For the reason that debut of the iPhone 11 in 2019, we have since seen the debut of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12. And in a number of days, we’re prone to see the debut of the iPhone 14 at Apple’s subsequent occasion on Sept. 7. The iPhone 11 could also be over two years previous, nevertheless it would possibly nonetheless be a sensible choice, particularly since Apple discounted it to $499 final 12 months. Whereas we advocate that you just wait for the following Apple occasion earlier than shopping for any iPhone in any respect, particularly since costs for present iPhone fashions will possible lower afterward, the iPhone 11 does have lots to love as a telephone that is below $500.

As an illustration, do you thoughts utilizing an iPhone that feels a bit dated? Or do you suppose saving a number of hundred {dollars} is extra essential than carrying the most recent telephone? What about 5G — how essential is that to you? In case you’re procuring on a price range, the iPhone 11 continues to be an amazing alternative. Though you may be lacking out on some newer options, the iPhone 11 offers you all of the fundamentals you’d need from an iPhone, together with battery life that is on par with the iPhone 12, an amazing dual-lens digital camera that features evening mode and a processor that is nonetheless quick sufficient for on a regular basis duties. 

Learn extra: Here is how the iPhone 11 compares to the iPhone 12 and how the iPhone 13 compares to the iPhone 12.

However if in case you have some wiggle room in your price range, listed below are some inquiries to ask your self. (For the needs of this text, I’ll assume that you’re at the moment utilizing an iPhone.) And in the event you’re nonetheless mulling over your determination after that, here is how the iPhone 13 compares to the final 5 years of iPhones in addition to our record of the finest iPhones. Plus, try all of the variations between the iPhone 11, 11 Professional and 11 Professional Max.

5G connectivity: iPhone 11 would not have 5G. However do you really want it proper now?

One of many iPhone 11’s greatest lacking options in comparison with the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 is 5G connectivity. The iPhone 11 is an LTE-only machine, and in the event you do not care for the next-gen wi-fi tech simply but (service is patchy in the US in any case), then the iPhone 11 ought to go well with you simply high quality. Keep in mind that 5G debuted on the iPhone 12 lineup and gaining access to sooner bands of 5G depends upon the place you reside, so going for the iPhone 12 makes your buy extra future-proof

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Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Show high quality: You will not get a 120Hz refresh price on an iPhone 11 (or iPhone 12)

The iPhone 11 makes use of a crisp LCD display screen that refreshes at 60 frames per second, or 60Hz. Apple traded up in the iPhone 12, equipping it with an OLED display screen, although it stored the show at 60Hz similar to most telephones. OLEDs are usually extra vibrant than their LCD counterparts, with richer distinction and inkier blacks. In case you watch plenty of movies in your iPhone and need a superior viewing expertise, an OLED display screen would possibly make extra sense for you. The iPhone 13 additionally boasts an OLED panel too, although Apple bumped up the refresh price for the Professional fashions to 120Hz. The sooner refresh price will translate to smoother, snappier scrolling by means of apps and web sites. 

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Apple’s Pockets app will be capable of retailer driver’s licenses in iOS 15. 


Screenshot by CNET

Software program help: How lengthy will the iPhone 11 get iOS software program updates? 

Apple’s newest working system, iOS 15, is supported on many older iPhones, and the oldest is the 2015 iPhone 6S (Here is how one can obtain the brand new OS, however chances are you’ll wish to wait.) Based mostly on that and a few fast psychological math, we will deduce that Apple plans to offer iPhone help for as much as six years from launch. Consequently, with the iPhone 11, unveiled in 2019, you’ll be able to relaxation comfortably understanding that you would be able to count on updates by means of 2025. 

Learn extra: iOS 15’s greatest new options: FaceTime, Apple Pockets and Notifications get new tips

Sturdiness and water resistance: How sturdy would you like your iPhone to be?

In case you do choose for the iPhone 11, you’ll miss out on a number of sturdiness options which might be accessible on the newer iPhone fashions. One of many iPhone 12’s massive enhancements is the fabric of its show. Apple calls it “ceramic protect” glass. Made by Corning, the ceramic protect glass protecting the telephone’s show is outwardly tougher than most metals. Certainly, we will verify that the iPhone 12’s ceramic protect is hard. Our iPhone 12 drop checks present it protected the {hardware} from drops as excessive as 9 toes. (CNET’s iPhone 12 Mini drop checks yielded related outcomes.) The iPhone 13 additionally has the identical ceramic protect glass on its show.

So in the event you’re an enormous klutz and are liable to slips and drops, springing for the iPhone 13 or iPhone 12 is a sensible transfer (or simply get a very nice iPhone case). Maintain in thoughts, the iPhone 11 is not a fragile darling, both. It additionally survived CNET’s drop and water checks and earned a CNET Editors’ Alternative Award. You can learn our iPhone 11 assessment for extra particulars. 

Learn extra: Farewell iPhone case: The case for the caseless telephone

Value and price range: How a lot do you wish to spend on an iPhone?

As I stated earlier, Apple is promoting the almost two-year-old iPhone 11 for $300 much less now than when it first launched, making it an amazing alternative for these procuring on a price range. However, as additionally talked about beforehand, the iPhone 11 might change into even cheaper as soon as Apple debuts its 2022 line of iPhone fashions. Additionally of word, the present iPhone 12 and 12 Mini would possibly come down in worth and hit that $499 stage, as usually Apple lowers the value of present iPhone fashions as soon as the latest mannequin goes on sale.

It is also price contemplating service offers from Verizon, T-Cell and AT&T, all of which can subsidize the value of an iPhone in alternate for committing to a mobile service plan. Final 12 months the three corporations provided a whole bunch of {dollars} off with these contracts, and probably repay the telephone totally with a tool trade-in. Simply maintain in thoughts that there are many caveats to these offers, like commitments starting from 24 to 36 months.

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