iPhone SE Review: Small Phone with Fast Performance

iPhone SE Review: This iPhone SE (2020) review is different from what we’d write for the other modern-day smartphone. The iPhone SE (2020) is so different from other phones in its price range, in terms of features and audience, that it almost seems as if it should be during a different product category. If you’ve got a budget of Rs. 45,000, there are many Android smartphones which will be more logical to shop for. Although it’s now rock bottom priced current-gen iPhone in Apple’s lineup, the iPhone SE (2020) remains hardly affordable by Indian standards. consider it as a specialised tool for a selected purpose.

As someone who has bought and used the budget-minded iPhone 5c (Review), the first iPhone SE (Review) and therefore the iPhone XR (Review) over the years, I even have a specific interest in how this new entry-level model feels to use and what it brings to the table. during this review, I’ll tell you what exactly you will get for your money, and whether the iPhone SE (2020) deserves to be considered.

iPhone SE  Review, price in Nepal and positioning

If you were hoping for a cheaper version of the iPhone 11 (Review) or maybe the iPhone XR, the new iPhone SE (2020) isn’t it. The negatives seem to leap out soon – its old-fashioned design, small screen, and single rear camera are laughable, on the surface, during a world with no shortage of feature-packed sub-Rs. 10,000 Android phones. Apple’s official starting price of Rs. 68,012 for this model has already raised many eyebrows, and lots of of you within the comments section have made fun of this. The jump to Rs. 76,494 for the 128GB version isn’t too drastic, but I do not think there will be many takers for the Rs. 93,297 256GB version, which is that the variant I tested for this review.

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These prices are frustrating because this is often meant to be Apple’s latest push into cost-sensitive markets like India, and once more our hopes of a genuinely affordable iPhone are dashed. Of course, Apple’s own premium positioning is formed worse by recently raised taxes, import duties, and therefore the US dollar rate of exchange, which are out of the company’s control. On the brilliant side, iPhone prices do tend to slip after a model has been on the marketplace for some months, and both Diwali and Prime Day sales could see good deals on the phone.

At the instant, the iPhone SE (2020) will compete with the iPhone XR, which costs Rs. 16,000 more on paper but has often been discounted to around Rs. 64,011. Ideally, the iPhone SE (2020) would have slotted in at around Rs. 48,008, replacing the iPhone 7 which still sells today. We do hope to ascertain good deals on the new iPhone SE over the subsequent year approximately.

iPhone SE (2020): Who can purchase it?

Maybe you’ve always wanted an iPhone but couldn’t afford one, or even you’re hanging on to an old or broken one and can’t upgrade because every new model is just too expensive. The iPhone SE (2020) should have taken care of those obvious targets, and during a world with no discounted iPhone XR, it might have. However, in some ways, the iPhone XR may be a far more modern device (despite its older processor) and is far more satisfying to have and use.


iPhone SE (2020) Review

The new iPhone SE doesn’t desire what an iPhone – or maybe a smartphone – should be today. you are not quite getting the fashionable iPhone experience at a lower cost. That said, it’ll serve the aim of an upgrade and it does run the newest version of iOS with all the apps you’ll want.

So who would specifically choose the iPhone SE (2020)? the large potential target markets are people that need a very compact but powerful smartphone, and other people who don’t like change. Smartphone screens have ballooned lately, to the purpose that “phablet”-sized 6.5-inch screens are now the norm. There are not any other modern phones that are as compact because the 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2020), and even the first 4-inch iPhone SE had fans due to its size and portability.

Also, modern phones believe swipe gestures, which not everyone can habituate themselves to. The iPhone SE (2020) offers familiarity and continuity when everything else is changing so fast.

iPhone SE (2020): What it does well

So far, I’ve seemed fairly negative about the iPhone SE (2020), but this is often still a premium device. Seen on its own, there is a lot to love, and even some features that Android models at this price index don’t offer.

First, let’s mention the design and feel of the iPhone SE (2020). it’s extremely slick and does have Apple’s typical attention to detail. The body (and much of what is inside it) is actually just like that of the iPhone 8 (Review), right down to all gram and millimetre. At 148g in weight and just 7.3mm thick, this is often a small phone, and it’s extremely easy to use with only one hand. it is so light that it slipped out of my pocket sometimes once I sat down, though thankfully the grip within the hand is sweet.


The front and rear are all glass, with the frame made from aluminium. Build quality does seem excellent. I’m reviewing the all-black version today, but I do prefer the two-tone looks of the white and (Product)RED options. We particularly just like the IP67 rating for water resistance, which isn’t common on Android phones at this price.

