Apple iPhone 11 review: The best $700 iPhone Apple has ever made

When you initial hear the names of Apple’s new iPhones — the Apple iphone 11, Apple iphone 11 Professional and Apple iphone 11 Professional Max — you might have some queries. Where’s the Apple iphone X ($900 at Improve Cell)? And what would make the Apple iphone Professional… Professional? What happened to previous year’s XS and XS Max ($1,000 at Most effective Invest in)? This year’s new phones are polished sequels (literally and figuratively) to the 3 we bought previous calendar year. For some persons the Apple iphone 11 just requires to be far better than the XS. And it without a doubt is. But for others, it is good to know in which Apple stands in the bigger landscape of phones. There are wild 5G speeds on the horizon, in addition weird and expensive foldable phones like Samsung’s Galaxy Fold. And then there is certainly the a lot more pricey $799 (£669, AU$1,049) Google Pixel 4, which basically would make the $699 (£729, AU$1,199) Apple iphone 11 look like an even far better worth.

Apple did a wonderful career with new options, which include some serious camera enhancements like Night Mode for having pictures in dimly lit predicaments and Deep Fusion, a new way for the Apple iphone 11 and 11 Professional to approach pictures taken in predicaments in which the lighting is dazzling sufficient for you to see, but absolutely nothing like currently being outdoors on a sunny day. 

Read: Apple iphone 11 vs. Apple iphone 11 Professional: Essential variations to enable you determine which one to invest in

But there is certainly a superior motive why the enterprise named its a lot more pricey and fancier phones “Professional” this calendar year: Rate. Apple is well targeting the $699 Apple iphone 11 as the cellphone for most persons, in the identical mold as the iPhone XR ($599 at Apple) last calendar year. 


When the Apple iphone 11 Professional and Professional Max (remaining and leading) have 3 twelve-megapixel cameras, the Apple iphone 11 (ideal) has only two.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Primarily, the Apple iphone 11 and 11 Professional are 85% the precise identical cellphone. If you want a focused telephoto camera with 2x optical zoom, various measurement alternatives, a far better display and finish, you might be heading to shell out thirty% a lot more. That is not to say the $999 Apple iphone 11 Professional and $1,099 11 Professional Max aren’t wonderful phones. It truly is just that the Apple iphone 11 is basically that superior. And that is why Apple’s “worth” cellphone with its wonderful cameras, strong construct (which survived CNET’s fall and water exams) and iOS 13.two earns the Apple iphone 11 a CNET Editors’ Alternative Award.

Editors’ note, March thirty: Even five months right after Apple launched the Apple iphone 11 and 11 Professional, the phones however represent two of the very best that you can invest in right now. In February, the Galaxy S20 launched at a beginning cost of $999. Technically it is the most cost-effective cellphone in Samsung’s present-day technology. As opposed to the Galaxy S20, the Apple iphone 11 is an absolute steal. The original evaluation, published on Sept. 17, follows underneath.

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Apple’s new phones boast a lot more cameras, reduce cost

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Still commences at 64GB

The $699 Apple iphone 11 product gets 64GB of storage, which is almost certainly fine for numerous persons — and it is a $50 cost fall from previous year’s Apple iphone XR foundation product. 128GB for $749 almost certainly would make a lot more sense if you might be capturing any video and 256GB for $849 ought to only be a consideration if you might be capturing a lot of video. The Professional phones add a 512GB tier that you would not need to have except if you might be capturing in 4K for a residing. See the chart at the bottom of this evaluation for complete pricing particulars, which include Uk and Australian prices.

Read a lot more: Steven Soderbergh may possibly need to have to enhance to the Apple iphone 11 Professional for his upcoming film

Hues: Apple iphone 11 is the enjoyable cellphone

For regardless of what reasons, Apple is however creating the reduce-priced Apple iphone 11, the one that will come in enjoyable colours. There are two new colours, named inexperienced and purple, that are a lot more like mint inexperienced and lavender. These new pastel colours swap the blue and coral alternatives from previous calendar year.

I have the inexperienced Apple iphone 11. Its shade is pleasant, and the aluminum circumstance shade is significantly closer to seamless with the glass shade. The shiny glass back again feels the identical as previous year’s XR. So does the relaxation of the cellphone — except for the twin cameras, which are elevated up from the back again and positioned in a frosted glass camera sq..

In contrast, the Apple iphone 11 Professional versions all have metallic shades: silver, area grey, gold and a army-esque midnight inexperienced. The 3 cameras appear a lot more industrial (it’s possible imposing). The back again glass is matte, as a substitute of shiny. They’re created of metal as a substitute of aluminum. And the Professional phones truly feel substantially denser. They pack bigger batteries, and the metal adds excess weight.

I like that the Apple iphone 11 follows in the footsteps of the Apple iphone XR and is the middle-measurement cellphone all over again with a six.1-inch display — compared with the two Apple iphone Professional versions at five.eight inches and six.five inches. I’ve occur to favor the scaled-down Apple iphone 11 Professional, like the Apple iphone XS previous calendar year.


