With more than 24.2 million units sold as of February 2021, iPhone 11 is one of the most popular iPhones out there. It’s the standard flagship phone that arrived in 2019 and the cost-effective pricing with sheer performance and brand trust like Apple has resulted in it winning many accolades as well as orders across the globe. iPhone 11 delivers superior performance, high-end video recording quality, superb battery life, and software coverage for 5-6 years straight. These are just a handful of traits why you still should choose the iPhone 11 in 2021.
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Here’s more about the phone after a year-long analysis so read the detailed hands-on review on Apple iPhone 11 right here. Should you buy iPhone 11 in 2021? Get the answer to this right here.
Apple iPhone 11 comes with standard storage options. Thus, there’s a 64GB variant, a 128GB, and a 256GB available on Flipkart, Amazon, Apple India online store, and all other major retailers. The base variant (64GB) of iPhone 11 is available at Rs 51,999/- while the 128GB variant is up for grabs at Rs 58,999/-. Finally, there’s a 256GB variant available at Rs 69,900/-. You can avail of up to Rs 11,100/- off on Amazon India using its exchange offer whereas Flipkart offers a discount of up to Rs 15,300/-.
The price tags on the Apple India website for iPhone 11 are Rs 54,900/-, Rs 59,900/-, and Rs 69,900/- respectively. Choose between White, Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, and (Product)RED colourways available at your disposal.
The retail unit of the Apple iPhone 11 in 2021 adopts a lot from the iPhone 12 packaging. You won’t even find the lightning earpods in the retail box this time. Without these, the box looks slimmer and stylish. An iPhone 11 Box includes:
- iPhone 11 device
- USB-C to lightning cable
- User Manual and Apple Sticker
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Before I talk in detail about the most favourite iPhone 11, let’s have a quick look at the key specifications.
- Display: 6.1-inch (15.5 cm diagonal) Liquid Retina HD LCD display
- Chipset: A13 Bionic Chip
- RAM & ROM: 64GB/128GB/256GB
- Software: iOS 14
- Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP
- Selfie camera: 12MP TruDepth
- Battery: 3110 mAh
- Weight: 194g
- Dimensions: 150.90 x 75.70 x 8.30 mm
With key specs mentioned here, let me take you into the complete review of the iPhone 11 which I have now used for almost a year.
iPhone 11 is truly well-designed although it shares its core DNA with last year’s iPhone XR. On the front, you have a large display with a large notch on top. This is the same size of notch since iPhone X and continues to stay throughout the iPhone 12 series and irrespective of which iPhone you choose after X, the notch has the same size (yes, you read it right).
The front has a Corning Gorilla Glass on top with a 2.5D curve on the edges. There’s an oleophobic coating on top as well that prevents any smudges and fingerprint marks from sticking and it takes just a swipe using a finger to clean it and it is gone. iPhone 11 has the same display as that of iPhone XR.
Moving on, the frame is made up of aluminium which is a better option than plastic and lighter than stainless steel used in Pro models. It has a brushed texture to it that prevents any marks and smudges whatsoever. However, it might feel as if you are losing grip on it so beware. On the plus side, the phone is technically in a goldilock zone of size and thus, enhances grip and usability without making you struggle.
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The back has a glossy finish that means smudges and fingerprints are here to stay although just a swipe and it is clean. Plus, the iPhone 11 arrives with IP68 resistance that prevents it from damage submerged in 2m of water for 30 mins and against dust as well.
The dual-camera setup looks stunning and to be honest, the camera bump doesn’t protrude much above the back panel unlike as seen in the pictures.
At the bottom, you get a lightning port, two bottom-firing speakers, and a mic. On the right, you have a power button and a SIM slot. Finally, there’s a volume rocker and silent switch on the left.
iPhone 11 sports a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD panel with an 828 by 1792 pixels resolution. The display has a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and comes with an oleophobic coating, true-tone, and wide colour gamut. It is advertised to light up at 625 nits on typical max settings.
Some things never change when it comes to iPhones tbh. iPhone 11 uses the same display panel as its predecessor iPhone XR. It uses an IPS LCD panel with a 326ppi density. I won’t say it is any worse since I loved it too much. All the texts, videos, photos, and overall display experience is super rich; after all, it is an iPhone 11. However, if you compare it with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, you will find that the latter is a bit of inferior quality.
