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Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro review: Advancing the state of the iPhone (Updated!)

By Kenny Yeo - 8 Dec 2019

Performance & battery life

Benchmark performance

Powering the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones is the new A13 Bionic chip.

iPhones have typically been amongst the fastest performing smartphones and ― spoiler alert ― the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are no different.

Powering these two phones is Apple’s new A13 Bionic chip. Apple claims it has the fastest CPU and GPU ever put into a smartphone. It’s built by TSMC using a second-generation 7nm process and consists of 8.5 billion transistors ― over 23% more than the A12. Like the A12, the A13 also has six cores: two high-performance cores and four efficiency cores.

Apple typically doesn't reveal the amount of memory in their phones, but reports say that the iPhone 11, Phone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max all 4GB of RAM. Compared to the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 has just 1GB more RAM, while the Pro models have the same amount of memory as their predecessors. That's remarkable because most Android flagships these days have 8GB or 12GB of RAM.

Performance and efficiency have been improved significantly across the board. Apple says the high-performance cores are up to 20% faster but use up to 30% less power while the efficiency cores are also up to 20% faster but use up to 40% less power.

Apple claims massive GPU performance increases with the A13 Bionic.

The quad-core GPU is faster and more efficient too. Apple claims this new GPU is, again, up to 20% faster and consumes up to 40% less power.

The Neural Engine has been improved too. Apple’s claims the Neural Engine is up to 20% faster and consumes up to 15% less power. The Neural Engine also gets two new Machine Learning Accelerators and Machine Learning Controller, allowing it to run matrix math up to six times faster.

So generally speaking, the new A13 chip is about 20% faster across the board and around 30% more power-efficient. And as you will see in the charts below, the benchmarks numbers certainly back up this claim. Insofar as performance is concerned, the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are the fastest phones on the market today by a very long shot. The gap between Apple’s A-series chip and competing chipsets just gets wider every year. And let’s not forget that there is very likely an even more powerful A13X Bionic chip that’s waiting in the wings. Anyone who says Apple is not innovating should take a hard look at these graphs. The peerless performance of these new phones is a form of innovation as much as multiple cameras and folding displays are.

Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro specs
  Apple iPhone 11 (256GB) Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (512GB) Apple iPhone XS Max (512GB) Samsung Galaxy Note10+ (256GB) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (512GB) Google Pixel 3 XL (64GB) Huawei P30 Pro OnePlus 7 Pro (12GB/256GB) Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
  Apple iPhone 11 (256GB) Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max (512GB) Apple iPhone XS Max (512GB) Samsung Galaxy Note10+ (256GB) Samsung Galaxy S10+ (512GB) Google Pixel 3 XL (64GB) Huawei P30 Pro OnePlus 7 Pro (12GB/256GB) Oppo Reno 10x Zoom
Operating system
  • iOS 13
  • iOS 13
  • iOS 12
  • Android 9.0 Pie with Samsung One UI
  • Android 9.0 Pie with Samsung One UI
  • Android 9.0 Pie
  • Android 9.0 with EMUI 9.1
  • Android 9.0 with Oxygen OS
  • ColorOS 6, based on Android 9 Pie
Processor
  • Apple A13 Bionic
  • Apple A13 Bionic
  • Apple A12 Bionic hexa-core
  • Samsung Exynos 9825 octa-core (2x2.73 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2x2.4 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4x1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Samsung Exynos 9820 8nm octa-core (2x2.7 GHz Mongoose M4 & 2x2.3 GHz Cortex-A75 & 4x1.9 GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
  • Hisilicon Kirin 980 octa-core (2 x 2.6GHz Cortex-A76 & 2 x 1.92GHz Cortex-A76 & 4 x 1.8GHz Cortex-A55)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.78 GHz Kryo 485) with Adreno 640 GPU
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Octa-core (1x2.84 GHz Kryo 485 & 3x2.42 GHz Kryo 485 & 4x1.8 GHz Kryo 485) with Adreno 640 GPU
Built-in Memory
  • 4GB
  • 6GB
  • 4GB RAM
  • 12GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
  • 12GB RAM
  • 8GB RAM
Display
  • Liquid Retina IPS LCD display
  • 1,792 x 828 pixels
  • 326ppi
  • 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR display
  • 2,688 x 1,242 pixels
  • 458ppi
  • 6.5-inch Super Retina HD / 2,688 x 1,242 pixels (458ppi) / OLED
  • 6.8-inch / 3,040 x 1,440 pixels (498 ppi) / 19:9 ratio / Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.4-inch / 3,040 x 1,440 pixels (526 ppi) / 19:9 ratio / Dynamic AMOLED Infinity-O Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.3-inch / 2,960 x 1,440 pixels (523 ppi) / flexible OLED Display
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.47-inches 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (398 ppi) OLED 19.5:9 ratio
  • Always-On Display
  • 6.67-inch / 3120 x 1440 pixels (516ppi) / 19.5:9 ratio / Fluid AMOLED
  • 6.6-inch / 2,340 x 1,080 pixels (387 ppi) / 19.5:9 ratio / AMOLED Display
Camera
  • Rear:
  • 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, PDAF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
  • Front:
  • 12 MP, f/2.2
  • Rear:
  • 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55", 1.4µm, PDAF, OIS
  • 12 MP, f/2.0, 52mm (telephoto), 1/3.4", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 2x optical zoom
  • 12 MP, f/2.4, 13mm (ultrawide)
  • Front:
  • 12 MP, f/2.2
  • Rear: Dual 12-megapixel, (f/1.8, 28mm & f/2.4, 56mm) with phase detection autofocus, OIS, and quad LED (dual-tone) flash
  • Front: 7-megapixel, f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
  • Rear: 12-megapixel f/1.5-2.4, 26mm wide + 12-megapixel f/2.1, 52mm telephoto, 2x optical zoom + 16-megapixel, f/2.2, 12mm ultrawide, TOF 3D VGA camera
  • Front: 10-megapixel, f/2.2, 26mm (wide),Dual Pixel PDAF
  • Rear: Triple 12-megapixel dual f/1.5 and 2.4, 26mm wide + 12-megapixel f/2.4, 52mm telephoto, 2x optical zoom + 16-megapixel, f/2.2, 12mm ultrawide
  • Front: Dual 10-megapixel, f/1.9 + 8-megapixel, f/2.2 depth sensor
  • Rear: 12.2-megapixel, f/1.8, OIS, phase detection & laser autofocus, dual-LED flash
  • Front: 8-megapixel, f/1.8; 8-megapixel wide-angle, f/2.2
  • Rear: Quad: 40-megapixel f/1.6 wide with SuperSpectrum sensor, 20-megapixel f/2.2 ultra wide, 8-megapixel f/3.4 telephoto lens with 5x optical zoom and 10x Hybrid zoom, and Time-of-Flight (ToF) 3D lens
  • Front: 32-megapixel, f/2.0
  • Rear:48 MP, f/1.6, (wide), 1/2", 0.8µm, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 8 MP, f/2.4, 78mm (telephoto), 3x zoom, PDAF, Laser AF, OIS
  • 16 MP, f/2.2, 13mm (ultrawide)
  • Front:Motorized pop-up 16 MP, f/2.0, 25mm (wide), 1/3.0", 1.0µm
  • Rear: 48 MP, f/1.7, 26mm, Periscope 13 MP, f/3.0, 160mm (telephoto), 5x optical zoom, 8 MP, f/2.2, 16mm (ultrawide)
  • Front: 16-megapixel, f/2.0
Connectivity
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax/ac/n/b/g/n/a)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax/ac/n/b/g/n/a)
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE Cat 16 (up to 1024Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, Bluetooth v5.0, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, Lightning connector
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 18 (up to 1200Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 20 (up to 2000Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, VHT80, MIMO (2x2), GPS, GLONASS, NFC, Screen Mirroring
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 + 5GHz), 4G+ LTE Cat 15 (up to 800Mbps), Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, GLONASS, NFC
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 4G+ LTE-A (3CA) Cat 21 (up to 1400Mbps), dual-band, hotspot, DLNA, Bluetooth v5, A2DP, LE, GPS, GLONASS, USB 3.1 Type-C
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, hotspot ,Bluetooth v5, NFC, 4G LTE Cat 18 (up to 1.2Gbps)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac , dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, hotspot, Bluetooth 5.0, A2DP, EDR, LE, aptX HD, dual-band A-GPS, GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO, QZSS, NFC
Storage Type
  • 256GB internal storage
  • 512GB internal storage
  • 512GB internal storage
  • 256GB internal storage
  • microSD expansion (up to 1TB)
  • 512GB internal storage
  • 512GB (MicroSD)
  • 64GB internal storage
  • 256GB internal storage
  • Huawei Nano Memory expansion (up to 256GB)
  • 256GB
  • 256GB internal storage;
Battery
  • 3,110mAh lithium-ion
  • 3,500mAh lithium-ion
  • 3,174mAh
  • 4,300mAh
  • Samsung Super Fast Charging
  • Wireless charging
  • 4,100mAh
  • 15W Samsung Adaptive Fast Charging
  • 15W Fast Wireless charging
  • 9W Reverse Wireless charging
  • 3,430mAh
  • Fast Charging
  • 4,200mAh
  • 40W Huawei SuperCharge
  • 15W Huawei Wireless Quick Charge (Qi wireless charging)
  • Reverse wireless charging
  • 4,000mAh
  • Warp Charge 30 Fast Charging
  • 4,065mAh
  • VOOC Flash Charge
Dimensions
  • 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
  • 158 x 77.8 x 8.1
  • 157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm
  • 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9 mm
  • 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8 mm
  • 158 x 76.7 x 7.9 mm
  • 158 x 73.4 x 8.4 mm
  • 162.6×75.9×8.8mm
  • 162.0 x 77.2 x 9.3 mm
Weight
  • 194g
  • 226g
  • 208g
  • 196g
  • 175g / 198g (ceramic)
  • 184g
  • 192g
  • 206g
  • 215g

 

JetStream 2.0

JetStream 2 is a combination of a variety of JavaScript and Web Assembly benchmarks, including benchmarks that came before like SunSpider and Octane. It primarily tests for a system’s and browser’s ability in delivering a good web experience. It runs a total of 64 subtests, each weighted equally, with multiple iterations, and takes the geometric mean to compute the overall score.

