Year after year, the iPhone continues as object of desire. Its updates bring new features and increased performance, but that doesn’t mean previous-generation models are outdated.
In addition to the iPhone 13, which was released late last year, Apple still produces and sells the iPhones 11 and 12, which hit stores in 2019 and 2020.
O g1 tested the three models, shows the differences and tells the pros and cons of each of the iPhones.
iPhone 11 — Photo: g1
O iPhone 11 is the choice of best value for money for anyone looking for an Apple cell phone. The version with 64 GB of storage costs around BRL 3,800 at major online stores.
Its design, with a glass and aluminum finish and rounded edges, seems a little out of step with the newer models.
The iPhones 12 and 13 have a slightly different design, with straighter corners, and glass and ceramic finishes – in a manufacturing process called Ceramic Shield by Apple, which promises greater resistance to impacts.
However, the screen has the same size, with 6.1 inches, in the three cell phones.
The type of panel is another difference: the iPhone 11 has a screen of the type LCD and models 12 and 13, a screen OLEDbrighter, with higher contrast and better color reproduction.
The iPhone 11 features a dual camera, with a wide-angle main lens and another with a wider aperture angle – which allows you to fit more information into an image.
Apple has adopted the term “computational photography” in iPhones, which uses the camera’s sensor and A13 Bionic processor to generate images with more detail. The photos are very good, with great brightness, sharpness and colors in various types of luminosity, even at night.
It is worth highlighting the portrait mode on both cameras, which is improving as the iPhone generation gets younger. This mode leaves the background blurred and the subject in focus at the front, with various lighting adjustment options.
The iPhone 11’s battery lasts a whole day, and it almost always needs to be recharged between 10 and 11 hours after being unplugged. This does not mean that, after almost 11 hours unplugged, the smartphone will completely discharge.. But it gives a general idea of how long the battery can last.
In performance tests and graphic evaluation (see how it is at the end of the report), being the oldest model, the iPhone 11 was the slowest of the bunch.
But being the slowest is not a problem. The A13 Bionic processor runs iOS 15, Apple’s latest operating system, well.
The iPhone 11 should receive updates until 2025, if the manufacturer follows the standard of six years of updates for older models.
On the connectivity side, the iPhone 11 only has access to 4G networks, present throughout Brazil. But this can be a problem for those who want to wait for the launch of 5G networks, scheduled for this year in the main capitals.
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iPhone 12 — Photo: g1
O iPhone 12 brought a good evolution between generations of the Apple cell phone. And it’s the first iPhone to have 5G connectivity. In online stores, the iPhone 12 with 64 GB of storage sold for R$4,800 in mid-March.
The screen is still 6.1 inches, but the design has more “straight” edges, somewhat reminiscent of the old iPhone 4 in a more modern guise.
The iPhone 12 image had a cloudier sky and looks darker, the iPhone 13 image is the most similar to reality. — Photo: Henrique Martin/g1
The Ceramic Shield finish on the front also made the phone sturdier. In addition, among the three iPhones, the 12 is the lightest: it weighs 164 grams, against 194 grams for the iPhone 11 and 173 grams for the iPhone 13.
The camera brings a small change from the iPhone 11: the two lenses (wide-angle and ultra-wide-angle) have had an improvement in the sensor, which generates even better results at night and very sharp during the day.
Battery life is similar to the iPhone 11, lasting a whole day. The operating system is iOS 15, which should have updates until 2026, following the pattern of older cell phones of the brand.
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iPhone 13 — Photo: g1
O iPhone 13 have one of best smartphone cameras available today. And, being the “model of the year”, it is also the most expensive. It was priced at R$5,700 in online stores in early March, with 128GB of storage.
The dual camera has a main lens and an ultra-wide-angle lens. Photos taken with the 12-megapixel main sensor have the quality of color reproduction as their main highlight.
It seems that when taking pictures both during the day and at night, the colors that appear on the screen are the same as the scene in front of you, without exaggeration and very sharp.
The ultra-wide-angle lens, also with 12 megapixels, enlarges the scene and generates high-quality images. And the selfies, also at 12 mp, follow the great quality of the rear cameras.
The iPhone 13 also brings an interesting video feature called Cinema. It allows automatic focus switching when filming several people at the same time, as if it were a movie camera.
In performance tests, the iPhone 13 was the fastestahead of the other two iPhones – which was more expected. And it also ranked first in the graphics tests.
The battery, like other iPhones, lasts around 11 hours. It runs iOS 15, with estimated OS updates through 2027.
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BEST CAMERA: iPhone 13, with two lenses on the back, which do their job very well and bring results very close to what the human eye is used to seeing. It’s the best choice for selfies too.
COST-BENEFIT HIGHLIGHT: iPhone 11, if 5G is not a priority, it remains an economical option with great durability.
If 5G is needed in the near future, the best choice is iPhone 12which also has a better screen and camera.
WHAT ABOUT THE MINI VERSIONS? Both iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 have mini versions (see the iPhone 13 mini review), with a 5.4-inch screen. It’s the same hardware and operating system, with a smaller battery capacity.
WITHOUT CHARGER Apple sells the iPhones without a charger in the box – and indicates the purchase of a fast 20W USB-C charger. The official model costs around R$ 200.
And it’s worth remembering that iPhones don’t have a headphone jack. You must use one with a Lightning connector or a Bluetooth phone.
Comparing features: iPhone 11, 12 and 13 — Photo: g1
How the tests were done
For the performance tests, two applications were used: 3D Mark, from UL Laboratories, and GeekBench 5, from Primate Labs.
They simulate everyday smartphone tasks such as image processing, text editing, battery life and web browsing, among others.
These tests run on various platforms – such as Android, iOS, Windows and Mac OS – and allow you to compare performance between them, creating a standard for this comparison.
Battery tests were carried out with everyday use of the device.
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