Is it really the iPhone 11 worth buying in 2021?

Apple has launched iPhone 11 along with 11 pro on September 20, 2019. It was a great deal back then to purchase one. You see, iPhone 11 was better than iPhone XR and both sold like hotcakes. The hardware and software were very good that the phone’s iPhone 11 was worth the money spent. You must know that Apple is aware of it and launched it in a particular segment to capture the market and they did succeed in it.

iPhone 11worth buying
Photo by Lucy from Pexels

What a phone! 

Today we have the question, is the budget king iPhone 11 still worth the money in 2021? Let’s see in detail.

Now we need a rival to compare to iPhone 11.

When you’re an iPhone user yourself and looking to upgrade or get an alternate phone, your obvious choice would be another iPhone. Going to an android is unlikely because you’re used to an iPhone. 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 2021? 

Let us see…

The battle of 4G vs 5G

An image showing 5G on a mobile.
5G in a phone

You are aware of the fact that companies are pushing 5g now. 4G is more than capable for everyday usage and get the job done. But, having 5G is good and is quite important too. Let me explain

When you buy an iPhone, you hardly change it in a year or two. Mostly, the phone stays in your hand 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. Imagine you’re going to take up a train journey and at the station, you decided to watch a tv series. Well, with 5g, you can almost download most of the seasons required for train travel watching, 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 but it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead.

The camera

A picture showing iphone 11 camera along with a point and shoot camera
Photo by Alan Quirván from Pexels

You know that for every iteration in an iPhone there will be an improvement in the camera. iPhone 11 has a nice camera. The picture looks sharp and the colors are true to life and accurate. Apple has done their homework in color science very well. The skin tone appears intact. The HDR is promising with great shadow details and saturation. But with iPhone 12 apple offers much more for the camera.

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 one. 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.

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 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 have a great display?

Image of an iPhone 11 showing its display
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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. 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 but also 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 too supports HDR on its display, it is not close 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.

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 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. 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 $200 less? Probably not. But it is worth buying an iPhone 12 instead for a difference of $200 and it is completely a smart choice.

Wireless charging

Image of an iphone 11 doing wireless charging
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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. 

But it is convenient to have a wireless charger on board. iPhone 12 takes it to a different 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 to 20Watts of charging and it is faster for one of the 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

An array of square iphones and rounded iphone and ipads
Photo by Gabriel Freytez from Pexels

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 thin, light, and small device. A

pple 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

series of processors
credits: Pixabay

iPhone 11 is not slow by any means. It still outperforms many of the androids in terms of performance. It is a 7nm process built processor. It is plenty fast that you don’t require a processor more than this for day to day life tasks and some good gaming. 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 does processing of photo 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. 



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 change its theme.

Uber cool!

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.

Ceramic shield

iPhone 11 is a strong device. The back of the phone and the front is protected by glass. The glasses are toughened glass made by Corning. The gorilla glass stands to its expectation. They are shatterproof for small kind of fall. They are not really a great scratch glass as the glass is 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 their test to 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.”


Therefore to answer is iPhone 11 worth buying, the answer is yes but for a difference of $200, iPhone 12 is even more worth buying.

Battery life. Is bigger the better?

iPhone battery
Photo by Tyler Lastovich from Pexels

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 of the 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, and therefore, the battery power isn’t wasted on pushing the GPU for higher resolution. 

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 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 can go 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 through 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. 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.

If you like to buy an iPhone 12 that is carrier locked, you can check the price and buy it from here.

Check the Price on Amazon

If you like to buy an iPhone 11 that is carrier locked, you can check the price and buy it from here.

Check the Price on Amazon

Thanks for reading.

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