Should You Upgrade from iPhone 7 to iPhone 11? A Decision Calculator

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 12 Oct 2019

iPhone 7 to iPhone 11 Upgrade

When the iPhone 7 first came out, it was easily among the best smartphones in the market. Fast forward to 2019, the phone is three years old and its time you replace it. Wondering if you should upgrade to the iPhone 11 or not from your iPhone 7? Read our decision calculator to find out.

If you have the budget, you should ideally look to upgrade to the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. However, not everyone can afford a $1,000+ smartphone and the $699 iPhone 11 is more than good enough for most consumers out there. So, if you upgrade to the iPhone 11 from the iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, what improvements are you looking at? Is this upgrade worth it? Read our decision calculator to find out.

iPhone 7 to iPhone 11 – Upgrade or Not?

Design and Display

The iPhone 7 features a unibody aluminum design, Touch ID, and a 4.7-inch or a 5.5-inch IPS LCD display. In comparison, the iPhone 11 features a design that’s toned down from the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro. While it misses out on the stainless steel chassis, it comes with an aluminum frame sandwiched by the world’s most durable glass at the front and back. And since the iPhone 11 features Face ID, it has a notch and minimal bezels.

The smaller bezels and the lack of Touch ID mean the iPhone 11 packs a bigger 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display in a body that’s no bigger than the iPhone 7 Plus. The Liquid Retina display on the iPhone 11 is better than the one found on the iPhone 7 series in every way barring one. While the iPhone 7 Plus features a Full HD resolution, the iPhone 11 despite coming with a bigger 6.1-inch display features an HD+ resolution (1792 x 828). However, for daily use, most users will not be able to tell the difference in resolution between the two devices.

The glass body of the iPhone 11 also means that it supports wireless charging which the iPhone 7 lacks. As for Touch ID vs Face ID, while many people will prefer Touch ID, the latter is definitely more convenient to use.


The A10 Fusion chip inside the iPhone 7 was a monster when it first debuted. While it is still holding up pretty well, the A13 Bionic chip inside the iPhone 11 is in a different league altogether. Not only is it substantially more powerful, but it is also more power-efficient. It is, in fact, the fastest CPU and GPU you will find inside a smartphone right now.

For day to day use, the iPhone 7 might work just fine but it does tend to struggle when running heavy games like PUBG and Asphalt 9. The iPhone 11 also comes with more RAM (4GB) which means it will perform better than the iPhone 7 in multitasking as well.

For power users, the jump from the iPhone 7 to the iPhone 11 definitely makes a lot of sense from the performance viewpoint.

iPhone 7 - Back


It is not just the display, design, and performance in which the iPhone 11 is a major step up from the iPhone 7. The same also stands true for the iPhone 11 as well. If you use your iPhone’s camera a lot, just upgrade to the iPhone 7. The jump in image quality is massive and will be immediately noticeable, especially in low-light scenarios.

Don’t be fooled by looking at the spec sheet of the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 11 and thinking they come with the same camera setup. While the iPhone 11 comes with a 12MP primary shooter as well, its sensor and image quality is vastly superior to the iPhone 7.

Compared to the iPhone 7 Plus, the iPhone 11 does miss out on a 2x telephoto sensor. Instead, it comes with a 12MP ultra-wide angle sensor which in my opinion is going to be more useful in daily life. Plus, apart from Portrait photos, the telephoto sensor on the iPhone 7 Plus was not really that useful.

The video recording capabilities of the iPhone 11 is also noticeably better than the iPhone 7. While both phones can record 4K videos, the quality of videos shot on the iPhone 11 is better with higher dynamic range and better stabilization.

The front camera on the iPhone 11 is also a notable step up from the iPhone 7’s 7MP FaceTime HD camera. Not only does it have a higher 12MP resolution, but it also has a slightly wider field of view. The latter will allow you to fit a wee bit more people in your selfies. The iPhone 11’s front camera can also record 4K videos as well as ‘slofies’ a.k.a slow-mo videos. If you are a content creator or just use the camera on your iPhone 7 a lot, the improved camera system is going to be a key reason to upgrade to the iPhone 11.


Another area where the iPhone 11 brings so many new things to the table and makes the iPhone 7 looks awfully dated. The iPhone 11 features Gigabit LTE modem along with 2×2 MIMO. It might not pack 4×4 MIMO like its more expensive iPhone 11 Pro sibling, but you are still going to notice better network reception and data speeds on the device.

The iPhone 11 also has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with Reader mode, and Apple’s new Ultra Wideband chip that offers a unique AirDrop experience, and more.

You might think that the iPhone 7 also features Wi-Fi, 4G, and Bluetooth, but these standards have evolved a lot since then.

Battery Life 

Back when the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus were announced, most people who wanted better battery life ended up going for the latter. Three years later, the iPhone 11 changes the game completely with its amazing battery life. The phone can easily last for 24 hours on a single charge with moderate to heavy use. Last year’s iPhone XR was already known for its all-day battery life and Apple has managed to improve it by an hour on the iPhone 11 this year.

The only disappointing thing here is that the iPhone 11 continues to feature the same 5W charger as the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. It does come with 18W fast charging support but one will have to buy the charger separately. The iPhone 11 also supports wireless charging which means topping the phone’s battery is very convenient if you get around to placing a wireless charger on your desk.


Despite offering more than what the iPhone 7/Plus offers, the iPhone 11 is actually cheaper than it. The iPhone 7 Plus carried an MSRP of $769 when it first launched. In comparison, the iPhone 11 starts from $699. If your iPhone 7 is in mint condition, you can easily sell it for around $150 which would mean you will only have to pay around $550 for the iPhone 11 from your pocket.

As an existing iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus owner, what are your thoughts on the iPhone 11? Do you plan to upgrade to it? Or are you looking to buy the more expensive iPhone 11 Pro? Drop a comment and let us know!