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Should You Buy the iPhone 11 in 2024?

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Should you buy Apple’s iPhone 11 in 2024? The iPhone 11 is a suitable choice if that’s all your budget allows, but there are reasons to avoid buying the iPhone 11 this year.

The iPhone 11 was first announced in the fall of 2019, replacing the iPhone XR. Since then, its been replaced several times over by newer models like the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, and most recently, the iPhone 14.

Apple doesn’t sell new iPhone 11 models, but you can find a refurbished iPhone 11 at countless retailers, auction sites, and wireless providers.

Given the steep price point of newer devices like Apple’s iPhone 14, the iPhone 11 may have caught your eye in your hunt for a new device.

Why You Should Buy the iPhone 11 in 2024

Here are some of the best reasons to buy an iPhone 11 in 2024. Everyone’s situation is different, but these should apply to most people shopping for a new device.

Price & Value

One of the main pros of buying an iPhone 11 in 2024 is the cost. It’s cheap.

iPhone 11 price

Given that it’s older than Apple’s newest iPhone models, the price is naturally much lower than more up-to-date iPhones. If you shop around, you should able to find it for around $300.

This makes the iPhone 11 an attractive option for those of you with tight budgets who want to stay in, or get into, Apple’s ecosystem.

Performance

The iPhone 11 is powered by Apple’s A13 Bionic chip. It’s not the company’s best processor, but it’s holding up relatively well in 2024.

We’ve been using iOS 17 on the iPhone 11 since launch and it performs at a relatively high level. We’ve seen occasional lag and slow down, but nothing that will give you buyers remorse.

It stumbles a bit in areas like gaming and watching/streaming content. Not because they’re terrible experiences on the iPhone 11, but because newer iPhones have improved processors and screen refresh rates.

That being said, if you don’t care about those things and simply want a phone that is decently fast for answering email, using apps, and doing a bit of work, the iPhone 11’s performance should suit you just fine.

If you want to get deeper into the nuts and bolts, check out AnandTech’s overview of the iPhone 11’s processor, GPU, and more.

Longevity

If you plan on keeping your next smartphone for a while, the iPhone 11 is certainly an option because software support won’t end anytime soon.

Apple typically keeps its iPhones upgraded with new operating systems for four to five years. The iPhone 11 started on iOS 13, is now on iOS 17, and will get upgraded to iOS 18 later this year.

While the iPhone 11 won’t get every new feature Apple releases over the next few years, it will get a lot of them. It will also get upgraded with the latest bug fixes and, more importantly, the latest security patches from Apple’s engineers.

In fact, even when Apple cuts the iPhone 11 off from its latest and greatest iOS operating system, you can expect Apple to continue to roll out security patches for an additional year or more.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy the iPhone 11 in 2024

There are also some great reasons to pass on the iPhone 11 and buy a newer model like the iPhone 12, iPhone 13, or even the iPhone 14 instead.

Battery Life

As we mentioned earlier, newer iPhone models benefit from more efficient processors and this results in better speeds, efficiency, and longer battery life. While the iPhone 11 has decent enough battery life, it won’t compare to the endurance of newer iPhone models.

Cameras

Cameras are another area where the iPhone 11 simply can’t compare to newer iPhones.

iPhone 11 camera

The iPhone 11 features a dual 12MP camera setup which, back in 2019, was good enough for a lot of people. As you’d might expect, camera technology has come a long way since then and Apple’s made hardware and software improvements that in all honesty make the iPhone 11’s camera setup look, well, bad.

Improvements on newer iPhone models include better image stabilization for cleaner photos and videos as well as better low-light capture. If you like to take photos and/or videos at night, you’ll probably want to go with a newer model.

Missing Features

The iPhone 11 also misses some key features that newer iPhones have on board. Many of these features are software-related as Apple keeps some software enhancements exclusive to newer models due to hardware limitations on older iPhone models.

The iPhone 11 is also LTE-only which means unlike the iPhone 12 and newer iPhone models, it doesn’t have 5G connectivity. That might be a deal-breaker for some of you, especially those who stream a lot of content using cellular data.

The iPhone 12 also officially supports Apple’s MagSafe wireless charger while the iPhone 11 does not.

iPhone 12 is Cheap & Better

Overall, the iPhone 11 is a decent value buy in 2024, but if you can afford it, we recommend spending a bit more on an iPhone 12 or perhaps even an iPhone 13.

While the iPhone 11 is still a capable device with good-enough performance and ongoing software support, newer models like the iPhone 12 offer improved camera technology, better battery life, and additional features (MagSafe support, 5G, more durable design) that could make your overall experience much better.

Again, a refurbished iPhone 11 is right around $300 at Amazon while the iPhone 12 costs around $390. For many of you, that extra $90 will be money well spent.

9 Reasons to Wait for the iPhone 16 & 8 Reasons Not To

Wait for Performance Improvements

Wait for Performance Improvements

The iPhone 16 series should come equipped with a new processor (A18), but performance improvements will likely go beyond that.

According to Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple might have support for Wi-Fi 7 which the Wi-Fi Alliance recently announced. 

Kuo's information has been backed up by Haitong International Securities analyst Jeff Pu.

That being said, Pu believes the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will come with support for Wi-Fi 6E which is currently limited to the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

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Pu claims the base iPhone 16 models, presumably called iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus, will come with Apple's A18 chip and 8GB of RAM while the higher-end models would come with an A18 Pro processor. He's reiterated this stance in newer notes.

This has been backed up by a report from a user on Weibo who says the lower-end models will come with the first Apple chip specifically designed for the standard models. 

This is an interesting development because it means the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus would skip the company's A17 chip. 

A private user on X/Twitter has released technical information about chips for unreleased Apple products and said information also suggests all four iPhone 16 models will utilize an A18 processor. 

Early iOS 18 code, seen by MacRumors, hints at this being the case.  

Taiwanese publication Economic Daily News says Apple's upcoming A18 and M4 chips will feature an upgraded Neural Engine with more cores. This should improve the devices AI learning capabilities. 

Bloomberg's Mark Gurman also says Apple's "planning to make AI-focused upgrades to this year’s iPhone processor

Jeff Pu also says the iPhone 16 Pro and iPhone 16 Pro Max will sport Qualcomm's new Snapdragon X75 modem. This should lead to faster, and more efficient, 5G connectivity.

Pu believes the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Plus will keep the Snapdragon X70 modem from Apple's iPhone 15 lineup. 

Qualcomm announced it extended its modem license with Apple through March 2027 which means we'll see Qualcomm modems, and not in-house Apple modems, appear on the iPhone 16, iPhone 17, and iPhone 18 at the very least.

On top of all that, we've also heard the iPhone 16's OLED display might be more power efficient thanks to new material Samsung's developing for Apple.

Naver user "yeux1122" claims the iPhone 16 Pro Max could feature the longest-ever battery life on an iPhone.

Alleged iPhone 16 details have highlighted the potential size of the batteries on board the phones and here's what it may look like:

  • iPhone 16: 3561mAh
  • iPhone 16 Plus: 4006mAh
  • iPhone 16 Pro: 3355mAh
  • iPhone 16 Pro Max: 4676mAh

If this is true, every iPhone 16 model except the iPhone 16 Plus will carry a larger battery. 

Another leaker, Instant Digital, says the iPhone 16 Pro's display might be up to 20% brighter for SDR content. Specifically, they say the display will offer 1,200 nits. HDR brightness will evidently stay at 1,600 nits.

The iPhone's peak brightness for typical SDR content has been stuck at 1,000 nits since the iPhone 13 Pro's release back in 2021.

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