iPhone users rarely get confused about which iPhone to buy. For the most of us, it’s a matter of price. If there is one good news about the iPhone SE, it is consumer choice. Apple has now given us so many iPhones to pick from.
Apple’s new budget 2020iPhone SE second generation is a surprisingly good value for all it gives you.However, to get to that $399 price tag, you sacrifice numerous significant features that sets the iPhone range apart.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at iPhone SE (2020) The good, the bad, and the ugly.
iPhone SE 2020, The good:
You just have to look around you to see that phone screen sizes are growing ever larger. The
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra,
for example features a 6.9-inch screen, while even the smallest member of the Galaxy S20 line boasts a display that’s larger than 6 inches. So heavy
is the demand for huge smartphone screens that companies are now trying to create foldable phones with displays that fold out into even larger panels.
And if you have tiny hands, you take one glance at these hilariously gigantic smartphones and shake your head, wondering if there’s even a place
for people like you in this Bigger Must Be Better planet.
For those with tiny hands, the introduction of iPhone SE 2020 has given hope for a more comfortable future. Although it’s bigger than the original 4-inch model, the new 4.7-inch phone should rest gently
in your hand and even more gently in your pocket. Despite the industry push toward huge displays, there’s still a need for compact phones.
The iPhone SE 2020 has one specific killer feature that you will come back to again and again as you compare it to other iPhones. It’s cheaper. If you’re purchasing brand new and straight fromApple, the iPhone SE is $200 less than its cheapest competitor. That’s a huge difference that it must make the iPhone SE the only iPhone some people can afford. Even if you can comfortably stretch to a more pricey iPhone, too, then this price difference is enough that it’s got to make you weigh up what is really worth your money and what is not.
Screen sizes aren’t the only thing that are getting bigger with phones. Have you seen the prices of premium phones these days? For a top-of-the-line Flagship device, $999 now looks like the starting point, and when a feature-rich smartphone comes in at anything lower less than that — say, the $899 people are generally startled.
If it were just about saving cash, the iPhone SE 2020 would already be a compelling buy. But you’re getting lots of features for just $399.
For starters, the iPhone SE is bandled with the A13 Bionic chipset, similar to the one poweringApple’s iPhone 11 lineup. The A13 has proven to be the best-performing mobile processor out there, thrashing out even the newer Snapdragon 865 in head-to-head benchmarks. Until the iPhone SE came along, you’d have to part with at least $699 for an iPhone 11 to enjoy that kind of power. Now you can have it for $300 less.
The new iPhone SE features other niceties you normally wouldn’t expect in a sub-$400 phone, like wireless charging support.
You’re only getting a single rear camera with the new iPhone SE, but the 12-megapixel lens is augmented by the A13’s built-in Neural Engine. So as far as camera is concerned, you’ll surely be impressed with what this device has to offer.
Phone that lasts
Apple does a commendable job making sure older
iPhones can still support updated versions of iOS a couple of years into the future. More recent iPhones may have had more oomph.
I don’t expect things to be different with the iPhone SE 2020. The A13 processor is going to give you a lot of muscle out of the gate, and ongoing iOS support
will last long after the upcoming
update coming this fall.
The new iPhone SE 64-bit Fusion architecture, coupled with an efficient CPU and dated but low-energy Retina LCD display should surely translate to the
longest lasting battery-life you’ll find in an iPhone.
iPhone SE 2020, The Bad:
The new iPhone SE has cut a few too many corners to bring
the price down to the budget-friendly $399. Here’s what you need to know before you make the leap.
Starting with the obvious, Apple’s decision to reuse the design of the iPhone 8 – which in turn, dates back to the six-year-old iPhone 6 – is a stretch.
Displays have gotten so much more advanced, with slimmer bezels that maximize the use of space on the front of the device.
The design of the iPhone 5 may have been almost four years old when the first iPhone SE launched, however, it wasn’t a major concern. Users weren’t putting up with
old tech. Phones didn’t make the big leap in bezel-less technology, which is not just an aesthetic improvement. That’s loads of real estate wasted.
We’re not complaining that Apple has packed an industry-leading A13 Bionic chipset in a $399, but we can only hope users find the use for it. Power users
are unlikely to be the iPhone SE’s target market. Odds are, those users will opt for phones with the color-accuracy of OLED displays, array of camera
options and a larger screen.
In Apple’s discription, the A13 Bionic is years ahead of any other chip – just in a body that’s years behind. So much of what the chip was built for is unavailable
with the new iPhone SE, such as triple-cameras, Face ID and depth-sensing for AR.
Budget phone, pricey peripherals
The iPhone SE 2020 may entice you in with its low price, but Apple’s seems to have made some calculated omissions to make sure money streams their way. The 3.5mm headphone
jack has been grumbled about to no end, but hold on, there’s an important point in defense of buyers here.
Budget customers perhaps don’t want to part with additional hundred bucks on wireless headsets. This is one of the reasons why the Google Pixel 3a didn’t
go the way of the Pixel 4 and retained the headphone jack. But in a non-budget-oriented move, Apple’s eliminated the headphone jack, forcing customers to make that
decision ultimately. A win in the making for Apple.
With no expandable storage, the base 64GB model surely can’t be sustainable for most users, who will probably choose the $449, 128GB model. Unfortunately, the
price is somewhat heavier to stomach.
iPhone SE 2020, The Ugly:
You don’t get TrueDepth and Face ID
Touch ID is as striking today on the new iPhone SE as it was when it debuted on the iPhone 5S
back in 2013.