I repeat that iPhone 11 uses a state-of-the-art high-end LCD panel but at the end of the day, OLED panels mounted on iPhone 11 Pro are just incomparable to any LCD panels and that’s probably where iPhone 11 fails to outshine others in the series since almost all other specifications are identical throughout the iPhone 11 series.
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iPhone 11 doesn’t support Dolby Vision or HDR10 and the refresh rate is capped at 60Hz which is something even the iPhone 12 series has on-board. At least the touch sampling rate is at 120Hz for zero-touch latency and it turns out the display is very responsive. This can be a major drawback considering the fact that even the budget smartphones these days feature a high 90Hz or 120Hz refresh rate.
The display supports True Tone technology and P3 wide colour gamut where the latter tweaks the display colours based on the ambient light.
When it comes to the brightness, iPhone 11 scored 644 nits of max brightness and contrast of 1500:1. To put things into perspective, Apple advertised the numbers as 625 nits and 1400:1 contrast ratio.
Apple iPhone 11 sports a 2019 Apple A13 Bionic chipset with which is a Hexa-core processor. It includes two 2.65 GHz Lighting cores plus four 1.8GHz Thunder cores. Clubbed with Apple 4-core GPU, there are 64/128/256GB of NVMe storage and 4GB of RAM on-board.
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Every year, Apple rolls out iPhones with new flagship chipsets. In 2020, it was the Apple A13 Bionic chipset that powers the entire iPhone 11 series. Built on a 7nm+ process, the chipset is more powerful, power-efficient, and faster than the A12 launched in 2019 and that goes without saying. As per the numbers, A13’s GPU is 20 per cent faster and 40 per cent more efficient than A12. Its 3rd-gen Neural Engine is 15 per cent more efficient and 20 per cent faster than last year’s.
iPhone 11 rocked the Geekbench 5 scores at 1306-points (single-core) and 3168-points (multi-core test). To put things into perspective, iPhone 11 scored 1080-points and 3409-points respectively while Samsung Galaxy S21+ 5G scored 988-points and 3071-points. Comparatively, last year’s A13 had better numbers than the Snapdragon 888 released this year. But what does it mean in the real world?
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iPhone 11 can handle literally anything you throw at it. Be it simple and casual games to heavy-duty high-graphics ones or even apps that might take a toll on many other smartphones. A13 Bionic chipsets beat most of the competitive Snapdragon, Dimensity, Exynos, and HiSilicon chipsets with ease and no doubt iPhones have higher benchmarking scores than any other Android smartphone out there. Two machine learning accelerators embedded with the CPU enable speeding up specific tasks and more.
Overall, the iPhone 11 is super smooth when it comes to its performance and I don’t have any doubt about it.
iPhone 11 arrived with iOS 13 out-of-the-box. It has so far been upgraded to iOS 14.6. It packs in a plethora of features built upon iOS 14. This includes new AirTag features, lossless and spatial audio support for Apple Music, as well as a tonne of bug fixes and security fixes among others. Also, iOS delivers timely updates and the device will remain undercover for 5 to 6 years without any second thought. In no time, iOS 15 would be making its way to the iPhone 11 launched two years ago. Isn’t that a huge reason you can still think of buying the iPhone 11 in 2021.
About the camera tech, Apple iPhone 11 is equipped with a dual-camera setup at the back. This includes a 12MP primary snapper with f/1.8 aperture, dual pixel PDAF, OIS, 1.4micrometer pixel size; and a 12MP ultrawide snapper with f/2.4 aperture, 13mm lens, and 120-degree field of view. At the front, the device is strapped with a 12MP wide-angle snapper with f/2.2 aperture and an SL 3D sensor which is used for biometrics and depth sensing.
The iPhone 11 camera is probably the magnificent feature out there and I am not bragging or bluffing. iPhone 11 gets two rear 12MP sensors and a 12MP at the front which makes a lot of difference in the photography arena.
Well, with bigger sensors, you can enjoy great low-light photography with AI smarts in the background that makes the shots blissful. Night snaps are bright (not as daytime) when you are using a tripod, you can have a great low-light photography experience like no other. Handheld shots at night are equally good but a little bit of wobble and risk ruining the shot in case of extremely low light scenes.
