks and some good gaming. This easily makes the iPhone worth buying.
However, having a lot of power is always better. More power doesn’t show many benefits now but as time passes by and when you reach a period at which the product is at the end of life, it matters. iPhone 12 can push one or two more years confidently than an iPhone 11. There you save some money.
But guys who do YouTube videos can do processing of photos and videos on the device, the new processor on iPhone 12 will show its qualities and beat the processor of iPhone 11, mercilessly. The difference is significant for such a process. However, even for day-to-day usage for a long-term benefit, it is worth spending $200 more to get an iPhone 12 than iPhone 11 anyway. Even in this case, it is worth buying an iPhone 12 than that of an iPhone 11.
How about some gaming?
Gaming is a place where Apple wins hands down. It has so much power for high-end gaming. iPhone 11 is a phone where you can do gaming enjoyably. You will love gaming on iPhone 11. If you’re on a budget, iPhone 11 is the Phone to go for gaming. The display is sharp enough. It displays accurate colors that make gaming memorable. This is a reason why iPhone 11 is worth buying. However, if you want more from gaming, iPhone 12 is the phone to go. The processor is very much powerful and the neural engine is equally powerful that no games will lag in this setup. The stereo speakers give surround sound and the AMOLED display is a joy for gaming. The rich contrast and black levels elevate the gaming experience. You will love gaming on iPhone 12. period. Hence for $100, you will get a better processor and a better screen which elevates the experience of gaming many folds. Therefore iPhone 12 is worth buying than iPhone 11 unless you’re on a budget.
It is all about official accessories and this cannot be a deal maker or deal breaker of any kind. Still, it is important too. iPhone 11 has official accessories but the accessories are limited in number. You will get third-party cases and covers in plenty. But apple’s genuine accessories are limited. On the other hand, there is a good market for iPhone 12 accessories.
The official accessories are a lot and quite nice. They come with MagSafe compatibility. Meaning, if you opt for a case then, the case will be MagSafe compatible meaning, you can attach the MagSafe to the case. Besides, the cases have NFC and with which the phone identifies the color of the case inserted and changes its theme.
Then there is a wallet you can buy which clings to the MagSafe charger spot. Magsafe can still work with these accessories on and it is again a cool thing. If you like accessories, then iPhone 12 is worth it for the difference of $200 that you would pay more for iPhone 12 compared to iPhone 11. So, iPhone 11 is not worth buying in this case? Yes, unless you don’t buy apple cases.
iPhone 11 is a strong device. The back of the phone and the front are protected by glass. The glasses are toughened glass made by Corning. The gorilla glass stands to its expectation. They are shatterproof for small kinds of falls. They are not really great scratch-resistant glasses as the glasses are engineered towards shatterproof ability. It worked.
However, iPhone 12 has a new technology up to its sleeve. It’s an apple’s ceramic shield. Apple claims that the ceramic shield is about 4 times harder than the corning gorilla glass. Hence, they are shatter-resistant to an extent and can stand the test of time.
“These small ceramic nanocrystals are embedded in the glass matrix using a high-temperature crystallization manufacturing process. The interlocking structure of crystals helps to deflect cracks and chips. Corning further strengthens the glass via ion exchange (essentially increasing the ion sizes to create a more rigid structure) to help hold the glass together in the event of damage and reduce the signs of scratches.”– https://www.androidauthority.com/apple-ceramic-shield-1170032/
Therefore to answer is iPhone 11 is worth buying, the answer is yes but for a difference of $200, iPhone 12 is even more worth buying.
Durability – very much durable?
Apple has a long history of making durable products. Iphones are no exception. iPhone 11 has a tough glass and metal body that can survive a fall most of the time. It also lasts longer. Apple updates software even for old phones and that makes the phone useful for many years to come. From a durability standpoint, iPhone 11 is worth buying.
However, Apple took iPhone 12 to another level in terms of durability. As discussed before, the ceramic shield is the star of the show. It protects the phones from the fall and saves your pocket for another screen replacement (which would cost a bomb). The body is made of durable materials and the camera lens is made of durable glass, sapphire crystal lens. The ceramic shield alone is worth $200 as the screen repair cost is quite high. Hence, iPhone 12 is worth buying from a durability standpoint.
