Apple iPhone 11 deals explained
By Dan Howdle | Thursday, October 3rd 2019
In this guide
- Why buy an iPhone 11?
- Why buy an iPhone 11 Pro?
- How to get a good deal on an iPhone 11
- Which providers offer iPhone 11 deals?
- What phones are similar to the iPhone 11?
- Frequently asked questions
Another year, another iPhone. Each time Apple launches another numbered update to its smartphone brand, the questions are always the same: What does it do that's new? And is it worth upgrading?
Without passing judgment – there are plenty of reviews out there if you're looking – this page aims to break down in simple terms what makes the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro special. It is then for you to decide whether or not this new phone is worth it.
Why buy an iPhone 11?
With iPhone 11 and it's better-specced sister phone the iPhone 11 Pro, we would say 80% of the focus (excuse the pun) is on photography. And while the cameras on these new iPhones are indeed excellent, we understand and respect the fact that camera upgrades may not be enough to tempt many.
Here's what's touted on the iPhone 11, with the additional features of the iPhone 11 Pro outlined directly after.
- Dual camera system – Most high-end phones have two cameras or more these days. And in all honesty, 2017 and 2018's iPhone X and various offspring all had two cameras. These iPhone 11 cameras are allegedly superior to their predecessors, but the main upgrades here are in the software
- Take ultra-wide photos – When you take a photo, your iPhone 11 will take it with both cameras, meaning you can zoom out or a photo you've already taken, as well as zoom in. You can also use the ultra-wide camera instead of taking steps backwards to incorporate more of the scene in front of you. Very handy for cliff-edge huddles
- Take night time photos – The verdict is in and the iPhone 11 beats all comers when taking photos in low light. This is a significant upgrade over not just the iPhone X, but also any other competing phone
- Record 4K video – 4K resolution (3840x2160 pixels) can make a difference in a few specialised cases. Namely projecting a cinema-screen sized image. Beyond that, it's more resolution than you probably need. File this under 'because they can' rather than 'because you need it'
- Smart HDR for portraits – Again, HDR is a bit of a gimmick when it comes to phones. HDR, or high dynamic range, refers to the difference between the brightest whites and the blackest blacks in an image. With HDR that difference is greater than SDR (standard dynamic range). Here, Apple is applying the principles of HDR to give your portrait photos more 'pop' (more contrast), but without 'blowing out' the highlights
- Slow mo selfies – You can now take selfies that offer a short, slow-motion clip instead of a static picture – Apple is calling these 'slowfies'. Very useful for… erm. Nope, you got us
- Wide choice of colours – You get a choice of six colours for your handset. Black, white, purple, yellow, red and what Apples calls 'green' but which is in fact more an aquamarine/turquoise in our opinion
- Longer battery life – You'll get an extra hour or so battery in a single charge with the iPhone 11, compared to the iPhone X. However, this is not down to a better battery, but rather down to more efficient chips meaning lower power consumption
- Faster charging – Apple promotes a 'fast-charge' capability, but doesn't go into any detail. Probably the same as last year's models, to be fair
- Water resistant to two metres – That's a full metre deeper than you could comfortably dunk last year's iPhone XR. Very useful for users with extremely deep toilets
- Liquid Retina LCD screen – The iPhone 11 screen is an LED model with 326ppi resolution and peak brightness of 625 nits. That's high resolution and bright for those not familiar with the measurements. The iPhone 11 Pro has an OLED screen, which is even brighter and has better contrast, but the iPhone 11 screen is no slouch
- Faster processor – Apple is calling this the fastest processor in any phone in the world, and it's not wrong. It is absolutely stellar, allowing for operation that's immediate, responsive and smooth
Why buy an iPhone 11 Pro?
You could almost say that the more expensive, 'premium' iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max have all of the above, so let's just focus here on what is better and what is different. Why you are paying more money for the Pro, basically.
