iPhone 11 vs. 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max: Here's the one you should actually buy (2023)

Apple announced theiPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Maxin 2019 but they're still worth considering in 2021. The iPhone 11 phones have wonderful cameras, a blazing fast processor and excellent build quality. If you don't need 5G, you can probably pass on the neweriPhone 12 series. You can save some serious money, too. Apple sells the iPhone 11 for $599 which is $130 less than theiPhone 12. Apple doesn't sell the iPhone 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max but many carriers and retailers still do. And before theimpending release of the heavily rumored iPhone 13, let's revisit the main differences among the iPhone 11 lineup.

It can be difficult to choose between theiPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. All three phones have the same processor, same main, ultrawide and selfie cameras, and arecompatible with iOS 15. In fact, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are identical in nearly every way aside from price, size, weight, battery life and screen resolution. The iPhone 11 represents one of thebest values for a flagship phone you can buy today, and has many of the same 11 Pro features. On the other hand, the iPhone 11 Pro has a few key additions that make it stand out. And you may not have to pay full price:Walmart sells it for $575, which is $24 less than what Apple charges.

For over a year, I used the iPhone 11 as my daily driver and the 11 Pro as a work phone. I took numerous photos and videos with the ultrawide-angle camera and pushed the A13 processor to its max with games and photo edits.

For most people, including myself, the iPhone 11 is more than enough, and taking that one step further, I'd actually pay more for the 11 to upgrade the storage from 64GB to 128GB. But here is the wrinkle: size. The iPhone 11 Pro is a bit smaller and lighter than the 11, which I personally love, and it could be the reason to go Pro. (FYI, if you want something bigger though, with the longest battery life of the three, theiPhone 11 Pro Maxis there waiting to fill your pocket and empty your bank account even more.)

Angela Lang/CNET

Apple iPhone 11
Editors' Choice for a reason
2019

The iPhone 11 is a great phone value for the price, second only to the iPhone SE 2020. Following in the footsteps of 2018's iPhone XR, Apple smartly pitched the 11 as the iPhone for most people. Despite a lower resolution LCD screen, the iPhone 11 has the same A13 processor and relatively the same camera setup (more on that later) as the more expensive 11 Pro. It also comes in six different colors, survived CNET's drop and water tests and earned a CNET Editors' Choice Award.

(Video) iPhone 11 vs 11 Pro vs 11 Pro Max | In-Depth Comparison & Review

Read our Apple iPhone 11 review.

$699 at Amazon

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Apple iPhone 11 Pro
Simply the best iPhone ever

At the heart of the iPhone 11 Pro is an iPhone 11. But it gets the VIP treatment with upgrades such as a high-resolution OLED display, a matte-glass finish and a stainless steel side band. It has a third rear camera that, combined with Apple's Deep Fusion image processing, takes better zoomed-in photos. But probably the most-welcomed upgrade on the 11 Pro is how much longer battery life is over the previous-generation iPhone XS. The 11 Pro lasts almost as long on a single charge as the 11.

Read our iPhone 11 Pro review.

$899 at Best Buy

(Video) Should You Buy iPhone 11 Pro Max in 2023?

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iPhone 11 vs. 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max: Here's the one you should actually buy (3)

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The smaller iPhone was better

Perhaps the most obvious and important reason to buy the iPhone 11 Pro over the iPhone 11 is size. They are very differently sized phones and they will fit in your hands differently. With a 5.8-inch screen and a weight of 6.63 ounces (188 grams), the iPhone 11 Pro is the smallest of the three iPhone 11 devices. (Though, if a small phone is what you're after,the new iPhone SE might be a better option, at 4.7 inches and 5.22 ounces.) The solid-feeling phone is the easiest to use one-handed. Weighing 6.84 ounces the iPhone 11 is heavier than the 11 Pro but doesn't feel as dense. The iPhone 11 is 0.2 millimeters thicker than the 11 Pro, which makes it feel a tad chunky.

Everyone's hands and needs are different. I have large hands, but prefer the svelte feeling of the 11 Pro. But if you are willing to compromise a heavier weight for a larger screen, get the 11.

And if you want the absolute biggest screen you can have, go for the iPhone 11 Pro Max that has a 6.5-inch OLED screen but weighs 7.97 ounces (226 grams).

Winner: For its small size, the 11 Pro is the way to go for me.

