So I was lucky enough to be able to trade in my iPhone XR yesterday through my carrier (T-Mobile) for the new iPhone 11. Why bother, you might ask? Well, a few things have stood out to me. As an owner of the Apple iPhone XR for a year, I really didn’t see the value on paper of upgrading. But when it’s a free yearly upgrade… how could I say no?
I say free, but I did have to pay off a few accessories I had slowly been paying off on my T-Mobile bill; namely, the amazing wireless charger by my bed that I love, which has been costing me like $2.77 per phone bill for the past year. When I was looking online for reviews of the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, I didn’t see any reviews talking about the difference between the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11 (not the Pro or Pro Max, but just the 11.) This is the cheaper $699 iPhone that was released recently and made available to the masses last week. As an iPhone XR owner, I want to go over my initial ‘first impressions’ of the device, and speak in quick detail the main difference and takeaways from a previous iPhone XR owner.
What’s different? What’s changed? Is it worth the upgrade? Is it really all that better? Should I wait? All of these questions, and more, will be answered in this piece!
So the first thing I noticed when I held my Product Red Apple iPhone 11 in my hands at the T-Mobile retail store was how much lighter the phone felt. It almost felt… cheap. Then I realized… I had an Otter Box on my iPhone XR and not on this one. Instead, I wanted to opt for using an Apple Silicone Case for the iPhone, so I can carry it around much more easily in my pants pocket (when I go shopping sometimes, I had the Otter Box halfed with just it’s back on, and it would slowly make my blue jeans or shorts fall down after so much walking. Yes, 40 year old fat boy problems!)
I definitely noticed, even without a case on or off, the iPhone 11 is lighter than the XR. I’m not sure if that’s all in my mind but there it is. The second thing I noticed is how well the WIFi works on my home network, and how amazing FaceTime login is on this phone. The battery also seems improved, as it is only halfway empty after a day of usage at work here and there. I also notice that the camera is amazing… The two indentations on the back in the square (you’ll see what I mean when you hold one and turn it over) really is a huge design change, and I’m not completely sold on that yet. Its almost screaming “I’m a camera, too!” I think it’s a little garish for Apple’s standards, but maybe times are changing?
Well, I wrote that last paragraph in September. Life happened, then two months later, I’m ready to correct myself… the camera on the iPhone 11 is phenomenal! Not only does Night Mode take some fascinating shots that I otherwise would not have gotten, but the speed of the shots is much improved, as well as the double zoom – what an amazing feature! So yes, I’m completely sold on the camera now.
Call quality is sharp, the screen looks amazing, and iOS 13 (now on 13.2, mind you) has been updated more than a few times to ‘iron out the kinks’ over the last two months, and it seems like Apple had some updating to do. I’ve seen other reviewers complain about that, but I actually applaud Apple for fixing issues as they arise and not waiting until you’re ready to throw the damn thing against a wall. That’ll never happen. I have the Product Red iPhone 11, which sports a sexy, glossy red finish… and also benefits AIDS awareness and research. I’m loving my new phone, even two months later. That’s saying something.
Overall, the iPhone 11 is a great upgrade from the iPhone XR, and I highly recommend users upgrade if they are looking for better camera and battery life, design, and more. If you have an XR, that phone is also just as great, but this is definitely a ‘camera upgrade’ gen… and if you’re concerned about that at all, get it. If not, don’t, and wait until next year.
This is a wonderful phone… much improved cellular, great battery life, wonderful design. 9 out of 10! The iPhone 11 is a clear winner in the smart phone marketplace, which pretty much now consists of just two giants, Google and Apple.