- Choice of two screen sizes – As well as the iPhone 11 Pro, which offers the same 5.8" screen size as the standard iPhone 11, you also have the option – at extra cost – of plumping for the iPhone 11 Pro Max, whose screen size gets bumped up to 6.5". That's a big phone
- Additional telephoto camera – You'll also find and additional camera on the back of the iPhone 11 Pro that you won't find on the standard iPhone 11. This is a telephoto lens that allows for optical zooming when taking photos of distant subjects
- Super Retina XDR display – This OLED version of the iPhone 11 screen can only be found on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. It is brighter, with a peak brightness of 1290 nits when playing back certain HDR content (up to 902 nits for standard usage)
- Up to five additional hours of battery life – Around 4 hours of additional battery life over last year's models can be found on the iPhone 11 Pro, with up to five additional hours credited to the iPhone 11 Pro Max
How to get a good deal on an iPhone 11
As with any new handset deal, there are a few things you should be looking out for and thinking about. We're going to explain these aspects here to add clarity. Once you have a firm idea of what you're looking at, you can use this information to help you sort through the iPhone 11 deals on this page.
- Contract length – The shorter this is, the more you will have to pay each month. Remember, with handset deals you are paying off ownership of here what is a very expensive phone in instalments. That may mean you'll be tempted to go for the longest contract you can find, but bear in mind that with long contract deals you'll also usually be paying more interest – you'll pay more in the long run. 24 months is usually the sweet spot. By then you will own the phone and have the option to upgrade
- Data – Right now, the UK's four network providers – Three, O2, Vodafone and EE – are all pushing for unlimited 4G data plans. Soon, that is all you're going to be able to get, with other providers who operate on those networks following suit. Some already have. That doesn't mean you should necessarily opt for unlimited data right now, but it certainly does make this question easier to answer
- Texts and calls – Most mobile deals offer unlimited texts and minutes these days. Limits here are somewhat moot
- Upfront cost – This is important. You can choose to pay a lot, a little, or nothing upfront. You could of course even buy the handset outright. Bear in mind the more you pay upfront, the less your monthly premiums are going to be
- Free gifts – Many deals offered these days throw a little something in to entice you into the deal. If possible, you should take advantage and search for your chosen deal using what you get thrown in for free as an important criteria
Which providers offer iPhone 11 deals?
As is the case with any widely available handset, UK mobile providers attempt to distinguish themselves from their competitors in the way they offer the phone. Perhaps they attempt to offer the lowest monthly price, perhaps the best free gift, most cashback, or lowest deposit. Here we take a look at what each provider is going for in respect of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
- BT Mobile – Operates on the EE network and is currently offering all iPhone 11 models. There are no gifts or vouchers on offer at the time of writing, but the upfront costs are quite low
- EE – Operates on its own network and is offering all iPhone models. The top plans offer unlimited data and a low up-front cost, but you can choose a limited data plan and save a little money if that's not something you need. There are currently no free gifts or cashback on any iPhone 11 with EE
- giffgaff – Operates on the O2 network, and is somewhat unique in that it defers to its community of users for much of its customer service. Generally this means it offers lower prices, but it must be said, not in the case of the iPhone 11 models at the time of writing. Once you factor in the cost of the handset and the rolling monthly allowances (what giffgaff calls a 'goodybag') you're looking at similar money to other providers
- iD Mobile – Is the in-house brand for The Carphone Warehouse, and it operates on the Three network. It's pushing rock-bottom prices on iPhone 11 models, but also quite low data limits
- O2 – Is another of the UK's four network providers. It's offering extreme flexibility in its iPhone 11 deals on all models, allowing you to choose entirely how much you pay upfront, your contract length (so how much you want to pay each month) and how large your data allowance
- Sky Mobile – It's offering all iPhone 11 models and storage sizes at surprisingly competitive prices for Sky Mobile (which is normally on the expensive side). Probably a good choice if you're already a Sky Broadband and/or TV customer
- Tesco Mobile – Operates on the O2 network. All iPhone 11 models are available from Tesco, with the option of extending the contract to 36 months if keeping your monthly payments low is what matters to you most. Also, you will have two contracts with Tesco Mobile, one long one for the phone itself, and a 30-day rolling contract for your allowances. This means you can switch network whenever you like, while still paying monthly instalments for the handset with Tesco. Neat
- Three – Runs on its own network. Three was first to the punch in offering phones and SIMs with unlimited data, so as you might expect, it is pushing those deals with iPhone 11. You can still save a little cash by going for a limited deal, but the next time you upgrade a couple of years from now, it'll probably be unlimited or nothing
- Virgin Mobile – Operates on the EE network. At the time of writing, Virgin Mobile was the only provider offer in gifts or cashback with iPhone 11, in this case £100 cashback on the iPhone 11 Pro, and the option to add Apple's expensive Airpod headphones for just an extra £1 a month
- Vodafone – Operates on its own network. Low upfront costs and the ability to upgrade in 12 months without a fee – that's Vodafone's current angle
SIM free iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro deals
If you have the money, buying your handset upfront is actually the cheapest way to get your new phone. Because although it may mean a large initial outlay, handset contract agreements are simply consumer loans, and on a lot of those loans you will be paying interest. Some not, obviously. If you pay attention to such things you will find iPhone 11 contracts with interest free credit, but they are generally shorter in length.
