iPhone SE 2020: The Complete Buyer’s and User Guide

iPhone SE 2020: The Complete Buyer's and User Guide

After years of rumors and speculations, Apple launched its new affordable entry-level iPhone, iPhone SE on April 15, 2020, after a very long gap of 4 years. There were some rumors that Apple may call it “iPhone 9”, but Apple has decided to stick to iPhone SE. In case, you’re wondering, SE stands for “Special Edition”. Apple had launched the original iPhone SE in 2016 but discontinued it in 2018.

Here’s a quick overview of the second-generation iPhone SE specifications including details Apple does not mention on its tech specs page:

  • iPhone SE is identical to the iPhone 8 in design
  • Features a 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display with True Tone to match the ambient lighting in a room, Wide color, Dolby Vision, and HDR1. The screen also sports a 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 PPI.
  • Powered by A13 Bionic chip with 3 GB RAM
  • Single 12MP wide rear camera (ƒ/1.8 aperture) with 5x digital zoom
  • 7MP front camera (f/2.2 aperture)
  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the Home button
  • 1821 mAH battery, same as the iPhone 8. It lasts about the same as iPhone 8 with up to 13 hours of video playback, up to 40 hours of audio playback
  • Support fast charging but you need to buy the charger separately
  • Cellular and Wireless capabilities: Gigabit-class LTE with 2×2 MIMO and LAA4, 802.11ax Wi‑Fi 6 with 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology, NFC with reader mode, Express Cards with power reserve
  • Wireless charging (works with Qi chargers), and support Fast charging
  • It is available in Black, white and PRODUCT (RED) colors
  • 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage capacities

2020 iPhone SE Features

Here’s a look at the best iPhone SE features:

Design

Apple iPhone SE 2020 Black Camera Touch ID

iPhone SE features an aerospace-grade aluminum and durable glass design with an all-black front and is available in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED. It is similar in design to iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. However, Apple has increased the size of the screen from 4-inch to 4.7-inch, so it might not go down well with users who prefer the original iPhone SE’s smaller form factor.

A13 Bionic Chip

Apple iPhone SE 2020 Apple Arcade Gaming

iPhone SE is powered by A13 Bionic chip, same as the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max. It is the fastest CPU in any smartphone. It features up to 20% faster CPU than the A12 chip. The A13 chip has special improvements for machine learning accelerators that allow the CPU to deliver more than 5 trillion operations per second.

Camera

Apple iPhone SE 2020 Camera Sample - 02

It comes with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide camera, the same as the iPhone XR, however, it is more capable than the iPhone XR because of A13’s imaging pipeline. The new iPhone SE supports all six Portrait Lightning effects and Depth Control, which iPhone XR does not support.

The rear camera also supports high-quality video capture at 4K up to 60fps, and extended dynamic range comes to iPhone SE for more highlight details up to 30fps.

Touch ID

The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is built into the Home button. Since Apple has now discontinued iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus, the new iPhone SE is the only iPhone to feature Touch ID.

Water- and Dust-Resistant

The second generation iPhone SE is water- and dust-resistant with an IP67 rating for water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Wi-Fi 6

It also supports the new Wi-Fi 6 standard for faster download speeds.

Express Cards

It supports “Express Cards with power reserve.” This means your iPhone can authenticate even when it is completely discharged. The Express Cards feature is likely to help with Apple’s upcoming CarKey feature. Furthermore, you will also be able to pay for rides with Apple Pay using Express Transit.

Comparison Table of Apple’s 2019-2020 iPhone models

Here’s a look at how Apple’s new iPhone SE compares with the other iPhone models available currently such as iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

Note: If you’re on a mobile device, then you will need to view the table in landscape mode.

Apple 2019-2020 iPhone Specifications
iPhone 11 Pro iPhone 11 Pro Max iPhone 11 iPhone SE (2020)
SoC Apple A13 Bionic

2 × Lightning Performance @ 2.66GHz
8MB L2

4 × Thunder Efficiency @ 1.73GHz
4MB L2

GPU Apple, 4 Cores
DRAM 4GB LPDDR4X 3GB LPDDR4X
Display 5.8-inch OLED
2436×1125
DCI-P3/True Tone
800 cd/m² brightness
2M:1 contrast ratio
6.5-inch OLED
2688×1242
DCI-P3/True Tone
800 cd/m² brightness
2M:1 contrast ratio
6.1-inch LCD
1792×828
DCI-P3/True Tone
625 cd/m² brightness
1400:1 contrast ratio
4.7-inch LCD
1334×750
DCI-P3/True Tone
625 cd/m² brightness
1400:1 contrast ratio
Size Height 144.0 mm 158.0 mm 150.9 mm 138.4 mm
Width 71.4 m 77.8 mm 75.7 mm 67.3 mm
Depth 8.1 mm 8.1 mm 8.3 mm 7.3 mm
Weight 188 grams 226 grams 194 grams 148 grams
Battery Life 3046mAh

+14.5% capacity
“+4 hours vs XS”

