iPhone 15 vs iPhone 11: time to upgrade?

iPhone 11 feeling a bit dated? With the iPhone 15 out now, it is probably about time for that upgrade.

Storage available
128GB / 256GB/ 512GB
Camera
48MP + 12MP
Processor
A16 Bionic
Cheapest plan est.
$86 per month
Storage available
64GB/128GB/256GB
Camera
12MP + 12MP
Processor
A13 Bionic
Cheapest plan (new)
$63.86 per month
Anula Wiwatowska
Sep 13, 2023
Icon Time To Read5 min read

It's September which means the iPhone 15 has just arrived. If you're still palming an iPhone 11 then chances are you're feeling that upgrade itch, but how does the iPhone 15 vs iPhone 11 showdown go?

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 11 specs

No matter how you slice it, the iPhone 15 family has more impressive specs than the iPhone 11. Expect a faster processor, more advanced cameras with more MP, and a more powerful battery.

However, the biggest change to the iPhone 15 is the switch from Lightning to USB-C. Rather than using Apple's proprietary charging system, the iPhone 15 family has fallen in line with the (arguably superior) USB-C standard. So while your old iPhone 11 charger won't work if you upgrade, you've probably got more compatible cords laying around.

Both the iPhone 15 and the iPhone 15 Plus also lost the notch and upgraded to the Dynamic Island. The new persistent UI pill replaced the iconic notch on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max last year, and it will trickle down to the cheaper models this time round.

As for the iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max, we can expect similar improvements from the 11 Pro family. The top-tier devices have upgraded to the new A17 Pro Bionic processor. The new processor is a whole new design, boasting 2x faster neural engine, and 10% faster mobile CPU. It also includes a USB controller which enables super fast wired transfer speeds utilising the new port.

Check out the table below for a a side-by-side look at the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and the rumoured specs for the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro, and iPhone 15 Pro Max.

iPhone 15
iPhone 15 Plus
iPhone 15 Pro
iPhone 15 Pro Max
iPhone 11
iPhone 11 Pro
iPhone 11 Pro Max

Price

$1,499 (128GB)
$1,699 (256GB)
$2049(512GB)

$1,649 (128GB)
$1,849 (256GB)
$2,199 (512GB)

$1,849 (128GB)
$2,049(256GB)
$2,399(512GB), $2,749(1TB)

$2,199 (256GB)
$2,399 (512GB)
$2,719(1TB)

$1,199 (64GB)
$1,279 (128GB)
$1,449 (256GB)

$1,549 (64GB)
$1,799 (256GB)
$2,349 (512GB)

$1,699 (64GB)
$2,149 (256GB)
$2,499 (512GB)

Release date

15 Sep 202315 Sep 202315 Sep 202315 Sep 2023

20 Sep 2019

20 Sep 2019

20 Sep 2019

Display

6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display6.1-inch Super Retina XDR Display6.7-inch Super Retina XDR Display

6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina HD display

5.8-inch LCD Super Retina XDR display

6.5-inch LCD Super Retina XDR display

Resolution

2556x1179 @ 460ppi796x1290 @ 460ppi2556x1179 @ 460ppi2769x1290 @ 460ppi

1792x828 @ 326 ppi

2436x1125 @ 458 ppi

2688x1242 @ 458 ppi

Processor

A16 BionicA16 BionicA17 Pro BionicA17 Pro Bionic

A13 Bionic

A13 Bionic

A13 Bionic chip

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Everything you need to know before purchasing iPhone 15
iPhone 15 vs iPhone 11

iPhone 15 plans

If you're looking to buy the iPhone 15 on a plan, Telstra, Vodafone and Optus offer their own deals on Apple's latest phone.

iPhone 15 Pro plans

Looking to go Pro? Telstra, Vodafone and Optus all have plans available for the iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max.
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Standard models compared

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 11

Winner: iPhone 15
TLDR:
  • The iPhone 11 a cheaper iPhone than the iPhone 15 is predicted to be (if you can still find it)
  • The iPhone 15 will have a better processor
  • The iPhone 15 will have better computational photography software, and a 48MP primary lens
  • The iPhone 15 has a significantly better display
  • The iPhone 11 doesn't have 5G

Since the iPhone 11 was before the Mini and the Plus' time, lets compare the standard iPhone 11 with the iPhone 15.

