iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XS: Is it time to improve?

The iPhone 11, which Apple introduced in September 2019, is a powerful and comparatively inexpensive handset with a incredible digital camera and a quick processor. However these with an iPhone XS from 2018 might marvel if it is time for an improve. In spite of everything, the iPhone 11 has some nice new {hardware} and a bevy of enjoyable engaging colours to select from. 

In brief, the iPhone XS remains to be value holding onto, and if you would like an improve, I would wait to see what the 2020 iPhone 12
has in retailer first, or contemplate the iPhone 11 Professional or Professional Max as a substitute. But when it comes all the way down to the iPhone XS or iPhone 11, the higher selection is the iPhone 11. Observe that whereas Apple discontinued the iPhone XS, you may nonetheless nab the system from numerous retailers and carriers. 

Learn extra: The brand new 2020 iPhone SE overview   

Angela Lang/CNET

Beginning at $699, £729 and AU$1,199, the iPhone 11 is inexpensive so far as iPhones go. Regardless of its LCD display not being as high-resolution because the iPhone XS’ OLED show, the iPhone 11’s up to date digital camera setup contains Night time Mode and an extremely wide-angle lens for dramatic, sweeping photographs. The cellphone can also be sooner, has a longer-lasting battery and delicate upgrades like a U1 chip preserve it in tip-top form for the close to future

Learn our Apple iPhone 11 overview.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Do not get me incorrect — the iPhone XS remains to be a succesful and dependable cellphone. The updates you may get from updating to the iPhone 11 aren’t value dropping the iPhone XS if you have already got it. However for those who’re deciding between which of the 2 to get, the iPhone 11 is the simple selection. Along with all the advantages I beforehand talked about, the iPhone XS additionally is not any cheaper than the iPhone 11, regardless of launching in 2018. Relying on whether or not you get it new from carriers and retailers corresponding to Greatest Purchase, or buy a refurbished mannequin from Apple, the iPhone XS prices someplace between $699 and $899. 

Learn our Apple iPhone XS overview.

How we examined

iPhone XS has a ‘higher’ display, however it’s barely noticeable

In comparison with the iPhone 11’s 6.1-inch display, the iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch show and is smaller, thinner and lighter. The display is technically higher on paper too, as in it has a sharper decision and a better pixel density (for particular numbers, scroll to the spec chart beneath). 

The iPhone XS additionally has an OLED show, whereas the iPhone 11 has an LCD display. However in terms of watching movies on YouTube or scrolling by way of your Instagram feed, you will not discover a lot a distinction with each day use. As CNET editor Scott Stein famous, “Apple does a terrific job with its LCD Liquid Retina show within the iPhone 11. It would not really feel like a compromise besides when taking a look at darkish pictures with delicate mild particulars.” 

The iPhone 11 is available in a handful of vibrant colours that embody crimson, yellow, inexperienced and purple (the final of which caught the eye of many individuals on Twitter), on high of the usual black and white. The iPhone XS alternatively, launched in solely black, white and gold — and even then a few of these colours may not be out there from retailers given their decrease stock. Whereas cellphone colours could also be a superficial characteristic to think about, particularly when most individuals slap instances over their units anyway, there is not any disgrace in deriving pleasure from a enjoyable shade.

Winner: I am a giant fan of the iPhone 11’s candy-colored seems, however the iPhone XS has the sting because of its show.

iPhone 11’s cameras supply Night time Mode, ultra-wide and extra

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 11 has a greater digital camera setup. Although each have twin rear cameras, Apple swapped the iPhone XS’ telephoto lens for the iPhone 11’s ultra-wide lens. Which means you will not have that 2X telephoto zoom that the iPhone XS had, however you’ll take dramatic wide-angle photographs for sweeping landscapes or artistic closeups.

The iPhone 11 additionally options Night time Mode, which brightens and captures low-light scenes in impressively clear element. The outcomes are incredible, and rival different cellphone makers who’ve their very own nighttime digital camera modes, corresponding to Samsung’s Vivid Night time, Google’s Night time Sight and OnePlus’ Nightscape. You’ll be able to nonetheless seize satisfactory low-light photographs on the iPhone XS, however they’re going to be grainer, not as sharp and have extra digital artifacts.