Then, there’s Apple’s current-gen A13 Bionic processor which is capable of on-device machine learning. this is often an equivalent chip that has been utilized in the much more expensive iPhone 11 Pro models, which says tons about Apple’s specialise in delivering a particular level of performance and have parity with all its new products.

There’s no doubt that the processor is extremely powerful, and you’re unlikely to face slowdowns for years, if at all. That said, while Apple might use an equivalent SoC that’s in its flagships, the corporate doesn’t mention detailed specifications, and reports of an underclocked A13 Bionic seem to possess some merit.

iPhone SE (2020) Review

AnTuTu for iOS gave us a score of 370,086 while an iPhone 11 Pro managed 432,358. These scores also should not be compared to those of Android devices since AnTuTu is platform-specific. For reference, an iPhone XR managed 366,781 points and therefore the original iPhone SE scored 153,907 using an equivalent version of the benchmark…

Geekbench 5 showed single-core and multi-core score of 1,326 and 2,894 respectively. As for graphics, GFXBench (optimised for Apple’s Metal framework) ran a solid 60fps across all scenes, including the high-end Aztec Ruins scene. this is not too surprising considering the low screen resolution, and again, should not be compared to the performance of Android devices.

We played PUBG: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends. Both ran very smoothly at High graphics settings. We did feel that the screen was a touch cramped, but the dimensions of the body relative to the screen allow us to get a far better grip than we’re wont to.

The display, while relatively tiny and low-res, offers excellent colour reproduction and viewing angles. Apple’s True Tone feature adjusts the colour temperature automatically supported ambient light. You get HDR10 and Dolby Vision, plus Haptic Touch (but not physical 3D touch like on the iPhone 8) for contextual actions which are tightly integrated with iOS.

Other niceties include dual-SIM functionality (with one physical Nano-SIM slot and one eSIM), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, NFC (though Apple Pay doesn’t add India yet), and stereo speakers. We’re quite pleased to ascertain wireless charging. Although the cameras are an equivalent as those on the nearly-three-year-old iPhone 8, they’re still pretty great, and we’ll have more on their performance later.

iPhone SE (2020) software and ecosystem

The primary advantage of iPhones is that the iOS ecosystem, which is user-friendly and straightforward, at the value of some customizability. the planning is essentially consistent and straightforward to measure with and scales down nicely to the smaller iPhone SE (2020)’s screen. Our unit was running iOS 13.4.1 and received the update to 13.5.1 during our review period. you do not get a number of the neat features that Android custom skins offer, like app cloning or a secure cargo area, which might are nice to possess.

Apple regularly promotes its security and privacy policies as being tighter than Android’s and promises to not scoop personally-identifying information for profiling and advertising purposes. Apple features a strong diary with software updates, and you’re just about guaranteed a minimum of subsequent three major versions of iOS at no extra cost. iOS is additionally freed from third-party bloatware and spam, which some expensive Android phones still inflict on buyers.


These are factors that ought to be considered when deciding whether the iPhone SE (2020) is sweet value for money compared to Android devices at an equivalent price index – many of us specialise in hardware specifications without factoring within the cost of software development.

iOS is additionally now tightly integrated with a variety of online services. If you’re an existing iPhone (and Mac and/or Apple Watch) user, you’ve probably sunk a quite little bit of money into iOS apps. That and therefore the value of continuity through iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, Siri, HomeKit, Apple Arcade, and Apple Pay (where applicable) over time are the first factors which will keep you on the platform. The (relatively) affordable iPhone SE (2020) may be a key a part of that strategy, albeit many services will cost you additional in monthly subscription charges.

iPhone SE (2020): The downsides

In my experience with the iPhone SE (2020) throughout a couple of weeks, I set about discovering how its compromises will affect potential buyers. most significantly, the small screen isn’t great for content consumption. It’s nice that there is no notch, but the dimensions and therefore the 750×1334-pixel resolution doesn’t bring a really crisp experience. Information density is low, and games and videos aren’t very enjoyable.

Battery life isn’t great. We could comfortably get through a full day of use with a touch little bit of video and much of audio and video streaming, but there wasn’t enough left over for the subsequent morning. Apple doesn’t publish battery capacities but the trusted iFixit teardown tells us that it’s 1,281mAh – paltry by today’s standards. The A13 Bionic SoC contributes to power saving in day-to-day use, but the screen may be a big drain. Our HD video loop test ran for less than 8 hours, 42 minutes, which is well below average.


Apple still ships only a 5W charger within the box and you will need to use your own if you would like to profit from 18W fast charging. Apple claims that you simply can get a 50 per cent charge in the half-hour with an 18W power source, which we couldn’t test. Some people also will be postponed by Apple’s proprietary Lightning cables.

