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iPhone SE 2020 review: Completely changing the value conversation

iPhone SE 2020 review
(Image: © Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Our Verdict

Bottom line: The iPhone SE 2020 has the most powerful chipset of any phone today, and you get a great camera that excels not only at photos but also videos. There's IP67 water resistance, wireless charging, and with at least four years of guaranteed updates, the iPhone SE will be going strong for several years. Oh, and the compact form factor means you can easily use it one-handed.

For

  • Unmatched performance
  • Compact form factor
  • Four years of guaranteed updates
  • Decent cameras
  • IP67 water resistance
  • Wireless charging

Against

  • Huge bezels
  • Camera is missing Night Mode
  • Average battery life

You wouldn't normally associate Apple with value, but that's exactly what the brand is delivering with the iPhone SE 2020. The phone features the A13 Bionic — the same chipset powering the iPhone 11 series — and it has an array of exciting features, including Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, IP67 rating, and even wireless charging.

The best part? The iPhone SE starts off at just $399. That is incredible when you look at just what you're getting here, and Apple is clearly targeting mid-range Android devices with its latest offering. The mid-range segment has seen a lot of growth in the last three years, with the current slate of devices featuring robust hardware, large displays, and multi-day battery life.

The iPhone SE bucks this trend. The phone itself retains the same chassis as the iPhone 8, and that means you get a compact 4.7-inch display with large bezels, making it ideal for one-handed use. There's also a physical home button with Touch ID — a rarity these days — and a solitary 12MP camera at the back. Then there's the fact that the iPhone SE will get at least four years of guaranteed updates; unheard of on Android.

Clearly, the iPhone SE has a lot going for it, and its positioning in the value segment invites comparisons to the multitudes of Android phones for under $500. So let's see what the iPhone SE 2020 is all about, and whether it makes sense for you to make the switch.

About this review

I am writing this review after using the iPhone SE for a week in Hyderabad, India. The phone was running iOS 13.4.1 out of the box, and received an update to iOS 13.5 over the course of the testing period. The unit was connected to Jio's 4G network. Apple India provided the unit to Android Central for review.

iPhone SE Design and display

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The first thing you notice when you start using the iPhone SE 2020 is the size. With even compact phones getting taller and narrower, there's nothing on Android that is quite as tiny as the iPhone SE. The closest would be last year's Galaxy S10e, but even that is 3.8mm taller than the iPhone SE. With dimensions of 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, it is the smallest phone in this segment.

The second thing you notice is the bezels. Android manufacturers have waged a war on bezels for the last three years, and the result is that you don't find them anymore on most devices. Sure, the Pixel 3a has chunky bezels at the top and bottom, but they look tiny compared to the iPhone SE.

The compact form factor makes the iPhone SE perfect for one-handed use.

But you know what? I didn't care about the huge bezels after a few days. I went from the Xiaomi Mi 10 — which has a massive 6.7-inch screen — to the iPhone SE and its 4.7-inch panel, and it took a while to get used to the device. For context, the iPhone SE is a full 24.1mm shorter than the Mi 10, so it was a big adjustment.

But I started enjoying the phone a lot more once I got used to the diminutive form factor. There is a certain joy in using a compact phone, and it is a shame you don't find many small phones these days. I loved using the Galaxy S10e last year, and the iPhone rekindles that excitement. The in-hand feel is excellent, and if you're looking for a compact phone in 2020, this is the one to beat.

Now, the iPhone SE may not be the best-looking phone in the market today, but it is based on a design that has sold over 500 million units. It has a form factor that is immediately familiar, and there's the added bonus that you can just pick up iPhone 8 accessories and use them with the iPhone SE. Sure, the design may be dated in 2020, but the fit and finish are top-notch — as you'd expect from an iPhone.

Let's get into the specifics. The iPhone SE has a glass back with an aluminum mid-frame, with a single camera lens at the back located at the top left corner. The branding at the back is limited to the Apple logo that sits halfway down the body. There are rounded corners on all sides, and the physical home button isn't an actual button but a haptic motor that facilitates Touch ID. It feels familiar to use a physical fingerprint sensor located at the front, and the sensor itself is fast and reliable, and it lets you sign into apps and make purchases on the App Store.

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The iPhone SE is available in three color options — black, white, and red — and all models feature an all-black front. There's an oleophobic coating on the front and rear panes of glass, and they're also reinforced by a layer of Gorilla Glass. The power button is to the right, the volume rocker is on the left, and there's a dedicated toggle to put the phone into silent mode. You'll find two mics at the bottom — one inside each grille — and the primary speaker sits to the right of the Lightning port. The earpiece doubles up as the secondary speaker, producing decent stereo sound. Finally, like most phones in 2020, there's no 3.5mm jack.

It's a smart move by Apple to update an existing design with new hardware. Because the design itself isn't new and Apple doesn't have to add new tooling to its factories, it gets to save on production costs. That is likely one of the main reasons why the company decided to offer its latest A13 Bionic chipset on the device.

