iPhone SE overview: Basic iPhone design, however with 2020 processing energy

There are plenty of methods to consider Apple’s new $399 iPhone SE. One is that it is a extra inexpensive possibility than the iPhone 11 ($699 at Apple), with surprisingly related digital camera specs, which it’s. Or that it is the 2020 sequel to the unique SE from 2016, which it is also. Or, at 4.7 inches, that it is the smallest and least expensive iPhone you’ll be able to at the moment purchase (although it is not that small). Or — and that is my favourite method to consider it — that it is an iPhone Eight with the brains and energy of an iPhone 11. The truth is, the brand new iPhone SE is all these items and that is why I am enamored with it.

LikeAffordable priceLong battery life so farGreat rear cameraiPhone 11 Professional-level efficiency

Do not LikeOld iPhone designSelfie digital camera is mediocre

The brand new iPhone SE has the basic design that outlined the iPhone for its first 10 years. The design, the physique and the digital camera lenses are all the identical as 2017’s iPhone 8. However Apple carried out a intelligent mind transplant, changing the almost 3-year-old processor with the A13 Bionic processor used within the iPhone 11, 11 Professional and 11 Professional Max. This goes properly past a easy spec bump by majorly bettering issues just like the cameras and battery life. The brand new processor not solely runs sooner, however it would probably future-proof the telephone by means of years of iOS updates.

Learn extra: iPhone SE 2020 is proof that Apple will not really carry again the tiny telephone

However a $399 (£419, AU$749) iPhone comes with compromises, which Apple selected properly. The SE has solely a single rear digital camera, it would not have Face ID and it lacks digital camera options like Night time Mode, Slofies and Deep Fusion processing. The selfie digital camera is OK however not as wonderful because the one discovered on the iPhone 11, 11 Professional and 11 Professional Max.

While you take a look at the entire image, the iPhone SE represents essentially the most worth in your greenback of any telephone Apple sells. It has a lovely value, incredible battery life, nice rear digital camera, A13 processor, water resistance and assist for wi-fi charging. The SE just isn’t solely a beautiful iPhone, however probably the greatest price range telephones you’ll be able to at the moment purchase.

iPhone SE (2020) specs in comparison with iPhone 8, iPhone SE (2016), iPhone 11

iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone 8

iPhone SE (2016)

iPhone 11

Show dimension, decision

4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels

4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels

4-inch; 1,136×640 pixels

6.1-inch LCD Liquid Retina; 1,792×828 pixels

Pixel density





Dimensions (Inches)

5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in

5.45×2.65×0.29 in

4.87×2.31×0.Three in

5.94×2.98×0.33 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

138.Four x 67.Three x 7.Three mm

138.4×67.3×7.Three mm

123x58x7.6 mm

150.9×75.7×8.Three mm

Weight (Ounces, Grams)

5.22 oz; 148g

5.22 oz; 148 g

3.99 oz; 113 g

6.84 oz; 194g

Cell software program

iOS 13

iOS 11 (can replace to iOS 13)

iOS 9.3

iOS 13

Digital camera




12-megapixel (extensive), 12-megapixel (ultra-wide)

Entrance-facing digital camera





Video seize






Apple A13 Bionic

Apple A11 Bionic

Apple A9

Apple A13 Bionic


64GB, 128GB, 256GB

64GB, 256GB

16GB, 64GB

64GB, 128GB, 256GB


Not disclosed


Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Expandable storage






Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Fingerprint sensor

Residence button

Residence button

Residence button







Headphone jack





Particular options

Water-resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging

Water-resistant (IP67), wi-fi charging

Apple Pay; Haptic Contact

Water-resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wi-fi charging

Worth off-contract (USD)

$399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)

$699 (64GB), $849 (256GB)

$399 (16GB); $499 (64GB)

$699 (64GB), $749 (128GB), $849 (256GB)

Worth (GBP)

£419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)

£699 (64GB), £849 (256GB)

£359 (16GB) £439 (64GB)

£729 (64GB), £779 (128GB), £879 (256GB)

Worth (AUD)

AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

AU$1,079 (64GB), AU$1,329 (256GB)

AU$679 (16GB); AU$829 (64GB)

AU$1,199 (64GB), AU$1,279 (128GB), AU$1,449 (256GB)

The iPhone SE’s iPhone Eight design

Bodily, the SE is an iPhone 8. The back and front are product of glass, the chassis and sides are aluminum. The one bodily distinction between the iPhone SE and iPhone Eight is that the Apple emblem is now centered on the again to match current-generation iPhones.

