The iPhone Battle of 2022: Which Apple Model Should You Buy?


You’re probably aware by now that Apple dropped a new batch of iPhones earlier this month. In fact, pre-orders of the latest iPhone 14 series are underway, and people have been getting theirs already (lucky ducks!). Now while the flagship iPhone 14 is sitting in the same price range as its predecessor, the iPhone 13, its price tag’s still quite hefty for average users (we’re just stating the facts here).  

So, if you’re someone whose purse strings are a bit tight but who would really like an Apple upgrade or you’re looking into joining Team iPhone and experiencing the Apple ecosystem, there are other pocket-friendly and viable options to try. 

Meet the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13—again. These earlier iterations from the famous iPhone family launched in late 2019 and 2021 respectively look similar but perform differently. Although they’re not the latest and newest iPhone models, we can still say they’re both hard to beat within their category in terms of overall capability and power. And the good news is—their retail prices have since dropped significantly enough that you can now snag the iPhone 11 base model under P30,000 and the iPhone 13 base unit under P50,000. 

The only question that remains is: Which one should you buy? We’re here to help. Ahead, we’re breaking down these iPhones and comparing specs so you can easily decide which device fits your lifestyle, needs, and budget. We all know the temptation to upgrade to an iPhone is strong, especially since we’re nearing the holiday season, so shopping for one can be your tech treat this Christmas. 

PSA: You can get your hands on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 via the SM Malls Online app. No sweat! You can also use the voucher code LESS100 at checkout, which saves you an extra P100 on your delivery orders worth P700. 

Ready to dive in? Let’s check out the design, camera, and battery life of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 to decide what your next (or first) iPhone purchase will look like.

Processing power and specs

The iPhone 11 carries a dual camera and is faster than its predecessor, the iPhone XR, thanks to its A13 Bionic processor. The iPhone 13, on the other hand, runs on an A15 Bionic processor—just one tad lower than the iPhone 14, which is now powered by A16. 

For most people upgrading from an older model, the iPhone 11 is more than enough of a jump. But if you’re keen on getting a faster processor than can take on your daily digital needs and beyond, snagging the the iPhone 13 is far more ideal. 

Storage-wise, the iPhone 11 base unit starts at 64GB and can be upgraded to 128GB. The iPhone 13, meanwhile, brings 128GB to its base unit and then goes up to 256GB and 512GB. Truth be told, 64GB seems small if you’re a heavy multimedia user, but that could be enough if you don’t max out your internal storage with apps or duplicates of images and videos (you can also subscribe to iCloud for more space or make sure to streamline your albums every now and then). 

That said, 128GB to 256GB can be your sweet spot if you like productivity apps, light games, and are trigger-happy (aka a self-confessed selfie junkie). 

Shop the base iPhone 11 64GB in Green at 19% off via the SM Malls Online app. That’s only P27,990 from its original retail price of P34,490. 

Spring for the iPhone 13 128GB in Blue if you want more internal memory at P47,990 (before P52,490) via the SM Malls Online app to get a 9% discount.  

Display and design

Both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 sport a 6.1-inch screen with an “all-screen” feature. The only difference is that the former is an LCD while the latter already has an OLED display boasting crisper colors and deep blacks and made of Ceramic Shield for extra protection. 

In real-world usage, you might not even notice this visual disparity because as with all iPhones, even the LCD screens are clear and deliver brilliance. 

Design-wise, the iPhone 13 dons flat edges and a smaller notch. And while both models have a dual-camera array in the top left corner, the iPhone 11’s lenses on the rear camera bump are placed vertically, while the iPhone 13’s are diagonal. 

While the iPhone 11 offers six funky colorways (black, green, purple, white, yellow, and Product(RED)), the 13 introduces five new hues in blue, midnight (black with a slightly bluish tint), pink, and starlight (silver with hints of gold), while retaining its signature Product(RED) line. We know it can be quite confusing which color to cop (they’re all equally stunning!), but if given the choice, we suggest snagging one that feels and looks closest to your aesthetic sensibility. 

Get the iPhone 11 128GB in Black for only P31,490 from P37,990 (that’s 17% off!) via the SM Malls Online app if you want something more streamlined, classic, and professional. 

Opt for a more fun hue like the iPhone 13 256GB in Pink at 8% off (now P54,990 from P59,990) via the SM Malls Online app if you’re used to rocking soft, delicate shades or if you simply want something else other than your usual black, blue, or white. 

Cameras and battery

Truth: All iPhone cameras are great for taking casual images and videos. However, if you’re a content creator and a multimedia enthusiast whose work banks on professional media content, the iPhone 13 is a good investment. If you’re a casual user, the iPhone 11 can still be your go-to. You’ll still be perfectly happy with the technology of the iPhone 11. 

Both the iPhone 11 and iPhone 13 feature 12-megapixel dual main shooters with the same wide and ultra-wide apertures at ƒ/1.8 and ƒ/2.4 respectively. A glaring difference would be the 13’s sensor-shift optical stabilization function with the 11 still retaining an optical image stabilization feature. 

How about the selfie or front cameras? Both phones still have 12-megapixel True Depth with ƒ/2.2 aperture with the 13 having cinematic mode for videos. For shooting videos, both devices are capable of 4K video recording at 24fps, 30fps, and 60fps. The iPhone 13, though, has an HDR Doll Vision capability of up to 60fps, night mode and time-lapse to boot. 

The A13 of the iPhone 11 and the A15 of the iPhone 13 are both capable of running the newest features of iOS 16. Power and heavy users will notice the slight difference in battery life though, but for average users, the iPhone 11’s 17 hours of video playback and 65 hours of audio playback will be more than enough. 

Note that the iPhone 13 boasts of 19 hours of video playback (two hours more than the 11) and 75 hours of audio playback (10 hours more than the 11). Both phones are compatible with Qi wireless charging, but the iPhone 13 now has MagSafe, but that’ll require you to purchase a separate charger. 

In real-world usage, the iPhone 11 can power the casual user through the day without having to worry about plugging in. But if you’re a hardcore user who can use a battery boost, the juice you can get from the iPhone 13 is pretty significant. 

Shop the iPhone 13 512GB in Starlight, now only P67,990 from P72,490 (that’s 6% off) via the SM Malls Online app. 

Our final word

Despite the iPhone 11 coming out in 2019 (hey, that wasn’t too long ago, right?), it still proves to be a functional and more than capable contender within its category. It’ll still get you through the tech duties of your life and help you out in your daily creative endeavors. If you’re looking for a pro-level device, the iPhone 13 is best at this point—not quite pricey as its Pro and Pro Max siblings but is still a pro beast in the field. 

Thankfully, both are bargains via the SM Malls Online app this month—with all aforementioned units at discounted prices. Yay! So really, it’s just a matter of defining what your daily (and future) tech needs are and how much you’re willing to spare. 

For great deals and bargains on tech and gadgets, download the SM Malls Online app and visit SM Deals on the daily. Don’t forget to use the voucher code LESS100 at checkout to save P100 on your delivery orders worth P700!