iPhone 11: A cheat sheet

This comprehensive guide about iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max covers features, specs, pricing, and more details that you need to know about Apple's latest mobile devices.

Why Apple's iPhone 11 may not excite businesses, but expanded focus on health data should Apple gives iPhone 11, Watch Series 5, and iPad incremental hardware refresh, but services like Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and a new health-focused Research app are the real story.

The iPhone 11 was announced at Apple's September 2019 event held at the Steve Jobs theater in Cupertino, CA. Myriad new products and software offerings were unveiled during the event, but the iPhone 11 announcement was the one that Apple fans had been most eagerly awaiting.

The new flagship iPhone, dubbed the iPhone 11, comes with many new features, including a new case design, massively improved front and rear cameras, and mind-blowing performance increases. iPhone 11 comes in two flavors: The standard iPhone 11 with a single screen size, and the iPhone 11 Pro, which has two screen sizes. 

Learn more about the iPhone 11's features, and how you can get one for yourself. We will update this iPhone 11 cheat sheet when new details are available. (Note: This article was first published on Sept. 10, 2019.)

SEE: The Apple Developer Program: An insider's guide (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

What is the iPhone 11? 

The iPhone 11 is Apple's newest flagship smartphone, released on September 20, 2019. iPhone 11 Pro was announced alongside the iPhone 11 and includes many new features aimed at photographers, videographers, developers, and machine learning users.

The iPhone 11 is a new iteration beyond the previous year's flagship devices (iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max)—it includes massive improvements in the camera system, device performance, and design. The iPhone 11 Pro also includes a pro camera system, pro video system, and larger battery design.

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What are the key features of the iPhone 11?

The iPhone 11 focuses on three main areas: Performance, cameras, and battery. 

iphone11.jpg

iPhone 11's new rear camera sensor module.

Image: Apple, Inc.

The iPhone 11 features a new design made of anodized aluminum and a tougher glass that should increase durability over the lifetime of the device. It comes in new finishes, including the traditional white and black, but also purple, yellow, green, and Product (Red).

Audio
The new audio system supports Dolby Atmos, which can produce synthesized spacial audio that sounds like a surround-sound system.

Cameras
The iPhone continues to be the world's most popular camera, so just like in previous years, Apple spent a lot of time and energy focused on the camera system in the iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 (standard model) comes with a 12MP Wide camera and a 12MP Ultra-wide camera. You can now take wide camera shots, then switch to the ultra-wide camera when you need to capture more of the scene; this means you can also do 2x manual zoom without distortion.

Smart HDR
A new Smart HDR feature uses the new camera sensors to capture better HDR shots and Portrait mode shots. Portrait mode includes a new high-key mono feature that can place a white background behind black-and-white foreground composition.

Video
On the iPhone 11, video mode supports 4K at 60fps with time-lapse modes, a new cinematic image stabilization feature, slow-mo, and extended dynamic range.

SEE: All of TechRepublic's cheat sheets and smart person's guides

Front cameras
The iPhone front-facing camera has long needed an upgrade, and with the iPhone 11, it received the most anticipated camera update in a while: There's now a 12MP true-depth camera that includes a wider sensor. 4K video can be shot using the front camera, as well as slow motion.

Battery
The iPhone Xr had the longest battery life ever on an iPhone with 25 hours of talk time, 15 hours of internet use, 16 hours of video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback. The iPhone 11 has it beat by adding an additional hour onto the battery life. 

What are the key features of the iPhone 11 Pro?

iphone11pro.jpg

iPhone 11 Pro's rear camera module with the unique look of the three rear cameras. 

Image: Apple, Inc.

The iPhone 11 Pro features better cameras, a better screen, and two different screen size options. The iPhone 11 Pro also has a new design that is made using surgical-grade stainless steel and the same tougher glass that the standard iPhone 11 uses. It comes in new colors: Midnight green, space gray, and gold.

Super retina XDR display
The iPhone 11 comes with a new screen that's an OLED-based display with a 2,000,000:1 contrast ratio and 1200nits brightness, one of the most advanced screens ever shipped on an iPhone. Even with these advancements, the display is more efficient and is based on the same technology used in the new Mac Pro display announced at WWDC 2019.

The iPhone 11 comes in a single screen size of 6.1 inches with a resolution of 1792‑by‑828‑pixel resolution at 326 ppi. The iPhone 11 Pro devices come in two screen sizes: A 5.8-inch screen, and a 6.5-inch screen. The 5.8-inch screen features a resolution of 2436‑by‑1125-pixel resolution at 458 ppi, and the 6.5-inch screen features a resolution of 2688‑by‑1242-pixel resolution at 458 ppi.

Larger battery
The iPhone 11 Pro features a larger battery, which gives the device more than four hours more operating time over the iPhone Xs on the standard iPhone 11 Pro, and more than five hours more operating time over the iPhone Xs on the iPhone 11 Pro Max. There is also a new 18-watt charger included in the iPhone 11 Pro box to enable faster charging.

New camera system

iphone11proshots.jpg

Photo taken with the iPhone 11 Pro showing the difference between the telephoto lens, the wide lens, and the ultra-wide lens.

Image: Apple, Inc.

Apple has a new camera system on the iPhone 11 Pro that features a 12MP Wide camera, a 12MP telephoto camera, and a 12MP ultra-wide camera. All the cameras work together with a new image processor that enables a new level of photography never seen on a mobile device. You can now zoom in 2x or zoom out 2x for a total of 4x manual zooming ability without distortion.

Apple demoed a sneak peek at Deep Fusion, which takes a total of nine photos when you press the shutter button to merge long and short exposures together to create a pixel-by-pixel optimized image that creates detail and low-noise photos. This is the first time Apple is using machine learning to take photography to a new level on iOS devices. This feature will be available on iPhone 11 Pro devices via a software update in late 2019.