Battery life. Is bigger the better?
iPhone 11 has excellent battery life. It has a 3110 mah battery. You might ask, ‘it is just 3110 mah? Androids have bigger batteries.” It is true that 3110 mah is smaller compared to what android has. However, specs don’t tell the full story. Does it? If it does, more ram is better and iPhone would have failed miserably in day-to-day tasks. It is not.
Although iPhones have the smallest battery, they have excellent battery life. All thanks to the awesome processor that is very less power-hungry. In iPhone 11, the screen to push is only 720p (low resolution), and therefore, the battery power isn’t wasted on pushing the GPU for higher resolution. This way, iPhone 11 is worth buying.
So, how about iPhone 12?
Disappointingly, iPhone 12 has a smaller 2,815 mAh battery. However, the phone has a very very efficient 5nm process chip, the Apple A14 chip that doesn’t require much battery power like the A 13 chip of iPhone 11 which is a 7nm chip. Also, the screen is a high efficient AMOLED display and with dark mode on or with video watching, the battery life is going to be excellent.
This result is wow factoring because the phone’s GPU has to push 1080p pixels and the processor is very powerful. Still, Apple has managed to optimize iPhone 12 to outrank the previous iPhone 11. Excellent! So,
Is iPhone 11 worth it in terms of battery? Yes, it does. But for $200 more, you will get an even better battery life from iPhone 12. iPhone 12 is worth buying, therefore.
Small device and little difference.
The device although looks big is comparatively small. Appearance is sometimes deceptive. The length is smaller than the iPhone 11, the breadth has reduced and thickness is also smaller. $200 extra can be given to the iPhone 12 because iPhone 12 is the latest device and iPhone 11 is around here and there for more than a year now. Not for the size but for the phone is new, iPhone 12 excels in a difference of $200 and it is worth it.
iPhone 11 is a good phone. It was launched just a year ago before the iPhone 12 was launched. iPhone 11 was selling like hotcakes like the previous year’s iPhone XR. iPhone 11 has almost everything you would probably require on a good smartphone. It can take good pictures, incredible videos, incredible slo-Mos and you can chat using your favorite Animoji’s. You can have a fantastic battery life with iPhone 11. You get a color-accurate display with which you can edit photos and videos easily and accurately. It is totally worth the money you pay while purchasing it. It checks almost all the boxes and it can last with you for a while, perhaps for years. However, with an additional $200 if you could spare, you will get a
- 5G device
- Better camera
- AMOLED display
- MagSafe wireless charging
- Square design
- Better A14 Bionic processor
- Ceramic shield on glass
- Better accessories
- Better battery life
- And a nice device
All these for a mere $200 is a steal, in my opinion. So, is the iPhone 11 worth buying today? As said already, iPhone 11 is in no way a bad phone but for $200 more, you will get a far far better product on hand which not only looks better but also performs better and will live with you for a very long time. This is exactly why I said iPhone 12 is worth it to buy at a price that is $200 more than what you would pay for an iPhone 11.
FAQ – Frequently asked questions
Is the iPhone 11 worth buying in 2023?
Yes, iPhone 11 is worth buying. But iPhone 12 is much more worth buying.
How much longer will iPhone 11 be good for?
iPhone 11 will be good for at least 2 years from now on.
Should I change my iPhone 11?
Unless you want much more performance and much more features, you need not change the phone. iPhone 11 is still good.
Will iPhone 11 be discontinued next year?
Until apple announces, it is hard to tell. However, iPhone 11 will continue to get updates for at least 1 more year.
Thanks for reading.
Related post: Is iphone 8 worth buying in 2023?
Aju Vignesh Sathiaraj Padma is a mechanical and audio engineer. He is a person who loves technology and things. He is also an audiophile and loves to listen to music on quality audio gear. He is an avid writer and loves to blog.
He is the founder and author of www.digitfield.com, and he is an expert in copywriting. You can find him either lurking in various forums or listening to classical music.
Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your weblog.
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good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d really like to write some content for
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Yes, we are interested. Please Ping back.
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Thank you 🙂
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I guess, it is automatic. I did nothing to get listed on Yahoo news
The sims will not connect with the phone. It keeps saying “no sims” my provider says the sims is compatible with the phone. Tried different sims from different providers and it still say the same thing. And this is the 2nd phone apple sent and having the same problem
Please take it to the apple service. It must be something else other than a sim and phone.
Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again. Anyway, just wanted to say excellent blog!
Really sorry. I just checked the backend and couldn’t find the comment. Will check the cause on my end.