iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone XS: Is iPhone 11 Pro really worth the upgrade?

With the release of iPhone 11 Pro, Apple finally has a successor to iPhone XS. So if you’re in the market for a new phone and are having trouble deciding between the two, keep reading. This article will go over some of the differences between the models and hopefully provide some answers for you — whether you’re considering upgrading from iPhone XS to iPhone 11, or you’re using an earlier iPhone and weighing your options.

iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone XS: What has changed?

iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro share a lot of similarities, but there have been many minor upgrades. For example, iPhone XS has a stainless steel frame with a glass back, while iPhone 11 Pro is designed with the same stainless steel frame but with textured matte glass on the back. Other improvements include the slightly brighter Super Retina XDR display in iPhone 11 Pro versus the Super Retina HD display in iPhone XS.

All this is not to say the iPhone 11 Pro only saw minor improvements over its predecessor. iPhone 11 Pro also features:

  • An upgraded 12-megapixel camera
  • A triple-lens rear camera
  • An A13 Bionic chip processor
  • Improved battery life 
  • New touch gestures

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iPhone XS vs. iPhone 11 Pro: The camera

iPhone 11 Pro features upgrades for its front and rear cameras alike. The front camera on iPhone XS is only 7 megapixels, while the camera on iPhone 11 Pro is now 12 megapixels and has the ability to record videos in slow motion.

The rear camera on iPhone XS has two lenses — a telephoto and a wide-angle lens — while iPhone 11 Pro has both of those and an additional ultra-wide lens, so you can capture an even wider photo without having to move back any further.

In addition to the new hardware specs, iPhone 11 Pro’s camera has some new software features to help you step up your photography game. The big software upgrade for iPhone 11 Pro is Night mode, which uses a longer exposure to brighten up pictures taken in extreme low-light conditions.

iPhone XS vs. iPhone 11 Pro: Battery and charging

One of the areas where iPhone XS underperformed was with its battery life. iPhone XS is said to get 20 hours of talk time, but when it comes to web surfing, some websites have claimed that this phone was lucky to get 10 hours. But that has all changed with iPhone 11 Pro. Apple claims that the new phone’s battery will last up to 4 hours longer than the iPhone XS, which has proven to be the case.

Even though iPhone XS is fast-charging capable, Apple has doubled down on its efforts to make this feature a standard with iPhone 11 Pro. The new phone comes with a USB-C fast-charging 18w adapter included, which is a nice bonus for people who are using Macs that only have USB-C ports. The new adapters allow iPhone 11 Pro to charge from 0 to 50% in about 30 minutes.

iPhone 11 Pro vs. iPhone XS: The display

While both models are identical in screen size and resolution, the display on iPhone 11 Pro has gotten a nice upgrade. Apple is calling it a Super Retina XDR display, which is brighter and has a higher contrast ratio than the Super Retina HD display on iPhone XS. This means the screen on iPhone 11 Pro boasts a sharper, more vibrant picture than its predecessor.

Another feature of the display on iPhone 11 Pro is Haptic Touch. Even though this is not an entirely new feature, it’s now the standard across all iPhone 11 models. iPhone XS had a similar feature, 3D Touch, which triggered a quick action menu when you added pressure to your taps. The difference with Haptic Touch is that instead of measuring the pressure of the tap, it measures the length of time you press — not a huge change in terms of how you use the phone, but significant nonetheless, since Apple is replacing 3D Touch across all of their devices.

Should you stick with iPhone XS or upgrade to iPhone 11 Pro?

If taking pictures and videos with your iPhone is your primary concern, then yes, you should absolutely upgrade from your iPhone XS to iPhone 11 Pro. That said, if the camera is just a cherry on top for you, you might be able to sit this model out. There just aren’t enough performance upgrades to differentiate iPhone 11 Pro from its predecessor.

If you’re in a position to upgrade your iPhone and you’re trying to decide between iPhone XS and iPhone 11 Pro, you can’t go wrong with either. Both are great phones. iPhone 11 Pro wins with the camera and impressive battery, but iPhone XS beats it with the price and comparable performance specs.

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