3969mAh

+25% capacity
“+5 hours vs XS Max”

3110mAh

+5.7% capacity
“+1 hours vs XR”

1821mAh

 

same as iPhone 8

Wireless Charging Qi
Rear Cameras Main 12 MP 1.4µm Dual Pixel PD

f/1.8, OIS

Wide Color Gamut
Quad LED True Tone Flash

12 MP 1.4µm

f/1.8, OIS

Wide Color Gamut
Quad LED True Tone Flash

Tele-
Photo
12 MP f/2.0 Telephoto, OIS
2x Optical Zoom
Wide 12MP f/2.4
120° Ultra-wide Angle
Front Camera 12MP f/2.2 Wide Angle 7MP f/2.2
Storage 64 GB
256 GB
512 GB
64 GB
256 GB
512 GB
64 GB
128 GB
256 GB
64 GB
128 GB
256 GB
I/O Apple Lightning
Wireless (local) 802.11ax Wi-Fi with MIMO + Bluetooth 5.0 + NFC
Cellular Gigabit-class LTE-A
4×4 MIMO and LAA
Gigabit-class
LTE-A
2×2 MIMO and LAA
Gigabit-class
LTE-A
Splash, Water, Dust Resistance IP68
up to 2 meters (Pro models = 4 meters), up to 30 minutes
IP67
up to 1 meters, up to 30 minutes
Dual-SIM nano-SIM + eSIM
Launch Price 64 GB:
$999 / £1049 / 1149€256 GB:
$1149 / £1199 / 1319€512 GB:
$1349 / £1399 / 1549€
64 GB:
$1099 / £1149 / 1249€256 GB:
$1249 / £1299 / 1419€512 GB:
$1449 / £1499 / 1649€
64 GB:
$699 / £729 / 799€128 GB:
$749 / £779 / 849€256 GB:
$849 / £879 / 969€
64 GB:
$399 / £419 / €479128 GB:
$449 / £469 / €529256 GB:
$549 / £569 / €649

[via AnandTech]

Missing Features

As you would expect, Apple’s new budget iPhone does not come with some features that are available in the top-end iPhones such as wide-angle camera, night mode, Face ID, tap to wake, and U1 Ultra Wideband chip. You can read our article to learn more about the features that are missing in Apple’s new budget iPhone.

iPhone SE Review

iPhone SE reviews have generally been positive. Most reviewers agree that it is the best smartphone for $399. Apple seems to have nailed it.

You can also check out the iPhone SE video review by the famous YouTuber, Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD:

iPhone SE Colors

Apple iPhone SE 2020 Colors Black, PRODUCT (RED), White

It is available in 3 colors: black, white, and PRODUCT (RED). Check our article to find out which color iPhone SE you should buy.

Storage Capacities

The base model comes with 64GB. It is also available in 128GB and 256GB. If you are confused as to which storage variant of the iPhone SE you should buy, read our guide.

Pricing

The pricing starts at $399 or $16.62 per month in the U.S. The 128GB model is available for $449 or $18.70 per month, and the 256GB model is available for $549 or $22.87 per month.

Please find the pricing details in various countries.

Country 64GB 128GB 256GB
US $399 $449 $549
Canada CAD 599 CAD 669 CAD 809
Australia AUD 749 AUD 829 AUD 999
Germany €479 €529 €649
France €489 €539 €659
Italy €499 €549 €669
UK £419 £469 £569
Russia RUB 39,990 RUB 44,990 RUB 53,990
UAE AED 1,699 AED 1,909 AED 2,329
Hong Kong HKD 3,399 HKD 3,899 HKD 4,699
China CNY 3,299 CNY 3,799 CNY 4,599
India INR 42,500 INR 47,800 INR 58,300
Singapore S$649.00 S$719.00 S$889.00

Availability

The new iPhone will go on sale in 40 countries. Here’s the complete list of countries: Albania, Andorra, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Guernsey, Jersey, Hungary, Iceland, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Kosovo, Kuwait, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Maldives, Malta, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, UAE.

The pre-orders went live on April 17 and will be available in retail stores on April 24, 2020.

Should You Buy iPhone SE?

If you are confused about whether you should upgrade to iPhone SE from your current iPhone, or if you have decided to buy but confused about which storage variant or color to buy, then we have you covered with the guides.

Should you upgrade from your current iPhone to iPhone SE?

If you are confused about which storage option or which color to buy, then check our detailed guides to make your decision easier.

Best Places to Buy iPhone SE

Here are the best places to buy iPhone SE.

If you have already bought the iPhone SE, then check out the best accessories, cases and screen protectors for your shiny new iPhone.

iPhone SE (2nd Generation) How-Tos and Articles

Jailbreak iPhone SE

On May 23, jailbreaking team Uncover released Uncover 5.0, which allows you to jailbreak iOS 13.5 on all iPhones and iPads including the new iPhone SE (2020). If you need help, then you can check out our article for the step-by-step guide on how to jailbreak iOS 13.5 on your iPhone SE using Unc0ver jailbreak.