The brand new telephone has Apple’s old-school brow and chin bezel above and beneath the display. This makes the SE look, properly, previous. That is the one of many few issues that I am not too thrilled about. It isn’t ugly, it is simply dated. And that may enchantment to some individuals, however not me.

Welcome again, massive bezels.

John Kim/CNET

Having used Face ID for the previous couple years, it is a unusual and acquainted feeling to arrange and use Contact ID. It is like going from an automated transmission again to a stick shift. However in the best automobile, stick shift generally is a blast.

I forgot how a lot I missed the house button and the way it makes interactions and navigation much less fussy than swipes and holds. I faucet and maintain to pay for purchases as an alternative of angling my telephone to get Face ID verification. A speedy double-tap exhibits current apps. Although Face ID has its personal advantages, the house button remains to be as satisfying to make use of because it was again within the day.

For tiny telephone lovers, the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch LCD show is not as small as the unique SE’s 4-inch display. But it surely’s nonetheless smaller than most telephones out proper now and is sufficient to be moveable and cozy for most individuals.

The display on the SE is much like the one on the iPhone 11, particularly by way of high quality and backbone. Textual content seems to be sharp, colours are correct and it is vibrant in sunny circumstances.

The iPhone SE is rated IP67 for water and mud resistance.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone SE is rated IP67, which means it could actually stand up to being submerged for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter (about Three toes). I wasn’t capable of check this declare, although I did submerge it in a liter of water for 30 minutes and the whole lot labored fantastic. This degree of water and mud resistance is not one thing you usually discover on telephones below $400, so it is notably noteworthy that the iPhone SE has it.

The SE is available in three colours: black, white and purple. The iPhone Eight had its personal purple model too, but it surely had white bezels and rattling if the iPhone SE would not look extra hanging in purple with black bezels.

The iPhone SE’s battery life is longer than the iPhone 8

Apple’s web site says that the iPhone SE’s battery lasts about the identical because the iPhone 8, however my testing confirmed it lasted for much longer. I performed a looped video on Airplane mode at 50% brightness and the iPhone SE lasted 15 hours, 45 minutes. That is hours longer than what the iPhone Eight and iPhone SE lasted in the identical check after they had been new. Anecdotally, it made it by means of a day and a half with no downside, and a pair instances it went two days straight with no cost.

In our early battery checks, the iPhone SE simply outlasts the iPhone Eight and authentic 2016 iPhone SE.

Patrick Holland/CNET

I ought to observe that I’ve extra battery checks to run (together with streaming video checks), so test again once I’ll replace the outcomes.

The iPhone SE has wi-fi charging, which is one other characteristic not discovered on most price range telephones. There’s additionally assist for fast-charging, which replenishes the battery to 50% in 30 minutes. However the iPhone SE would not include the mandatory 18-watt charger and as an alternative consists of the slower 5-watt one. Once more, that is more likely to maintain the price of the gadget low.

iPhone SE has A13 Bionic processor efficiency

The longevity of Apple’s iOS assist for “older units” is a quiet however important enchantment of proudly owning an iPhone. The iPhone Eight and its A11 processor at the moment are two-and-a-half years previous and can probably cease receiving iOS software program updates a pair years earlier than the iPhone SE and its newer A13 Bionic processor.

In efficiency checks, the iPhone SE was persistently higher than the iPhone Eight and (no shock) the unique iPhone SE. It scored related outcomes to what we acquired on the iPhone 11, 11 Professional and 11 Professional Max.

In actual life that meant app launches had been peppy, enjoying video games like Sky: Youngsters of Mild and Doomsday Vault had been a breeze. Modifying images was simple and I might even use graphics-heavy AR apps akin to Wonderscope, which reworked my bed room right into a coaching floor for ghosts.

