iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Biggest upgrades to expect

The iPhone 13 should represent a substantial upgrade for those who have been holding on to their iPhone 11. We already know that you’re going to get 5G, a faster processor, and better cameras.

But what exactly can you expect in terms of the models, design, price, and overall performance? And will it make sense to upgrade this fall after two years or so?

We’ve been tracking all of the iPhone 13 rumors closely to bring you this iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11 preview, and we’ll be keeping it up to date as we get closer to the reported September release date for Apple’s new flagships. Here’s everything you can expect from the new iPhone.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Models and prices

The iPhone 13 lineup should give you more choice than the iPhone 11, as Apple is expected to offer four models this time around: a 6.1-inch iPhone 13, a 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini, a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro and a 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. Yup, that’s the same sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup. 

The iPhone 11 series had three models in the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 mini has not proven that popular, but apparently Apple is keeping the mini model around for the iPhone 13.

The iPhone 13 will reportedly have pricing that’s relatively “on par” with the iPhone 12. That means we would get a $699 iPhone 13 mini, a $799 iPhone 13, a $999 iPhone 13 Pro and $1,099 iPhone 13 Pro Max. 

The iPhone 11 started at $699, while the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max started at $999 and $1,099 respectively.  Since then, Apple has dropped the the iPhone 11 price to $599, while the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have dropped by $100 each, at least where those two phones are still available. (Apple only sells the iPhone 11, but carriers still offer the Pro models.)

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Design and colors

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11

iPhone 13 renders (Image credit: Ian Zelbo / Twitter)

The iPhone 13 lineup should offer a similar look and feel to the iPhone 12, which means you can expect a transition from a rounded design on the iPhone 11 to a more squared off look. Some people like it, but others find that the newer chassis is less comfortable to hold and digs into your hands.

You can also expect a CeramicShield Display on the iPhone 13, which the iPhone 11 did not offer. This upgrade enables better drop resistance, though you still may want to get a case.

Based on various reports, the iPhone 13 should also offer a smaller notch on the display, which should make the screen seem more immersive. While minor, the iPhone 13 is said to offer a new diagonal camera arrangement on the back. 

Lastly, the iPhone 13 will reportedly offer some new color options. One rumor has pink being added to the mix for the regular iPhone 13. We’ve also heard that a new matte black option and possibly a bronze or orange color could be coming to the iPhone 13 Pro series. 

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Displays

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11

iPhone 13 Pro render (Image credit: Concept Creator)

The biggest iPhone 13 rumor related to the displays is that the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max will both offer a 120Hz ProMotion display. This would allow smoother scrolling, more responsive gameplay (assuming the touch sensitive rate is also improved) and better video playback for supported content.

We have not heard much about other display upgrades for the iPhone 13 lineup other than the notch shrinking on every model. Yes, we’d like to see it disappear, but the notch still needs to be there because of Face ID. 

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Cameras

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11

iPhone 13 Pro Max dummy unit (Image credit: Unbox Therapy/YouTube)

This is where we expect the most impactful upgrades from the iPhone 11. Both the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini are tipped to offer a LiDAR sensor, which aids in focusing speed. This was previously limited to the iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max. In addition, the ultra-wide lens will reportedly offer auto-focus.

The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max will reportedly offer a new 6-element ultrawide lens. The more elements in a lens, the better the image quality tends to be as a rule.

But the most exciting camera upgrades could be on the computational photography side of the things. Apple may offer a new portrait mode for video, as well as an astrophotography mode for shooting the night sky. 

What’s less clear is where Apple is going with zooms. The iPhone 11, for example, has a 5x digital zoom, while the iPhone 12 has the same. So an upgrade would be welcome. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro both had 2x optical zoom and 10x digital zoom, but the iPhone 12 Pro Max went up to 2.5x optical and 12z digital zoom. 

There have been some rumors that Apple could offer a periscope zoom lens on the iPhone 13 Pro lineup, but Apple may not offer that sort of power until the iPhone 14 or even later. 

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Performance and 5G

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11

iPhone 13 renders (Image credit: LetsGoDigital)

This is a pretty easy prediction. The iPhone 11 Pro has a pretty zippy 7nm A13 Bionic chip that offers excellent performance, and the iPhone 12 Pro upped the ante with a 5nm A14 Bionic chip that results in the fastest phone around. The iPhone 13 is expected to feature an even better A15 Bionic chip that also uses using a 5nm process.

Overall, the performance gains are not really about sure speed as much as they are machine learning, which allows the iPhone to do things like share things with a friend in iOS 15 just by saying “Share this with Sarah” while looking at a photo. The new chip should also be more efficient, which should help save on battery life. 

While the iPhone 11 was stuck without 5G, the new iPhone 13 series should offer a fast 5G modem, likely the Qualcomm X60. This modem would be able to aggregate 5G data from both mmWave and sub-6GHz bands simultaneously.

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Battery and charging

iPhone 12

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

The iPhone 11 series packed a 3,046 mAh battery, while the iPhone 11 Pro (3,046 mAh) was a bit smaller and the iPhone 11 Pro Max had the largest of the bunch (3,969 mAh).

iPhone 13 battery rumors point to the iPhone 13 mini offering a 2,406 mAh battery (bigger than the 2,227 mAh iPhone 12 mini), while the regular iPhone 13 will jump to 3,095 both for the regular and Pro model. The iPhone 13 Pro Max will reportedly have a whopping 4,352 mAh battery. 

Given the power demands of 5G, we can’t say whether the iPhone 13 phones will last longer on a charge than the iPhone 11, but they should last longer than the iPhone 12 lineup.

The iPhone 13 should also offer MagSafe wireless charging, something the iPhone 11 does’t support. This magnetic charger lets you ditch Lightning, even if it isn’t as fast as wired charging. You can also expect, just like the iPhone 12, not to find a charger in the box.

The wired charging speeds should not be that different between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13, with the former maxing out at 18W and the latter 20W. 

iPhone 13 vs iPhone 11: Outlook

Two years is not considered that long a time between iPhone upgrades these days, because phones have simply gotten so good. However, if you currently own an iPhone 11, you may want to step up to an iPhone 13 to enjoy 5G speeds, faster overall performance and upgraded cameras.

It also remains to be seen how well the iPhone 11 will run iOS 15, as sometimes complaints surface about older iPhones slowing down on newer software. We will update this comparison as we learn more about the iPhone 13 and we eventually review the new iPhones this fall. 

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