Apple’s new $400 iPhone SE: Tiny but Powerful Device, Perfect for Those Who Just Want the Basics

iPhone SE 2

To anyone who bought an iPhone in the years 2016 or 2017, the new iPhone may seem extremely familiar. However, various characteristics make it feel much different from any ordinary iPhone launch. Firstly, it was released in April when most iPhones are usually launched in the fall. Secondly, it costs about $400 which makes it significantly cheaper than most iPhones. Furthermore, it does not have an edge-to-edge screen design that’s become a hallmark of Apple’s smartphones in recent years.

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iPhone SE 2020 Specifications

  • Display size and resolution: 4.7 inches, 1,334 x 750
  • Processor: A13 Bionic
  • Rear camera: 12-megapixel with f/1.8 aperture
  • Front camera: 7-megapixel with f/2.2 aperture
  • Storage: 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
  • Biometric authentication: Touch ID home button
  • Durability: IP67 water and dust resistance (1 meter up to 30 minutes)

Design and Display

Photo Credit: Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

This phone, in terms of its size, weight, and appearance, is very similar to the iPhone 8. The only major differences are SE’s color choices and the location of the Apple logo on the back of the device. Because of its smaller display size it feels much easier to manage with one hand.

The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen with a 1,344 x 750 resolution and, just like the iPhone 8, Apple’s True Tone for adjusting colors based on the surrounding lighting. The screen, just like any other iPhone apart from 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, has been made from an LCD panel instead of an OLED display.


Photo Credit: Lisa Eadicicco/Business Insider

The phone runs on the A13 Bionic processor, the same chip found inside the $700 iPhone 11, $1,000 iPhone 11 Pro, and $1,100 iPhone 11 Pro Max. Apple claims it is developed for real-time video and photo analysis and can perform 1 trillion operations per second. The SE has the ability to render a 4K one-minute video clip in iMovie in about 18 seconds.

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The iPhone SE’s camera is quite identical to the iPhone XR. It has a single 12-megapixel camera and a 7-megapixel selfie camera. However, this phone misses the Night Mode.

Photo Credit: Ben Sin

Battery life

Battery life is just acceptable. Apple has apparently declined to reveal the exact battery size, however, with heavy usage, the SE lasts about 12 to 13 hours. Fortunately, the SE also packs other features even some flagship Android phones lack, such as wireless charging, IP67 water resistance, and stereo speakers.


The phone with its low cost and amazing features surpasses many cheap Android phones. It is of a great advantage to iPhone users who cannot or do not want to pay US$1,000 for a phone, and those who are turned off by the escalating increase in smartphone size.

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