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1334 x 750. The panel has True Tone tech, which adjusts the white balance dynamically based on the ambient light in your surroundings to deliver more natural colors. It does make a difference in day-to-day use, and while the screen size is tiny by today's standards, the panel itself is great.

The 4.7-inch screen is vibrant, and the bezels didn't bother me as much as I thought they would.

You get vibrant colors and excellent contrast levels, and the display gets sufficiently bright for outdoor use. The 16:9 ratio once again evokes familiarity, and games and videos run just fine on the phone. Yes, there are sizable bezels, but they didn't end up bothering me as much as I thought they would. In fact, if you can look past the bezels, there is a lot to like here. For one thing, there isn't another compact phone in the market that gives you the same level of performance.

Ultimately, the iPhone SE feels like a throwback. But what gives it an edge is that it is sporting the latest internal hardware. Think of it as a classic car that has been restored with a brand new engine and ceramic brakes. If I may continue the car analogy here, the iPhone SE feels like the Eagle Speedster — a modern interpretation of the classic Jaguar E-Type that looks absolutely stunning. Thankfully, the phone doesn't cost half a million dollars.

iPhone SE Hardware and battery life

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The standout feature on the iPhone SE 2020 is the A13 Bionic. The fact that the phone has the same chipset that's featured in the iPhone 11 series is a huge deal. The A13 Bionic is the fastest mobile chipset in the world today, and you can now get it on a $400 phone. To put things into context, the A13 Bionic pulls ahead of the Snapdragon 865, so the kind of performance that you get on the iPhone SE is unmatched — regardless of the price point.

SpecsiPhone SE 2020
SoftwareiOS 13
Display4.7-inch (1334x750) IPS LCD
Chipset2.66GHz A13 Bionic
RAM3GB
Storage64GB/128GB/256GB
Rear Camera12MP ƒ/1.8 OIS
Front Camera7MP ƒ/2.2
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6, BT5.0, NFC
Battery1821mAh | 18W
SecurityTouch ID
ColorsBlack, White, (PRODUCT)RED
Dimensions138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
Weight148g

Allow me to geek out a little over the A13 Bionic. The chipset is built on a 7nm node at TSMC, and it features six CPU cores in a 2 + 4 cluster: you get two performance cores that go up to 2.66GHz alongside four energy-efficient cores that max out at 1.73GHz. Apple is unique in that it controls both the hardware and software stack on its phones, and this allows the company to fine-tune its designs to eke out the most amount of performance.

Being an ARM architecture licensee gives Apple greater freedom in customizing ARM's cores to fit its needs. Qualcomm went a similar route with the Kryo 280 cores on the Snapdragon 820, but in recent years it has switched to a semi-custom design by making subtle tweaks to existing ARM cores. However, with the Snapdragon 865, Qualcomm is back to using stock Cortex A77 cores.

Because vendors like Qualcomm have to cater to a wide swathe of devices, they're not able to make the sort of fine-tuned adjustments needed to maximize the performance. Apple has the ability to do that because its chipsets are designed solely for its own phones, and this gives the company a sizable advantage. ARM is looking to reign in that performance differential with the Cortex X1 core, but we'll have to wait and see if it passes muster in real-world usage conditions.

What I'm trying to say is that the A13 Bionic holds its own next against whatever Qualcomm, Exynos, HiSilicon, or MediaTek have to offer in this category, and the fact that you are getting such a powerful chipset on a $400 phone is incredible. But enough talk; let's see what that translates to in terms of synthetic scores:

CPU

Geekbench 5.0 (Higher is better)

DeviceSingle coreMulti core
iPhone SE 2020 (A13 Bionic)13822587
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (SD865)9113109
Realme X2 Pro (SD855+)7022252
Google Pixel 4 XL (SD855)6152424
Samsung Galaxy A71 (SD730)4111439
Google Pixel 3a XL (SD670)

The A13 Bionic dominates when it comes to single-core performance, pulling ahead of the Snapdragon 865 and the rest of the pack. But the SD865 is in the lead for multi-core performance.

Graphics

GFXBench Aztec Ruins Vulkan/Metal (Higher is better)

DeviceHigh TierNormal Tier1080p Offscreen
iPhone SE 2020 (A13 Bionic)596075
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (SD865)294452
Realme X2 Pro (SD855+)253846
Google Pixel 4 XL (SD855)111532
Samsung Galaxy A71 (SD730)7.41115
Google Pixel 3a XL (SD670)6.71012

When it comes to real-world GPU performance, the A13 Bionic edges out every other mobile chipset in the world today. The screen resolution combined with the power on offer here means you'll never see any slowdowns even during extended gaming sessions.

