The $399 2020 iPhone SE is a great option for a lot of older iPhone owners to upgrade to it without burning a hole in their wallet. If you own an iPhone 7, you might be confused as to whether the 2020 iPhone SE is worth an upgrade for you or not. Read this comparison to find out.
The 2020 iPhone SE and the iPhone 7 have more or less the same design language. Plus, when one compares the specs of these two devices side-by-side, you will realize that the 2020 iPhone SE is not that big of an upgrade over the iPhone 7 as it is over the original iPhone SE.
iPhone 7 to 2020 iPhone SE – Upgrade or Not?
- 2020 iPhone SE – 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, 148gms, IP67 certified, 2nd gen. Touch ID
- iPhone 7 – 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm, 138gms, IP67 certified, 2nd gen. Touch ID
In terms of dimensions, the iPhone 7 and the 2020 iPhone SE are the exact same. In fact, due to the similar dimensions, iPhone 7 cases are also going to fit the 2020 iPhone SE just fine. Both devices are IP67 certified and feature 2nd gen. Touch ID. The 2020 iPhone SE does have a glass back at the rear which allows it to offer Qi wireless charging which is missing from the iPhone 7. The glass back does mean that one will always have to use their 2020 iPhone SE with a case. Otherwise, there is always a risk of the glass back shattering if one drops their phone.
The 2020 iPhone SE is 10gms heavier, though most people are unlikely to notice it. The iPhone 7 shipped with a white front in Silver and (PRODUCT)Red finish which is not the case with the 2020 iPhone SE.
- 2020 iPhone SE – 4.7-inch Retina HD, 1334 x 750 resolution, 326 ppi, Haptic Touch
- iPhone 7 – 4.7-inch Retina display, 1334 x 750 resolution, 326 ppi, 3D Touch
Another area where the 2020 iPhone SE and the iPhone 7 are the exact same. Both phones feature a 4.7-inch 720p+ resolution Retina HD display. In terms of brightness, colors, and contrast, the difference between the two display panels is minimal. The iPhone 7 does feature 3D Touch, while the 2020 iPhone SE replaces it with Haptic Touch. Apple has ditched 3D Touch from all its new iPhones though, so even if you enjoy using 3D Touch on your iPhone 7, you are going to eventually have to give up on it.
- 2020 iPhone SE – A13 Bionic, Third-generation Neural engine
- iPhone 7 – Dual-core A10 Fusion chip
The A10 Fusion chip inside the iPhone 7 was a performance powerhouse when it first launched. Four years later, the A10 Fusion chip is still a decently powerful chip. However, if you are a heavy gamer or use heavy apps, you are definitely going to notice the additional performance the A13 Bionic chip inside the 2020 iPhone SE brings to the table.
Storage and RAM
- 2020 iPhone SE – 3GB RAM | 64GB, 128GB, 256GB storage variants
- iPhone 7 – 2GB RAM | 32GB, 128GB storage variants
The iPhone SE comes with a gigabyte more RAM than the iPhone 7. 3GB RAM might not seem like much in this day and age for a smartphone, but it will still help offer a superior multitasking experience on the iPhone SE. The device also comes with twice the base storage as the iPhone 7 – 32GB vs 64GB. Apple also offers two more storage variants of the iPhone SE: 128GB and 256GB. In comparison, the iPhone 7 topped out at 128GB. If you carry around a lot of data, you can buy the 256GB variant of the iPhone SE and get rid of all your storage woes.
- 2020 iPhone SE – Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Dual-SIM, eSIM, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with reader mode
- iPhone 7 – LTE-A, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC with reader mode
The iPhone 7 has LTE, Wi-Fi ac, NFC, and Bluetooth. The 2020 iPhone SE supports a newer standard of all these connectivity options. This means you are going to see better network reception, faster mobile data speeds, and enjoy clearer voice call quality on the 2020 iPhone SE. Similarly, you will also get faster and better Wi-Fi connectivity on the device. Additionally, the 2020 iPhone SE has dual-SIM connectivity, offers eSIM support, and has NFC with reader mode — all handy features to have as they will make your smartphone more useful in daily use.
- 2020 iPhone SE – 12MP, f/1.8 aperture, OIS, Portrait Lightning, Stereo recording, 4K 60fps video recording, 7MP f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
- iPhone 7 – 12MP f/1.8, OIS, 4K 30fps video recording, 7MP f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
The iPhone 7 and the 2020 iPhone SE might feature the same resolution camera. However, the SE features a newer and bigger 12MP sensor from Sony. It is also capable of recording 4K videos at 60fps with stereo recording, while the iPhone 7 tops out at 4K 30fps. At 4k 30fps, the iPhone SE can record videos with extended dynamic range. The second-generation iPhone SE also features Portrait mode for the front and rear camera, a feature that’s entirely missing on the iPhone 7.
Battery Life and Charging
- 2020 iPhone SE – 1821mAh, Fast wired charging, 7.5W Qi wireless charging, 5W power adapter bundled
- iPhone 7 – 1960mAh, 10W wired charging, 5W power adapter bundled
Both iPhones might pack nearly the same battery capacity and as per Apple, they offer the same kind of battery life in real-life use as well. This means you should be able to get one day’s worth of battery life on the devices on moderate use. However, the iPhone SE supports 18W fast charging and Qi wireless charging. The former can rapidly charge the device from 0-50% in just 30 minutes, while wireless charging is a nice and convenient way of topping up the battery life of the phone.
Should You Upgrade to the iPhone SE from the iPhone 7?
One thing that’s important to note is that at $399, the 2020 iPhone SE is noticeably cheaper than what the iPhone 7 was priced at during its launch. If you are on a tight budget and your iPhone 7 is in a barely functional state, you could consider upgrading to the iPhone SE. This is provided you don’t want a phone that’s bigger than the iPhone 7. Otherwise, my advice would be to go for the iPhone XR or the iPhone 11 as the bigger screen size would mark a major step up in terms of usability.
If you decide to buy the new iPhone SE, then check out our post for the best iPhone SE deals. We would also love to know why did you decide to buy or not buy iPhone SE, so please also share your thoughts in the comments below.