Geekbench v.5.Zero single-core

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

Geekbench v.5.Zero multicore

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Slingshot Limitless

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

3DMark Ice Storm Limitless

Longer bars point out higher efficiency

iPhone SE cameras have Portrait Mode, Sensible HDR

The rear digital camera on the SE has the identical specs because the iPhone 8, however when mixed with the A13 chip and iOS 13 it transforms the digital camera into one thing that may compete with the very best telephone cameras, and even go toe-to-toe with the primary rear digital camera on the iPhone 11. It has a slew of options, together with Sensible HDR for images, Fast Take filming and Portrait Mode — these are spectacular options and a primary for a $399 iPhone.

The iPhone SE has a single rear digital camera that has SmartHDR and Portrait Mode for images.

John Kim/CNET

The rear digital camera on the SE has a 28mm f1.Eight lens whereas the iPhone 11 has two rear cameras: a predominant wide-angle digital camera with a 26-mm f1.Eight lens and an ultrawide-angle digital camera with a 13mm f/2.Four lens. I do benefit from the ultrawide-angle on the iPhone 11 however I did not miss it throughout my time with the iPhone SE.

After I examine images taken with every telephone, it is arduous to tell apart between them except you carry them onto a bigger display and even then the variations are delicate.

In good gentle, images from every are related by way of picture high quality. Have a look at the photographs beneath of a tree I took in my yard. Are you able to inform the distinction? You see my level. The obvious distinction is that the iPhone SE photograph is framed tighter than the iPhone 11.

Listed below are a couple of different images from the iPhone SE.

The iPhone SE is nice at capturing correct colours.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Sensible HDR is spectacular in preserving the sky from blowing out and the shadows comparatively freed from picture noise.

Patrick Holland/CNET

On this photograph of wooden slats, take a look at the quantity of element and texture the iPhone SE captured.

Patrick Holland/CNET

A pleasant snap of my breakfast taken below medium lighting.

Patrick Holland/CNET

Each telephones have portrait mode and produce glorious outcomes. The 11 can seize portrait mode images of each individuals and pets. The iPhone SE, just like the iPhone XR ($599 at Apple), can solely do individuals. It isn’t till you look very carefully on the images beneath that you would be able to see that the iPhone 11’s portrait mode captures only a bit extra element and fewer noise.

Within the image beneath of my shoulder, you will discover the standard of the falloff from in-focus to out-of-focus areas seems to be extra pure on the iPhone 11 than on the iPhone SE.

Under are images of my bike coach taken indoors in medium lighting. The obvious distinction right here is the framing is tighter on the iPhone SE. However the iPhone 11 captured extra element, which you’ll be able to see on the wall outlet. And should you take a look at the underside proper facet of the coach, you will discover the iPhone SE suffers from noise within the shadows. That stated, there is not an enormous distinction between the images. For indoor and medium gentle images, the 11 has a skinny edge.

As for video, each telephones are related. The iPhone SE and 11 can shoot 4K 60fps video, however solely the 11 takes benefit of the prolonged dynamic vary at that decision and body fee. The SE has prolonged dynamic vary for video, however solely as much as 4K 30fps. Check out my iPhone SE overview video to see samples of movies captured with the iPhone SE.

The one place the place there is a massive distinction between the 2 telephones are the selfie cameras. The iPhone 11 has a wider front-facing digital camera, and it is able to capturing 4K and slow-mo movies. The iPhone SE solely shoots 1080p video and no Slofies. Each have Portrait mode for selfies, however images from the iPhone 11 present extra element in my pores and skin.

Now enjoying:
Watch this:

iPhone SE reminds us how a lot we missed the house button


Present iPhone fashions and costs in contrast

Mannequin and storage

US value

UK value

Australia value

iPhone SE 64GB




iPhone SE 128GB




iPhone SE 256GB




iPhone XR 64GB




iPhone XR 128GB




iPhone 11 64GB




iPhone 11 128GB




iPhone 11 256GB




iPhone 11 Professional 64GB




iPhone 11 Professional 256GB




iPhone 11 Professional 512GB




iPhone 11 Professional Max 64GB




iPhone 11 Professional Max 256GB




iPhone 11 Professional Max 512GB




From left to proper: iPhone SE (2016), iPhone 8, iPhone SE (2020).

Patrick Holland/CNET

First printed on April 22.

About the author: SubSellKaro

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: