Over more than a decade of writing about technology, reviewing a new iPhone has long been one of my simplest assignments.
Year after year, the formula was this: I tested the most important new features of Apple’s latest smartphone and assessed whether they were useful. Assuming the newest iPhone worked well, my advice was generally the same — I recommended upgrading if you had owned your existing smartphone for two years.
But with this review of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max — the newest models that Apple unveiled last week and which will become available this Friday — I’m encouraging a different approach. The bottom line? It’s time to reset our upgrade criteria.
但对苹果上周发布、将于本周五上市的最新机型iPhone 11、11 Pro和11 Pro Max进行评测之后，我鼓励一个不同的方式。此话怎讲？是时候重新确定升级标准了。
That’s because we are now living in the golden age of smartphones, where the gadgets’ improvements each year are far from seismic. Devices that debuted three years ago remain zippy and more than capable. Those with the iPhone 7 from 2016, for example, still have a very good phone with a stellar camera and fast speeds.
So now is the moment to ask: Do we really need to upgrade our iPhones every two years?
Based on my tests of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, the answer is no. Don’t get me wrong: The newest models are nice. Apple has made them speedier, improved the cameras and lengthened their battery life. The new lineup also starts at a lower price of $700, down from $750 a year ago, which is a relief in an era of skyrocketing smartphone costs.
根据我对iPhone 11、11 Pro和11 Pro Max的测试，答案是否定的。别误会我的意思：最新的款式很好。苹果提高了的速度，改进了摄像头，延长了电池寿命。新款手机的起售价也从一年前的750美元降至700美元，在智能手机成本飙升的时代，这让人松一口气。
But none of this is enough to warrant an immediate upgrade if you have had your smartphone for only two years. The latest iPhones just aren’t a big leap forward from last year’s iPhones or even the iPhone X from 2017.
So here’s what I ultimately suggest: You should definitely upgrade if your current device is at least five years old. The iPhone 11 models are all a significant step up from those introduced in 2014. But for everyone else with smartphones from 2015 or later, there is no rush to buy. Instead, there is more mileage and value to be had out of the excellent smartphone you already own.
Comparing the iPhones 11s to the iPhone X
IPhone 11系列和iPhone X的比较
I tested the new iPhones for a week, starting with the $700 entry-level iPhone 11 with a 6.1-inch display, which I used as my primary phone for three days. Then I switched to the iPhone 11 Pro, the $1,000 model with a 5.8-inch screen, for two days. And then finally, the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the $1,100 model with a jumbo 6.5-inch screen, for another two days.
我对新款iPhone进行了为期一周的测试，从售价700美元、配有6.1英寸显示屏的入门级iPhone 11开始，用它做了三天的主要手机。然后我用了两天的iPhone 11 Pro，这款机型售价1000美元、屏幕5.8英寸。最后我用了两天iPhone 11 Pro Max，这款机型售价1100美元、拥有6.5英寸超大屏幕。
Then I compared the results with my notes and photos from testing the iPhone X in 2017. What I found was that the iPhone 11 was better, but not profoundly so.
然后，我将结果与2017年测试iPhone X时的笔记和照片进行了对比。我发现iPhone 11更好，但没有好特别多。
There are lots of little things that are somewhat better on the new iPhones compared to the two-year-old iPhone X. For early adopters who are keen to have the latest and greatest tech, those differences may add up to a substantial upgrade.
But for most of us, the upgrades won’t meaningfully change our phone experience.
Contrasting the phone cameras
The most noteworthy new feature on the iPhones 11s is the ultra-wide-angle lens. Using the ultrawide mode is simple and seamless: You pinch outward to zoom all the way out. On a beach, the wider view captured my dogs playing on the sand, the ocean waves and the adjacent highway.
The telephoto lens on the iPhone 11 Pro did an exceptional job zooming in on my dog Mochi’s snout as she shook some water off her head.
当我的狗莫基晃动脑袋甩水，我拿镜头对准她的鼻子时，iPhone 11 Pro的长焦镜头表现出色。
The new iPhones also have a new mode for shooting photos in low light. Once the camera detects that a setting is very dark, it automatically captures multiple pictures and then fuses them together while making adjustments to colors and contrast. The result was that photos taken in low light without flash look brighter, in a natural way.
Photos taken with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro looked crisp and clear, and their colors were accurate. But after I finished these tests, I looked back at my archived photos taken with an iPhone X.
用iPhone 11和11 Pro拍摄的照片看起来清晰鲜亮，而且颜色的还原度更高。但当我完成这些测试后，我回头看了看之前用iPhone X拍摄的照片。
Those pictures, especially the ones shot with portrait mode, still looked impressive. Some of the low-light ones looked crummy in comparison to the ones taken by the iPhone 11s, but I wouldn’t recommend that you buy a new phone just to get better night photos. You could always just use flash.
When should I upgrade then?
Each year, the most common question I get from friends and colleagues is whether they should buy a new iPhone. So here’s a list of considerations in any decision about upgrading.
The simplest place to start is software. Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 13, will work only on iPhones from 2015 （the iPhone 6S） and later. So if you have an iPhone that is older than that, it is worth upgrading because once you can no longer update the operating system, some of your apps may stop working properly.
最简单的理由是软件。苹果最新的移动操作系统iOS 13将只在2015年（iPhone 6S）及以后推出的iPhone上运行。因此，如果你的手机型号比这个老，那么升级是值得的，因为若不能更新操作系统，一些应用程序恐怕就无法使用了。
For those with younger iPhones, there are ways to get more mileage out of your current device. While the newest iPhones have superb battery life — several hours longer than the last generation — a fresh battery in your existing gadget costs only $50 to $70 and will greatly extend its life.
If you have the iPhone 6S from 2015 and the iPhone 7 from 2016, the iPhone 11s are speedier, with camera improvements and bigger displays. That makes an upgrade nice to have but not a must-have.
如果你用的是2015年的iPhone 6S和2016年的iPhone 7，那么iPhone 11的速度会更快，摄像头有改进，屏幕也更大。这是手机升级换代充分理由，但并非必须。
But if you spent $1,000 on an iPhone X two years ago, then hold off. The iPhone 11s just aren’t enough of an innovation leap to warrant $700-plus on a new smartphone.
但如果两年前你刚在iPhone X上花了1000美元，那就等等再说。IPhone 11的创新尚不足以让你花700多美元的价格去买一部新的智能手机。
If you wait another year or two, you will most likely be rewarded with that jump forward. That might be an iPhone that works with fast 5G cellular networks, or a smartphone that can wirelessly charge an Apple Watch.
Patience has its benefits — and so will breaking free of the iPhone’s automatic two-year upgrade cycle.