The telephoto camera is nice to have

The iPhone 11 Pro (and 11 Pro Max) have a third camera with a telephoto lens that the iPhone 11 doesn't. At times it was nice switching to the telephoto camera. And compared to the iPhone XS, the updated telephoto camera combined with Deep Fusion processing meant I took photos with better image quality.

There were times I framed a shot better with the 11 Pro's telephoto camera than I could with the main camera. For example, when I took a top-down shot of a plate of food with the main camera, I could see the phone's shadow on the plate. But when I switched to the telephoto camera and moved the phone higher away from the table there was no shadow.

There are a couple caveats about the iPhone 11 Pro's telephoto camera though. When you take Night Mode photos at 2x, the 11 Pro doesn't use the telephoto camera. Instead, it takes a crop of the main wide-angle camera. Also, the telephoto camera excels in bright conditions, but when taking photos in medium-to-low light, I noticed better image quality if I took the same photo with the main camera and cropped in.

(Video) YOU Should Buy the iPhone 11 in 2023, And Here's Why!

All in all, the telephoto lens is useful on the 11 Pro, but I didn't miss having it when I used the 11. If I needed to zoom in on a photo, a 2x crop of a photo I took with the main camera worked fine. I do recommend looking at the photos you have on your current phone and see how many were taken zoomed in and how many photos would look better had you been able to zoom in a bit. If you have a lot of pictures where you wished you had a dedicated telephoto camera, then you should consider an iPhone 11 Pro.

For more on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro cameras, check out our comparisons below:

  • iPhone camera comparison: iPhone 11 with Deep Fusion vs. iPhone XR
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone XS: Camera and Night Mode comparison
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: Taking the camera skateboarding
  • iPhone 11 goes Pro with photography

Winner: The 11 Pro's telephoto camera is a nice-to-have if you value iPhone photography, but it's certainly not necessary

Take a look at photos from the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

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The iPhone 11 Pro has a gorgeous OLED display

The iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch OLED screen, while the 11 has a 6.1-inch LCD display. When I look at the phones side-by-side, the screen on the 11 Pro looked better, brighter and showed off more details. It is a joy to watch videos and edit photos on.

The OLED screen on the 11 Pro supports HDR and has a much highercontrast ratio (the ratio of the brightest and darkest colors on a display). The 11 Pro has a contrast ratio of 2,000,000:1 compared to the 11's 1,400:1. On paper that means the iPhone 11 Pro is capable of darker black levels and more color saturation. That said, side-by-side, the differences between the two screens are sometimes hard to notice. In and of itself, the colors on the iPhone 11's LCD are accurate and videos look good.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch OLED that has the same pixel density as the iPhone 11 Pro.

Winner: The screen on the iPhone 11 is good, but the one on the 11 Pro is even better.

Up close with the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

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(Video) iPhone 11 Vs iPhone 11 Pro Max In 2022! (Comparison) (Review)
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Cracked screens and waterproofing

We put both the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro through a test where we dropped them from different heights. After dropping them from 3-feet, 6-feet and 8-feet off the ground both phones survived without a single crack to their screens or glass backs. The only blemish was a small scuff to the iPhone 11's aluminum band and a few damaged pixels on the bottom of the 11 Pro's screen.

As far as water resistance, both of these phones are rated IP68. Apple claims the iPhone 11 can withstand being submerged at a depth of 6.5 feet (2 meters) up to 30 minutes and the 11 Pro can survive at a maximum depth of 13 feet (4 meters) up to 30 minutes. However, in our water tests with an underwater drone, the 11 and 11 Pro both survived being submerged for 30 minutes at 39 feet (11.9 meters).

Winner: Tie; both the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are some of the most durable phones you can buy today,

Color, finish and extras

After six months of use without a case, the backs of both the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro still didn't have a single scratch or scuff. The textured matte glass back on the iPhone 11 Pro feels soft, smooth and durable. The phone is easy to grip and never feels like it's going to slip out of my hand (though again, its smaller size helps with this). I'm happy to say that fingerprint smudges don't accumulate easily.

The iPhone 11, meanwhile, has a glossy glass back, which does feel slippery in my hand and the phone is prone to smudges, too.