The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro’s score of around 156 points was the highest we have ever seen on any smartphone. Unsurprisingly, the biggest challengers were, in fact, Apple’s older devices.

Against the current crop of Android flagship devices, the new iPhones’ score was over a whopping 300% higher. That’s not a typo. Even the best-performing Android phone in this benchmark — the OnePlus 7 Pro — could only muster a score of just 66.44, which is just over 43% and not even half of what the new iPhones could achieve.

AnTuTu

AnTuTu is an all-in-one benchmark that tests CPU, GPU, memory, and storage. The CPU benchmark evaluates both integer and floating-point performance, the GPU tests assess 2D and 3D performance, the memory test measures available memory bandwidth and latency, and the storage tests gauge the read and write speeds of a device's flash memory.

And on AnTuTu, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro both recorded the highest numbers we have ever seen from a smartphone. Both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro recorded about 24% increases in performance over their respective predecessors.

None of the current crop of Android flagship phones came close to challenging the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. The closest was, again, the OnePlus 7 Pro, but its score of 371,087 was still about 20% less. Even newer phones like the Samsung Galaxy Note10+ and its Exynos 9825 octa-core processor scored about 24% less than the new iPhones.

 

Geekbench 5

Geekbench CPU is a cross-platform processor benchmark that tests both single-core and multi-core performance with workloads that simulate real-world usage. Geekbench 5 scores are calibrated against a baseline score of 1000, which is the score of an Intel Core i3-8100. As a result, Geekbench 5 scores are not comparable against those of Geekbench 4, whose baseline score is derived from an Intel Core i7-6600 processor.

Unsurprisingly, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro were the runaway leaders in this benchmark. Single-core performance was up about 20% against last year’s iPhone XS Max and XR, and even against the iPad Pro and its formidable A12X Bionic chip. Multi-core performance saw even bigger increases. The iPhone 11 Pro was about 27% faster than the iPhone XS Max while the iPhone 11 was about 36% faster than the iPhone XR. The iPad Pro, however, still has the lead in multi-core performance because it has eight cores as opposed to the six cores found on the iPhones.

Against flagship Android devices, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro’s single-core performance was over 70% greater. The discrepancy is smaller in multi-core workloads but still no less significant. Against the OnePlus 7 Pro (the fastest performing Android phone), the new iPhones were about 33% faster. Against the rest, the new iPhones were about 66% faster.

 

3DMark Sling Shot

3DMark Sling Shot is an advanced 3D graphics benchmark that tests the full range of OpenGL ES 3.1 and ES 3.0 API features including multiple render targets, instanced rendering, uniform buffers and transform feedback. The test also includes impressive volumetric lighting and post-processing effects. We're running this benchmark in Unlimited mode, which ignores screen resolutions.

What else were you expecting? Once more, the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro recorded the highest numbers we have seen yet from a smartphone on 3DMark. Graphics performance was up about 29% against last year’s iPhone XS Max and XR, which exceeds Apple’s claims of the GPU being about 20% faster.

Android devices were left in the dust. Despite significant graphics performance increases gained by the new Snapdragon 855 chip, they were still miles behind. The top Android performer was, once more, the OnePlus 7 Pro with a score of 6,039 points, but even that was just 55% or just over half of what the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro recorded. Lesser performing Android devices like the Google Pixel 3XL and Samsung Galaxy Note10 could only manage about 50% of the new iPhones’ scores.

 

Battery Life & Charging

Note: Updated with battery life results!

There are significant increases in battery life for the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. And this is due to a combination of more efficient hardware and larger batteries. Apple says most users will find that their batteries will last up to an hour more on the iPhone 11 than the iPhone XR. On the iPhone 11 Pro, the battery life gains are more significant. Apple’s claims are up to 4 hours more on the iPhone 11 Pro than iPhone XS and up to 5 hours more on the iPhone 11 Pro Max than the iPhone XS Max. Such increases in battery life are almost unheard of and it is certainly impressive.

Apple did not disclose the actual battery capacity of these new phones but numerous reports suggest the following:

Battery capacity comparison
Model Battery capacity
iPhone 11 3,110 mAh
iPhone XR 2,942 mAh
 
iPhone 11 Pro 3,046 mAh
iPhone XS 2,658 mAh
 
iPhone 11 Pro Max 3,969 mAh
iPhone XS Max 3,174 mAh

In other words, the new iPhones all have larger batteries. The biggest increase comes with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, whose battery capacity has been upgraded by around 25%. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max, on the other hand, saw increases of about 5% and 14% respectively.

The iPhone 11 lasted about 94 minutes longer than the iPhone XR, which comfortably beats Apple's claim of up to one hour of battery life. The iPhone 11 Pro Max, on the other hand, lasted a little over 7 hours or a little over two hours more than the iPhone XS Max. That's quite a bit less than Apple's claims of up to four hours more. Still, the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max lasted significantly longer than last year's models.

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