Web

Jetstream 2.0 (Higher is better)

DeviceOverall
iPhone SE 2020 (A13 Bionic)133.586
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (SD865)59.999
Realme X2 Pro (SD855+)46.867
Google Pixel 4 XL (SD855)47.542
Samsung Galaxy A71 (SD730)45.688
Google Pixel 3a XL (SD670)31.187

Speedometer 2.0 (Higher is better)

DeviceOverall
iPhone SE 2020 (A13 Bionic)119
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro (SD865)69.4
Realme X2 Pro (SD855+)49.6
Google Pixel 4 XL (SD855)52.9
Samsung Galaxy A71 (SD730)41.8
Google Pixel 3a XL (SD670)30.4

The iPhone SE has a clear edge when it comes to Javascript web benchmarks. These tests measure the performance of a web browser, and as the numbers above highlight, the iPhone SE is in a league of its own.

As you can make out from the figures above, the iPhone SE is right up there with the best that Android has to offer. There are zero issues in day-to-day use, and the A13 Bionic handles everything from mundane tasks to visually demanding titles with a breeze. There's only 3GB of RAM here, but that's more than adequate for iOS, and I did not see any slowdowns whatsoever.

The A13 Bionic is exciting, but that's not all the iPhone SE has going for it. The phone features Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, a Gigabit LTE modem, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC with Apple Pay. Apple led the way for haptics, and the iPhone SE has the same great haptic engine as the iPhone 11 series.

The iPhone SE blazes past every other phone in this category when it comes to performance.

The base variant has 64GB of storage, and the iPhone SE is also available in a 128GB option that costs $449 and a 256GB model for $549. Interestingly, the iPhone SE offers IP67 dust and water resistance. Outside of the Galaxy A8 series and other mid-range options from Samsung, there haven't been many phones that offered water-resistance — and as such it is nice to see that the iPhone SE has an IP rating. You can submerge the phone for 30 minutes in up to one meter of water, and it is resistant to spills from coffee, tea, soda, and other liquids.

The iPhone SE also has dual SIM connectivity, with an eSIM option available if you're planning to use the phone with more than one number. I didn't face any issues with calls or Wi-Fi and cellular data connectivity, and when it comes to the basics the iPhone SE doesn't have any problems.

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

While the internal hardware has received a considerable upgrade on the iPhone SE, the 1821mAh battery is the same size as the iPhone 8. And what that means is that battery life is strictly average.

The iPhone SE has average battery life, and you get a paltry 5W charger in the box.

The fact that the phone has a 1334x750 screen helps things a little when it comes to extending battery life, and the 7nm A13 Bionic also contributes in its own way. In the week I used the iPhone SE, I averaged screen-on-time of four and a half hours spread out over the course of the day. While that's decent, under heavy usage, the battery isn't going to last until the end of the day.

I obviously didn't use cellular data nearly as much as I would if I went out to run errands, and the same goes for navigation. For average use cases involving a few hours of streaming music and scrolling through social media, the iPhone SE is still plenty great. But you will need to top up the battery during the day if you're planning marathon gaming sessions or binge-watching a TV show.

The one downside is that you get a paltry 5W charger in the box with the iPhone SE. The bundled charger takes well over two hours to fully charge the phone, but thankfully the phone has 18W fast charging, and you should pick up an 18W USB PD fast charger if you don't have one already. With an 18W charger, you'll get from zero to 50% in just over 30 minutes. The iPhone SE also has wireless charging, and you can use an existing Qi wireless charger with the phone.

iPhone SE Camera

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Coming to the camera side of things, the iPhone SE has a single 12MP lens at the back and a 7MP camera at the front. Sure, you're missing out on the versatility of a wide-angle or zoom lens, but the 12MP camera is pretty great in its own right. Apple is touting that this is the best single-lens camera system it introduced to date.

The single 12MP camera takes great photos, and you can shoot 4K video at 60fps.

The inclusion of the A13 Bionic is the reason behind a lot of the improvements on the imaging front. You get portrait mode and portrait lighting effects on the phone, and it enables new AR use cases. The iPhone SE uses a combination of machine learning and augmented reality to automatically identify objects in real life, so if you're holding a coffee mug and point your viewfinder at it, the camera will identify it as such.

There's multi-band noise reduction as well, and it preserves natural skin tones and textures. Front camera is also getting a few advancements, and you get a portrait mode for selfies that's powered by machine learning and the A13's neural engine.

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The camera on the iPhone SE leverages the A13 Bionic's ISP to deliver great photos. You get shots with excellent dynamic range and great color vibrancy — particularly in daylight. Photos aren't overexposed, and you don't see any noise. The phone holds up very well in low-light scenarios as well, but you do get a lot of noise in a few shots. Portrait shots come out great, with accurate edge detection and great depth of field.

The iPhone SE leverages Smart HDR, which was introduced on the iPhone 11. The feature does a great job with AI-based semantic rendering, and is able to distinguish between the subject and the background. This enables the camera to maintain details such as facial features even in poor lighting conditions.

