A Review of iPhone SE (2020) – The Most Powerful Budget Phone in a Nutshell
The iPhone SE is back! Loaded with enough power to challenge the best smartphones available—but for a fraction of the price. The first iPhone branded with the ‘SE’ name tag took the market by storm back in 2016. And judging by the fuss surrounding the new iPhone SE (2020), it seems well on track to follow in the footsteps of its predecessor. Here’s a breakdown of why the device is regarded as a market-disrupting game-changer.
Blistering Fast A13 Bionic Processor
The highlight of the iPhone SE (2020) is its processor—the A13 Bionic chip. Why is this such a big deal? The A13 is the same processor that powers the iPhone 11 models—and it has a rapport as one of the most powerful smartphone chipsets available today. Including a flagship-worthy processor in a budget phone caught most people by surprise (in a good way). So, whether you’re looking for a new gaming phone or a device capable of handling resource-intensive processes, the iPhone SE (2020) has more than enough power to exceed your expectation.
The idea of owning a brand new top-shelf iPhone for $399 sounds comical. If you’re on a budget, few devices—if any—can offer better value for money. Think about it: The iPhone SE (2020) boasts of the same performance (relatively) as the $999 iPhone 11 Pro. But what’s the catch? Apple must make profits by cutting down on costs somewhere, right?
Sure, the latest iPhone SE’s chipset is impressive or even too good for its price range—but that’s not the whole picture. Some features can only be quantified by the user. For example, how do you feel about shorter battery life? What about Bezels? Do you care about a telephoto, ultrawide rear camera, or night mode? If these factors are deal-breakers to you, then iPhone SE does not provide value for money (to you at least).
iPhone SE (2020) Design and Display Specs – Old is Gold (*Almost)
How do you create a budget phone? To most manufacturers, this means dialing down on the performance or cameras—but not Apple! As evidenced by the iPhone SE, the company’s solution to cutting costs is packing top-of-the-range internal components in the body of an older model. It’s like fitting the 760-horsepower engine of Ford Mustang Shelby in a Toyota Prius.
The screen’s design borrows from the iPhone 8, which in turn borrowed from the iPhone 7 and iPhone 6—only that this time it’s been spruced up. In fact, screen protectors used on the iPhone 6/7/8 are also compatible with the new iPhone SE. It features a flat 4.7-inch Retina display (1334×750 pixels) with HDR adjustments, True Tone enhancements, and wide color gamut support.
How Good is the iPhone SE (2020) Camera and Battery?
Apple’s iPhone SE comes with a single 12MP rear camera, deviating from the dual and triple camera in the iPhone 11. It features phase-detection autofocus, optical stabilization, Smart HDR, and portrait mode. The front-facing camera is fitted with a 7MP unit that supports Retina flash.
As for the battery, a 1,821mAh (same as the iPhone 8’s) leaves a lot to be desired—but you also have to factor in Apple’s device optimization prowess. It comes with a disappointing 5W charger, though you can use any USB-PD charger you have lying around.
A Hit or Miss?
The iPhone SE (2020) is a remarkable device. If you’re strapped for cash, investing in the smartphone is a no-brainer. Well, as long as you can live with the bezels. But if bezels make you queasy, you can add another $200 for the iPhone XR or $300 for the iPhone 11. And if you already own an iPhone 6, 7, or 8, the iPhone SE (2020) is largely the same—but on ‘steroids.’ All factors considered; we believe the latest iPhone SE is a HIT! It’s a device that will serve you diligently for the next couple of years. Well, as long as you protect it with Tech Armor’s screen protection.