There’s no 3.5mm audio socket. you do not get Apple’s secure and convenient infrared Face ID camera array, which also means you cannot create Animoji or Memoji characters. 5G isn’t supported. there is no U1 ultra-wideband transceiver for precise location detection, which other current iPhones have. many of us are going to be disappointed with the cameras, and we’ll get thereto shortly.

Most importantly, the iPhone SE (2020) feels painfully dated. Despite its high-end construction quality, there is no getting over the enormous forehead and chin on the front, which desires wasted space in an age of all-screen phones. the planning dates all the way back to the iPhone 6 from 2014. the tiny screen will constrain anything that the powerful SoC can do, including augmented reality apps, 3D games, and even general productivity.

If you think that you will be frustrated by any of those factors now, imagine how you would possibly feel in three to 5 years, when your iPhone SE (2020) will still be within its usable lifespan. If you plan to use your phone for that long, it’d be worth spending more on an iPhone XR now.

iPhone SE (2020) cameras: High on quality, low on flexibility

You get just one 12-megapixel f/1.8 rear camera and 7-megapixel f/2.2 front camera, which can put tons of individuals off. I might have liked wide-angle or telephoto capabilities, but I can certainly live without the nearly useless low-resolution depth sensors and macro cameras that Android manufacturers seem to like such a lot.

The cameras of the iPhone SE (2020) combine old hardware with new software. You get precisely the same sensor and lens specifications as on the iPhone 8, but the A13 Bionic SoC allows for a few surprising new features and capabilities. There’s quite a long list, actually: you get a portrait mode with manually variable depth and studio lighting effects using software, smart HDR, extended dynamic home in the video, and selfie video stabilisation.


The iOS camera app is the same as what you’d see on the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro series. Apple now makes more controls accessible within the viewfinder, including photo ratio and video framerate, though this comes at the value of UI clutter. the first modes include Timelapse, Slo-Mo, Portrait, and Pano. there’s, unfortunately, no Night mode, like on the iPhone 11 and above.

As for quality, the iPhone 8 was no slouch then the iPhone SE (2020) isn’t either. the only rear camera is remarkably capable. Daylight samples came out looking crisp with well-balanced colours and exposures. The focus wasn’t always perfect, but when it had been, the extent of detail in even tiny subjects and fine textures was excellent. Portrait mode works best when the phone detects a face, but even the natural depth of field is sort of pleasant when there is a gap between a topic and therefore the background.

Unfortunately, the quality wasn’t nearly as good in the dark . quite a few of our shots showed motion blur thanks to a handshake or moving timely after hitting the shutter button. The detail was somewhat murky, and that we have seen better from other phones during this price segment. The camera appeared to do okay with might landscapes during which there was some ambient light.

Video recording goes up to 4K at 60fps, though the default may be a more useful 1080p at 30fps. We found the video quality to be excellent, with smooth stabilisation even once we were walking, and punchy colours that were also balanced nicely. Even in the dark, we were ready to detect detail is reasonably well-lit areas.

The front camera is sweet, but not great. You get portrait lighting and variable aperture effects, and thankfully no beautification. Depth sensing is quick, and therefore the saved results are more accurate in terms of edge detection than what you see within the viewfinder. you’ll even adjust portrait lighting after attempting.

Verdict: The iPhone SE (2020) isn’t for everybody

There’s far more to iPhones generally and therefore the iPhone SE (2020) especially than meets the attention, but that does not fully excuse its high price and the odd combination of current-day and recycled features. It’s undeniably frustrating to possess to pay such a lot and not feel that typical excitement a few fresh products which will do fascinating new things. While the first iPhone SE felt modest and humble to me, this new model just jogs my memory that I can not afford something nicer.

Apple knows that a lot of people are willing to pay more for the iPhone experience, ecosystem, and brand than they might for an Android phone. the important question is whether or not the iPhone SE (2020) offers ok value, starting at Rs. 68,012. I do not really think so – a price closer to Rs. 48,008 would have worked far better in India, despite how spec-conscious buyers here are, and that I hope that this phone does soon continue the sale for around that much.

There are many highly capable Android phones at this price index including, in fact, the OnePlus 8 (Review), Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite (Review), Realme X50 Pro 5G (Review), and Xiaomi Mi 10 5G (Review) If you’re even considering buying this phone though, you do not want any of them – you would like an iPhone. The SE (2020) will fulfil that purpose, but it won’t be totally satisfying. I’d suggest the iPhone XR which is usually discounted to the present price index unless size is basically a problem. If you assail the iPhone SE (2020), you ought to wait a couple of months for the worth to drop, which it inevitably will.

Also Read: Apple iPhone X Review- Full Specification

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