There are advancements when it comes to video as well. The iPhone SE offers 4K video recording at 60fps with extended dynamic range and stereo audio recording. You also get slow-motion video, and the ability to take a video by holding down on the shutter button in photo mode — just like the iPhone 11 series. But the best part about video recording is that you get OIS and EIS with 4K video at 60fps, giving the iPhone SE a clear edge in this category.

iPhone SE Software

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

If you've used Android for any length of time, switching to iOS will be a disorientating experience at first. There's no app drawer, so all the apps you install are on the home screen. And the way notifications are handled is different to Android — there's no notification grouping, so the notification shade ends up looking rather busy. Thankfully, you do get the option to dismiss notifications en masse.

It takes a while to get acclimated to iOS 13, and your customization options are limited.

It definitely takes some time to get acclimated to iOS, particularly the fact that toggles for Wi-Fi and adjusting brightness are accessible from a swipe up gesture from the bottom of the screen. Control Center also has a music widget, and lets you access the flashlight, set up timers, launch the camera, scan QR codes, and toggle things like Wi-Fi Bluetooth, airplane mode, cellular data, AirDrop, and hotspot.

Like Android, you get the option to customize the layout of the controls, and add tiles for screen recording, voice memos, alarms, do not disturb, battery saver mode, and more from the settings. In terms of customization, you're limited to changing the background for the home and lock screens — there's no option to install your own launcher or change the look of the icons with an icon pack. Finally, if you use Google Assistant a lot on your Android phone, it takes a bit of work to get it going on iOS. First, you'll have to invoke Siri, and then launch Google Assistant — the "Hey, Google" hotword detection does not work on iOS.

Then there's the sharing menu. You don't get to see sharing options from all the installed apps. For instance, I transfer photos from phones I'm using directly to my NAS using DS File. Normally on an Android phone, I just select the photos in the gallery, hit the share button, and select DS File from the list. But the app doesn't show up in the share menu on iOS, so if I have to upload photos, I have to go into DS File and manually select photos from there. There are similar issues with the file manager, and it's harder than it should be to download files on iOS.

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

While customization options may be limited, iOS has plenty to offer in other areas. Usage of first-party apps like FaceTime and iMessage is ubiquitous in countries like the U.S., and that point was driven home when my sister refused to use the Pixel 3 XL and instead picked up the iPhone XS Max because all her friends were on iMessage.

There's no need to panic here — the iPhone SE is a fantastic conduit for Google services.

iOS also has several privacy safeguards, with Safari offering Intelligent Tracking Prevention to prevent browser fingerprinting, you get better control over permissions, and there's the option to limit access to hardware features like Bluetooth. Then there's the fact that you'll run into fewer issues with apps on iOS.

Now, if you're like me and use Google services primarily, you'll find a lot to like in iOS. Google's full complement of services are here, and they work just as well as they do on Android. You can easily change the keyboard to Gboard, set up Google Photos to back up photos and videos, navigate with Google Maps, use Google Home to manage smart home devices in your house, and use Google Drive to store documents and other data on the cloud.

Apple's software ecosystem also has a lot going for it. Services like Apple Music, Apple TV+, and Apple Arcade have a lot to offer, and as is the case with other Apple products, you get a year's worth of access to Apple TV+ for free when you pick up an iPhone SE.

The best part about iOS is the software updates. With at least four years of guaranteed updates, you're getting double the number of platform updates as most Android phones. That's a big selling point for the iPhone SE, and the fact that it is powered by the A13 Bionic means it will get updates for just as long as the flagship iPhone 11 series. Several mid-range Android devices do not get more than a single platform update, and it has become a point of contention. That is not a problem on iOS, and with the five-year-old iPhone 6s running iOS 13, software updates is an area where iPhones win by a considerable margin.

iPhone SE The Competition

There are a lot of great options in the mid-range category, and the obvious choice would be the Pixel 3a XL, which is now selling for $270. With the Pixel 4a not slated to launch until July, Google's 2019 mid-range offering is the best pick if you want an Android phone with a great camera and clean software.

If you need beefier hardware and the largest screen in this category, the 6.7-inch Galaxy A71 is the obvious choice. The 4G version is available for $365, and you do get a lot for your money.

Then there's the OnePlus 7T for $499. The phone comes with a 90Hz display and a powerful Snapdragon 855+ chipset, and you get 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage as standard. You also get clean software in the form of OxygenOS, and decent cameras.

iPhone SE Should you buy it?

iPhone SE 2020 review

Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central (Image credit: Source: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

The new iPhone SE has a lot going for it. You get a familiar design with all-new hardware, and the performance on offer is unmatched in this category. You also get IP67 dust and water resistance, wireless charging, at least four years of software updates, and a camera that takes great photos.

Ultimately, the iPhone SE lowers the barrier to entry to Apple's ecosystem. Between the Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePod, Apple managed to craft an enticing range of devices that interface with the iPhone. The software side of things is just as exciting, with Apple TV+, Apple Music, and Apple Arcade making a strong case for switching to the iPhone.