What is A13 Bionic?

applea13chip.jpg

A13 Bionic is one of the most powerful chips ever put into a smartphone. It is included in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Image: Apple, Inc.

The A13 Bionic chip is used across the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro devices, and it features two main improvements over the A12 chip used in the predecessor iPhones: Apple's focus on machine learning and low-power design for this new chip ekes even more performance out of its devices, while keeping the battery drain at a minimum.

Machine learning
The CPU, GPU, and neural engine has been made faster for machine learning tasks by including machine learning accelerators that are six times more efficient at matrix multiplication and can handle more than 1 trillion operations per second. Machine learning models can also be scheduled, which balances efficiency and performance on the device.

SEE: Apple: More must-read coverage (TechRepublic on Flipboard) 

Low-power design
There are more than 8.5 billion transistors on the A13 Bionic chip that use a new 7nm process to place them. There are also four high-efficiency CPU cores that are powerful enough to use most of the time but don't take a battery hit. This means Apple can eke out an additional 20% performance over the previous chip while not affecting battery performance.

More new features in the iPhone 11

The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro also include these shared new features.

  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for up to 38% faster download speeds.
  • Better dust and water resistance: IP68 rating on iPhone 11 Pro—that's 4 meters of water for up to 30 minutes. On iPhone 11, it's rated for 2 meters of water for up to 30 minutes.
  • Gigabit-Class LTW for up to 30 LTE bands for true world-wide roaming
  • Fast-charging for up to 50% battery capacity in just 30 minutes with an 18-watt charger (18-watt chargers are included with iPhone 11 Pro and are available separately with iPhone 11).
  • Audio sharing with two sets of AirPods to Beats headphones on a single iPhone.
  • Spatial audio that simulates surround sound
  • Dolby Atmos that simulates sound moving around in a 3D space
  • Dual SIM with eSIM
  • QuickTake: This is a new feature in iOS 13 on the iPhone 11. While composing a regular photo, you can now tap and hold the shutter button to take a quick video called a QuickTake, which will appear as a short clip in your Photos library.
  • Night Mode: This new camera mode is automatically enabled when it's dark enough to utilize it, and it works with the new camera sensors to make low-light photos pop like never before. It takes shorter and longer frames and merges them automatically for better low-light performance.

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What operating system is compatible with iPhone 11?

iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro ship with iOS 13, Apple's latest version of its mobile operating system. iOS 13 includes many features that take advantage of the new processor, display, connectivity, and sensors of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

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What are the specs of the iPhone 11?

iPhone 11

iPhone 11 Pro

iPhone 11 Pro Max

Capacity

64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB

128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB

128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB

Display type

Liquid Retina

OLED (Super Retina XDR display)

OLED (Super Retina XDR display)

Display size

6.1"

5.8"

6.5"

Display brightness

625nits max brightness

800nits max; up to 1200nits (HDR)

800nits max; up to 1200nits (HDR)

Water/dust Resistance

IP68 (2 meters, up to 30 minutes)

IP68 (4 meters, up to 30 minutes)

IP68 (4 meters, up to 30 minutes)

Processor

A13 Bionic

A13 Bionic

A13 Bionic

Rear camera(s)

Dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide Cameras with 2x optical zoom

Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras with 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out

Triple 12MP Ultra Wide, Wide, and Telephoto cameras with 2x optical zoom in, 2x optical zoom out

Front camera

12MP TruDepth camera with portrait and slow-mo support

12MP TruDepth camera with portrait and slow-mo support

12MP TruDepth camera with portrait and slow-mo support

Battery (Video Playback/Streaming Playback/Audio Playback)

17 hours/10 hours/65 hours

18 hours/11 hours/65 hours

20 hours/12 hours/ 80 hours

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What are the main competitors to the iPhone 11?

The biggest competition with the iPhone 11, specifically in regards to the camera, is the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL. The Google Pixel devices utilize machine learning (just like the forthcoming Deep Fusion feature on the iPhone 11 Pro) to create the best possible image instead of simply capturing the image from the camera sensors directly. Google Pixel devices have won many smartphone photography roundups because of this feature, and I expect Google and Apple to continue to compete on this front. 

Other competitors for the iPhone 11 include the Samsung Galaxy S10 and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10. Both devices include new camera modules and displays that directly compete with the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

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What is the target market for the iPhone 11?

iPhone 11 is marketed toward traditional iPhone users and those upgrading from iPhone XR, iPhone XS, or older iPhone devices. The iPhone 11 Pro is also marketed for iPhone users who are looking to super-charge their devices. The iPhone 11 Pro includes additional features sure to make photographers, videographers, and users who want better battery life or a bigger screen choose that device over the standard version of the iPhone 11.

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When was the iPhone 11 released?

The iPhone 11 was announced on Sept. 10, 2019, at the Apple event at company headquarters in Cupertino, CA. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max was available  in the US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and more than 30 other countries and regions on September 20, 2019. Additional countries and regions are expected to be added later in 2019 and in 2020.

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How can I get an iPhone 11?

Customers who want to purchase the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max should check with their local Apple Store or cellular carrier website for pricing and availability. The pricing listed in the next section of this article reflects pricing in the US. The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max is available in the US, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and more than 30 other countries.

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How much does the iPhone 11 cost?

The iPhone 11 will be available at these price points:

  • 64 GB for $699
  • 128 GB for $749
  • 256 GB for $849

The iPhone 11 Pro will be available at these price points:

  • 64 GB for $999
  • 256 GB for $1,149
  • 512 GB for $1,349

The iPhone 11 Pro Max will be available at these price points:

  • 64 GB for $1,099
  • 256 GB for $1,249
  • 512 GB for $1,449

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