It’s been a long time coming but Apple has finally launched a successor to the iPhone SE, dubbed simply the new iPhone SE.
This phone slots in at the bottom end of Apple’s current smartphone selection, offering a relatively affordable – not to mention compact – alternative to the iPhone 11 range.
Previously your cheapest option, if you wanted one of the latest iPhone models, was the iPhone 11 itself. So just how does the new iPhone SE 2020 compare to that handset? Read on to find out.
iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone 11 price and availability
The iPhone SE 2020 is hitting stores on April 24 with pre-orders opening on April 17. It starts at $399 / £419 / AU$749, for which you get 64GB of storage. 128GB meanwhile will cost you $449 / £469 / AU$829, and 256GB costs $549 / £569 / AU$999.
The iPhone 11 on the other hand is of course available now, and that starts at $699 / £729 / AU$1,199, for which you get 64GB of storage. Prices rise to $749 / £779 / AU$1,279 for 128GB and $849 / £879 / AU$1,449 for 256GB. So the iPhone SE 2020 is far, far cheaper than the iPhone 11.
The new iPhone SE looks a lot like the iPhone 8, complete with a large bezel below the screen (housing a physical home button with Touch ID). There’s also a large bezel above the screen. The glass back is fairly plain, with just a small camera bump in the top left corner.
The phone is IP67 rated, so it can survive being submerged up to 1 meter deep in water for up to 30 minutes, and it comes in black, white and red shades.
The iPhone 11 meanwhile has a screen-filled front, albeit with a large notch at the top. Flip it over and there’s a large square camera block in the top left corner.
The phone has a metal frame, a glass back, and it’s IP68 certified for water and dust resistance – that means it can survive submersion of up to 2 meters for up to 30 minutes. It’s also available in a range of mostly bright colors, including Black, Green, Yellow, Purple, Red and White.
As for the dimensions and weight, the iPhone SE 2020 comes in at 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm and 148g, while the iPhone 11 is 150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm and 194g.
So the new iPhone SE is smaller and lighter than the iPhone 11, but looks rather more old-fashioned and bezel-heavy. Neither phone has a 3.5mm headphone port.
The iPhone SE 2020 has a 4.7-inch 750 x 1334 IPS LCD screen with 326 pixels per inch, while on the iPhone 11 there’s a 6.1-inch 828 x 1792 IPS LCD display with 326 pixels per inch.
So the iPhone 11 is larger and higher resolution, but with the same pixel density. Both phones also have up to 625 nits of brightness and support True Tone, allowing them to automatically adjust the white balance to suit your environment.
Neither phone matches the superior OLED display of the iPhone 11 Pro, but we were reasonably impressed with the iPhone 11’s screen, and based on the specs will likely feel similarly about the new iPhone SE’s.
Camera and battery
The iPhone SE 2020 has a single-lens 12MP f/1.8 camera on the back, supported by optical image stabilization (OIS) to help keep your shots steady and in focus. On the front there’s a 7MP f/2.2 camera.
With the iPhone 11 you get a 12MP f/1.8 main sensor and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide one. The main sensor also has OIS, and there’s support for 2x optical zoom. On the front meanwhile it has a 12MP f/2.2 ‘TrueDepth’ camera, which additionally powers Face ID.
So you get more lenses on the iPhone 11, but the two phones have many of the same modes and features, including a portrait mode. For video, both phones top out at 4K quality at 60fps.
As for the battery, Apple hasn’t said what size the one in the iPhone SE 2020 is, but the company has claimed that it offers up to 13 hours of video playback (or 8 hours of streamed video).
We know that the iPhone 11 meanwhile has a 3,110mAh battery, one which supposedly offers up to 17 hours of video playback (or 10 hours of streamed video). In our own tests we found that the iPhone 11 could easily last a day or just beyond, but by the sounds of things the new iPhone SE might not be quite as good in this regard.
When it comes time to charge, both phones support 18W wired charging, as well as wireless charging.
Specs and features
Both the iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone 11 have a top-end A13 Bionic chipset (just like the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max), and a choice of 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. The iPhone 11 additionally has 4GB of RAM, while we don’t currently know how much the new iPhone SE has.
Still, core specs and performance should be similar, but the iPhone 11 also has facial recognition powered by Apple’s secure Face ID system, whereas the iPhone SE 2020 relies on a Touch ID fingerprint scanner.
As for software, both phones run iOS 13 and are likely to be supported with updates for a similar amount of time.
The iPhone SE 2020 is the ‘budget’ iPhone you might have been waiting for, as it substantially undercuts even the basic iPhone 11.
Despite that, it has the same chipset, storage and software, but the design is arguably more dated, the screen is smaller, the battery life is supposedly worse, there’s only one rear camera and – rather than Apple’s modern Face ID system – you get older Touch ID.
So a lot of sacrifices and changes have been made to keep the price down – but the new iPhone SE is also small, which is something else a number of people still like their phones to be, so it’s ultimately quite a different proposition to the iPhone 11 and is sure to be the better option for some.
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