The iPhone SE is one of the best deals of 2020, but it's okay if you don't want to switch to iOS.

Look, there's no question that the iPhone SE 2020 is one of the best deals you'll find this year. The device also has the potential to do particularly well in markets like India, where it is available for ₹42,500 ($560). It's not quite the same value that you get in the U.S., but Apple has strong brand cachet in the country, and the fact that the iPhone SE has the A13 Bionic chipset and will get updates for four to five years will easily sway customers.

Then there's also the small matter that iPhones retain their value better over time, and you'll get a better resale value than Pixels or other mid-range devices. It doesn't take an economics degree to figure out that this thing is going to sell extremely well.

But whether you should switch to iOS is a decision that's entirely down to you. If you've been using an Android phone for a few years now, you would have picked up a lot of paid apps, subscribed to several services via the Play Store, and generally invested in the ecosystem.

So it's understandable if you're reticent to start all over from scratch. Having said that, the introduction of the iPhone SE is beneficial for the entire industry, because we'll start seeing Android manufacturers rolling out phones with more differentiated features to stand out in this segment. And the fact that there's a $400 phone with four years of guaranteed updates may even be the catalyst that pushes Android device makers to start offering more software updates.

What I'm trying to say is that if you've already invested heavily in the Android ecosystem and don't want to switch to iOS, that's fine. But if you've had issues with Android devices in the past and are looking for a change, then there isn't a phone today that offers quite as much value as the iPhone SE 2020.

4.5 out of 5

Buy it if

  • You're looking for a device with a compact form factor backed by outstanding hardware
  • You want a great camera with unmatched video recording
  • You need at least four years of guaranteed updates
  • You rely on wireless charging

Don't buy it if

  • You want a large screen with a high refresh rate
  • You need all-day battery life with heavy usage
Harish Jonnalagadda
Harish Jonnalagadda

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor covering Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone manufacturers, and writes about the semiconductor industry, storage servers, and audio products. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.

