Apple iPhone 11 review

GSMArena team, 27 Sept 2019.

Display

Quite a few things have changed since the iPhone XR, but the screen is not one of them. The iPhone 11 packs the same Liquid Retina 6.1" IPS LCD screen with 326ppi and a giant notch on top.

The actual screen resolution is 828 x 1,792 pixels, which is not bad, but not high either. In our experience, pictures and videos do look great on this screen, the text is sharp enough, and most of the time, we didn't mind this 326pp density. But if you put an iPhone 11 Pro next to the 11, you'll know you are using a panel of lower quality.

Apple iPhone 11 review

Another thing the iPhone 11 screen doesn't offer is HDR10 or Dolby Vision - the contrast ratio required by these HDR video standards is only achievable with an OLED screen it seems.

The proprietary True Tone adjustments, however, are available. This is an automatic white balance correction using a six-channel ambient light sensor. The algorithm corrects the white balance according to the ambient light making the whites and grays rendition more accurate.

Just like on the other new iPhones, the touch input has the same 120Hz polling rate for zero-like touch latency. The screen refresh rate is still capped at 60Hz though.

Apple promises a maximum brightness of 625 nits for the iPhone 11 and screen contrast ratio of 1400:1. We measured 644 nits of maximum brightness and combined with the not so dark blacks, the contrast ratio turned out 1500:1.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Apple iPhone 11 0.428 644 1505
Apple iPhone XR 0.425 700 1647
Apple iPhone 11 Pro 0 805
Apple iPhone XS 0 660
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Samsung Galaxy S10e 0 389
Samsung Galaxy S10e (Max Auto) 0 803
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro 0 453
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro (Max Auto) 0 643
OnePlus 7T 0 525
OnePlus 7T (Max Auto) 0 743
Sony Xperia 5 0 353
Sony Xperia 5 (Max Auto) 0 574
Samsung Galaxy Note10 0 366
Samsung Galaxy Note10 (Max Auto) 0 789
Huawei P30 Pro 0 571
Huawei P30 Pro (Max Auto) 0 605

The display on the iPhone 11 has an excellent color accuracy - we measured an average DeltaE of 1.1 and a maximum deviation of 2.4 against sRGB. The iPhone 11 supports DCI-P3, and it will automatically switch to this gamma when DCI-P3 content is sent to the screen.

One fantastic thing is that the iPhone 11 display keeps a similar level of accuracy even while you are lowering the brightness down to as low as 2.3 nits.

Battery life

The iPhone 11 is powered by a 3,110 mAh battery - a slight improvement over the XR's 2,940 mAh and about the same as the new iPhone 11 Pro's. The phone supports wireless charging (Qi-compatible), and it can also fast charge with 18W chargers thanks to the USB Power Delivery support.

Unfortunately, the iPhone 11 ships with the old 5W Apple charger and it will replenish a mere 18% of the empty battery in 30 mins. A full charge could take as much as 4 hours.

If you opt for Apple's or other compatible 18W fast charger - it will recharge about 55% of the iPhone 11's depleted battery in 30 min.

We completed our battery test on the iPhone 11, and it did great. The iPhone 11 can do about 18 hours of 3G calls, 15 and a half hours of web browsing on a single charge, or you can watch videos for about 18 and a half hours. Adding the efficient standby to the mix returned an excellent battery endurance rating of 94 hours - up from 78 hours on the iPhone XR and better than the 86 hours of the iPhone 11 Pro.

Apple iPhone 11 review

Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSer App. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Apple iPhone 11 for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Speakers

The iPhone 11 has stereo speakers, just like the iPhone 11 Pro and XR. The first speaker is at the bottom, while the earpiece acts as a second one. The output is very balanced, and the only thing we noticed was the earpiece lack in bass compared to the bottom primary, but its loudness seemed similar.

Apple iPhone 11 review

Apple says these speakers support spatial audio and subjectively the sound indeed seems less directional and more, well, spatial when compared to other phones.

Our tests confirmed Apple is using a proper loudspeaker for the earpiece and it is loud. The 11 Pro Max and the 11 Pro models offer a bit more bass from its top tweeters, and that makes them even more balanced than the iPhone 11 model.

Nevertheless, the sound is pretty rich, the bass is deep enough helped by the bottom speaker, and after playing multiple songs, videos, and games, we consider the iPhone 11 speakers to be among the better setups you can get in a smartphone today.

All three iPhone 11s pulled a Very Good mark in our loudspeaker test, just a couple decibels shorter of the Excellent mark. But having this spatial audio do make the new iPhones sound (subjectively) louder than this test suggests.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Apple iPhone 11 70.8 72.3 76.0 Very Good
Apple iPhone X 68.9 74.0 76.2 Very Good
Sony Xperia 5 68.1 73.8 79.5 Very Good
Apple iPhone 11 Pro 71.2 73.8 80.7 Very Good
Apple iPhone XS 71.5 75.7 78.9 Very Good
Samsung Galaxy S10e 71.2 76.8 80.6 Excellent
Samsung Galaxy Note10 70.1 72.8 85.7 Excellent
Apple iPhone 8 Plus 76.0 74.6 79.0 Excellent
Apple iPhone XR 76.9 74.8 79.3 Excellent
Huawei P30 Pro 70.9 73.8 90.9 Excellent
OnePlus 7T 79.8 77.4 91.6 Excellent

Audio quality

Apple no longer includes a Lightning to 3.5mm audio adapter in the retail package of its iPhones, which means that the quality of the audio output you will be getting is entirely dependent on the adapter you get or the DAC built into your headphones if they are of the Lightning port type.

We performed the test using the official Apple adapter, so our findings will only be relevant if you go with that one. Clarity turned out excellent with an active external amplifier, although stereo separation is not ideal. However, there's virtually no degradation with headphones, meaning that you'd be getting some of the most accurate output in that case.

Loudness was only average though and some way behind the flagship standard these days. Still, that would make little difference to anyone but those with super high impedance headphones and a taste for deafening volume levels.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
Apple iPhone 11 +0.05, -0.16-94.293.90.00170.015-80.8
Apple iPhone 11 (headphones) +0.14, -0.04-94.293.80.00100.018-77.6
Huawei P30 Pro +0.04, -0.02-90.590.40.00140.013-93.0
Huawei P30 Pro (headphones)+0.14, -0.23-90.490.30.00460.211-47.0
Samsung Galaxy S10+0.03, -0.04-92.292.00.00150.0079-92.7
Samsung Galaxy S10 (headphones)+0.06, -0.03-91.991.70.00200.037-77.0
Sony Xperia 1+0.02, -0.01-93.693.50.00100.007-85.2
Sony Xperia 1 (headphones)+0.31, -0.26-92.191.90.00600.302-55.1
OnePlus 7 Pro +0.03, -0.01-93.092.60.00230.021-89.6
OnePlus 7 Pro (headphones)+0.10, -0.05-92.091.40.00340.106-74.8

Apple iPhone 11 frequency response
Apple iPhone 11 frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Reader comments

  • Jess

This the last iPhone has IPS display which some people have a problem with OLED display..if you really care your eyes choose this but if you want bright model go for OLEd but take not it is risk for your health!

  • Gaga

The company is shown on a boogie with their friends and family for everybody

  • Anonymous

I did I bought my note 10 plus for 726£