A new phone and a launch amidst the ongoing outbreak of a global pandemic, the Apple iPhone SE was not greeted by the usual grandeur of a typical Apple product. Released online. Yet, the most affordable new iPhone stirred up quite an uproar. But when the dust settles, the low budget blockbuster at $399, might really be destined to be a failure.

Let’s take a look at the new iPhone SE 2020.

Apple iphone SE 2020 home button

There is nothing new with the design, the chassis is quite literally the same as the iPhone 8. Metal frame enclosed with glass on both sides. Large bezels surrounding the 4.7’ inch LCD is a call back to 2014,from the iPhone 6 days. It doesn’t make much sense to keep large bezels just to house a Home button in 2020. The device also has wireless charging.

A13 Bionic Chip

Apple iphone SE 2020 arcade games

Powered by the A13 bionic chipset, same as the iPhone 11 series. The device packs an impressive punch when it comes to raw performance. The 7MP front camera has self-portrait feature and the rear camera setup is a single lens 12MP unit. It is capable of recording 4K video and has portrait mode photo capturing similar to the iPhone XR. The battery is 1821mAh and is capable of 18W fast charging, but it only comes with the disappointing 5W charger. It has stereo speakers with impressive sound quality, while being loud and an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance.

Apple iphone SE 2020 AR camera

The available storage options are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The device comes in three, color options, with the usual White and Black in addition to the (PRODUCT) RED offering which this time around donates to combat COVID-19.

Apple iphone SE 2020 colors

Should you buy the iPhone SE

It is hard not to argue that the new phone with the latest processor does manage to undercut even the old iPhone 8, by being the cheapest new iPhone. Apple is never associated with cheap and in that regard, this new iPhone is charting a new territory. The aim seems to be at targeting mid-range Android customers. Those who have been previously put off by the high price, can now afford to buy an iPhone, that would readily outperform even the flagship offerings from Android.

Why you should wait

A cheap phone might really be the need of the hour, but it’s hard to say if Apple made the right choices here. Those large bezels are an off-putting sight, and it is hard to justify them even for the touch ID sensor. The 4.7’ screen size feels tiny by today’s standard and the dimensions are comparable to the likes of Samsung Galaxy S10e which houses a 5.8’ screen. Apple could have taken inspiration from some Android phones by placing the touch ID at the rear and increase the screen size. The camera, while being an improvement compared to the iPhone 8, is not far from the last year’s iPhone XR. The battery at 1821mAh struggles to keep up with the quite powerful A13 chip inside.

 Apple iphone XR
iPhone XR

Verdict

The Apple iPhone SE is the most affordable entry to the Apple ecosystem and for old iPhone users, who adore the trusted home button, this might be the right choice. But it is unlikely that mid-range android buyers would be tempted into buying an iPhone. Budget offerings have become so good these days, that flagship phones are having to resort to gimmicks for retaining the premium they charge. It would be quite awkward to explain why a new device looks so dated. Even though the latest chipset makes the device run quite well on the new iOS, the poor battery life, means you would be forced to save battery and limit intensive apps. I would say, buy it, if you want a stand-by iPhone, or really like the retro feel of it, but not for an upgrade.

Alternatives

If you are deep into the Apple ecosystem and need to upgrade from iPhone 7 or 8, for an extra $200 you can get the iPhone XR. It has similar camera setup, and powered by the A12 processor, the device is a great performer. Moreover, it still looks fresh and battery lasts longer.

If you are not into the Apple ecosystem, then the new Samsung Galaxy A51 also at $400, might be the better value. The Samsung’s new A51 has a 6.5″ FHD Super AMOLED display, a 32MP front camera and quad camera setup. The rear comprising of a 48MP main camera, 12MP Ultra Wide and two 5MP units for Macro and Depth. With an on-screen finger print scanner and 4000mAh battery, this device packs all the latest trends.

Samsung Galaxy A51

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