85 Comments
  • Lol 😂, can't wait to see the heads explode over this one, thank you. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻
  • The fanboys on here that lose their minds over an iPhone review. Hahahaha, hahahaha I love how you fanboys whine over Android Central reviewing iPhones, that would be the same people who gives Rene Richie stick on iMore for his love of all things Apple.
  • Hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people buy Androids and they're "Fans"
  • Only in developing countries while in developed countries Apple is king and Android is a distant second best.
  • well done Harish! 👏👏👏
  • Lmao! Fantastic... Grabs popcorn.
  • The longer Google waits to release the 4a the more customers will gravitate to the SE. Google should ship the 4a immediately.
  • It doesn't help that Google are delaying the Pixel 4a but due to Apple's brand recognition alone the iPhone SE would have outsold the Pixel 4a anyway.
  • Didn't know iPhones were Android.
  • Plenty of Apple centric sites review Galaxy phones so...
  • Wouldn't know, don't read them. Can you guess why I don't read them? Because I'm not interested in Apple news.
  • And yet here you are commenting on an Apple review.
  • I was going to actually respond until I read your username lol.
  • You did respond. lol
  • Do you genuinely not understand what i meant by "*actually* respond", or are you just being an ass for shirts and giggles? Either is fine by me, I just don't like to miss an opportunity to explain something.
  • Just being an ass, like you were in your response to him. :-)
  • Fair play then, carry on.
  • That is actually not true. It is fine, and actually a good thing, but android sites review iPhones way more than iOS/Apple sites do.
  • To be fair, it's closer than most of the stuff that's posted here. At least this is a smartphone review and not just shilling for a credit card, shilling for instant puts or shilling for an online "course" in how to save money for the low low price of only $59.95.
  • Or the myriad of SEO articles suggesting where to buy wipes, the millionth article about Disney+, etc.
  • Looking forward to the Android fanboys blowing their stack over the iPhone SE review lol.
  • What's an iFan like you doing on this site pushing the Apple coolaid?
  • Who said I'm pushing for Apple? Yes I like Apple so what? But I have an interest in Android too that's why I come to this site.
  • Maybe I'm spoiled, but those bezels really do look comical in 2020. You say the S10e is a whopping 3.8mm taller, but how much actual display height is added by those 3.8mm? 23.8mm? More?
  • You are spoiled because the iPhone 6/6s design is my favourite iPhone design because everything felt right with the bezels meaning that there wasn't any danger of me accidentally pressing something by accident but now we live in an almost bezel free era, I suppose I've gotten used to reduced bezels but I still prefer the 6/6s design over the current iPhone X models which are still lovely.
  • It's your favorite design but it does look quite dated.
  • I quite like Gothic stone architecture, but i can admit it's probably not the best design style for a modern apartment or office building.
  • The iPhone 6 body design elements were licensed from HTC. They actually made a phone almost identical to the iPhone 6 called the A9, because they legally could. Bezels are better for gaming, though the SE takes it TOO far, lol.
  • 6 design was very meh. The 4/5 were some of the nicest looking iPhones made and a reason the iPhone 12 is going back to that look.
  • The 4 and 5 were my favorites too, and I have a 5S on my charging rack right now as a matter of fact. It's too slow to be useable, but I play with it for novelty's sake. My gaming buddy thinks the 6 series feels cheap.
  • Here's the actual screen to body ratios.
    SE: 65.6%
    S10e 83.3%
    So, the iPhone SE has 17.7% less screen to work with.
  • So the thing is more than a full third bezel? Thanks for the into.
  • Politial agender article and now an Apple article. I'm out, deleting this crap site after at least 5 years of reading every day. This site has now gone to crap.
  • You do realise that Android Central being part of mobile nations means they can review iPhones as well right? Goodbye see ya. I said I couldn't wait until you Android fanboys blew your stack on an iPhone review and I wasn't disappointed. 😂😂😂.
  • Android central means.. Android. Not apple. Are there Android reviews on the apple sister site??
  • Yes there are Android reviews, Pixels, Samsung, etc so on on iMore.
  • Lol it has gone downhill since Phil left, but with that being said, if you are so anti apple why read and comment on it? 
  • Sorry 🍎, I could never go back to a 4.7in display!
  • Motorola should do this with the Moto X4. Keep that design, and put the 865 in it. It would basically be the Android version of the SE. Winner.
  • Motorola are irrelevant in the smartphone world let alone in the Android space under Lenovo.
  • The upcoming 5.4 inch iPhone 12 will be the one too watch. Faster processor, 5G, bigger screen but about the same physical size, small bezels, for a couple of hundred dollars more.
  • No offense to Android (I really do enjoy both—both have features the other doesn't/doesn't do as well), but man I think the small iPhone 12 is going to absolutely dominate sales.
  • Agree, especially if the rumors of the prices they are going to sell the iPhone 12 at are true, they are going to slaughter android OEMs even more so than normal for apple. 
  • Nope, the successor to the iPhone 11 will be the best seller in the iPhone 12 lineup, I don't care enough for 5G yet , at least Apple is still giving people the choice of 4G for those like me who don't want to go to 5G yet, especially as the price for a 5G contract, on my case is ridiculously high.
  • After reading the article any thoughts of going over to iPhone to complete my primarily Apple home have been eliminated. There is nothing iPhone offers that makes me want to migrate. Oh...don't care about updates BTW.
  • Well that's you, for me I've already decided I'm going back to iPhone as my primary phone after 2 years with Android, after switching back and forth for 5 years before that. I'm switching back for the more polished apps, iMessage and FaceTime and 5 years software support plus overall iPhone suits my needs better as my whole family has iPhones and friends too plus I don't customise my phone other than setting up.
  • Great. Now move on and stop commenting on every post here. We get it. Are you trying to make Apple some more money or something? What is your agenda?
  • I don't have an agenda, u don't like pompous a** Android fanboys being so closed minded and yes Apple will get my money because they actually support their phones properly and all the other reasons I've stated too many times already but that doesn't mean I won't have an Android phone still (I use a OnePlus 7T currently) because I have an interest in Android hence why I come to this site which I have done for about 5 years now.
