The iPhone 11 may not be the newest kid among iPhones, but certainly one of the most favourite recent on sale. That is if the sales figures are anything to go by. What makes it special to start with is its budget focus. Apple chose to offer a cheaper iPhone without cutting corners, making the iPhone 11 the premium budget iPhone you could get. Now that it has been in the market for a while, it is available even cheaper on the refurbished market. The price of the iPhone 11 256Gb Grade B variant is $779 AUD in Australia. This long-term review explains why the iPhone 11 is a great phone to buy as refurbished in 2022.
iPhone 11: The Design
The iPhone 11 followed the design refresh of the iPhone X, losing the home button and increasing the screen to body ratio. At the time, many phones tried to copy it, and save for the incomplete apple at the back, it was hard to differentiate it among a pile of other similar looking phones. But that has gone now. The iPhone’s design has matured and cemented its identity. The notch which houses the FaceID sensors and the front camera has become the norm. Apple has continued to shrink the bezels to make for some beautiful phones. The dual-textured glass back was a touch of class and the dual camera set up on the square-ish camera module is also distinctly iPhone 11.
The iPhone 11 was designed to be the cheaper option to the Pro variants comprising the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. But while there is a visible difference between it and the more expensive siblings, nothing takes away from the premium feeling of the iPhone 11. It is still pretty much a solid iPhone, even without the fogged glass back of the expensive siblings.
iPhone 11: The Display
To keep costs low, the iPhone 11 was equipped with the same Liquid Retina IPS LCD as the iPhone XR. It features the same size bezel and off-axis colour shifting as the iPhone XR. The 326 dpi 720P LCD will reach a respectable 625 nits’ brightness. That said, it misses the OLED display of its more expensive siblings on features like the system-wide dark mode, which capitalizes on the deep black of OLED panels. Apple makes fantastic LCDs, and this is no exception. So unless you miss the OLED that much to justify the cost of upgrading, you won’t miss a lot with this.
iPhone 11: The Cameras
The iPhone 11 has a distinct pair of dual cameras with a performance that equally stands out. This comprises 12MP f/2.4 ultrawide and 12MP f/1.8 wide sensors, which are capable of 2X optical zoom and up to 5X digital zoom. It features improved performance even under low light. The pictures come with a default HDR mode which captures more details thanks to the improved aperture sizes in both cameras. They feel natural without looking too processed or overexposed. The 120˚ ultra-wide-angle sensor is a big improvement from the iPhone XR. It will capture more information in a single frame and works well for landscape shots without a hassle. Night mode is an excellent addition and will automatically activate in dark scenes to capture some highly detailed shots. That said, all cameras will capture 4K video at 60fps and slo-mo up to 240fps. The front camera is a 12MP f/2.2 unit with a Truedepth SL 3D sensor for FaceID. This will still capture 4K video at 60fps when asked to.
iPhone 11: The Performance
It may lack the Pro in its name, but the iPhone 11 is no slouch. It runs Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset with the third-generation neural engine, which dares you to work it. At its release, it was the most powerful chipset on the phone and was only dethroned by the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic chipset. It breezes past common tasks like loading apps, photography gameplay and other tasks like making calls and messaging. All this can be credited to Apple’s complete control of installed iOS. The iPhone 11 will upgrade to the latest iOS 15 and work with all recent devices like Airtags and Airpods Pro but not MagSafe accessories, which were introduced with the iPhone 12. The A13 Bionic chip’s power means that FaceID also got its much-needed upgrade. The field of view is improved. This chip allowed enough headroom for future performance, and you won’t regret having all that performance to spare.
iPhone 11: The Battery life
The iPhone 11 comes with a 3110mAh battery which will fast charge at 18W and reach 50% battery on 30 minutes charge plugged in. It is by no means the biggest battery in the market but all the benefits from the efficiency of the chip pay by lasting a whole day’s use on battery.
The iPhone 11 was a worthy upgrade over the iPhone XR and the general iPhone X range. The improved cameras, performance, battery and iOS make it worth consideration for a refurbished iPhone in 2022.