Price-wise the iPhone 15 (128GB) is has a higher starting price of $1,499 than the iPhone 14 started at last year. Since the iPhone 11 has been discontinued, if you can find it for sale somewhere, then a 128GB model should set you back $929. Naturally a 4-year old iPhone is going to be cheaper than the latest model, but the GB storage to dollar ratio on the newer iPhones is significantly better since Apple dropped the 64GB options.

While you'll get a similar sized display on the 15 as you do on the 11, the resolution on the iPhone 15 is a big big improvement from the 11. The iPhone 15 comes with a a Super XDR Retina OLED display which will be better on your eyes tham the iPhone 11's LCD display. 

iPhone 15 vs iPhone 11: performance and camera compared

After four years of upgrades, the iPhone 15's processor will be a noticeable improvement from the iPhone 11.

The iPhone 15 has last year's A16 Bionic which is three generations up on the iPhone 11's A13 chipset. Chances are you wouldn't notice if this was a jump or one (or even two) processor upgrades, but the A16 chipset is a significant step up.

As for camera, the majority of the difference here will come from the processor itself. While the iPhone 15 somes with a 48MP + 12MP set up (as opposed to the iPhone 11's 12MP + 12MP), MP count doesn't equal camera quality. Rather, the chipset and years worth of computational photography tweaks will result in clearer photos from the iPhone 15.

Pro models compared

iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro and Max

Winner: iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max
TLDR:
  • The iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max will have more RAM and a better processor
  • The iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max will have more advanced image processing and a better camera sensor + the longest telephoto zoom on any iPhone
  •  iPhone 15 Pro Max has more internal storage as standard than previous generations

The competition isn't exactly fierce iPhone 15 versus iPhone 11. It should come as no surprise that the iPhone 15 Pro and the iPhone 15 Pro Max will beat out the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max. Come on people, we're comparing a 4-year old device to a brand new one. 

Where the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have the A13 Bionic chipset, the 15 Pro and Pro Max have the A17 Pro - the most powerful Apple silicon to date. Not only will the 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max beat out the 11 Pro models, they will beat out every other iPhone on the market.

However, the iPhone 15 Pro family is more expensive than previous models. While price is up overall, the 128GB Pro Max is kaput, so your starting dollar-to-GB value is better. Regardless, if that price is (rightly) a bit of a jumpscare, then you may want to consider the standard models, or the Pro versions of some other iPhones. We're comparing the iPhone 15 to the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 15 to the iPhone 13 in our other guides. They might be helpful.

iPhone 15 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro: performance and camera compared

The camera set up in the 15 Pro and Pro Max models is much the same as last year's iPhone 14 Pros, with a couple of notable exceptions.

While it stuck 48MP primary lens, 12MP ultra-wide lens, and 12MP telephoto lens, the iPhone 15 Pro Max has a 5x telephoto zoom. The longest range out of any iPhone. The iPhone 15 Pro will stuck with the 3x telephoto zoom.

For photographers and film makers, USB-C 3 on the Pro models enables you to shoot, and transfer to external storage in real time. 

Couple the additional photography power with the advanced image processing, then iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max are set to be the best-in-class for phone photography. But hey, what's new for Apple?

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Conclusion

Is it time for iPhone 11 users to upgrade to iPhone 15?

iPhone 14 homescreen

If you're reading this then you're probably looking for someone to validate the choice you've already made. So if you want to upgrade from the iPhone 11 to the iPhone 15 you should - it will be a significant improvement.

After four years on the fence you'll get a handful of new features like the Dynamic Island, 5G, and an OLED display. Plus some extra MP on the camera won't hurt anybody.

On the other hand, if you're tossing up between buying a new iPhone 11 and a new iPhone 15, know that you'll be making a lot of sacrifices for the money. But luckily none of them are of major consequence - 5G is fast but not essential, and the Dynamic Island is still in its infancy.

iPhone 11 plans

Popular SIM Only iPhone plans

If you're buying an iPhone 15 outright, these are the most popular SIM Only plans you can buy today.

Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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