  • Did the apple sister site review the 3a???
  • I have no issue with an Apple review here. Being limited to only Android news is the same as getting all of your news from one source. Open up and listen to differing thoughts, you may learn something.
  • This is getting your news from one source... It's not getting other opinions, it's the same opinions on different things. Your comment is meaningless.
  • Some of us have an open mind. Even when I get my iPhone 11 in the summer I'll still read Android news on here because I still have an interest in Android because I'll continue the use both.
  • You don't have an open mind, you have an empty head. That's not the same thing lol.
  • I have an open mind while yours is as narrow as a canal and your own head is full of hot air lol.
  • What's the point in categorizing then? Top left, you can view windows, Android, apple. Click on one of those to get info pertaining to that. Why mix them?!
  • FYI. iPhone 5s from 2013 just got a small software update last week.......7 (and counting) years support.
  • Yep! Software version 12.4.7 on mine. Nice to see. Interestingly, my wife's 4 year old U11 just got an update, which was totally unexpected.
  • I'm just having fun laughing at all these people who think that you can directly compare scores between different CPU designs running under different OS's. Let me clue you in: Geekbench scores are not cross platform comparable. And if someone from Primate Labs wants to step in, please do so. I'd like to know why any device can score a lofty score in your app, but perform slower in real life.
  • Anandtech does SPECint benchmarks to compare......and that also confirms A13 CPU superiority.
  • The problem is that, in actual use, that superiority doesn't show. It's like a teenager showing up at the racetrack bragging about his dyno numbers, but then he loses on the track. I bought my iPhone 11 from AT&T on October 2nd of 2019. I love the night mode, like the size, and don't mind the screen at all. Oddly though, it's not noticeably faster than my two year old Android. Now granted, the HTC U12+ was the fastest phone in the world when introduced. It crushed the iPhone X in real world performance, and some say that the U12+ was one of the reasons Apple committed improving app load times in iOS 13. The key thing though, is that the iPhone X A11 was "superior" to the U12+ SD845 in benchmarks, but was so slow in comparison that it was just sad. Can you explain that?
    Even now, two years later, the A13 has an old SnapDragon nipping at its heels. Why?
  • To be fair I wasn't impressed by the iPhone X, at least in performance as at that time I thought Android phones had caught up and surpassed Apple but I think they bounced back with the A12 bionic and currently the A13 bionic on the iPhone 11 series and SE 2020.
  • Yeah, the A11 didn't quite live up to the hype, but the A12 and 13 did better. I was installing some security cameras at a friend's house last year and had to user her iPhone X, and it was much slower than expected. My son has the XS with the A12. It's significantly faster, and his only complaint is that he's disappointed in the camera.
  • Can't do garbage battery life
  • Even if I liked iOS, that battery life kills this thing for me. I'd have to add a battery case, and of course the larger storage option....well, gee, it isn't such a good deal any more.
  • AC...by the nature of this in depth review... throwing the gauntlet down to Android mfg'ers and carriers... BUILD QUALITY, REASONABLY PRICED, LONGER OS UPDATES. Kudos AC.
  • The 4.7inch is too small of a display for me, but the upcoming 5.3 inch display with these guts would be fine and hit my personal sweet spot as a size of phone. I don't hate iOS, just like Android more. Something a little bigger than the SE would be perfect for me. I didn't like the S10e when I held it. Just didn't seem very solid to me physically (specs aside) I will just flip between them. Never ending circle. lol
  • Why would anyone buy a phone with no widgets? Or at least not have them easily accessible on your home screen? Just seems so archaic.
  • Because maybe people are happy with the way iOS works, i don't really bother with widgets other than the weather one on my 7T which is garbage and inaccurate to the one of my Nokia 8.1 (Android One phone), people who buy iPhones don't care about widgets, you think having no widgets is "archaic" well people can say the same about Android being clunky, unoptimised, a mess of fragmentation and security nightmare, a lot of which is true so don't pass off your opinion as fact when it is just YOUR opinion.
  • I can make calls instantly from my home screen to frequent contacts. Apple blows...it's just an app phone. I have an S10e, it's not "clunky", not sure what you're talking about. It's not a security nightmare, I've never been compromised and I've had every Sammy since the S3. You're over dramatic trying to justify your app phone. Don't surf questionable sites, don't open email from Nigeria, you'll be fine.
  • I was talking about Samsung ot an LG phone when referring to Android being clunky, anything that is close to or is stock Android is just as easy to use as an iPhone but the disparity between apps on both platforms remain though but it isn't as bad as it once was on Android but apps like Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are still better on iOS and even Google apps are better on iOS than Android, which goes to show that even Google prioritises iOS over Android and let's not talk about the elephant in the room, Android tablets which are a dumpster fire with poorly optimised apps that are just blown up Android phone apps.
  • Widgets are a blast and I have 74 of them available, including some new ones that were added last week. App developers can make them at will, and they are very useful. They can be accessed in full multitasking split screen mode while converting 5GB video files. It's something I do on a regular basis, now that I have the extra video job I took from an iPhone user because they like my video quality better. By the way, Beno, did you know that iOS 13.5 is buggy and some users can't even open apps? How come other companies can release bug free updates, and Apple can't?
  • I'm not surprised that iOS 3.5 is still buggy and that isn't acceptable but at least Apple will bring a fix which will hopefully fix the bugs once and for all. Because from what you're telling me, iOS 13.5 is starting to look like another iOS 11, you trying to put me off getting my iPhone 11? Lol.
  • No no, do not put off getting your iPhone 11! I'm thinking about getting another to replace the one I gave away, but I'm tempted to wait for the U20 😉
    I agree that Apple will probably fix the app update issue soon, and, oh, there it is: 13.5.1!
    Gotta hand it to them for that, but I still wish they would not have users help with the beta testing so much, lol.
