iPhone 11 Vs iPhone XS: Performance, Camera, Design & Display

Ramish Zafar

After Apple upgraded the iPhone this week, the company was quick to remove the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max from its website. This isn't surprising, despite the fact that until last year, the iPhones XS were Apple's ''most advanced iPhones, ever". The Cupertino tech giant needs its new models to sell if it's to retain revenues, and having two excellent smartphones competing with the iPhone 11 doesn't serve this strategy particularly well.

But while Apple might have removed the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max from its website, this doesn't mean that you can't lay your hands one. And if you're confused between the iPhone 11 (successor to the iPhone XR) and the iPhone XS, you've come to the right place. Take a look below for more details.

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iPhone 11 Vs iPhone XS - Processor, RAM & Storage:

Starting out from the processor, it's clear that the iPhone 11 has the better chip. Apple's A13 features 8.5 billion transistors and is faster all around. It's based on TSMC's N7+ node, (that we're assuming is similar to the mythical N7 'Pro' unless more details surface) which uses EUV for certain layers. The N7+ makes modest gains over the N7, which saw dramatic area reduction (37%) and power efficiency (40%) over its predecessor, the 10nm node. TSMC's N7+, on the other hand, provides 20% density and 10% power efficiencies over the N7. These aren't much when looking at previous gains, but the fab's true node upgrade after the jump from 10nm to 7nm will be on 5nm.

Whew. That's enough technical details for a piece that's intended to compare the two smartphones and not their processors. To sum it up, the iPhone 11 has the better processor not only because of the aforementioned details but also because Apple's introduced better power management features on it. Additionally, the A13's CPU will share some of the NPU's neural workload, and for a phone with a dual-rear-camera setup, this will work wonders.

The A13's 1.5 billion transistor gain over the A12 will provide the chip with more hardware to work with too, and a 20% performance gain for the CPU, GPU and NPU will definitely translate into better real-world usage. Apple's latest mobile chip is also power-efficient over its predecessor, and this, when combined with what we believe (and what's rumored) to be a larger battery on the iPhone 11, will result in longer battery life.

Apple's official figure states that the iPhone 11 will have an hour more of battery life over the iPhone XR. A report by Steve Hemmerstoffer states that the iPhone 11 has 4GB RAM and a 3110mAh battery. The iPhone XS, on the other hand, is powered by a 2658mAh battery pack and 4GB RAM. Of course, since these are rumored specs, don't form concrete conclusions based on them, and if RAM matters to you, then hold off on your purchase until the iPhone 11 goes through a teardown.

Our personal opinion is that Apple will keep RAM 4GB on the iPhone 11 since the phone will have less sensory input to work with. Finally, our rough estimates based on Apple's numbers suggest that the iPhone 11 should provide you with 16 hours of average battery usage. This will, of course, depend on your interaction. The iPhone 11 isn't available with 512GB storage, and instead, you'll have the option to get a device with 64GB, 128GB or 256GB. The iPhone XS, on the other hand, can be scouted in 64GB, 256GB or 512GB.

iPhone 11 rear camera

iPhone 11 Vs iPhone XS - Camera & Display:

Since the iPhone 11 succeeds the iPhone XR, its rear camera is an upgrade in the strictest form. However, when we compare the device to the iPhone XS, we find out that despite the fact that both smartphones have a dual-rear-camera setup, they've got different lenses. Additionally, Apple's small yet highly critical upgrades on the A13 enable the iPhone 11 to do a lot more with the data input from the smartphone's camera sensors.

The iPhone 11, like the iPhone 11 Pro, has a feature dubbed by Apple as Deep Fusion. Deep Fusion takes photographic computations to an entirely new level. For the first time, the iPhones' Neural Engine will perform these computations and analyze 24 million pixels individually in one second to optimize the image for noise, texture, color accuracy and other image quality parameters.

Moving towards the specs, the iPhone 11 has an ultra-wide-angle and wide-angle lenses present in its rear camera setup. The wide-angle lens has a 12MP resolution, 26mm focal length and f/1.8 aperture width and six elements. The ultra-wide-angle lens has a 12MP resolution, 13mm focal length, five lens elements and a 120° field-of-view. Additionally, only the wide-angle lens has phase detection. The iPhone 11 also features Night Mode, which uses multiple images captured at different shutter speeds to optimize the end product for the total light captured. Apple's 2019 smartphone also adds High-Key mono for portrait lighting effects.

