iPhone 11 vs. iPhone XS: Depends on which phone you already own

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

In brief, the iPhone XS remains to be price holding onto, and if you need an improve, I might wait to see what the 2020 iPhone 12 has in retailer first, or take into account the iPhone 11 Pro or Pro Max as a substitute. But when it comes right down to the iPhone XS or iPhone 11, the higher alternative is the iPhone 11. Word that whereas Apple discontinued the iPhone XS, you’ll be able to nonetheless nab the machine from numerous retailers and carriers. 

Learn extra: The new 2020 iPhone SE review

Angela Lang/CNET

Beginning at $699, the iPhone 11 is reasonably priced 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 digicam setup contains Evening Mode and an ultrawide-angle lens for dramatic, sweeping pictures. The cellphone can also be quicker, has a longer-lasting battery and delicate upgrades like a U1 chip maintain it in tip-top form for the close to future.

Read our Apple iPhone 11 review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Do not get me unsuitable — the iPhone XS remains to be a succesful and dependable cellphone. The updates you may get from upgrading to the iPhone 11 aren’t price dropping the iPhone XS if you have already got it. However in case you’re deciding between which of the 2 to get, the iPhone 11 is the simple alternative. Along with all the advantages I beforehand talked about, the iPhone XS additionally is not often 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 purchase a refurbished mannequin from Apple, the iPhone XS prices someplace between $699 and $899 when it is not discounted.

Read our Apple iPhone XS review.

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 the next 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 with regards to watching movies on YouTube or scrolling via your Instagram feed, you will not discover a lot a distinction with day by day use. As CNET editor Scott Stein noted, “Apple does a fantastic job with its LCD Liquid Retina show within the iPhone 11. It does not really feel like a compromise besides when darkish pictures with delicate gentle particulars.” 

The iPhone 11 is available in a handful of vibrant colours that embrace crimson, yellow, inexperienced and purple (the final of which caught the attention of many people on Twitter), on prime of the usual black and white. The iPhone XS then again, launched in solely black, white and gold — and even then a few of these colours may not be obtainable 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 gadgets anyway, there is not any disgrace in deriving pleasure from a enjoyable colour.

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

iPhone 11’s cameras supply Evening Mode, ultrawide and extra

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 11 has a greater digicam setup. Although each have twin rear cameras, Apple swapped the iPhone XS’ telephoto lens for the iPhone 11’s ultra-wide lens. Meaning you will not have that 2X telephoto zoom that the iPhone XS had, however you can take dramatic wide-angle pictures for sweeping landscapes or inventive closeups.

The iPhone 11 additionally options Night Mode, which brightens and captures low-light scenes in impressively clear detail. The outcomes are implausible, and rival different cellphone makers who’ve their very own nighttime digicam modes, corresponding to Samsung’s Bright Night, Google’s Night Sight and OnePlus’ Nightscape. You possibly can nonetheless capture adequate low-light photos on the iPhone XS, however they will be grainer, not as sharp and have extra digital artifacts.

One other digicam 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 versus iPhone XR comparison.) Video high quality is smoother and extra stabilized on the iPhone 11 as effectively, and its 12-megapixel front-facing digicam is best too, in comparison with the iPhone XS’s 7-megapixel shooter. You can even capture slow-motion video on the iPhone 11’s selfie digicam, which Apple has regrettably branded as “slofies.”

Winner: The iPhone 11 serves up helpful new digicam methods that elevate on a regular basis images.

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 almost 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 does 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 quicker processor and larger battery, the iPhone 11 is the clear winner.

iPhone 11 prepares you for future tech

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


The iPhone 11.

Angela Lang/CNET

A U1 chip helps the iPhone 11 with “spatial consciousness” and allows it to search out different iPhones extra exactly in shut proximity. The ultra wideband chip additionally lets AirDrop prioritize the opposite machine so you’ll be able to share recordsdata 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 subsequent technology of wi-fi networking. As CNET editor Ry Crist puts it, “Wi-Fi 6 helps quicker prime switch speeds; lets gadgets ship extra data with every particular person transmission… facilitates higher, quicker efficiency in dense, crowded environments,” and extra. Remember although that you simply most likely will not see any perks in your iPhone 11 anytime quickly. Wi-Fi 6 was solely certified in September 2019 and Wi-Fi 6 routers are costly.

Haptic Contact, which replaces the iPhone XS’ 3D Touch. Apple phased out 3D Contact in 2018, beginning with the iPhone XR. It allowed you to entry further menu choices and instructions by hard-pressing your finger towards the display. Haptic Contact works equally, however as a substitute of urgent down tougher 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
Cell software program iOS 13 iOS 12
Digital camera 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (broad), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Entrance-facing digicam 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’ll final 1 hour longer than iPhone XR Not disclosed, however Apple claims it’ll 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
Worth off-contract (USD)* $699 (64GB), $749 (128GB), $849 (256GB) $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB)
Worth (GBP)* £729 (64GB), £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB) £999 (64GB), £1,149 (256GB), £1,349 (512GB)
Worth (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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Lynn La