8.5/10
Informr score
The Apple iPhone SE (2020) currently has an Informr score of 8.5 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 70 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

What's good

  • Compact size
  • Blazing performance
  • Excellent screen
  • Affordable pricing
  • Touch ID
  • All-day battery

What's bad

  • Chunky bezels
  • Poor low-light camera performance
  • No Face ID
  • Ships with "slow" charger
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

The original iPhone SE was one of the more popular options in iPhone’s history. This year sees the relaunch of this popular compact model. But does it still hold the same appeal as iPhones have become sleeker and screen sizes continue to expand?

Design

The iPhone SE (2020) is a blast of retro Apple design, bringing back the same general design used for the iPhone 6 through iPhone 8. You’ll find rounded corners, chunky bezels, and a physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint scanner.

So, it’s different from the rest of the 2019-2020 Apple lineup. But whether that’s bad is up to you. It’s one of the most premium feeling phones at its price point though.

CNet summed up thoughts on the design well, saying, “It's not ugly, it's just dated. And that might appeal to some people, but not me.”

Display

The 4.7-inch Retina display is tiny for phones releasing in 2020, but for many reviewers that was part of the appeal. That means you can enjoy your games and shows or fire off a quick text or email while being able to effortlessly slip the iPhone SE (2020) into your pocket.

As with most Apple displays, reviewers found this once checks all the boxes in terms of color, clarity, and brightness.

Engadget says, “... This display is perfectly fine for what it is. The only real question is whether it's big enough for you.”

Performance

The iPhone SE (2020) can go toe to toe with any phone on the market right now -- and win. It includes Apple’s latest and greatest processor and more than enough memory to let you bounce between apps as you go through your day.

PC Magazine says, “The iPhone SE has, almost certainly, a longer functional life ahead of it than any other phone of its price in the US.”

Software & Storage

The iPhone SE (2020) runs the latest version of Apple’s software -- iOS 13. Storage options include 64, 128, and 256GB models. If you’re not sure how much space you need, it’s better to have a bit more than you need than too little since iPhones do not support expandable storage -- such as microSD cards.

Cameras

Unlike many recent releases, this one includes a single rear camera and a single front-facing lens. However, reviews indicate that unless you’re shooting at night, the iPhone SE (2020) produces images that rival many of the leading -- and much pricier -- phones on the market.

At night, the phone takes much darker shots. But that’s to be expected for a single lens camera with no Night mode.

Tom’s Guide says, “The iPhone SE 2020’s camera is so good that you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference between it and the iPhone 11 in many cases.”

Battery Life

While the 1821mAh battery might seem tiny, the phone had no problems lasting a full day for reviewers. When it comes time to top things off, fast charging and wireless charging add convenient options as well.

Just be sure to budget for an extra charger if you plan to take advantage of either feature. The phone ships with a standard “slow” charger.

CNet says, “Anecdotally, it made it through a day and a half without a problem, and a couple times it went two days straight without a charge.”

Audio

While there’s nothing wrong with the audio experience on the iPhone SE (2020), it’s also nothing special. If you really want to enjoy your favorite movies, music, or TV shows, plan to use headphones.

Since there is no 3.5mm headphone jack, you’ll also want to be sure to budget for a USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter unless you prefer wireless headphones.

Specs at a Glance

  • IP67-rated glass and aluminum chassis
  • 4.7-inch Retina IPS display running at 1334-by-750 pixels
  • A13 Bionic processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • iOS 13
  • 1821mAh battery
  • 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage
  • Single-lens 12MP rear camera
  • 7MP front-facing camera
  • All-day battery with fast charging and wireless charging support

Bottom Line

Overall, the iPhone SE (2020) is proving to be one of Apple’s most popular phones ever. It offers a compact design, top-tier performance, and that premium Apple feel at a firmly mid-tier price point.

Tom’s Guide says, “The iPhone SE 2020 is the affordable phone to beat, and the one of the best cheap phones you can get. It’s the closest thing to future-proof you’ll find [at this price]...”

iMore says, “Who would like this iPhone? Honestly, almost everyone. It's lightweight, pocket-friendly, and has the speeds you need for today, tomorrow, and next year's technology.”


Operating system
iOS
Processor
2.65 GHz
Screen Size
4.7"
Camera
12+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Firstpost

The iPhone SE 2020 is a wonderful device that offers you a compact design, great camera and overall performance, and an improved battery life that’s been a pain point on iPhones for a while now. The size of the iPhone SE is undoubtedly a big selling point for anyone who misses being able to comforta...

- Nandini Yadav, Firstpost
The Wirecutter

The iPhone SE has the same processor as the iPhone 11 and a camera that’s almost as good, but it costs nearly half the price. Its low price, smaller size, and Touch ID fingerprint reader make it an easy upgrade for people with older iPhones, but its battery doesn’t last as long.

