iPhone SE (2020) Review – The long-awaited compact model that was rumored to be the “iPhone SE 2” was finally updated for the first time in four years. The iPhone SE 2020 design is inherited from the old model and each part is reused. The concept and features of “S” pecial “E” diton are the same as those of 4 years ago, such as low price and excellent performance achieved by updating the chipset, and long-term OS updates can be expected.
The iPhone SE (2020) has grown a lot, it is still one of the smallest and most powerful smartphones on the market. Since last month, the Apple iPhone SE (2020) has been released globally. I am a big fan of this compact smartphones. This is my first review using this new iPhone SE 2020.
- Affordable price
- Powerful chipset
- Premium build
- Long term OS update
- Old design and screen technology
- Weak camera in dark places
Specifications of iPhone SE 2020
|Specification||Apple iPhone SE (2020)|
|Display||4.7-inch LCD, 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi|
|Rear Camera||12MP, f/1.8 (wide), PDAF, OIS|
|Front Camera||7MP camera ƒ/2.2 aperture|
|Video Recording||3840×2160 (4K UHD) (60 fps), 1920×1080 (Full HD) (240 fps)|
|Chipset||Apple A13 Bionic APL1W85|
|Dimension||138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB and 256GB|
|Color||Black, White, Red|
There is nothing new to be found here compared to iPhone SE 2016. In the box, there is a 5 W USB power adapter, EarPods, and of course a USB cable for charging and data transfer.
A multilingual manual book, two Apple stickers, a tool for opening the SIM card slot, and an information sheet of the Product.
Design and casing | iPhone SE 2020 Review
As already written in the introduction, I am impressed by the compact design of the iPhone SE 2020. The design is not new, basically, it comes from 2014, where we saw it for the first time on the iPhone 6.
In the front. It follows the same dimensions as the iPhone 8, with a home button with Touch ID for fingerprint authentication located at the bottom of the screen. The home button has a built-in fingerprint authentication sensor. Just touch to unlock the screen and apps, and turn on Apple Pay.
The bottom of the body. There are microphone, USB-C port, and speaker like on the iPhone 8.
The left side also has the same layout as the iPhone 8 and earlier. It looks pretty with the thick edges around the 4.7-inch display. Nevertheless, iPhone SE makes a good first impression. There is nothing to criticize here.
The right side button and SIM slot are also the same as iPhone 8 or earlier. The SIM slot is a single SIM slot of nanoSIM, and additional eSIM can be used. This time, all overseas models also have single SIM specifications.
In the models before iPhone 8, the Apple logo was on the top and the print of “iPhone ” was on the bottom, but the 2020 model iPhone SE has a simple appearance with the Apple logo in the center according to the iPhone 11 generation.
The iPhone SE is again IP67 certified, i.e. protected against dust and water. Since the performance is IP67, it is inferior to the iPhone 11 series, but there is no problem if it is not soaked in deep deep water for a long time.
Briefly about the display: The sharpness of the screen is absolutely fine, but the brightness should be a bit better in the current sunshine. It is an LCD display.
The fastest processor in smartphone history
Apple equips the new iPhone SE with the “A13 Bionic” chipset, which is the ” fastest smartphone ever ” in the same model as the iPhone 11 series. The performance of the CPU will be equivalent to the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max from a spec sheet perspective.
We measured the benchmark score to quantify the performance and found that it was about 240-270% faster than the first-generation iPhone SE and iPhone 6s equipped with the A9 chip. GPU is about 210% faster.
The new iPhone SE has 1GB less memory (RAM) than the iPhone 11 series, but if you launch multiple apps that require a lot of memory, such as game apps and cameras, and move between apps, the music will stop, The app won’t drop where it doesn’t. It seems that Apple has selected the optimum capacity considering the display resolution, camera functions, number of lenses, price, etc.
Overall, it’s comforting to know that the iPhone SE has the latest chipset.
Best single-camera | iPhone SE 2020 Review
Thanks to the powerful processor, you can take photos like “Pro” even for 479 euros.
Apple’s press release claims “the best single-camera system for the iPhone,” and officially declares that it has higher performance than the conventional single-camera models on “iPhone 8” and “iPhone XR.”
“Smart HDR” that shoots multiple photos at various brightness (exposure) at high speed and combines them instantly. Machine-learning that re-illuminates the light by recognizing what is reflected in the photo does not cause overexposure even with backlight. It creates a natural photo that doesn’t get blackout even in shadows.
Of course, everything is not different from “Pro”. What I found particularly unsatisfactory are camera functions such as portrait and night mode.
The portrait mode on the iPhone 11 series is able to recognize subjects such as people, pets, and things. While the iPhone SE can only recognize people, like the iPhone XR.
It does not even support night mode, which allows you to shoot brightly even in the dark. It’s strange that the Pixel 3a series can use both portrait and night mode. The Pixel 3a has the same price range, released by Google a year ago
Video shooting is almost the same as the iPhone 11. Capable of shooting 4K videos and 120fps slow motion.
Although the front camera supports portraits, it has many non-compatible functions such as smart HDR, 4K video recording, slow-motion video, and Animoji / Memoji (3D emoticons that work with facial movements).
WiFi, dual SIM, and LTE
In addition to the A13 chipset, there is also a new WLAN module and a new cellular modem, which in some cases has considerable advantages. In addition to the classic nano-SIM, the iPhone SE 2020 can also use an eSIM, even in dual SIM mode.
The LTE modem allows significantly higher speeds than the modem in the iPhone 8. I was able to achieve almost double the speed during the first tests, especially in the uplink; instead of 60 Mbit / s, almost 100 Mbit / s was possible here.
WLAN also be faster, but a suitable Wi-Fi 6 router (WLAN 802.11ax) was not available for the test.
The speakers are just stereo playback. It does not support Dolby Atmos or spatial audio playback supported by the iPhone 11 series. The iPhone speakers have improved dramatically as they evolved from the “XS” series to the 11 series, but the new iPhone SE speakers are screaming.
Battery | iPhone SE 2020 Review
The battery life of the iPhone 11 series with the same A13 Bionic chip is excellent. I use the new iPhone SE over the last few days. I feel the battery performance is pretty good.
When I checked the battery report, it is seen that the screen was on for about 4 hours to 5 hours out of the usage time for about 10 hours.
Last fall, Apple was touting the efficiency of the A13 Bionic chip, but after all, nothing beats battery capacity. Despite the different processors, Apple describes the new iPhone SE’s battery life as similar to the iPhone 8.” The battery capacity of the new iPhone SE and iPhone 8 is 1,821mAh, which is about 60%, compared to 3,046mAh of the iPhone 11 Pro.
It has enough battery power to use it all day long, but it’s not safe enough for years to come due to the deterioration of the battery and increased power consumption due to software updates.
Conclusion | iPhone SE 2020 Review
The new iPhone SE leaves a very good first impression. Even though it comes with an outdated design, it’s good and compact, which is an important criterion for many users. Thanks to Apple A13 Bionic, the device is very fast performing. The iPhone SE does not offer any surprises, it is simply a rock-solid smartphone that I can recommend without hesitation.
However, if you are more interested in a compact design combine with modern technology, you should wait until autumn 2020. The rumor that an iPhone with similar dimensions but top modern technology (including 5.4-inch OLED panel) will come onto the market.