The iPhone 11 upped the game and gave iPhone lovers plenty to enjoy. But the iPhone 13 was an entirely new experience. There’s more storage space, better video, and the features people have grown to love and expect from iPhones like OLED displays, and well, a notch that keeps getting small but not as fast as we’d like it to.
With only two years apart between launches, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 have minor differences. The older iPhone 11 comes close to the iPhone 13 in several departments and matches it in some. If you had to choose between either phone, the choice would be challenging because the iPhone 11 ticks most of the important boxes, as does the iPhone 13.
The iPhone 11 has a much larger notch than the 13, but even with the smaller notch, there’s still no battery percentage indicator on either. Both phones have a similar Gorilla Glass front and back with an aluminium frame. They each have IP68 water and dust resistance, with the iPhone 13 having the extra 4m depth over the iPhone 11; exciting but still stuck at 30 minutes.
Screen-wise, the iPhone 13 wins with its larger 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, HDR10 display with Dolby vision, and 1200 nits’ peak brightness. The iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina IPS LCD screen with 625 nits’ peak brightness. It’s not as spectacular as the one on the iPhone 13, but it’s great. They both get a wide colour gamut, True-Tone, scratch-resistant ceramic glass, and oleophobic coating.
Under the hood
The iPhone 11 came with Apple’s A13 Bionic chip with 4GB RAM. The iPhone 13 spots the newer Apple A15 Bionic chip with 4GB RAM across the board. Performance-wise, both chips are superior with only a few improvements with their neural engines, but you won’t tell the difference. With four core graphics on both GPU’s, gaming will feel smooth on both devices.
Storage-wise, the iPhone 13 edges the iPhone 11 by having the base storage at 128GB with a maximum configuration of 512GB, all with 4GB RAM. The iPhone 11 starts at 64GB with the most storage at 256GB, similarly with 4GB RAM. You can get cloud storage if you want more space to store your files, but having it onboard is nice with the iPhone 13.
Apple has stuck with the 12 MP camera for most of its devices, and it hasn’t changed on the iPhone 11 or iPhone 13. A notable change is that the iPhone 13 has 12 MP, f/1.6, 26mm (wide), 1.7µm cameras with the iPhone 11 having the 12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm cameras. At this point, it’s more of nitpicking because photos look fantastic on both. The features packed with the cameras are also identical, with both phones getting Dual-LED dual-tone flash, HDR (photo/panorama), dual pixel PDAF, sensor-shift OIS, and stereo sound rec. The addition is that the iPhone 13 has Dolby Vision HDR (up to 60fps), which is absent on the iPhone 11.
Videos recorded from the rear cameras on both devices will be the same, with changes coming from the image processing done by their chips. You can shoot 4K@24/30/60fps or 1080p@30/60/120/240fps. For selfies, they both have an identical 12 MP, f/2.2, 23mm (wide), 1/3.6″ The other addition is that both get the SL 3D depth/biometrics sensor. Video recording is the same on both at 4K@24/30/60fps (25fps with iPhone 13), 1080p@30/60/120fps, both with gyro-EIS.
The battery department is perhaps the most significant change from one iPhone lineup to the next. With continual improvements, you can always expect a bigger battery and better power management on the next iPhone. The iPhone 11 packs a Li-Ion 3110 mAh, non-removable (11.91 Wh) battery but the iPhone 13 has a bigger Li-Ion 3240 mAh, non-removable (12.41 Wh) battery. You get enough daytime usage from both devices if you are a light to the medium user with only a few minutes extra on the iPhone 11.
Both phones support fast charging, with the iPhone 11 only having 18W fast charging and the iPhone 13 getting 20W Fast charging. They both will fill up 50% in 30 minutes. iPhone 11 has Qi wireless charging, but the iPhone 13 has the new Qi magnetic fast wireless charging at 7.5W and MagSafe wireless charging 15W.
The bottom line
The iPhone 11 is a strong contender and does great in the departments that matter most. From the exciting cameras to the ever-powerful Bionic chipset, the iPhone 11 offers a great balance of power and efficiency, all wrapped in a great-looking metal sandwich phone. The iPhone 13, however, bulldozes through most of the older iPhone 11 features and brings new, refreshing changes that users have grown accustomed to.
While the iPhone 11 comes close to the iPhone 13, it doesn’t entirely overthrow the latest in Apple’s iPhone lineup. For someone looking to get into iPhones, the iPhone 11 is all you’ll need. But if budgets aren’t your sort of thing, then, by all means, get the iPhone 13.
Also Read: iPhone 11 vs. 12 vs. 13 – all specs comparison