  • "You want a great camera with unmatched video recording"
    Wait, Harish, are you serious? I just saw this now, lol.
    I just took a video job away from a guy with an iPhone 11 Pro, because video from an HTC U12 Plus is better.
    I even asked the guy who produces the show how the videos turned out, and he stated "Oh they worked out great! The color was so vibrant", and that's a quote from his text message. The president and vice president love the quality as well. And yes, I did pre-production lighting tests with an iPhone in the same rig, and the HTC kept consistent colors and brightness as lighting was brought down to 30%. The iPhone could not. Video stabilization on iPhones is excellent, but here's another shocker: It's even better on HTC.
    Did you know that even DxoMark has rated HTC as better than iPhone in video stabilization? Not just once either. The iPhone 11 was the first iPhone to beat out the U12 in video stabilization (by 2 points), and that was before HTC turned the tables back in their favor with an update. iPhones still do have some advantages, like running cooler during long shoots, and having better support from Filmic Pro... but can we move on from the myth that iPhones are automatically better at everything video?
  • I can just about liv with the bugs on iOS 13.5 as I know Apple is very quick with updates to fix the various bugs and glitches.
  • A tiny 4'7 lcd screen, thick bezel, no night mode, bad battery life. Why would I buy this? I can get a used XR for almost the same price. Hard pass. What good is an update if I can't see the screen. Now for the baby hands crowd I'm sure this works out, but for those of us with adult size hands I'm glad apple makes regular phones as well. Not this iPhone 5C redo.
  • Oh come on the screen isn't that bad, yes it's too small for me to use and the battery life isn't great and those are deal breakers for me who's decided on getting an iPhone 11 which is a much better phone anyway.
  • What's up ac? Normally big bezels, old sensor cameras, old low res screens will get talked down...shunned at like a leper..with the iPhone se, it's like a new welcomed feature! What about the vintage touch button...its a rarity! Wow!? Put one in an android phone with more than a hair width thick with bezel and you can count on it that AC will castrate the poor phone.
  • I almost went to the dark side with an iPhone 11 Pro Max... I had not put a lot of thought into leaving Android, and cancelled my order. I started doing my homework on iOS and learned some things never change: Apple is prone to buggy iPhone OS updates, and it is much more on their Mac OS machines. Apple blogs like 9 to 5 Max's are full of horror stories. Five years+ of software updates aren't important if you must always face buggy updates. I don't pretend to know why apps on Android work so well on any version of Android, but the fact is they do, which convinces me that poor Android OS support (two years) just doesn't matter. I don't upgrade phones often, but when I do it is to the largest, best display, maxed RAM and storage devices.... And only one company in the Android space offers it all. This little iPhone being reviewed would never have appealed to me, however I accept it is a much needed addition to the Apple family. Beno, lol, you've already trolled with about 20 comments, so I'm really not interested in hearing from you.
  • You think that's gonna stop Beno coming here haha! I can relate I was pretty close to selling my Note 10 plus 512gb and going for a XS Max (still haven't talked myself fully out of it) I know the Max Pro would be the obvious successer to a Note but even now they are too pricey!
  • I had lengthy discussions in several comments sections and forums, and kinda feel the same way. Yes, it has almost double the support period as Android phones, but even aside from some of the updates being buggy, the other issue is performance after years. A lot of people say about their iPhones after several years, "It runs just as good as the day I got it." That's great, but 2 things. First, because you're using it day in and day out, you might not notice degraded performance. That happens to people a lot, similar to being people being noseblind to smells. Second, let's say it does perform as good as the day you got it. Great, it performs the same as a 3-5 year old phone. Now compare that performance to a current device, and you'll find it lacking. Until all other services and apps stop evolving and requiring the need for higher performance hardware, that's always going to be an issue holding onto devices for long periods. The main reason I'm not switching to an iPhone is iOS, can't stand it. We picked up an iPad Mini recently to do FaceTime with relatives, for some it's their only way to communicate (no cell or landline). After using iOS for a couple weeks now, I can barely stand to mess with it for more than a few minutes. It just holds no interest for me. As for my next upgrade, I'm going in an opposite direction, to the midrange with the Pixel 4a. I started with Google on the Nexus 6p, then had each model of regular Pixel until the 4. I prefer the smaller model and couldn't reconcile getting it with the battery life it had. The Pixel a series seems to beat the regular series on that. I don't need Soli or face unlock, I may miss Active Edge, but I'll make do. I thought about picking up a 3a last year, but with the storage maxed out at 64GB, that wasn't going to cut it. So to the 4a I go (if they ever release it). As for beno, I just did a count and he has 20 comments out of the current 75. Most explaining why everyone's opinion is wrong and why the iPhone is best for him (and apparently anyone else). So here's my response to him. Great...for you. I am not you, it's my money and I'll spend it how I see fit. It seems a bit arrogant to tell people why they're wrong to not like something you like when you have no idea about them, their wants or their needs, and to say that this or any Apple device will satisfy it. I wouldn't do that to you because I don't know you well enough to make that assessment. And I seriously doubt you know anyone commenting here enough from their posts to do the same. I'm glad you're happy moving to iOS. Leave others in peace to do the same with their respective decisions.
  • you are buggy....
  • I did not mean to respond to you - I want to post at top level see in main thread
  • Oh well, I tried. Can't delete posts and can't figure out how to get out of the reply thread to top level.... DS File shows up in the share sheet so not quite sure what was the issue for you. Since the share sheet came out in iOS in 2014 allowing similar inter-app communication and document providers, the major reason for using Android (for me) went away. You USED to have to go into an app to share stuff to the app, but it's been 6 years... And iOS 13 improved it much with being able to selectively edit what shows up in the share sheet for each app, and re-order them...
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