It's worth reiterating while we're here, then, that since mobile phone contracts are consumer loans in essence, credit checks are both obligatory and strict in all cases.
Refurbished iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones
At the time of writing (October 2019), it's likely far too soon to find a deal on a refurbished (returned to Apple and fixed as new) iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro. It just hasn't been around long enough. You could, however, no doubt find a good deal on last year's models.
Refurbished phones are in every way that matters as good as new phones. A good choice for those with a nose for a bargain.
What phones are similar to the iPhone 11?
The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are of course by no means the only game in town. Alternatives on Apple's own operating system, iOS, are of course somewhat limited. However, there are a number of Android phones that, if not in some ways a 'match' for Apple's latest handsets can certainly keep pace. Whether an Android-based phone is a feasible alternative for you will of course depend how locked in you are to the Apple ecosystem.
- iPhone X or XS – Getting last year's model remains one of the best ways of keeping up with technological advancements while avoiding the 'brand new model' premium. Both 2017 and 2018's Apple iPhone models are still as excellent as the were when first launched
- Samsung Galaxy S10 – Apple's number one competitor, the Galaxy S10 and S10+ are probably the closest rival to the new iPhone 11 series from an Android-based phone. There will, of course, be a Galaxy S11 appearing in the near future, too
- Google Pixel 3 – Is more a 'top-mid-range' phone than a highest of high end handset like the iPhone 11 Pro. Still, it'll give the basic iPhone 11 a decent run for its money in most important respects
- OnePlus 7 Pro – OnePlus, a Chinese manufacturer, aims to give you high-end features at mid-range prices. Such is the case with the high-specced, mid-priced OnePlus 7 Pro
Frequently asked questions
What SIM card do you need for an iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro?
Any SIM card supplied to you by a UK mobile provider will contain the nanoSIM you will need to use in an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro. Sometimes these arrive as multiSIMs, where you will have to press the smaller SIM out from the larger microSIM it is embedded in. Essentially, you don't need to worry about getting the right SIM. It will always be right.
Does the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro have a headphone jack?
No. And it's still one of the biggest bugbears users have with the last few generations of Apple Phones. Samsung, it's number one Android-based competitor, has steadfastly maintained a 3.5mm headphone jack on all of its newest phones, despite Apple's claims that the jack wastes space and leads to a thicker, less desirable form factor.
Can I keep my mobile number?
Always. If you're switching provider, you only need obtain your PAC code from your existing provider, then give it to your new provider the day your new SIM arrives.
What’s the best deal on an iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro?
This changes from day to day and week to week. The comparison tables on this page will help you find the best deal for you. It is updated daily.
Is the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro any good?
In essence: Yes. Both phones are extremely powerful with excellent cameras and screens, and slickest, most responsive user interface of any phone on the market right now.
What’s the difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro?
The iPhone 11 Pro offers two screen sizes: iPhone 11 Pro (5.8"), and iPhone 11 Pro Max (6.5"). iPhone 11 Pro models have a superior, brighter OLED display, and offer substantially increased battery life. The Pro models also have an additional telephoto camera on the back that the standard iPhone 11 does not, allowing for optical zoom.