Why do I buy an iPhone 11 – the reason is the screen

The iPhone 11 has its benefits too, but the reasons for buying it are quite personal and associated with headaches.

It’s not a good idea to buy a three-year-old iPhone like the iPhone 11 unless you want to save money. Nevertheless, the author is close to buying just this model after the XR iPhone, which has led to some misunderstandings among Macwell’s editorial colleagues. Over-saving is not a reason, I just find the model perfect for my purposes and the screen is especially nice. This may need some clarification as we recommend all readers to opt for the newer model. However, the reasons are very individual and, incidentally, completely irrelevant to most readers.

Obsolete model

The biggest weaknesses of the iPhone 11 are probably the outdated screen and the lack of 5G support. The lack of support for 5G could be regretted for the next years. It’s amazing that Apple has not yet banned the 2019 model from the Apple Store. With the launch of the iPhone 14, however, it will likely be removed from the Apple Store. Currently, it is recommended at most to families as a cheap iPhone for offspring. It’s available from Amazon for around 500 euros.

Buy an iPhone 11 64GB in black, green or white for 499 euros on Amazon

Still can keep up well. After all, it offers the A13 as a chip and has an acceptable 4GB of RAM. That should be enough for many years. The two rear cameras are excellent, the night mode is already supported. Battery life at the highest level is also a plus, although the weight could be lighter. But you “can” use an iPhone for 500 euros without a protective cover.


But the main reason for the developer is that the iPhone 11 is the only larger iPhone with an LCD screen – the iPhone SE is a bit small after all. This is probably incomprehensible to many, as the current iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 OLED displays are considered clearly superior. This is also perfectly correct for most users. This display technology offers unmatched contrast, high resolution and is very economical. In addition, these displays allow the use of flat and light devices. Problem: Some of these displays hurt the developer. You cannot dim the OLED display like the LCD display. To regulate the brightness of an OLED display, it is usually turned on and off at a high frequency, so-called pulse width modulation. This is not the case with conventional LCDs, such as those used in the iPhone SE and iPhone 11. Admittedly, a subject like PWM sounds a bit like cell phone radiation, Bach flowers and the dangers of cosmic rays – the young colleague also immediately touched the radiation blankets.

PWM topic

The fact that flashing screens can cause headaches or at least eyeaches to some users is nothing new and has been discussed frequently, including on Mac forums. PWM testing is standard, especially when testing displays, and the IEEE PAR1789 standard applies to lamps. Initially, it was probably assumed that this isn’t the case for small, infrequently used smartphone screens – and that’s true for most users as well. The effect leads to headaches in maybe 1% of users – with intensive use. Over 50 years also seems to encourage this. In other words, if you’re in that one percent, you’re just out of luck.

Incidentally, after several years of experience with OLED displays, many manufacturers have long noticed this effect, which is why there are more and more Android phones with a feature called DC dimming. The PWM frequency is also an important influencing factor, so Apple uses fairly high frequencies on the current iPhones 13 and 13 Pro to mitigate this flicker effect. In the case of the iPhone X, this frequency was much lower and the effect was more noticeable, the author returned the smartphone after a few weeks. Incidentally, it’s not an iPhone that has had this headache effect particularly hard for the developer, but an Android smartphone called Google Pixel 3A that has a particularly strong flicker effect. Since the author worked very intensively on a book on iOS and Android apps a year ago, this Android smartphone was also used for hours every day and caused regular headache attacks.

As the unpleasant experiences are still fresh, he prefers to reach for the iPhone 11 in the near future. Interestingly, this model was heavily criticized for its lower resolution screen when it was launched. The tastes are just different.

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