As far as colors, the iPhone 11 gets things more right than the 11 Pro. You can buy an iPhone 11 in six bright and fun colors. The 11 Pro is less flashy and comes in four rather serious finishes (space gray, silver, gold or midnight green). In a perfect world, I could have the matte glass finish of the 11 Pro and the color options of the 11.

The iPhones have wireless charging and support fast charging, but only the iPhone 11 Pro (and 11 Pro Max) comes with the 18-watt charger that's required for fast charging. It's aggravating that the 11 doesn't come with this charger and that you'll have to buy it separately if you want it. To make matters worse, Apple charges $29 (£29, AU$49) for the 18-watt fast charger and $19 (£19, AU$29) for the required cable, when cheaper compatible alternatives are available.
Winner: On colors alone, the iPhone 11 takes this one.

Detailed comparison of iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max


iPhone 11 iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro Max
Display size, resolution 6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina; 1,792x828 pixels 5.8-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,436x1,125 pixels 6.5-inch OLED Super Retina XDR; 2,688x1,242 pixels
Pixel density 326 ppi 458 ppi 458 ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.94x2.98x0.33 in 5.67x2.81x0.32 in 6.22x3.06x0.32 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 150.9x75.7x8.3 mm 144x71.4x8.1 mm 158x77.8x8.1 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.84 oz; 194g 6.63 oz; 188g 7.97 oz; 226g
Mobile software iOS 13 iOS 13 iOS 13
Camera 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)
Front-facing camera 12-megapixel with Face ID 12-megapixel with Face ID 12-megapixel with Face ID
Video capture 4K 4K 4K
Processor Apple A13 Bionic Apple A13 Bionic Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB 64GB, 256GB, 512GB
RAM Not disclosed Not disclosed Not disclosed
Expandable storage None None None
Battery Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 1 hour longer than iPhone XR Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 4 hours longer than iPhone XS Not disclosed, but Apple claims it will last 5 hours longer than iPhone XS Max
Fingerprint sensor None (Face ID) None (Face ID) None (Face ID)
Connector Lightning Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No No
Special features Water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging Water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging Water resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD) $699 (64GB), $749 (128GB), $849 (256GB) $999 (64GB), $1,149 (256GB), $1,349 (512GB) $1,099 (64GB), $1,249 (256GB), $1,449 (512GB)
iPhone 11 vs. 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max: Here's the one you should actually buy (10)
(Video) iPhone 11 vs. 11 Pro vs. 11 Pro Max Speed Test - Which Should You Buy? (S3-E1)

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  • iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max review: The iPhone for camera and battery lovers
  • Best phone to buy for 2022
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FAQs

What is better iPhone 11/11 Pro or 11 Pro Max? ›

In fact, the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max are identical in nearly every way aside from price, size, weight, battery life and screen resolution. The iPhone 11 represents one of the best values for a flagship phone you can buy today, and has many of the same 11 Pro features.

Should I still buy an iPhone 11 Pro Max in 2022? ›

If you want the best iPhone features — large OLED display, triple cameras, and more — for less money: Yes, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is definitely worth buying in 2022.

Is iPhone 11 Pro worth buying in 2022? ›

Apple is also likely to be supporting the device with software updates until 2025. So, we can expect iPhone 11 Pro to get iOS 19 or iOS 20 which is not bad for longevity. Apple is well known for keeping their phones relevant for a long time and in that sense, yes it is still worth it.

Which camera is better iPhone 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max? ›

The cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are identical. The only difference between these two iPhones is the size of the screen (the Pro Max is bigger). You get the same Wide lens and Ultra Wide lens as the iPhone 11. But you also get a 2x Telephoto lens which lets you zoom in on your subject.

Why is 11 Pro Max the best? ›

The triple cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro Max give Apple the best camera phone, thanks to its great Night mode and improved Smart HDR. If you want the longest iPhone battery life, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the one to get, as it lasted nearly 12 hours on our web surfing test.

Is the iPhone 11 Max Pro too big? ›

yes, iPhone 11 pro max is bigger than the iPhone 11. where iPhone 11 comes with the screen size of 6.06″ and iPhone 11 pro max comes with the screen size of 6.46″. iPhone 11 will be handy & comfortable for daily use. and iPhone 11 pro max are for those who are into gaming, watching movies series etc.

