Should You Upgrade from iPhone XS to iPhone 11 Pro? A Decision Calculator

Upgrade from iPhone XS to iPhone 11 Pro

Got the iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max last year and now wondering if you should upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro or not? Read our decision calculator to help make this decision easy for you.

The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max are just a year old at this point. They have aged gracefully thanks to excellent software updates from Apple, but the triple-camera system and the improved battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro are extremely tempting features to have.

iPhone XS to iPhone 11 Pro — Upgrade or Not?

In a nutshell, the iPhone 11 Pro improves in the following area over the iPhone XS:

  • Display
  • Camera
  • Connectivity
  • Battery Life

Display

The iPhone 11 Pro features Apple’s new Super Retina XDR display and it is capable of reaching a peak brightness level of 1,200 nits.

When the iPhone XS launched last year, it was crowned as having the best display on a smartphone so it is amazing to see Apple further improve in this area. But this also means that for all intents and purposes, the display of the iPhone XS is also extremely good. The brightness levels, the sunlight legibility, contrast ratio, and viewing angles are more than good enough for day to day use. If anything, the OLED panels on the iPhone XS series still likely rank as among the best displays in a smartphone.

iPhone Xs Max front

Camera

The iPhone XS ships with a dual-camera system while the iPhone 11 Pro features a triple-camera system. The latter features a new 120-degree ultra-wide angle camera that will allow one to capture photos in an entirely different perspective. Then it also has a Night mode in the camera app and Apple will add a Deep Fusion mode with a future software update.

The camera upgrades definitely make the iPhone 11 Pro an attractive upgrade over the iPhone XS. However, until and unless you click hundreds of photos on a daily basis or earn your bread and butter using it, you can very well look past the camera upgrades on the iPhone 11 Pro.

Connectivity

The iPhone 11 Pro comes with a faster Gigabit LTE modem and Wi-Fi 6 support. It also has Apple’s new Ultra Wideband chip which enables some really cool AirDrop-related features. It will also come in handy once Apple launches Apple Tags later this year.

The iPhone XS series does not have Wi-Fi 6 support but it also features a Gigabit LTE modem. The iPhone 11 Pro is definitely better equipped than the iPhone XS in the connectivity department but the improvements are not massive enough for you to go ahead and upgrade to it.

Battery Life

Now, this is a big one if you are frustrated with the battery life of your iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max. Both these phones just about make it through a day of moderate to slightly heavy use, but if pushed hard you will have to charge them late in the evening.

The iPhone 11 Pro is in a different league in this department. The 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro offers four hours longer battery life than the iPhone XS while the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max lasts five hours longer than the iPhone XS Max. That’s a substantial improvement over the iPhone XS series.

What’s even better is that Apple is also bundling an 18W USB-C charger with the iPhone 11 Pro series which means these phones will charge from 0-50% in just 30 minutes.

If you are always on the go, the longer battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro is definitely going to be welcomed by you. However, the longer battery life alone should not be a reason for you to ditch your iPhone XS and upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro.

What you can do is buy an 18W fast charger and a USB-C to Lightning cable for your iPhone and use it to charge your phone. This way, your iPhone will charge quickly and thus spend less time on the charger. You can also place wireless chargers on the desk where you work and sleep to ensure that the battery of your iPhone XS is always topped off.

You can’t really do anything about the mediocre battery life of your iPhone XS but by investing in a fast charger, you can at least ensure you don’t spend much time charging it.

Price

The iPhone 11 Pro starts at the same price as the iPhone XS: $999 for the 5.8-inch model and $1,099 for the 6.5-inch variant. That makes them extremely expensive devices. Considering you just dropped $1000 (or more) on the iPhone XS last year, I see no reason to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro this year.

Yes, you can sell your existing iPhone XS for around $700 depending on its condition which means you will only have to pay around $300 for it from your pocket. But even that makes it a hard sell in my opinion.


I think its important one also considers what the 2020 iPhones will bring to the table: 5G connectivity, bigger displays, a new design, and more. Given such massive changes, I will recommend every iPhone XS owner to not upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro and save their money for the next year’s iPhone.

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