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Android phone makers should be nervous about the $699 iPhone 11

iPhone 11 colors
iPhone 11 colors (Image credit: Apple)

Apple regularly gets criticized for the high prices of its iPhones, but in 2018, the company shook up its formula of only offering high-cost flagships with the introduction of the $749 iPhone XR (opens in new tab). The XR quickly became Apple's most popular and best-selling iPhone, but when compared to the XS, things like the single rear camera, worse water resistance, and 720p HD LCD display made it look like a tough sell when compared to similarly-priced Android devices.

This year's iPhone event has wrapped up, and along with the flagship iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, we were also introduced to the XR's spiritual successor in the form of the base iPhone 11 (opens in new tab).

Along with a greatly simplified naming scheme (thank God), the iPhone 11 adds a few welcome features that were missing from the XR while also lowering the price by $50. It's still not a perfect "budget" iPhone, but Android OEMs that are also trying to make a dent in the affordable flagship space should be shaking in their boots right now.

The iPhone 11 gets a lot of things right. We're still working with an aluminum and glass design just like we had with the XR, but there are a few new colors to choose from this year — specifically a lavender-esque Purple and minty Green color. Unique colorways have been big in 2019, and this is something Apple has proven yet again to be really good at.

We can't really talk about the design without mentioning the huge camera hump on the back, and whatever you think about the way it looks, Apple's making some big promises for the sensors' performance.

Along with the 12MP main sensor, there's now another 12MP ultra-wide camera. Apple's far from the first company to offer an ultra-wide camera on a phone, but the usefulness of this type of sensor is objectively better than the telephoto one Apple's been so keen on for the last few years.

Apple's also pushing its new Night mode to improve low-light photography, improved Smart HDR, and 120FPS slow-motion video for the 12MP selfie camera.

Last year's A12 Bionic processor was already faster than anything else on the market, and the new A13 Bionic in the iPhone 11 aims to offer even better CPU and GPU performance. Battery life is also rated to last an hour longer compared to the XR, and the weak IP67 water resistance from last year has been upgraded to a proper IP68 rating.

As for everything else, it's mostly unchanged. The LCD display remains at 6.1-inches with a resolution of 1792 x 828, wireless charging is still onboard, and you get all of the intangibles that iOS offers over Android — such as iMessage, AirDrop, the infamous Apple Card, and a free year of Apple TV+ (a $60 value).

Who thought Apple would offer one of the better smartphone values for 2019?

All of this makes the iPhone 11 a modest upgrade over the iPhone XR, but it's still an upgrade nonetheless. You'd expect Apple to slightly increase the 11's price or at least keep in the same, but in a very unexpected move, the company actually lowered it from the XR's $749 to just $699.

How's that stack up to similarly-priced Android phones? The iPhone 11 is just $30 more expensive than the OnePlus 7 Pro (opens in new tab), $50 less than the Galaxy S10e (opens in new tab) and Pixel 3 (opens in new tab), and a whopping $250 cheaper than the new Galaxy Note 10 (opens in new tab).

In a world where phone companies seem dedicated to slightly increasing costs year after year, it's refreshing to see one take the initiative to make its new phone more affordable than its predecessor — especially when that company is Apple.

It's obviously too early to make any final judgments about how the iPhone 11 works in day-to-day use, but at least from what we've seen so far, Apple just made a bold statement to every competitor out there.

People are already crazy about their iPhones, and now that the latest one costs just $699, trying to sell them on an Android phone is going to be more difficult than ever before.

iPhone 11 Pro just played catch up to every Android flagship, but still has the one feature that matters

Joe Maring was a Senior Editor for Android Central between 2017 and 2021. You can reach him on Twitter at @JoeMaring1.