iPhone 11: iPhone XS:
Ultra-wide: 12MP, f/2.4, 13mm N/A
Wide: 12MP, f/1.8, 26mm 12MP, f/1.8, 26mm
Telephoto: N/A 12MP, f/2.4, 52mm
Night Mode: Yes. No.
Zoom: 2x Optical, 5x Digital 2x Optical, 10x Digital
Video: 4K @ 24, 30 & 60fps 4K @ 24, 30, 60fps
1080p @ 30, 60, 120, 240fps 1080p @ 30, 60, 120, 240fps
720p @ 30fps 720p @ 30fps
2x Optical zoom out, 3x Digital 2x Optical, 6x Digital
Audio Zoom. No Audio Zoom.
Front: 12MP, f/2.2 7MP, f/2.2
4K @ 24, 30, 60fps No 4K.
1080p @ 30, 60, 120fps 1080p @ 30, 60fps

Moving towards the iPhone XS, it's got the same side angle sensor as the iPhone 11. However, instead of an ultra-wide lens, the smartphone features a telephoto lens with 12MP resolution, f/2.4 aperture and 52mm focal length. The iPhone 11 and iPhone XS have similar optical zooming despite the latter having a telephoto lens. But, this lens' presence allows the iPhone XS to go as far up as 10x digital zoom. This is because the iPhone XS uses data from the telephoto lens once zoom is activated, and this data is of higher quality than the one fed by the wide-angle lens, as Phil Schiller explained during the iPhone 7 launch keynote.

The iPhone 11 has the better front camera sensor, which brings 4K video recording to the smartphone and bringing it on par and exceeding the Galaxy Note 10+ front camera recording. Additionally, the iPhone 11's front camera can also 1080p at 120fps, which will prove a godsend to selfie lovers.  Finally, both devices let you take 8MP photos while recording 4K video but only the iPhone XS has dual optical image stabilization. But, only the iPhone 11's wide-angle lens has 100% focus pixels.

iPhone 11: iPhone XS:
Diagonal: 6.1" 5.8"
Resolution: 1792x828; 326ppi 2436x1125; 458ppi
Brightness: 625 nits 625 nits
Contrast Ratio: 1400:1 1,000,000:1
True Tone: Yes Yes
Color Gamut: DCI-P3 DCI-P3
Dolby Vision: Yes No Yes
HDR 10: Yes No* Yes

While we didn't include a display comparison on our piece on the Note 10+ vs iPhone 11 Pro Max, the smartphone pair being compared today necessitates the inclusion. The iPhone 11 makes important display upgrades that are intended to bring almost completely at level with what the iPhone XS offers. The primary difference between the two smartphones' display is their manufacturing material. While the iPhone XS features Samsung's custom-made LT2 display material, the iPhone 11 features an LCD panel from a hitherto unknown display manufacturer.

This difference results in a higher contrast ratio for the iPhone XS. A contrast ratio is a difference between the brightest white and the deepest black on a display, and we're uncertain whether the values provided by Apple are for dynamic or for static contrast ratio, with a dynamic contrast ratio overstating the value. A reading of 1400:1 means that the brightest white is 1400 times brighter than the darkest black, and an OLED display has the better reading due to its black pixels being turned off when producing black.

Apart from this, both the iPhone 11 and iPhone XS can display colors in the DCI-P3, and refresh touch input at 120Hz.

iPhone 11 True Depth

iPhone 11 Vs iPhone XS - Design, Build & Conclusion:

The iPhone 11 measures 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm while the iPhone XS comes in at 143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7 mm, making the latter more compact and easy to hold in one hand. Additionally, while both have a glass back, the iPhone 11 has an aluminum frame and the iPhone XS a much more premium stainless steel frame. The iPhone XS, belonging to a more premium class of Apple gadgets comes in three colors. These are Space Gray, Silver and Gold. On the other hand, the iPhone 11, designed to stand out from the iPhones 11 Pro is available in Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red and White.

Design-wise, there isn't much that's different between the two gadgets. If you're irked by thick screen borders, we urge you to decide which phone suits you better by taking a look at them in real-life. The only major difference between the two, aside from their dimensions, is the square vs oval rear camera housing. Therefore, if you like a sturdier, 'pro-looking' look, go for the iPhone 11. However, if you're in the market for a sleeker device, give the iPhone XS a chance.

All in all, raw computing and neural performance are better suited to the iPhone 11, but the iPhone XS has a better display. Additionally, if you love to zoom in for images, the iPhone XS is the device for you, but if you like taking large shots, then the iPhone 11's ultra-wide-angle lens is bound to help you out. Finally, the iPhone 11 should have a longer battery life than the iPhone XS.

Wondering how the iPhone 11 stacks against the iPhone XR? Head on here!

*the iPhone XS, therefore, has a better display.

Thoughts? Let us know what you think in the comments section below and stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the latest.

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