iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: How to decide which one to buy

The display, the camera, the battery, a little extra water resistance, and a better charger. When you boil it all down, those are the only real differences between the iPhone 11 and the two iPhone 11 Pro models. That and $300 to $400. That’s not to say you shouldn’t spend the extra money on the Pro or Pro Max, but you should know what you’re getting for your money. So here’s how the three phones stack up.

Read our review of the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max

Read our review of the iPhone 11

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pros: Design

Apple didn’t deviate too much from the formula it presented in the iPhone XS and XR. That means in terms of body size the entry-level iPhone 11 is sandwiched between the new Pros, despite costing significantly less. Here’s how the three phones measure up:

  • iPhone 11: 75.7 x 150.9 x 8.3mm
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 71.4 x 144 x 8.1mm
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 77.8 x 158 x 8.1mm

Despite the differences in size, the three phones all share the same aesthetics, with a notched display and an all-glass back with a new square camera array. The 11 Pros, however, features stainless steel sides while the iPhone 11 has aluminum sides. The cheaper iPhone 11 also has slightly thicker bezels, but all in all, they’re very similar in appearance—the iPhone 11 even has the same square camera bump as the Pro, despite only having two lenses.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pros: Display

While the phones may all look the same, they each have different display sizes, and just like last year, it’s a little confusing. The cheaper iPhone 11 actually has a larger display than the iPhone 11 Pro, but it’s lower quality:

  • iPhone 11: 6.1-inch Liquid Retina, 1792 x 828
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 5.8-inch Super Retina XDR, 2436 x 1125
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR, 2688 x 1242

Maybe even more significantly, the iPhone 11 uses LCD tech, while the two Pro models use superior OLED tech. We haven’t yet tested the phones, so we can’t describe how these displays actually look. But simply based on screen resolution and what we know about the OLEDs Apple has delivered in its past two models, the Pro models will bring deeper blacks and more brilliant colors, and simply look stunning.

iphone 11 pro gaming Apple

Graphics get a big boost with the A13 Bionic processor on the iPhone 11 Pro.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pros: Performance

All the new phones feature Apple’s new A13 Bionic processor that puts an emphasis on machine learning. Apple says its both the fastest CPU and GPU in a smartphone, with an advanced neural engine, machine learning accelerators, and Core ML3, all of which add up to an incredibly powerful chip that should be powering a laptop, not a phone.

The upshot is we should expect pretty much the same excellent performance from all three phones (notwithstanding any small differences resulting from the A13 driving different display resolutions).  

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 11 Pros: Front camera

All three models once again feature Apple’s TruDepth Camera…

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