- Andrew Cunningham, Nick Guy, The Wirecutter
Recombu

Apple’s £419 device is a simple proposition: stuff some of the best bits from the recent flagship iPhones into the body of a smaller, older one. There isn’t much new or, dare we say, exciting here. Still, it’s a great phone that’s easy to recommend thanks to a number of highlights. 

- Max Parker, Recombu
Gadgetbyte

The phone is durable, compact, and boasts an A-class performance that practically no other phone in this price range can offer. The single-camera setup produces good images and excellent videos too. Yet, the big-bulky bezels aren't digestible for 2020, and so isn't its small display. On top of this,...

- Pratima Adhikari, Gadgetbyte
T3

The iPhone SE 2020 is the best cheap smartphone for most people – its camera, build quality and speed all match more expensive phones. Its smaller screen will also please those who feel left behind by ever-larger devices.

- Matthew Bolton, T3


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Quick view

Screen Size
4.7"

The Apple iPhone SE (2020)'s screen size is 4.7 inches with 750 x 1334 pixels resolution.

Processor
2.65 GHz

There is a Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+) Hexa-core 2.65 GHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the iOS 13 operating system (OS).

Camera
12+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 12+ megapixel camera.

There is also a secondary front facing camera with 7+ megapixels resolution.

Storage
64/128/256 GB

Internal memory is 64/128/ 256 GB. No external card slot is available for expansion.

Battery
1821mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1821 mAh battery. Apple's performance ratings are 607 minutes, 819 minutes Wi-Fi surfing.

iPhone SE (2020) Specs

Overview
Release date April 24, 2020
Regions available USA, Canada, United Kingdom
Mobile / Cellular Data
4G/LTE
Networks
LTE:
700/800/850/900 /1500/1700/1800/1900/2100/2300/2500/2600/3600 MHz
CDMA:
800/850/1900 MHz
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
850/900/1700/1900 /2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSPA+, LTE
SIM card size
Nano-SIM
Dual SIM No
Operating System iOS 13

Compare iOS Smartphones

Processor Apple A13 Bionic (7 nm+) Hexa-core 2.65 GHz
Internal Storage 64/128/ 256 GB
RAM 3 GB
ROM No
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation Yes
SAR Head: 1.17 W/kg
Body: 1.16 W/kg
Languages English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included USB Power Adapter, Manual, Headphones, Data Cable
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1821 mAh
Removable Battery No
Wireless Charging Yes
Fast Charging Yes
Video Playback Time Up to: 780 minutes
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Up to: 819 minutes
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Up to: 607 minutes
Standby Time Unknown
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Material Aluminium
Colors Black, White, Red
Dimensions [H x W x D] 13.84 x 6.73 x 0.73 cm (5.5 x 2.7 x 0.3 in)
Weight 148 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Water Resistant
Rugged design No
IP Rating IP 67
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (IPS)
Colors 16.7 million
Resolution 750 x 1334 pixels
Pixel density 326 pixels
Size 4.7 inches
Secondary Display No
Sensors Ambient Light, Proximity, Motion / Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Digital Compass
Graphics Yes
Themes No
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification Yes
Screen Orientation Lock Yes
Multi-Touch Yes
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating Yes
Additional Display Features Capacitive touchscreen, True Tone, Wide color
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key Yes
Home Key Yes
Mute Key No
Input Type Touchscreen
Navigation Type Touchscreen
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer No
Voice Commands No
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor Yes
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling Yes
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) Yes
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Email address, Other fields
Contact Groups Yes
Auto Answer No
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, Microsoft Exchange
Additional Email Features Gmail
Messaging SMS, MMS, IM
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Lightning
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/ax
WiFi Encryption WEP/WPA/WPA2
Mobile Hotspot Yes
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot No
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out Yes
DLNA Support No
NFC Yes
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications No
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet Yes
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
ƒ/ 1.8
Resolution
12+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
5x digital
Flash
Yes (Dual LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Effects, Face detection, Geotagging, Image stabilization, Multi-shot, Panorama, Red-eye reduction, Self-timer, HDR
Video Recording Formats
MPEG-4
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)
Front Camera
Resolution
7+ megapixels
Zoom
Yes
Additional Front Camera Info
Effects, Image stabilization, Aperture F2.2, HDR
Video Recording Parameters
Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels), 30 fps
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats AAC, AAC+, Apple Lossless, eAAC+
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, FLV, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers Stereo
Headset Jack No
Custom Ringtones Yes
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration Yes
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock Yes
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch Yes
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Document Viewer Yes
Viewable document types XLS, PPT, PPTX, DOC, DOCX, PDF, TXT, HTML
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps Downloadable
Included Software / Apps
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): Apple iPhone SE (2nd Gen)

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