iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR camera comparison: Is the upgrade worth it?

“We compare the iPhone 11 camera performance with that of the iPhone XR to figure out if the upgrade makes sense or not”

iPhone 11 is already one of the most popular phones made by Apple and in a way, the handset can be seen as a direct successor to iPhone XR rather than the iPhone XS. However, there are some major differences between the camera performance offered by the two phones. As camera quality is one of the most important factors for many users buying new phones, we decided to compare the two phones comprehensively and help you figure out if the upgrade to iPhone 11, priced in India at Rs 64,900 for the base variant, from the iPhone XR, which is currently available for Rs 49,900.

First things first, the iPhone XR ships with a 12MP primary camera sensor, assisted by an LED flash, and a 7MP selfie camera sensor. On the other hand, the iPhone 11 comes with a primary dual-camera setup that consists of two 12MP sensors, assisted by an LED flash, and a 12MP front camera for video calls and selfies. Now that we have discussed specifications, let’s jump into the camera performance.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR – Long shots

Lets first start off with one of the most important camera angles. As you can see in the images given below, the dynamic range offered by the iPhone 11 is considerably better than the one presented by the iPhone XR. Although iPhone XR’s camera is no slouch in terms of quality, the lack of details is quite evident.

To help you understand the camera performance offered with long shots, here is a zoomed-in shot (4x) of both images side by side.

As you can see for yourself, the details preserved by iPhone 11 camera clearly surpass the details by the iPhone XR. Whenever you are taking long shots, details captured by the camera are of crucial importance and in this case, iPhone 11 definitely proves its worth. Here is another image to further prove the same point.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR – Close-up shots

Flowers are usually the best subjects for close-up shots as you can see how the phone captures colours as well as details of subjects taken in close quarters. Now, even in this aspect, the iPhone 11 camera managed to capture the details extremely well and iPhone XR could only play the catch-up game. If you look at the images, you can see that the web around the flower bud can be seen clearly in the shot captured by the iPhone 11 but not so much in the iPhone XR. 

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR – Portrait shots

You might have sensed a pattern here and that’s because the iPhone 11 camera setup consistently captures more detail than the single camera sensor on the iPhone XR in our testing. In portrait shot, this pattern repeats itself and the iPhone 11 again providing us with more details and improved colour accuracy over the iPhone XR. The object outline in both phones was similar but the iPhone 11 was slightly more aggressive in blurring the background in certain cases. One thing to point out here is that the iPhone XR uses software to blur the background after clicking pictures and the iPhone 11 uses the secondary depth sensor. In real-world usage, you will find that the images clicked by iPhone 11 cover less field-of-view in comparison with the images taken by iPhone XR. You can see the result for yourself in the images given below:

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR – Night shots

Now, this is the category that clearly ends up showing that the difference in image quality offered by these phones is night and day (excuse the pun). With the help of Deep Fusion, the iPhone 11 offers a reduction in noise when clicking images in terrible lighting conditions and delivers stunning images. Notably, the Night Mode in iPhone 11 allows the phone with a variable exposure time, which changes automatically depending on the lighting conditions. Night Mode automatically switches on by itself as well. Have a look at the images yourself and you will get to know the difference clearly:

Even when we tried to take some shots in better lighting conditions during night time, iPhone 11 is miles ahead of the iPhone XR in terms of performance.


It seems pretty evident now that iPhone 11 is in a league of its own. The handset delivers better pictures, irrespective of the lighting conditions and you can feel confident that you’ll manage to take good shots when you carry it around with you. With iPhone XR, it is hit and miss. You might be able to take some stunning pictures with the iPhone XR but with the addition of Deep Fusion, iPhone 11 definitely proves that it is worth every penny over the iPhone XR when it comes to camera performance.

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One of the newest members of the 91mobiles team, Shekhar is a tech enthusiast who finds it difficult to hold his excitement when it comes to latest gadgets. He has a wicked sense of humour and can have a repartee with you on any topic ranging from sports, movies, and literature to the shameful existence of The Flat Earth Society. He'll always regret not investing in Bitcoin when it was $230 and will still advise against investing in cryptocurrency. He doesn’t consider Shakespeare to be a great playwright and if you want to have a funny conversation, just ask him why.