Check out the latest iPhone SE news below.

Note: We may earn a commission for purchases from the links above, which helps us keep the site running.

This post was last updated on May 25, 2020.

More coverage

Test Shows if $399 iPhone SE Is Really Faster Than $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra

Test Shows if $399 iPhone SE Is Really Faster Than $1,400 Galaxy S20 Ultra

It has been widely considered that Apple’s chipsets are way faster than any chipset used in Android smartphones each year. This year, Apple surprised everyone by launching the iPhone SE with the A13 Bionic chipset but an extremely affordable $399 price tag. Is the iPhone SE faster than $1,399 Galaxy S20 Ultra?

The Best Apps for iPhone SE (2020)

The Best Apps for iPhone SE (2020)

If you’ve just set up your shiny new iPhone SE (2nd generation), and wondering which apps to install from the 1.85 million apps available in Apple’s App Store, then we’ve you covered. Here are the best apps for iPhone SE (2020).

Apple iPhone SE (2020) Review: Classic iPhone, Cutting Edge Chip, and Cost Conscious!

Apple iPhone SE (2020) Review: Classic iPhone, Cutting Edge Chip, and Cost Conscious!

The curious thing about the new iPhone SE 2020 is that it reminds me just how good the original iPhone 8, on which it’s based, was in the first place. Except that the iPhone 8, from 2017, so two and a half years ago, launched at £700, in the UK at least. Whereas the new SE, in Product Red livery here, starts at £420, a truly massive price drop, despite having major internals revamp with A13 chipset and an extra GB of RAM. Read my iPhone SE (2nd generation) review after the break.

How to Check Battery Percentage on iPhone SE (2020) in 4 Easy Ways

How to Check Battery Percentage on iPhone SE (2020) in 4 Easy Ways

The new entry-level iPhone, iPhone SE (2nd generation), not surprisingly misses out on some features that are available on the high-end iPhones. But it has a feature that is not available on iPhone X or later including iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or iPhone 11 Pro Max. It is the ability to check the battery percentage right in the status bar.

iPhone SE 2020: How to Force Restart, Hard Reboot, or Force Reboot

iPhone SE 2020: How to Force Restart, Hard Reboot, or Force Reboot

While you won’t require it straight away, you should know the process to force restart your shiny new iPhone SE since it might come in handy if the phone ever freezes or hangs, starts behaving strangely, stops responding or you can’t turn it off and on.

How to Enable Night Mode on iPhone SE (2020)

How to Enable Night Mode on iPhone SE (2020)

The 2020 iPhone SE offers plenty of value for its money. It has decent battery life, offers great performance, and has a relatively impressive 12MP shooter at the rear despite using the same sensor as the iPhone 8. However, one major omission in the iPhone SE’s feature list is that it lacks a dedicated Night mode in the camera app. This means that its low-light imaging performance is going to be abysmal. Thankfully, using a third-party app, you can easily get night mode on the iPhone SE and take better photos in dark environments.

2020 iPhone SE Drop and Durability Test: Here’s How Durable It is

2020 iPhone SE Drop and Durability Test: Here’s How Durable It is

The iPhone SE (2nd Generation) was launched with a pretty low price tag of $399, but it still comes with Apple’s high standard for build quality. It has an aluminum unibody, scratch-resistant glass on both sides of the phone, and has an IP67 certification for dust and water resistance. But how strong the new iPhone SE really is? Let’s find out.

2020 iPhone SE is the First iPhone to Use Entirely Software-Based Portrait Mode, Better Than iPhone XR

2020 iPhone SE is the First iPhone to Use Entirely Software-Based Portrait Mode, Better Than iPhone XR

At $399, the newly-launched iPhone SE is priced cheaper than the two-year-old iPhone XR, but it still features a faster processor. Although its camera hardware specs appear similar to that of the iPhone XR, the 2020 iPhone SE captures comparatively better images, especially portraits, and here’s its secret sauce.

2020 iPhone SE vs iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 vs OnePlus 8 vs Galaxy S20 Battery Comparison

2020 iPhone SE vs iPhone 11 Pro vs iPhone 11 vs OnePlus 8 vs Galaxy S20 Battery Comparison

The all-new iPhone SE is grabbing headlines for all the right reasons. The $399 iPhone offers great value for money and is powered by A13 Bionic. The new iPhone SE brings back TouchID and chunky bezels. YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss has uploaded a new video in which iPhone SE battery life is compared against iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, OnePlus 8, and Galaxy S20.

2020 iPhone SE vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR Camera Comparison

2020 iPhone SE vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR Camera Comparison

The second-generation iPhone SE was unveiled earlier this month, and at $399, a lot of people are finding it attractive. It has the latest processor, the latest version of iOS, a handy design, decent battery life, wireless charging, and IP67 rating. The only seemingly cut-down part of the phone appears to be its camera, and that’s the aspect every smartphone user cares about. So, how does the 2020 iPhone SE holds up against the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11?