iPhone XS vs iPhone 11: Which one should you buy?

iPhone XS

Although the Apple iPhone XS was released back in 2018, it is still a great choice for anyone looking for a good smartphone. This iPhone model was discontinued in the following year after Apple’s next model, the iPhone 11, was announced. Still, you can find good, refurbished and well-functioning iPhone XS phones at a reasonable price, without having to settle for lesser quality.

iPhone 11

Released in 2019, Apple’s iPhone 11 is equipped with a high-quality camera and a fast A13 Bionic -processor, making it a great phone for more demanding techies as well. The iPhone 11 comes in six stylish colours, such as light-green and bright red. By purchasing a refurbished iPhone 11 rather than a brand new one, you can get this newer iPhone model for an affordable price as well.

Comparing iPhone XS and iPhone 11

If you are thinking about getting the iPhone 11 or iPhone XS, there are a few things to consider before buying. Let’s jump in and explore the most important differences between the two models.


Depending on your preferences, you can opt for the compact iPhone XS or the slightly larger iPhone 11. The iPhone XS has a 5.8-inch display, making it a slim and handy device to carry around in your pocket. 

Although the iPhone 11’s slightly larger 6.1-inch display might not seem to make that big of a difference, it is noticeable when comparing the two models side by side. However, if you prefer the few extra millimetres, opting for the iPhone 11 and its larger screen is a great option.


The iPhone XS is fitted with a Super Retina display with a custom OLED panel. Because of this, the phone is able to produce impressively rich and accurate colours, from the darkest blacks to the purest whites. Even though the iPhone 11’s resolution is not as good as that of the iPhone XS, it is still equipped with a Liquid Retina display and True Tone, a lightning feature that adjusts the screen’s brightness and colours depending on the surroundings. 

In case you value a better display, then choose the iPhone XS. However, you will not be disappointed with the iPhone 11 in this regard, as the screen still produces pictures and video in a satisfying sharpness and resolution.


Regardless of which iPhone you choose, you will get a good camera with great photo and video recording capabilities. Both phones have 12-megapixel dual cameras at the back of the phone. The slight difference is that the iPhone XS has a single rear camera with a telephoto lens, whereas the iPhone 11 has one with an ultra-wide lens. At the front, the iPhone XS has a 7-megapixel camera, which does not quite match up with the iPhone 11’s 12-megapixel front camera, making it great for selfies. 

Both phones are capable of filming sharp 4K video, which goes extremely well together with the iPhone XS’s high-resolution display, for instance. Both the iPhone XS and iPhone 11 utilise the Smart HDR feature that produces even better-looking high-quality photos. However, where the iPhone 11 shines, is its Night Mode feature that allows it to take great pictures also in the dark and low light.

Processor and battery life

This round goes to the iPhone 11, which packs an A13 Bionic -processor, making it an impressively fast and smart device. However, you should not underestimate the iPhone XS and its A12 Bionic -chip, as it is well capable of running games and other more demanding applications and processes, including augmented reality. 

Both devices have a long-lasting battery life, although the iPhone 11 is more power-efficient, allowing it to last slightly longer than the iPhone XS. Yet, the battery in both models will last you well throughout the entire day.

Colours and styles

Technical details aside, what do the phones look like? In case you are looking for a more colourful iPhone, the iPhone 11 is an excellent choice. With six different colour options, the iPhone 11 comes in black, green, yellow, purple, red and white. 

Even though the iPhone XS offers three colours less than the newer iPhone 11, it is still a stylish choice. You can buy an iPhone XS with Gold, Silver and Space Gray design.


One aspect of the two phones that most buyers are certainly interested in is the price difference between the two. For example here at Swappie, the prices for refurbished iPhone XS models start at a bit over 400 €. A phone that is as good as new can be purchased for less than 600 €. 

However, the iPhone 11 will not break the bank either as prices start from slightly over 500 €. Depending on your budget, you can get a good quality iPhone in the price range of 400 to 600 €, regardless of your choice between these two iPhones.

iPhone 11 vs iPhone XS: Choosing the right phone for you

It might be tempting to conclude that the iPhone 11 is automatically better because, after all, it is the newer of the two. However, choosing the right smartphone depends a lot on what you are looking for in your device. The iPhone XS is smaller, has a display with better resolution and will cost you less. Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 has a larger screen, a better front camera, more processing power and a long-lasting battery. 

Both phones are equipped with wireless charging, 12-megapixel dual rear cameras and face-ID as well as lasting battery life and at least an A12 Bionic chip, for instance. In the end, it is up to you which features you value the most.

Choose the iPhone XS if you value:

  • Cheaper price: Ranging from 400 € to 600 €, a refurbished iPhone XS is an affordable option when selecting a quality smartphone.
  • High-resolution display: The iPhone XS is equipped with a 5.8-inch Super Retina OLED display with HDR and True Tone.
  • Small and sleek design: Small and lightweight, the iPhone XS packs a punch in a compact package.

Choose the iPhone 11 if you value:

  • Speed and performance: With an A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone 11 certainly has much processing power to offer.
  • Larger screen-size: In case you prefer a larger screen, the iPhone 11’s 6.1-inch display will not disappoint.
  • High-quality front camera: As opposed to the XS’s 7-megapixel front camera, the iPhone 11 has an impressive 12-megapixel front camera that makes it perfect for selfies and FaceTime calls.

Getting a refurbished iPhone

After choosing the right option for you, it’s time to check out some of Swappie’s refurbished iPhones. Browse different options for refurbished iPhone XS and iPhone 11 models, which are available in four different conditions, ranging from slightly used to phones that are as good as brand new iPhones from the Apple factory. 

You can get an iPhone XS with a storage capacity of 64, 256 or 512 GB, while the iPhone 11 can be bought with 64, 128 or 256 GB of storage space.

Instead of buying a new iPhone and paying more, consider opting for a refurbished iPhone. All Swappie’s iPhones go through our rigorous 52-step testing process. In addition, we offer a 12-month warranty as well as a free 14-day right to return.

So, check out Swappie’s selection of refurbished and affordable iPhones for a cheaper, smarter and environmentally friendly option for a new smartphone.