It’s fast, secure, and as well as swiftly unlocking your phone, it allows you to quickly pay for goods or services with Apple Pay.
This technology is seven years old, though, and as of the launch of the iPhone SE, precisely one iPhone in the entire range has it. All of the rest of
Apple’s current lineup uses
and for the bigger part, that is better. Much better.
Face ID is more secure, harder to hack, and since the original generation of it in the iPhone X, has
than Touch ID. Right now with the coronavirus we are having the issue that faces with a mask can’t reliably be recognized, but in general use, glancing
at your iPhone has become much faster than pressing your thumb onto a button and waiting.
Additionally, there are users who find that Touch ID is unreliable. That can be because of the cases that their employers require them to use, it can be because
your finger is damp or sweaty. Whatever the reason, Touch ID can frustrate users who don’t find any difficulty with Face ID.
So for convenience, speed, and security, Face ID is a strong justification to purchase a different iPhone.
Your choices are the iPhone XR starting at $599, the
iPhone 11 Pro
at $999, and
iPhone 11 Pro Max
To save you counting, those prices range from $200 to $700 more than an iPhone SE. Put it differently, for the price of an iPhone 11 Pro, you could purchase two
iPhone SE models and have change enough over to get a case.
This is one area where the iPhone SE, as good as it is, is ragging behind whichever way you look at it. If you’re someone who loves the older, smaller, 4-inch
display, then the 4.7-inch one of the iPhone SE is more of a difference than it sounds. It’s the difference between being able to work the phone entirely
with one hand, and not.
Then if you do like larger screens, as so many folks do, then have to see the 4.7-inch iPhone SE display as being paltry. Both the iPhone XR and the iPhone
11 features 6.1-inch screens, while the iPhone 11 Pro features a 5.8-inch one.
Even those don’t really compare to the larger models, or what used to be referred to as the Plus ones. The current iPhone 11 Pro Max features a 6.5-inch screen —and
that’s now your only choice for a larger form factor. The iPhone SE has really only replaced the iPhone 8, but its launch saw the larger iPhone 8 Plus
The iPhone 8 Plus was actually bigger, physically, than the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but it’s perhaps not a great loss to the lineup because that larger case
held a comparatively smaller screen. The iPhone 8 Plus featured a 5.5-inch display in a chassis that was slightly bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro Max with its
That old iPhone 8 Plus was also substantially bigger than the iPhone 11 Pro, running to 6.24-inches by 3.07-inches compared to the newer iPhone’s 5.67-inches
The reason that even the 11 Pro can have a smaller chassis yet a larger screen is down to how the newer phones have an almost edge to edge display. The
iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone SE 2020, both have old-style thick bezels around the screen.
You can still buy an iPhone 8 Plus from resellers where it will typically cost around $499, or about $600 less than the only other large-scale model, the
iPhone 11 Pro Max.
The iPhone SE is repeatedly said to be the old iPhone 8 with new internal hardware, but actually its screen goes back much further than that. As far as physical size, resolution and technology are concerned, the screen
in the 2020 iPhone SE is nearly the same as that of the iPhone 6 or iPhone 6S from 2014/15. The only difference is that the iPhone SE’s version supports True Tone so it alters color levels depending on your surroundings.
In the six years since the iPhone 6, though, displays have improved. They’re edge to edge, or nearly, and instead of the old LCD display panel, many of
them use OLED. This technology provides a better black and overall an improved contrast.
It’s not as if the difference is even close. Where the iPhone SE 2020 has a contrast ratio of 1,400:1, the iPhone 11 Pro provides 2,000,000:1. No question,
the screens on the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are better than that on the new iPhone SE. They’re also brighter on the iPhone 11 Pro, at 800 nits instead
of 625 nits on the new iPhone SE.
As clear as these differences are when either you hold the iPhones next to each other, or you downgrade, there’s no other way you’d even see the SE screen
as a problem. It is clear, bright, and sharp, and if the other models are clearer, brighter, and sharper, that doesn’t make the new iPhone SE screen unusably
Cameras are an issue
This is another area where there’s no comparison whatsoever. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max features a triple camera system on the back, and
all three are lenses are superb. They’re 12MP and provide seamless switching between their Wide, Ultra Wide, and Telephoto cameras.
The new iPhone SE features a single camera on the rear. It is a 12MP camera, and it is Wide, but it’s one camera and that’s your lot.
Except that of course all iPhones also have a front-facing camera. Here the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are better than the iPhone SE 2020, or any other
model in that regard. The front or selfie camera on an iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max is a 12MP one that’s as capable of shooting 4K video as the
With the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max, and exclusively with these phones, you can shoot videos equally well from front and back. If you’re making a YouTube video where you’re talking to the camera, this is a difference that means you can watch yourself on the phone screen to make sure you are framed correctly throughout.
It means you can use a Teleprompter app right there with the selfie lens.
Our two sense
iPhone SE 2020 gets so much right on the inside but will surely leave much to be desired externally after long term use. It will surely last years, with Apple’s
loyal software updates and enough power from the A13 Bionic to keep it fit for use.
However, the phone could enjoy far better longevity by going bezel-less to maximize what can be done on its screen. Wireless charging has also made the
glass back a necessity, but it would make more sense to the budget-conscious buyer to have a sturdier metal back to last the years, never mind the wireless
While the iPhone SE 2020 is a really fascinating combination of features as well as price, it does not include every feature you may be used to in
an iPhone. And these missing features could either make you consider a more expensive model, or they could contribute to your deciding that you’ll stay
with whichever iPhone you already have.
And that covers everything about iPhone SE (2020) The good, the bad, and the ugly!