One other digital camera improve on the iPhone 11 is Deep Fusion, which improves photograph high quality and optimizes particulars for footage taken in medium-light settings, like inside a constructing or room. (To see this in motion, learn CNET’s iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XR comparability.) Video high quality is smoother and extra stabilized on the iPhone 11 as properly, and its 12-megapixel front-facing digital camera is healthier too, in comparison with the iPhone XS’s 7-megapixel shooter. You can too seize slow-motion video on the iPhone 11’s selfie digital camera, which Apple has regrettably branded as “slofies.”

Winner: The iPhone 11 serves up helpful new digital camera tips that elevate on a regular basis photographs.

iPhone 11 is quicker and has a longer-lasting battery

Whether or not you are hanging onto your iPhone XS or contemplating shopping for a brand new one, the XS will not carry out in addition to the iPhone 11. That is to not say it will not be a dependable and quick cellphone in and of itself, and with day-to-day utilization you may not expertise any distinction between the 2. However even with out practically two years of use to gradual it down, a model new iPhone XS out of the field nonetheless has the older Apple A12 Bionic processor, whereas the iPhone 11 has the A13. Take a look at the benchmark assessments beneath:

3DMark Slingshot Limitless


NOTE: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Ice Storm Limitless


NOTE: Longer bars point out higher efficiency

The iPhone 11’s battery additionally lasts longer. Although Apple would not disclose the battery capability of its telephones, third-party teardowns report that the iPhone 11 has a 3,110-mAh battery whereas the iPhone XS has a 2,658-mAh battery. And through our lab assessments for steady video playback on Airplane mode, the iPhone 11 clocked in 15 hours and 24 minutes, whereas the iPhone XS lasted 13 hours and 17 minutes. Streaming video assessments, which we solely performed on the iPhone 11, lasted 13 hours and 52 minutes.

Winner: With its sooner processor and greater battery, the iPhone 11 is the clear winner.

iPhone 11 prepares you for future tech

Lastly, Apple’s newer iPhone packs a number of issues beneath the hood that, whereas not the “sexiest” issues to tout, assist futureproof the cellphone in anticipation of future applied sciences. These embody: 


iPhone 11

Angela Lang/CNET

A U1 chip helps the  iPhone 11 with “spatial consciousness” and permits it to search out different iPhones extra exactly in shut proximity. The extremely wideband chip additionally lets AirDrop prioritize the opposite system so you may share information faster. The U1 chip can also be believed to be laying the groundwork for a long-rumored Apple tile tracker.

Wi-Fi 6 is the following era of wi-fi networking. As CNET editor Ry Crist places it, “Wi-Fi 6 helps sooner high switch speeds; lets units ship extra info with every particular person transmission… facilitates higher, sooner efficiency in dense, crowded environments,” and extra. Take into account although that you simply most likely will not see any perks in your iPhone 11 anytime quickly. Wi-Fi 6 was solely licensed in September 2019 and Wi-Fi 6 routers are costly.

Haptic Contact, which replaces the iPhone XS’ 3D Contact. Apple phased out 3D Contact in 2018, beginning with the iPhone XR. It allowed you to entry extra menu choices and instructions by hard-pressing your finger towards the display. Haptic Contact works equally, however as a substitute of urgent down more durable on the display, you long-press on the merchandise.

iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XS

iPhone 11 iPhone XS
Show dimension, decision 6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina; 1,792×828 pixels 5.8-inch Tremendous Retina OLED; 2,436×1,125 pixels
Pixel density 326ppi 458ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.94×2.98×0.33 in 5.7×2.8×0.Three in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 150.9×75.7×8.Three mm 143.6×70.9×7.7 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.84 oz; 194g 6.2 oz; 177g
Cellular software program iOS 13 iOS 12
Digital camera 12-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (vast), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digital camera 12-megapixel with Face ID 7-megapixel with Face ID
Video seize 4K 4K
Processor Apple A13 Bionic Apple A12 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM Not disclosed Not disclosed
Expandable storage None None
Battery Not disclosed, however Apple claims it is going to final 1 hour longer than iPhone XR Not disclosed, however Apple claims it is going to final 30 min. longer than iPhone X
Fingerprint sensor None (Face ID) None (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No
Particular options Waterproof (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging Waterproof (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging
Value off-contract (USD)* $699 (64GB), $749 (128GB), $849 (256GB) $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)
Value (GBP)* £729 (64GB), £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB) £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB)
Value (AUD)* AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,279 (128GB), AU$1,449 (256GB) AU$1,629 (64GB), AU$1,879 (256GB), AU$2,199 (512GB)

*costs at launch

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