The iPhone SE 2020 was launched with just one thing in mind – to enable Apple fans and future Apple fans to purchase a new iPhone for a much lower price. At $399, this phone has incredible performance due to its A13 Bionic chipset and is most definitely well worth the money for an Apple product.
List of Specifications
Dimension: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm (5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in)
Weight: 148 g (5.22 oz)
Display: 4.7 in Retina IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors. 750 x 1334 pixels, 16:9 ratio (~326 ppi density)
Storage Options: 3GB RAM, 64GB / 128GB / 256G Internal Storage, no memory card slot
Software: iOS 13
Rear Camera: 12 MP, f/1.8 (wide), PDAF, OIS. Quad-LED dual-tone flash, HDR, panorama
Front Camera: 7 MP, f/2.2, face detection, HDR, panorama
Battery: Non Removable Li-Ion 1821 mAh, Fast Charging 18W (50% in 30 min), Qi Wireless Charging
Other Features: Fingerprint (front-mounted), accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass, barometer, Siri natural language commands and dictation.
- It’s Lightweight
- Low price tag
- Powerful chipset
- Decent Camera
- No headphone jack
- No night mode
- Old screen technology
- Battery life is nothing to shout about
- Big bezels
Design and Layout
The design of this phone is very similar to the iPhone 8 which was launched in 2017. This is one of the reasons why Apple is able to sell this phone at such a low price tag – there was no need to invest in a whole new manufacturing process.
However, this means that this device feels like something that came from the past. Compared to its peers which have all-screen designs, this phone has big bezels on the top and bottom.
You will also notice that this phone is very lightweight, similar to other iPhones that are from 2016 to 2017 years. Thus, if you have been using a phone from this era, the iPhone SE 2020’s familiar design will be very easy to switch too. This phone also continues to use Touch ID instead of Face ID, as used in other Apple phones.
An upgrade from the original iPhone SE is the change from the clickable home button to a stationary haptic button for quick actions and the contextual menu. This is much better suited for the 4.7-inch display.
This phone also does not have the 3.5mm headphone jack. While most of us have gotten used to not having this feature on our phones, it may take some time for you to get used to the lack of this feature if you are upgrading from a 2 to 3-year-old phone. The good news is the iPhone SE 2020 box contains Apple’s EarPods.
The iPhone SE2020 comes in white, black and red colour. It has a glass front and back and is water and dust resistant so you do not have to worry about spills and splashes as you go about your day.
This device has a 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display with true tone, wide color, and Dolby vision. Screen resolution is 750 x 1334 pixels. While this part does not seem to keep up with higher-end phones, it is still quite acceptable, especially with the low price tag.
If Apple were to look for something to improve on for this phone, they could look into the brightness of the display. Since the launch of iPhone 8, screens have displayed more vivid colors and many Apple fans have come to expect this standard to be upheld. The older screen technology for this phone means that you will have to shield your phone from brighter lights to see what is on the screen. This can be quite an annoyance, especially when you are trying to watch a video.
Powered by a Li-Ion 1821 mAh battery, the iPhone SE 2020’s battery is nothing stellar. It can last for about a day with normal regular use. It can last for about 13 hours when watching videos and 8 hours for video streaming. Overnight battery drain is about 5%, depending on what devices are linked to it, suggesting that this phone is quite power-efficient when in standby mode. The A13 Bionic Processor helps with the phone’s power efficiency.
When it comes to charging, this device charges up to 50% within 30 minutes when using an 18W power adapter. The phone is also Qi wireless charging enabled. If you are looking for a phone with long battery life, then this is not the phone for you.
Software and Performance
The iPhone SE 2020 is equipped with the A13 Bionic chip, which is also used in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. Furnished with an 8 core neural engine, the A13 Bionic chip is able to carry out 5 trillion operations per second. It also has two Machine Learning Accelerators and a Machine Learning Controller. This means that this phone will have a very impressive, fast performance, especially when compared to other phones in a similar price range. It also means that this phone will have several years of updates on it.
The A13 Bionic Processor may be the reason that tips the scales to this device. Apps load quickly and switching between apps is lag free. It is able to compress a 4.5 minute, 1080p video with the same speed as the iPhone 11 Pro Max, which is known for being the most powerful phone from Apple.
Gameplay performance is smooth, even when tested with powerful games. The only downside here is the lower resolution display, resulting in graphics that are less sharp. Nonetheless, this is a small price to pay when considering the enjoyable experience with the phone’s swift performance.
Apple has decided to retain its ‘old’ hardware for this iPhone SE 2020’s camera. It has the same lenses and megapixel count as its older counterpart, the iPhone 8. Fortunately, the A13 Bionic chipset enhances its photo quality.
This phone’s camera produces pictures with accurate color and white balance. Colors are not oversaturated, there are good dynamic range and optical image stabilization. As with many phone cameras, zooming in results in lower resolution pictures.
Thanks to the neural cores in the A13 Bionic chipset, this phone is able to capture portraits with artificial blur. This works for both the rear camera and the selfie camera.
One lacking feature with the phone in terms of capturing pictures is night mode. You will need to use the flash if there is not enough light to illuminate the scene.
As for videos, you will be able to shoot 4K 60fps. With its great stabilization, video footage is not only consistent but quite impressive, especially when captured in a good light.
The Google Pixel 4a is one of the iPhone SE 2020’s main competitors. With a price difference of about $50, the Google Pixel 4a offers a 5.8 inch OLED display, a slicker design with smaller bezels. Additionally, there is also night mode for its camera. However, compared to Apple’s A13 Bionic Chip, the Google Pixel 4a’s Snapdragon 730 processor is much slower. The SE 2020 is also water-resistant and has wireless charging. Thus, it comes down to which features are important to you.
The Bottom Line
The iPhone SE 2020 is a smartphone that is very suitable for you if you are looking for a great value iPhone. Price-wise, it is the cheapest model but this phone comes with great performance, as well as a decent camera. It also has years of updates so you will be able to use it for a number of years without any problems.
However, if a strong camera is what you are looking for, then this is not the phone for you. While the camera is okay for the low price tag, there are still a few areas in which it struggles with. Also, if you need a phone with long battery life, then it’s best to avoid this phone. Lastly, if you love watching movies and videos on your phone, the iPhone SE 2020’s screen is a little dark as compared to newer, sharper screens.