How to Decide between the iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro & 11

What’s new, what’s different, and what’s best: let’s compare the iPhone 11 vs. the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 pro max. We’ll take a look at what distinguishes the models from the iPhone X series, compare how the three 11 series models are different from each other, and finally help you choose the best one to garnish your pocket.


Related: Hands on with the iPhone 11 Pro

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How to Decide between the iPhone 11 Pro Max, 11 Pro & 11

What's In This Article

iPhone 11 Models: What’s New with iPhone 11

 iphone 11 models 1: an iPhone 11 in rediPhone 11 models 2: An iPhone 11 Pro in space grayiphone 11 models 3: an iPhone 11 Pro Max in space gray

Above, from left to right: iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

If you’ve been following the evolution of the iPhone, then you’ll see that the iPhone 11 as another installment along the same design aesthetics as the iPhone X. That means it’s still got a ‘bite’ at the top and an otherwise edge to edge screen with no buttons on the face.

The iPhone 11 series offers some markable improvements over the iPhone X series. If you’re looking for the latest and greatest, all of the 11s are an upgrade.

Processing Power: All three iPhone 11s have the A13 Bionic processor, which Apple claims is 20% faster while using 30% to 40% less power than the A12 Bionic chip in the iPhone X. The A13’s integrated graphics processing is, Apple claims, 20% faster while using 40% less power. That means the iPhone 11 series will be crisper, more responsive, and last longer on a charge. The faster processor also allows the 11 series to feature a beautiful low-light photography mode, which, in my opinion, is worth the ticket price. Imagine snapping up all those evening and night photo opportunities lit by streetlamps or Christmas lights!

Longer Lasting: Speaking of lasting longer on a charge, the 11s all boast more battery life than their X series counterparts. 

  • iPhone 11: 1 hour longer than iPhone XR
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 4 hours longer than iPhone XS
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 5 hours longer than iPhone XS Max

More storage: all three of the iPhone 11s start at 64 gigs of memory, with models available up to 128 and 256 gigs for the iPhone 11, and 256 or 512 for the Pro and Pro Max.

Connection speeds: the cellular and Wi-Fi connections are improved, with the 11 featuring “gigabit class” speeds, and the Pros boasting “Gigabit Class LTE” of up to 1.6Gbps.

The U1 location-tracking and wireless chip: Apple says this chip will supply increased reliability for AirDrop and more precision for the Find My app, making it easier to locate a lost iPhone or AirPod.

Body Color selection: The iPhone 11 has two new colors compared to the XR. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have four new colors.

So if you go with an iPhone 11, you’re getting a faster, longer-lasting, better-connected phone. But how do you decide which of the 11 series to buy?

iPhone 11 Comparison: What’s Different Between the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max

There are a plethora of differences between the iPhone 11 and its two Pro siblings. The most noticeable is the extra camera on the Pros, but there’re more.

What Pro Means in an iPhone

First, the camera: the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max both sport three cameras—the familiar wide-angle (26mm), the ‘telephoto’ (52mm), and the new ultra-wide-angle (12mm—highly noticeable on the back of the phone. The new ultra-wide-angle view lets you take in impressive landscapes and make your subject feel epic. The iPhone 11 has two lenses: the wide-angle and the ‘telephoto.’

What the body is made of: The 11 Pro and Pro Max are made of stainless steel and matte textured glass. The 11 is made of aluminum and glass. The difference probably won’t make up your mind in the decision. Still, it is pretty noticeable, at least until you shove the iPhone into a case.

Then the display: The Pro and Pro Max both feature a new generation of OLED display technology that is comparable with the displays on Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and Note10. The displays can shine brighter (literally) than those on the Xs and Xs Max, which allows the more vivid display of HDR content and a more pleasing contrast overall. Those OLED displays can, if you use dark mode, use up radically less power than the LCD screen on the iPhone 11. That cheaper iPhone 11, by contrast, is still using the same LCD screen as the older iPhone XR, with a size of 6.1” and resolution of 1792 x 828.

iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro Max: The Battle of the Pros

The big difference between the Pro and Pro Max is the screen size. The Pro is 5.8” with a resolution of 2436 x 1125 pixels. The Pro Max 6.5” and resolution of 2688 x 1242 pixels. The Pro Max also boasts slightly improved battery life over the Pro. 

iPhone 11 Differences: What’s Best

For screen size: the iPhone 11 Pro Max has, as the name suggests, the biggest.

For battery: the iPhone 11 Pro Max wins again.

For storage: the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are tied with up to 512 GB of internal storage.

For photography: the iPhone 11 Pro and the iPhone 11 Pro Max both sport a three-camera setup, including a wide-angle, a telephoto, and a standard camera. 

For weight: the iPhone 11 Pro weighs less than the Pro Max; 6.63 ounces and 7.97 ounces, respectively. No surprise there. What might surprise you is that the 11 Pro weighs less than the cheaper iPhone 11, which is 6.84 ounces.

For your budget: the iPhone 11 costs (at writing) a minimum of 699$ for the 64 GB model, compared to 999$ and 1099$ for the Pro and Pro Max.

There you have it. If you still need to know more about the iPhone 11, check out our podcast episode: Hands on with the iPhone 11 Pro.

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Author Details

Cullen Thomas's picture

Author Details

Cullen Thomas

Cullen Thomas is a Writer and Producer at iPhone Life, creating tips and guides to help users unlock the full potential of their iOS and iPhone. In addition to writing countless tip-of-the-day articles and many detailed guides, Cullen has spent nine years as an instructor in media and communications at Maharishi University, lecturing on technical and artistic subjects ranging from camera and audio hardware to story-plotting to how to manage a film crew. Cullen answers questions daily about iPhones and iOS as part of the Ask an Editor insider service, and designs curriculum for iPhone Life’s online classes. As a frequent contributor to iPhone Life magazine and occasional guest on the iPhone Life podcast, Cullen likes to talk about security and privacy news, tech, gadgets, and apps, even if nobody asked.

Cullen holds a master’s degree in Cinematic Arts from the David Lynch School of Cinematic Arts. Cullen also holds two Bachelor’s degrees from Maharishi University, one in literature with an emphasis in writing and the other in Communications and Media. Cullen’s short fiction has been featured in anthologies from Amphibian Press and TANSTAAFL, and Cullen co-owns a game design company, Thoughtspike games, which builds thought-provoking puzzle games. Cullen is a sci-fi author, a coffee connoisseur, and an iPhone expert.