Wow Apple has actually made it pretty hard to figure out what to buy. The iPhone 11 is pricey but has premium features. I think that for most regular users, the iPhone SE is super compelling if you really need a new phone. And of course we are about 4-5 months away from the iPhone 12.
But here are the things to think about:
- Both have the A13 chip, so they are going to be pretty darn fast.
- The big difference is three cameras vs a single rear camera. For most folks, a single nice camera is fine, but if you really like the art of it, then the iPhone 11 is hard to beat.
- The OLED screen. Actually, I find the LCD screen of even the iPhone 6s pretty great, but YMMV on this one.
- The iPhone 12 is coming soon and will be a refinement, so probably the same three lense system and maybe a Lidar sensor.
The big difference is of course the price at $400 vs $1,000, you can literally buy two for the price of one. So the net recommendations are:
- If you are a regular user (eg the absolute best photo quality is not on your list) and you need a phone right away, the iPhone SE is a great deal.
- If you are a photo geek or just have to have the latest gadget, then you probably can just wait for the iPhone 12, unless something just broke in your life.
Finally when you do buy one, you do need to pay a little attention to which model you get. These phones are all unlocked now, but each phone has different bands:
- If you are mainly going to be in the US, then the same model is used unlocked from Apple, AT&T, Verizon and T-mobile. There used to be differences between CDMA and GSM phones so it was better to get the Verizon phone, but with the latest modems this isn't true.
- If you are going to be in China though, you may want to get the Sprint phone, it is a world phone with the Chines standards called TD-SCDMA and TD-LTE in it. Your phone will still work there, but you won't get as much coverage.
- Finally, there is a China only phone that deletes some of the less useful bands that are used in the rest of the world.