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Daytime photos are where the iPhone 11 applies its magic, producing the best shots possible for its range. iPhone 11’s rear sensors capture details and light better than many competing smartphones out there. Smart HDR takes the shots a step ahead as it tweaks the settings for an auto HDR shot where faces are more recognizable. In fact, iPhone 11 applies semantic rendering for processing smart HDR shots with less noise and better details overall.
Ultrawide shots open up a lot of possibilities. There’s no edge distortion as the software takes care of it. There’s no night mode for the ultrawide camera which means you will have to grab ultrawide photos in regular mode.
Portrait mode on iPhone is its strongest suit and I won’t deny the fact that it has on iPhone 11 as well. The subject separation and lighting effects on the portrait shot are rather brilliant. In fact, it alters skin tone and smoothness as something you would do in a real studio which is path-breakingly good.
You can grab slofies which are slow-motion video selfies apart from bothies and groufies. Talking about video recording, you can go up to 4K@60fps, and to be honest, it is what makes iPhones a much better choice for photographers since you get the best quality shots.
Apple iPhone 11 sports a 3,110 mAh battery and for perspective, it has increased a lot from iPhone XR at 2,940 mAh. When tested, the device lasts for 18 hours of 3G calls as well as 15 hours and 20 mins of HD video playback in a loop. Also, iPhone 11 has the same battery size as the Pro version.
Talking about the actual use case, I was able to get through the day as iPhone 11 offers a really terrific battery size. Note that if you compare it with any Android smartphone, you will see that it has a tiny battery since the average battery size nowadays on Android is above 4000 mAh.
Anyways, the phone comes with a 5W charger bundled in the retail box. However, I would say it is a blessing since neither of the iPhone 12 series smartphones offers a charging brick in the box. Coming back to the iPhone 11, it is super slow and takes a good 3½ hours to juice up the battery to its capacity. The phone itself supports 18W charging so you will have to buy it separately. Apple says the charging speed is capped for the long life of the battery, however, I don’t buy it. Anyways, iPhone 11 offers wireless charging as well.
iPhone 11 has a stereo speaker setup with a bottom-firing one and an earpiece acting as a secondary channel. It gets sufficiently loud, to be honest, and the output is well-balanced. I noticed that the earpiece lacks some bass though. Comparatively, iPhone 11 Pro adds more bass using its top tweeters than iPhone 11. Overall, the sound quality is great and thanks to Dolby Atmos, it is further refined. When tested, the iPhone 11 got a “Very Good” remark on the loudness test.
Apple iPhone 11 arrives with a myriad of connectivity features tagged on it. This includes Wi-Fi 802.116 dual-band, Bluetooth v5.0 (LE and A2DP) as well as NFC, GPS, and Lighting port with USB 2.0. There’s also Ultra Wideband support on-board iPhone 11.
There’s a single physical SIM slot plus an eSIM where I have used multiple carriers including Jio and Airtel and turns out, both work exceptionally fine. I didn’t have much issue connecting to calls from the device’s side although carriers may have network issues.
The trio iPhone 11 series comprises an identical Face ID unlocking mechanism and it is among the most secured ones. iPhone 11 uses Face ID to unlock the phone speedily and in all lighting conditions be it extremely light to pitch black. iOS 13 improved the performance by up to 30 per cent and with every iteration, the performance has been greatly improved. Plus, there’s PIN mode that you can use as an alternative to unlocking the phone right away.
- Comfortable design with IP68 waterproofing.
- iPhone 11 has a decent LCD which can be quite immersive.
- Power-efficient A13 Bionic chip
- Improved a lot in its camera department, arriving with the potential to click the fantastic day and night-time shots.
- There is no AMOLED screen despite coming at a premium price.
- Standard 60Hz refresh rate.
Now, it is perhaps subjective whether you should buy an iPhone 11 or not and this applies to any smartphone you can check out. If you are looking for a cheaper iPhone, iPhone 11 is not cheaper compared to previous iterations and definitely a lot cheaper in the iPhone 11 series. It also arrives with a charging brick inside the box, unlike the iPhone 12 series. You can go for iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max for OLED panels as 11 has an LCD panel instead. Another shortcoming is likely the storage as it maxes out at 256GB, where Pro versions can go up to one terabyte if you can get your hands on it.
Overall, I wouldn’t mind recommending iPhone 11 to the masses. It does have some shortcomings although it is still an iPhone, and it comes with the best-in-class design, performance, software, and camera which makes up for the lows you get with iPhone 11.