After nearly a year of rumors, Apple has finally introduced the 2020 edition of the iPhone SE. The device shares the same design as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and a Touch ID home button, but it has a faster A13 Bionic chip and an extra GB of RAM. Most importantly, the new iPhone SE starts at just $649.
With the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus now discontinued, the lower end of Apple's smartphone lineup now includes the new iPhone SE and the iPhone XR, released in October 2018. Thinking about upgrading? Read our comparison below.
Smaller vs. Larger Display
The new iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch display, while the iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch display. Both displays are LCDs with 326 pixels per inch, True Tone, 625 nits max brightness, a 1400:1 contrast ratio, and support for the P3 wide color gamut.
A13 Bionic vs. A12 Bionic
The new iPhone SE is powered by the A13 Bionic, which is the same latest-and-greatest chip inside the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. By comparison, the iPhone XR is equipped with the previous-generation A12 Bionic chip. Apple advertises the A13 chip as up to 20 percent faster and up to 30 percent more power efficient than the A12 chip.
Bezels vs. Notch
The new iPhone SE has the same design as the iPhone 8, with thicker bezels above and below the display for the front camera and Touch ID home button. By comparison, the iPhone XR drops the home button and instead has a nearly edge to edge display with a notch at the top for the front camera and Face ID sensors.
Touch ID vs. Face ID
The iPhone SE has a Touch ID home button for fingerprint authentication, while the iPhone XR uses Apple's more advanced Face ID system for facial authentication.
Face ID debuted on the iPhone X in 2017. At the time, Apple said the probability that a random person could unlock someone else's iPhone X was approximately one in 1,000,000, versus one in 50,000 for Touch ID. However, both forms of authentication are quite safe, so it really comes down to personal preference.
While both the new iPhone SE and the iPhone XR are equipped with a single 12-megapixel wide-angle rear camera with an f/1.8 aperture, the iPhone XR has a newer sensor with 1.4µm pixels and larger Focus Pixels, whereas the iPhone SE has the same sensor as the iPhone 8. However, the new iPhone SE benefits from the A13 chip's improved image signal processor, so the gap between the cameras is likely minimal.
As a physically larger device, the iPhone XR has longer battery life than the new iPhone SE. Apple says the new iPhone SE can last up to 13 hours for non-streaming video playback and up to 40 hours for audio playback, which is about the same as the iPhone 8. By comparison, Apple says the iPhone XR lasts up to 16 hours for non-streamed video playback and up to 65 hours for audio playback.
The new iPhone SE supports Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax, while the iPhone XR supports Wi-Fi 5 or 802.11ac. Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster speeds, greater network capacity, improved power efficiency, lower latency, and connectivity improvements in areas with several Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi 6 devices are also required to support WPA3, the latest Wi-Fi security protocol with improved cryptographic strength.
If price is the key factor in your upgrade decision, then the new iPhone SE is a very compelling device considering that it has the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 Pro despite starting at just $649.
If you are upgrading from an older device like an iPhone 6 or iPhone 7, you will already be familiar with the home button experience on the new iPhone SE, whereas Face ID and gestures on the iPhone X and newer take some time to get used to. And with a 4.7-inch display, the new iPhone SE is also the same size as the iPhone 6, iPhone 7, and iPhone 8.
The new iPhone SE might also receive at least one additional year of iOS updates compared to the iPhone XR given its newer A13 Bionic chip. Two reasons to choose the iPhone XR over the new iPhone SE would be its larger 6.1-inch display and its modern design with slim bezels, a notch, and Face ID. The new iPhone SE could quite possibly end up being the last iPhone that Apple sells with a home button, so those who choose the new iPhone SE will be settling for an older design.
The new iPhone SE starts at $649, while the iPhone XR starts at $979. Which is a better choice? It depends on which features that you prefer to have at a lower pricing. Overall, we are still recommending the iPhone SE as it is 1/3 cheaper than the iPhone XR. You can order the new iPhone SE at Apple website(link) and Lazada (link). Enjoy shopping.