Home Tech, Science, Ideas, Future How to Pick the Right iPhone, and Where to Order It

How to Pick the Right iPhone, and Where to Order It


Apple’s latest iPhones are here. There are three new iPhones to choose from—the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the smaller iPhone 11 Pro, and the standard iPhone 11. If you’re wondering which one is right for you and where to buy them, look no further. We’ve broken down all your options and parsed out everything you need to know, along with all the preordering information we’ve been able to dig up so far. The iPhone 11 models are up for preorder starting at 5 am PT (8 am ET) on September 13.

If you need to enter the reality distortion field and hear all about Apple’s latest pocket-size technological marvels, check out our full recap of Apple’s big event.

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Picking the Right iPhone 11 for You

There are a few key differences between the new iPhones. Apple has a side-by-side comparison you can look at here, complete with all the specs if you’re a spec junkie. We’ll also update our iPhone Buying Guide with info about them soon.

Our quick take is that all three phones are impressive pieces of hardware. The form factor hasn’t changed much beyond the new camera layout (more on that below). The main hardware improvement is the new A13 Bionic processor. Apple claims its A13 chip has the fastest-ever CPU and GPU in a smartphone. At its launch event, the company touted some specs, claiming the A13 is capable of 1 trillion operations per second, and holds 8.5 billion transistors. That number brag should translate to a decent speed bump that keeps up with some of the more complex photo and video processing software in these phones.

All models also start at 64 GB of storage. If you can swing it, go for 128 GB. If not, backing your photos up to iCloud can clear up a lot of space.

  • The iPhone 11 ($699) is the best phone for most people: The iPhone 11 is very nearly as nice as its Pro siblings at a fraction of the cost. It has the same high-end chipset and a very similar size screen, and all of the software improvements work just fine on the iPhone 11. It can shoot the same 4K video at 60 fps, and Apple claims it will get an extra hour of battery life compared to the iPhone XR. What the iPhone 11 lacks is the brighter, sharper, HDR screen and the telephoto (2x zoom) camera of the Pro models. The 11 still has all the software upgrades like Night Mode, which reduces noise in low-light situations, Portrait Mode improvements, and a new lighting effect called High Key Mono, which produces black and white images. You also get Smart HDR, Slo-mo selfies, and all the rest of Apple’s photo and video software upgrades.

  • The iPhone 11 Pro ($999) has a nicer screen and third camera: If you want a flagship piece of hardware and don’t mind paying for it, this is your phone. The iPhone 11 Pro adds a third, telephoto camera (2x zoom) with a 52mm f/2.0 lens. The Pro models get a 2x optical zoom-in, along with a 10x digital zoom. Together these extras open up some additional photographic possibilities. Combine the extra camera with the brighter HDR screen, and the 11 Pro feels more like a camera that happens to take calls than a phone that takes pictures. It gets 4 hours more battery life than the XS and is waterproof up to 4 meters, instead of 2 meters like the 11.

  • The iPhone 11 Pro Max ($1,099) is the over-the-top phablet: The iPhone 11 Pro Max is mostly identical to the Pro, but larger. Its 6.5-inch Super Retina XDR display is notably bigger than the plain Pro’s 5.8-inch display. Otherwise, though, it’s the same phone, just turned to 11. It gets 5 hours more battery life than an XS Max from last year, according to Apple.

Accessorize (and Buy a Case)

No matter which phone you end up with, get a case. The iPhone 11 line is mostly glass. Sure, Apple has ads showing the new iPhone dropping and bouncing off the ground in slo-mo, and the company claims it’s the most scratch-resistant glass ever, but trust me, glass does shatter.