iPhone XS vs 11

iPhone XS vs 11: Both great choices

Updated on June 28, 2023

XS or 11? There is no right or wrong answer, but each has its own strengths

iPhone XS vs iPhone 11: Are they that different? (Answer: yes!)

What a difference a year can make! Though they were released within just a year of each other, the iPhone XS (September 2018) and the iPhone 11 (September 2019) definitely have some differences.

For one, the iPhone XS is slightly smaller and thinner than its newer counterpart and weighs 17 grams less, so for thinner phone enthusiasts, the XS may be the one to get.

But while the iPhone 11 may be a little less sleek than the iPhone XS, the extra bulk just means it’s got a longer-lasting battery, bigger screen, better cameras, a more powerful and efficient chip—you get the idea.

And though these phones may not be the latest and trendiest release from Apple, you’ll still be getting an amazing smartphone, just without the hefty price tag of a brand-new iPhone.

To help you decide between iPhone XS vs iPhone 11, we’ve laid out the differences between these two phones so you can feel great, no matter which one you choose.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS: Overview

Deciding on an iPhone ultimately comes down to what you’re looking for and what kind of phone user you are.

If you’re crazy about apps, streaming videos for hours, gaming, and snapping stellar photos, the iPhone 11 is the phone for you.

On the other hand, if you’re a more basic phone user and want something a little more portable, the iPhone XS might be a better bet.

The most important thing when deciding on an iPhone is to know what you’re looking for. Not sure? That’s why we’re here!

When comparing the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS, we’ll want to look at a few things, namely performance, display, camera quality, battery life, body, and durability.

Want even more info? Compare iPhones on our phone comparison app! This produces fun & informative spider charts to help you compare iPhones side by side! Here's our specs comparison of the iPhone XS vs 11.


As mentioned, the iPhone XS is a few millimeters smaller and thinner than the iPhone 11.

Understandably so, the iPhone XS weighs a little less too, so if a slim, lighter-weight phone is a must-have, the XS should be your go-to.

However, if you prefer a large phone like many people out there, you’ll want to go with the iPhone 11, which is perfect for watching videos, gaming, and simply enjoying content on a larger device.

If color is a factor in your iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS decision, consider that the iPhone 11 is available in eye-catching purple, yellow, green, and red colors as well as black and white, while the iPhone XS is available in space grey, gold, or silver.

The XS is the more classic, modern-looking option here, while the iPhone 11 is vibrant and fun—it’s all about personal preference.


Durability is a major factor in the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS comparison, and with it comes design.

Crafted from stainless steel, the iPhone XS is the sleeker, more modern-looking option, but the iPhone 11 is made from aerospace-grade aluminum, meaning it is the much more durable option of the two. If you tend to drop your phone like it’s hot, you’ll want to go with the iPhone 11 (and either way, buy a case!).

The iPhone 11 and the XS both have water-resistance of up to a depth of 2 meters for 30 minutes, which is an upgrade from the iPhone X resistance of 1 meter for 30 minutes.

All in all, however, in terms of durability, the iPhone 11 is the clear winner.


The screen and display may be where the iPhone XS takes the cake in the iPhone XS vs iPhone 11 debate, at least on paper.

The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch diagonal super retina HD OLED display that technically has a higher pixel density and sharper resolution than the 11, which means you get a bigger range of deeper, more vibrant colors.

The iPhone 11, on the other hand, has a 6.1 diagonal liquid retina HD LCD display, which displays slightly more muted colors.

The difference, while hard to detect side-by-side except when looking at dark images with subtle light details, is something to note. You won’t notice a difference from one phone to another in day-to-day use, however.

Another thing to note in the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS comparison is that the iPhone 11 features Haptic Touch, as opposed to the 3D Touch of the XS. 3D Touch lets your iPhone respond differently depending upon how hard you press on the screen, while Haptic Touch requires you to press longer (not harder) on an item on your screen. Either one is a cool feature, it just depends on personal preference.

Aside from some technical aspects of the display, the iPhone 11 still beats the XS for being an all-around better phone. Why’s that? Read on!

Battery Life

When it comes to battery life, the iPhone 11 has the iPhone XS beat.

Due to its larger battery size and energy-efficient A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone 11 boasts 17 hours of video playback versus the 14 hours the iPhone XS offers, and 65 hours of audio playback vs 60 hours of the iPhone XS.

In the iPhone XS vs iPhone 11 debate, the iPhone 11 is the clear winner in terms of battery life; however, along with a larger battery comes a larger, bulkier phone, so keep this in mind.

If you prefer a smaller and lighter phone, and if you have regular access to electric outlets, the iPhone XS may be the better option for you.

Refurbished devices sold on Back Market always have at least 80% maximum charge capacity. Want 100%?


When comparing the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS in terms of camera performance, the iPhone 11 is the uncontested winner due to some mega-upgrades from Apple.

Both have dual-lens 12-megapixel rear cameras, but the 12-megapixel front-facing camera in the iPhone 11 beats the 7-megapixel camera of the iPhone XS.

Interestingly, the telephoto lens of the iPhone XS was swapped out in favor of an ultra-wide lens in the iPhone 11, meaning users can capture wide-angle, sweeping vistas or captivating portraits with ease.

While some may miss the 2x telephoto zoom of the XS, the iPhone 11 has a 2x optical zoom-out.

And if telephoto zoom is really your thing, you can always go for the iPhone XS, though the iPhone 11 has a better camera set up across the board, especially because it features Night mode, Apple’s unrivaled computational photography system that captures low-light images with incredibly clear, sharp detail.

The iPhone XS will still capture passable low-light photos, but they will be grainier and contain more digital artifacts. The iPhone 11 also comes equipped with Deep Fusion, which improves photo quality and allows for better, sharper shots in medium-light settings.

Both phones feature True Tone mode, but the one in the iPhone 11 has been upgraded to be brighter. Both phones also feature portrait mode with bokeh (background blur) and Depth Control.


One of the biggest differences between the iPhone XS vs iPhone 11 is their chip. The iPhone XS is equipped with an A12 Bionic chip, while the iPhone 11 contains the newer A13 Bionic.

This chip upgrade translates into slightly better performance in games or demanding applications. But during everyday use—like casually browsing the web—we doubt you’ll notice a difference.

Another thing to consider when comparing the iPhone XS vs iPhone 11 is storage. The iPhone 11 is available in 64, 128 and 256 GB storage options, while the iPhone XS is available in 64, 256 and 512 GB versions.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS: Final verdict

True story: Whether you buy an iPhone 11 or iPhone XS, you’ll be getting a great phone.

While the iPhone XS definitely has its benefits (smaller, sleeker package, telephoto zoom), we think that most people will probably find the iPhone 11 to be a better fit for their needs.

With its long battery life, energy-efficient A13 Bionic chip, superior durability, better camera technology, and a broader choice of color options, the iPhone 11 is the all-around better choice.

More relevant iPhone 11 comparisons on our comparison app

Want to see how the iPhone 11 stacks up against other popular iPhone models? You don't have to look far to find out, here are some links to our phone comparison app that you may find of interest to you :D

And if you want more than just raw specs, don't forget to scroll to the bottom of each comparison to see if our editors left any notes on which device they would prefer!

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Written by Miguel Garza

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