Above the past number of many years, Apple has created amazing strides in camera excellent, but so have numerous other cellphone makers like Samsung, Huawei and Google. The camera arms race is something that challenging-core photographers analyze intently, but I might argue it is absent way past what most persons need to have. The Apple iphone 11 cameras are some of the very best for pictures and video capture that you can invest in right now.


The Apple iphone 11 can switch involving a vast angle and ultrawide-angle lens. The Apple iphone 11 Professional can do the identical, but also features a telephoto camera to get closer to your issue.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The 11 will come with a new ultrawide-angle camera, Night Mode for minimal-gentle pictures, Deep Fusion processing for far better indoor shots, more quickly autofocus and overall sharper photographs with a lot more accurate shade replica. For a a lot more in-depth look at the camera variations involving this year’s Apple iphone and previous year’s, browse our Apple iphone camera comparison involving the Apple iphone 11 with Deep Fusion and the Apple iphone XR. The ultrawide features a radical change in viewpoint that can be dizzyingly one of a kind visually. This would not come to be your go-to camera, but it is just a blast to use.


This plate of scallops truly can take center stage when photographed with the Apple iphone 11 ultrawide-angle camera.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Night Mode is a essential function that assists Apple capture up to similar capabilities from Google, Huawei and Samsung.  And so significantly, Apple’s variation is amazing.

A shot of Brooklyn Bridge Park at night time, creating colours pop. Extra saturated colours are element of Night Mode’s vibe.

Scott Stein/CNET

Night Mode, how it operates and when it won’t

Like the Google Pixel 4, the Huawei P30 Professional and Samsung’s Galaxy Notice 10, having startling minimal-gentle pictures seems to be in every cellphone-maker’s computational wheelhouse now. Apple’s variation brightens pictures, captures considerably less picture sound and does all of this instantly. The way it operates is when you open up the default camera application, the cellphone establishes when it is dim sufficient to go into Night Mode. At this time, there isn’t a guide way to cause the mode.

Night Mode uses adaptive bracketing and can take a collection of pictures, some with a for a longer time shutter velocity, others with a shorter one. The Apple iphone then fuses all the pictures with each other to lower motion blur and brighten shadows. When I took handheld Night Mode shots the sequence would choose about 3 to five seconds. When I put the Apple iphone on a tripod I bought a 10-2nd time and was even able to manually override that for a 28-2nd Night Mode shot.

I took a picture of a tree in my backyard that was in complete darkness. Down below is a shot with the Apple iphone 11 utilizing Night Mode and an additional with previous year’s Apple iphone XS.

The HDR-like truly feel of the pictures keeps some of the night time effects, but at other situations the pictures can conclusion up seeking like day. Night Mode can be turned off by tapping the icon and sliding the timer off, but so significantly it is been an enhancement in just about every occasion.

It truly is not a fantastic instrument: Faces can get blurred, depth can be misplaced. But however, I’ve been wowed. The Night Mode effects do the job the identical on the Apple iphone 11 and Apple iphone 11 Professional, but the Professional also gets a telephoto camera that can use it.

You won’t be able to use Night Mode in the ultrawide-angle mode, even though. That camera finishes up seeking a lot darker, and it won’t have optical picture stabilization, both. Which is correct on all this year’s versions.

Frame the shots ideal, and the ultrawide-angle camera can do enjoyable items.

Scott Stein/CNET

Ultrawide angle = drama camera

The latest camera has an ultrawide 13mm equal lens that is just a basic enjoyable to use. If the primary vast camera is like a business go well with and the “tele” lens is a sporty blazer, then the ultrawide is the equal of a Hawaiian shirt. It truly is definitely various and truly modifications the way you shoot. It would not be wonderful in every condition, but it can be equal parts handy, like when capturing in scaled-down areas, and creative, including drama to a mundane scene.

Apple well balanced the distortion so there is certainly a minor (which you want for that ultrawide look) but it is not awful. I instantly found angles on my subjects that created them look bigger than lifetime. Most effective of all, you can use the ultrawide lens when capturing video. In fact, all through a recording you can switch involving cameras. Apple even put a amazing zoom impact to transition involving lenses. 

Without having a doubt, it can make for spectacular shots. Ultrawide cameras are an additional new trend across cellphone cameras. Apple claims a number of additional rewards below. The Apple iphone 11 gets an enhanced ultrawide-angle Portrait mode that can do the job with near-ups of your pets and other items. All the phones get an expanded-check out viewfinder that now previews what is outdoors the shot, which can enable you know when to use the ultrawide lens.


The ultrawide camera operates for pictures and video clips.

Patrick Holland/CNET

A funky additional also captures some ultrawide camera details in a Swift Acquire video, when you push and maintain the camera button in the Camera application. It seems to be to pull in persons who may possibly be out of frame. So significantly, I haven’t experienced this mode do the job for me nonetheless.