Apple released their new version of the iPhone SE in April 2020, after a long lead-up packed with feature and design leaks that gave people a pretty good idea of what they were going to get.

The proverbial cherry on top is the iPhone SE’s incredible price: it retails at $399 for the 16GB version and $499 for the 64GB version. Given this, it’s probably no surprise that 26% of current iPhone SE users are Android converts, demonstrating a higher-than-normal switch rate for this most recent release.

But how does the newest iPhone SE hold up against other, more powerful models on the market? Today, we’re going to explore the pros and cons of Apple’s most reasonably-priced iPhone model to date.

Apple’s iPhone SE (2020): Pros and Cons

Much like the previous version of the SE which had an iPhone 6S chip in an iPhone 5S, the newest model is essentially an iPhone 8 with an iPhone 11 chip inside. As disappointing as this may be to some hardcore Apple fans, the newest SE is still a thoroughly solid phone. Not only does its A13 chip boost the phone’s overall camera quality, but its maximum storage has quadrupled from the previous model–compare 16GB to 64GB.


  • Still very affordable at a starting price of $399, the same as its original 2016 version.
  • The best bionic chip on the market. Apple’s A13 bionic chip is the fastest mobile processor available on any phone right now.
  • Dual-camera system, featuring a single-lens 12MP rear-facing camera and a single-lens 7MP front-facing camera. The rear-facing camera boasts improved quality with Portrait Mode and Lightning effects.
  • Stellar video quality with 4K recordings, 1080p slo-mo footage, and some of the best stabilization capabilities available.
  • Solid battery life. Watch up to 13 hours of video on a single charge. If you need to charge in a pinch, you’ll be happy to know that this phone touts 18W fast charge & Qi-compatible wireless charging capabilities.
  • Built to stay strong. The iPhone SE boasts ion-strengthened glass, which protects against scratches and high-impact falls. It also touts an IP67 rating for dust & water resistance; this phone can explore watery depths as low as one meter for up to 30 minutes. Last but not least, the SE’s front glass display has an oleophobic coating, which guards against unsightly smudges and fingerprints.
  • Three sleek color options. Get the iPhone SE in one of three sophisticated colors: Black, White, and Red.
  • Enjoy your favorite tunes with high-quality stereo speakers.


  • Relatively small display. This phone has a smaller display of only 4.7”, a holdover from its now-dated iPhone 8 design. This makes it hard to text or watch videos in brighter lighting.
  • Mediocre battery life. The iPhone SE only allows for 13 hours of video playback on a single charge, in addition to a slow-charging standard 5W charger.
  • Single-lens cameras. Both the rear-facing and front-facing cameras are single-lens and have relatively low MP numbers, with 12MP for the rear-facing camera and 7MP for the front-facing camera.
  • No Face ID technology. This model’s camera cannot support the three-dimensional depth-mapping and infrared imaging that Face ID technology requires.
  • Fast-charge adapter not included. Even though the iPhone SE boasts fast-charging and Qi-compatible wireless-charging capabilities, it doesn’t come with an adapter–only a standard 5W charger that charges pretty slowly.
  • No headphone jack for those who prefer to listen to music or videos the classic way.
  • Lots of bezels take up precious design space, which could otherwise be used on a larger display or more powerful battery.

What’s the difference between the iPhone SE and the iPhone XR?

You’ll find that these two models share a surprising amount of similarities, especially in terms of design, water resistance, and storage capacity. But seeing as the iPhone XR comes with a more sophisticated camera system, a longer battery life, and a larger display, it makes sense that its 64GB runs for $250 more than the 128GB version of the iPhone SE.

iPhone SEiPhone XR
CameraDual-Camera System: Wide, HDR, Panorama, and Face DetectionTriple-Camera System: Wide, HDR, Panorama, and Biometrics Sensor
Display4.7” Retina IPS LCD display6.1” Liquid Retina IPS LCD display
Materials & FinishesAluminum & glass designAluminum & glass design
Battery LifeUp to 13 hours of video playback (Fast-charge adapter not included)Up to 16 hours of video playback (Fast-charge adapter not included)
Water ResistanceUp to 1 meter for 30 minutesUp to 1 meter for 30 minutes
Colors3 Options: Black, White, or Red6 Options: Black, White, Yellow, Blue, Coral, or White
Capacity64GB, 128GB, or 256GB64GB, 256GB, or 512GB

The Bottom Line on the iPhone SE

The biggest selling point of the iPhone SE is, well, its selling point: $399 is hard to beat for an iPhone that is comparable to more sophisticated models, like the iPhone XR. And on the Glyde marketplace, you can find the iPhone SE for even cheaper than that!

With the most powerful bionic chip processor available and improved Portrait Mode and Lightning effects on its rear-facing camera, you’ll get a reasonably-priced phone that runs fast and takes gorgeous photos. If you’re looking for a bigger display or longer battery life, though, then it’s wise to opt for the iPhone XR. Nevertheless, the iPhone SE is a great choice for those looking for the best iPhones have to offer without breaking the bank.

FAQs: Comparing the iPhone SE to Other iPhone Models

When will the iPhone SE price drop? iPhone 12 released last month–in October–which means that prices on the iPhone SE are lower than ever. If you’re looking to shop a great deal, you can browse the iPhone SE listings on the Glyde marketplace here.

Is the iPhone SE worth buying in 2020?

Absolutely. If the price isn’t enough to win you over, consider its lightning-fast bionic chip processor and improved camera features, both of which you’ll find on more high-end–and far more expensive–models like the iPhone XR. Unsurprisingly, the iPhone SE is slated to be one of the best-selling phones of the year worldwide, boasting an impressive 25% share of all iPhones sold in China so far.

Check out the iPhone SE on Glyde’s site, here.


Write a Comment