  • Apple. Still proving the old adage about fools and their money.
  • At the end of the day, a 700 dollar phone with a 720p screen is a no go for many.
  • Most of those people are streaming video at 480p and have no clue. I think 720p isn't going to phase their sensibilities too much.
  • For many of us that know what's up....In the real world most ppl don't even know about the specs. My girlfriend doesn't even know a new iPhone was announced today and she's an iPhone user.
  • I bet half of people are on a cell plan that limits their streaming to 480p anyway and they have no clue.
  • $700 and if you don't physically break it, you could likely use it for five years through iOS 18. Well played, Apple.
  • and 700 for only 64GB of memory is even worse
  • And? Normals don't care that much. I have a 64GB iPhone XR and 128GB Moto Z4. 🤷‍♂️
  • He could be referring to himself
  • My point is that based on the features of the phone which is able to do 4k video and high res photos 64 gb is going to be used up real quick... And that's not even including the apps that is engrained in the memory of the phone... I think 64 is to low is they went 128 then that's a difference maker for the market
  • And the PIxel's base storage is, and will be? The same. For more money.
  • The one plus 7 is 699 also. 256 gb storage too
  • But no wireless charging with a glass back and no IP rating.
  • You sure love Apple at Android Central. I bet no Android devices get any press over at iMore.
  • Well iMore talks Nintendo and AC talks PlayStation. (I guess it's OK for WC to talk Xbox). And now I have this gaming podcast mucking up my AC Podcast feed... 🤔🤷‍♂️
  • Any time any market leader drives prices lower, it's a win for the consumer. This just means mid-range Android phones will have to get cheaper if they want to take iPhone market share.
  • Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzxxxxxxxxxzzzzzzzzxxxxxxxzzzzz Yeah I'm snoring
  • Sad that anyone think $700 subpar phone is considered budget
  • Let's be honest- the iPhone 8 is the budget iPhone now.
  • It is. I'd say the iPhone 11 occupies the same place as the S10e in the Galaxy lineup. The good thing is Apple just basically guaranteed the S11e.
  • not with the memory.. s10e comes with 128GB of storage as the baseline and iphone 11 starts with 64GB as the baseline
  • And? Normals don't care that much.
  • Again, you're on Android Central. These aren't "normals".
  • That's the number one complaint from iPhone users... Not enough memory so they obviously don't listen to their normal users
  • The normals start to care when they they get that out of memory message trying to take a pic. They care when Apple updates their phones and they slow down to the point they become unusable. But then they just out and buy another iPhone. So it's ok.
  • I didn't say the phones were identical, i said they occupy the same place in their respective lineups.
  • Subpar in what area? It will walk all over every Android phone in performance.
  • Uhh, its still an iphone..pass.
  • I don't think anyone who likes Android is going to drop everything and get an iPhone.
  • "and a whopping $250 cheaper than the new Galaxy Note 10." Now do the iPhone Pro and Pro Max.
  • Considering they started the 1000 dollar phone trend and every one else felt justified to follow.
  • budget android is $300. someone recently asked me whats a usable smartphone for $50- used s7 on ebay would be close
  • I wouldn't use a three year old Android phone. 😂
  • I thought we were talking about budget phones. Last time I looked the note 10 was a premium phone. Also how can you compare a 720p phone to a 4k phone with 90hz refresh by saying the iPhone 11 is only $30.00 more. Seems a little biased in favor of Apple. I'm shaking in my boots.
  • They need that sweet ad revenue on Android Central. Pitching how amazing Apple is, how great Borderlands 3 is, and how flawless the PS4 is, will get them to the weekly quota.
  • Your comments and views are helping so 🤷‍♂️
  • Android has Motorola and Nokia to name just 2, and they're sub-$300. That's budget.
  • Nervous?! Nokia is plenty of phone for me at a fraction of the cost. The new so-called "cheaper" iPhone doesn't have anything on offer that would entice me to leave Nokia or Android for that matter.
  • I posted this on the Facebook post and I'll put it here too... There are a lot of foolish and fan boyish comments on here right now. What Apple did with its pricing, is make sure that the anybody on the fence of going to Android will, most likely, end up staying with iPhone. $699 is a pretty easy sell for what is now "the iPhone".
    It is not the "budget" offering. It's the "base" offering.
    By calling it iPhone 11 with nothing extra, and the other models Pro, they are going to sell a ton. It's actually quite a good business move by Apple.
  • Budgetmedic, I absolutely agree with this.. Apple made a great decision and this will entice those iPhone users still hanging on to their 6s/7+ to upgrade.. That's the point!! That change in price was for existing users..
  • It is hilarious to me that $699 is considered a "cheaper" phone. It is still way too expensive. Pixel and Samsung S10E and One-plus are also still way to expensive. We need to start seeing more phones getting under the $600 mark. Google made the correct move by offering a $399 Pixel phone and others need to follow...
  • Both OnePlus and Google offer sub $600 phones.
  • But Apple lowering the price at least in the US may force other manufacturers to do they same. That can only be good.
  • Fućking pathetic seeing Android Central writers sucking on the teet of Apple
  • *Reads last sentence in article* I guess we already forgot the Pixel 3a exists huh.
  • It's still an iPhone so that's the problem
  • I know it's hard to get over defensiveness of Android, but again this is a good objective article here. It's really OK to acknowledge the strengths of other companies. Apple lowering the price of their cheapest iPhone puts price pressure on all the Android manufacturers, like it or not. How much this affects the average consumer is up for debate, but a cheaper iPhone 11 does apply pressure.
  • You can get the one plus 7 for 699 on sale.
  • Nearly $1000 in Australia. There is a world out there.
  • Isn't this really Apple responding to Google? Really lovin my Pixel 3a XL that cost $200 less.
  • I feel that this is Apple responding to the market. iPhone XR was likely a hit for Apple. The iPhone 11 is it's replacement and it's starting price is cheaper than the iPhone XR's price last year. iPhone 11 is going to be a hit.
  • You're comparing it to the wrong phones. The iPhone is still overpriced for what you get, something that becomes strikingly obvious when compared to something like Samsung's A series. This is a mid range phone, compare it to others of its kind.
  • All I'm going to say is this. New apple watch with always on display and 18 hrs battery, five year old pebble steel, new strap, 5 days battery life..........oh and an always on display. Catch up, catch up.
  • Please let that be all that you say lol.
    So your comparison is like a Motorola Razr V3 compared to a Note 10+..... Please compare the hardware between the two and get back to us on your findings.
  • Wonder if they improved the antenna/reception on the 11.
  • If I am a long time Android user and looking to upgrade, what does iPhone/iOS bring to the table now that would motivate me to switch now? I went with Android five years ago because of its flexibility. As far as I know, iOS is still pretty much locked down.
  • $700 for a phone with only 1792 x 828 screen in 2019?!?!? You must be joking.
    No USB-C, No Headphone Jack, looks like a Fisher-Price toy, locked down to Apple store, tinker-toy GUI interface (that you can't customize.) Hobbles every other browser you install on it.
    Sure. Right.
    I'll get the OnePlus7 Pro or Galaxy S10e instead thank you very much.
  • But it's just an iPhone. What old people use. Dumb old people and companies will pay 700 dollars for apples' 300 dollar phone.
  • The iPhone 11 has indeed improved in all aspects, and the price is really cheaper than some new android phone, but the performance of the iPhone 11 after the upgrade is still relatively inferior to android phones.