iPhone SE (2020) Specs & Review | iPhone for the Masses

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We’ve seen many surprises in the phone market in last few months, some not as pleasant as the others. Samsung finally said goodbye to the headphone jack, OnePlus raised their prices and Apple… Apple actually introduced possibly the most exciting phone of the year, but not for its features.

We’re talking iPhone SE, actually second generation of the device. But is it worth your time and money? Let’s dive into what Apple has to offer to the masses.

The Classic Design is Back

With the release of iPhone X back in 2017, Apple decided to ditch the classic well-known design in exchange for modern, bezel less looks. Although many enthusiasts found this to be a major change in a good direction, regular users weren’t too happy to see that, especially considering the touch id was gone.

Cheer on, cause it is coming back in style. The $400 iPhone brings the old design, almost exactly the same found in three generations old iPhone 8. This time though, bezels are black no matter which color you go for, which by the way there are three to choose from – white, black and red.

What we miss though is the classic click of the button. This time you’re looking at touch ID only although it still acts like your main navigation method. Besides that, you’ll find Apple logo at the center of back of the device, instead of the top third of it.

Small Screen, Great Watching Experience

This phone is designed to be compact, but we wouldn’t necessarily call it small. Back in the day, compact phones such as iPhone SE used to be under 4.5 inches in terms of the diagonal size. What you do get is the 16:9 aspect ratio.

This means no more cropping video to fit the screen. Even if the new bezel less designs had the standard aspect ratio, you’d still have to cover part of the screen using your thumbs. It’s not the case with the new iPhone as you have plenty of room to rest your hands and support the device without blocking the view.

The 4.7 inch screen is not the biggest and its HD resolution is not the most impressive. The display is well calibrated and gets as bright as 625 nits, which on its own is enough.

 

Lightning-fast Performance

Probably the biggest surprise Apple did is bringing A13 Bionic chip to the iPhone. This essentially means better gaming and processing performance than the iPhone 11, all thanks to the lower resolution.

You’ll definitely be looking at constant frame rates of 60fps and above (although the 60Hz screen is limited in terms of what it can reproduce). In terms of performance, it’s a no-brainer, especially in the sub $500 price range.

Base model also comes packed with 64GB of on-board storage and 3GB of RAM. You’ll be sure no lack of memory will be present even with the base model, but we’d recommend going for the 128GB model instead if you’re a hardcore user and plan using this device for the next 3-4 years.

Battery is not massive by any means, but depending on the use you can get the full day out of it. This is one again all thanks to the A13 bionic, which consumes very little energy, but compared to the latest flagship models it’s nothing to write home about. There’s also no reverse wireless charging, nor is there fast charging, just the regular 5W previous-gen experience.

Camera to Take Crisp Shots

We are aware of this and most people will have to admit – camera is one of the most important parts of the phone, if not the most important. Apple doesn’t fail to impress in this aspect either.

Instead of creating a new camera sensor, Apple took the one we’ve seen in the iPhone 8, so you’d probably think that’s where they stopped. Considering iPhone 8 camera was one of the best and still keeps up to this date, but there’s more to it.

By adding A13 bionic, you get the mix of best of both worlds – great sensor and processing power. Google used to dominate in this field, but considering Apple provides the best chip and one of the best cameras in the class, Google will have to try harder to keep the audience in the $400 market.

When it comes to picture quality, there’s hardly any difference between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11. Actually, it outperforms the more expensive older brother iPhone XR. The single 12Mpx camera captures enough detail, but you’ll be missing on the depth-sensor and the wide camera.

The biggest feature of this phone is its video recording capability. You are looking at 60fps 4K recording, but missing optical stabilization. This means you won’t really be running with this phone, but it will be good enough for some static video recording or even reasonable amount of movement.

The less important front camera ain’t bad either. Although it may seem bad from what the specs sheet suggests, the 7Mpx delivers good enough pictures. You’ll be missing on the face ID, but touch ID is, at least now, the more refined way to unlock our devices. In either case, you’re not looking at night mode  shooting, but you can’t really complain.

Bottom Line

Apple did bring a lot to the game with the new release. It is good, but not the best out there. Although  it’s not the best you can get, it is still fairly impressive for the price. It’s obviously not directed to the people looking for the best device out there, so if you are looking for that, keep away from this.

On the other hand if you’re coming from an older-generation device, you’ll most certainly not be disappointed. It’s got a good phone does, outperforming most devices in its price range, providing a smooth, lag-free experience, great screen and impressive camera performance.

Nikola Jovicevic

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