How much longer will the iPhone 11 Pro Max be supported? ›

Based on that and some quick mental math, we can deduce that Apple plans to provide iPhone support for up to six years from launch. As a result, with the iPhone 11, unveiled in 2019, you can rest comfortably knowing that you can expect updates through 2025.

When should I replace my iPhone 11 Pro? ›

The iPhone 11. The iPhone 11 is almost three years old, but it's likely running smoothly enough for most people. You can probably wait at least until the iPhone 14 arrives before you upgrade.

Is iPhone 11 Pro still worth buying? ›

So given that Apple phones tend to last and usually get software support for longer than Android phones, a 2019 iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro is still worth considering if you find a good price and don't need the best camera phone or the fastest processing available.

Is Apple no longer selling iPhone 11 Pro? ›

Yep, if you go on Apple's website you can no longer purchase last year's top models, instead you have to buy the iPhone 12 Pro range instead.

Why is no one selling the iPhone 11 Pro? ›

Because the iPhone 12 Pro, it is the direct replacement for the iPhone 11 Pro. With the iPhone 12 Pro, there is no need for an iPhone 11 Pro. That's why the iPhone 11 Pro is no longer sold directly at Apple. As an example, Ford introduces a new Ford Focus, then they do not continue to sell the old Ford Focus.

Is iPhone 11 still good in 2022? ›

The iPhone 11 has a slower processor but is still a very capable iPhone even in 2022.

Is the difference between iPhone 11 and 11 Pro worth it? ›

The iPhone 11 has a slightly bigger screen and about an hour of extra battery life during typical web browsing, while the iPhone 11 Pro has an additional camera lens, matte finish, and OLED screen technology which will give you higher contrast colors.

Is 11 Pro Max worth it? ›

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a processor that is still incredibly powerful, a huge, high-quality display, more than capable cameras in 2022, and incredible battery life. Sure, it's worth buying in 2022. Although, of course, to recommend the iPhone 11 Pro Max in 2022 you must find it at a very good price.

Is iPhone Pro Max too big for pocket? ›

If you like to take your phone with you on a run, or stash it in your pocket when cycling, forget it. A new phone size also means you'll have to get a new iPhone 13 Pro Max case. Although the phone size and weight may still be bearable, the addition of the case certainly declassifies it as a pocket-friendly phone.

Can iPhone 11 Pro Max fit in pocket? ›

And then, of course, the iPhone 11 Pro's screen is 5.8 inches (smaller than the iPhone 11's 6.1 inches), while the iPhone 11 Pro Max measures out at 6.5 inches. So if you're looking for a more compact device that can fit in any pant pocket, the Max probably isn't for you.

Why is the 11 Pro Max so heavy? ›

In order to make the phone's battery larger, the iPhone 11 Pro Max is the heaviest iPhone to date. At nearly 18 grams heavier than the XS Max, you will feel the difference. It's also a bit thicker, too.

Is iPhone 11 Pro Max still supported by Apple? ›

The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max was initially supplied with iOS 13. As of December 2022, the phones support the latest version of iOS, iOS 16. The phones also come with Siri, Face ID (through the TrueDepth camera), Apple Pay, and they support Apple Card.

How much is iPhone 11 Pro Max in usa 2022? ›

How does storage affect iPhone 11 Pro Max price? Storage size is generally a major factor affecting iPhone 11 Pro Max prices. The average sale price for the 64 GB iPhone 11 Pro Max was $374 in January 2023, compared to $476 in August 2022.

Why did Apple stop selling iPhone 11 Pro Max? ›

Why has Apple stopped selling the iPhone 11 Pro models? I think it's about two connected things: supply chain and muddling its phone range. The first one we can brush past quickly. The more different phones Apple sells, the more complex manufacturing and shipping them becomes.

What iPhones will stop working in 2022? ›

The iPhone 6S was introduced in 2015, making it obsolete between 2020 and 2022. The iPhone 7 was introduced in 2016, making it obsolete between 2021 and 2023. The iPhone 8 was introduced in 2017, making it obsolete between 2022 and 2024.

Should I upgrade iPhone 11 Pro Max? ›

iPhone 11, 11 Pro. If you're using an iPhone 11, we recommend upgrading to an iPhone 14 (or even an iPhone 13). In the last three years, Apple has made enough changes to features including battery life, performance, screen quality, cameras and durability to merit buying a new iPhone.

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