Monday, 22 June 2020

New Apple Iphone SE (2020)

The new Apple iPhone SE is the cheapest and handiest iPhone in a long time - but how good is the technology?


The new iPhone SE is a wolf in sheep's clothing: When it comes to work speed and camera, it depends on many competitors in its price range - despite only one camera lens, portraits with a bokeh effect are surprisingly good. The battery life is surprisingly long. And Internet connections via LTE and WiFi (Wi-Fi 6) are very fast. Only design and display size are not up to date. If you are looking for a handy iPhone with classic operation, you are perfectly served here.


On March 31, 2016, the first iPhone SE (2016) was released for 489 euros. The successor is now available four years later: The second generation iPhone SE, also known as "iPhone SE 2" or "iPhone SE (2020)". It is currently the most compact iPhone model - and with a starting price of 479 euros, it is even the cheapest iPhone model ever. But how much do you get for 479 euros? And who should buy the iPhone SE?

iPhone SE 2: New, but with an old design

Visually, the iPhone SE in its 2020 version has nothing to do with the original model, but is instead the rebirth of a classic: It looks exactly like the iPhone 8 from 2017. In this too, it is similar to the first model that was designed in 2016 iPhone 5S from 2013 came. Advantage: Old iPhone 8 cases still fit , and the operation does not change. Visually, you can easily distinguish the iPhone SE from the back: The iPhone 8 has the Apple logo at the bottom, the iPhone SE in the middle. The white iPhone SE also has a black front. There is also a small change in the operation: Apple has deleted the "3D Touch" function in the iPhone SE (2016), in which pop-up menus were activated by applying more pressure. Instead, as with the iPhone XR , the company relies on "Haptic Touch" (literally: "haptic touch"), that is, activating the submenus by pressing for a longer time. Since you usually press longer when pressing harder, the difference in everyday life is not noticeable. Like the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE from 2020 is waterproof to IP67 (iPhone 11: IP68) - a major advance compared to the iPhone SE from 2016.

New iPhone SE: Home button with Touch ID remains

The old design has advantages: Although Apple's Face ID works well in everyday life and, unlike the insecure face recognition of many Android phones, is difficult to crack, there are still users who do not want to miss the fingerprint sensor and home button. You can breathe a sigh of relief from the suspected iPhone SE design: Face ID is not used; Like the iPhone 6S, 7 and 8, a "Taptic Engine" is built into the home button, which convincingly mimics the feel of a mechanical pressure point. This makes the iPhone SE from 2020 the only current Apple phone that can be biometrically unlocked by users with a corona mask .

iPhone SE (2020): Small display with LCD

As usual, the screen comes with a diagonal of 4.7 inches (Retina HD, 1334x750 pixels and thus 326 ppi). Brightness and contrast are not comparable to the iPhone 11 Pro series. In terms of brightness, the iPhone SE with 690 candela / m2 is on the level of the iPhone 11 (698 Cd), as is the contrast (1,662: 1 versus 1,597: 1). Only the iPhone 11 Pro has a much better display with more brightness (870 Cd) and thanks to OLED technology enormous contrast (over 10 million to 1). If you don't put the iPhone 11 Pro right next to it, the display makes a good impression overall. If you use your smartphone intensively for surfing or watching videos, you may find it too small. The iPhone 11 with a display diagonal of 6.1 inches is more suitable for such applications.

iPhone SE: small but fast!

From the outside, the SE 2 is not very attractive, but Apple has screwed a lot under the hood. A powerful A13 chip drives the smartphone. It can also be found in the devices of the iPhone 11 series, making them the fastest smartphones in the world even in early 2020 and is fundamentally faster than any Android processor. However, the test showed that the graphics performance is somewhat lower compared to the iPhone 11 Pro. After all, the iPhone SE (2020) speed rating is at the level of the April 2020 fastest Android smartphone, the OnePlus 8 Pro. And it's significantly faster than the 2019 iPhone XR with the A12 Bionic processor.

How long does the battery of the iPhone SE 2 last?

Potential buyers of the iPhone SE were expecting the results of the battery runtime with concern: the iPhone SE uses a battery that is very small by today's standards and has a capacity of only 1,821 mAh (mAh). It was therefore only natural that the iPhone SE would inherit the battery weakness of the iPhone 8, which has the same battery size. But in the test it turned out: With the new iPhone SE, Apple has apparently created a battery miracle. Despite the dramatically smaller battery than the iPhone 11 (3,046 mAh), the battery life is almost as good! In the new battery test procedure for intensive use, the iPhone SE lasted seven hours and 18 minutes, while the iPhone 11 only had a runtime that was nine minutes longer (7:27 h). The explanation: The components such as the smaller display with fewer pixels and possibly also the more economical processor ensure that the iPhone SE simply uses less energy. This is also an advantage if you refuse to have gigantic displays.


iPhone SE (2020): camera equipment

The results of the camera test are just as exciting. On the one hand, Apple uses a slimmed-down technology with only one 12-megapixel camera compared to the current 11 generation; Both the tele lens of the Pro models and the ultra wide-angle camera of the iPhone 11 are missing. On the other hand, the company said in a background discussion: A major difference between the iPhone SE camera and that in the first iPhone SE as well as in the iPhone 8 is the more modern and faster image processing system. The fast A13 bionic processor makes it possible.

Thanks to this, the iPhone SE 2 also receives the new "Smart HDR" technology, which recognizes objects like faces and automatically sets the appropriate brightness for these areas in HDR multiple exposures. All the extras of portrait mode such as the black and white mode ("High-Key Light Mono") and the extended bokeh effect for the front and main camera are included. If you press and hold the button in photo mode, a video recording ("Quicktake" video) starts automatically, optionally in 4K to 60 frames per second or in Full HD with expanded dynamic range (HDR).

In good daylight, the iPhone SE takes really good pictures! However, the performance drops significantly in low light and, as expected, zoom shots cannot convince without separate telephoto shots. Overall, the image quality is not the level of the iPhone 11, which benefits from the automatic night mode, for example, in low light. The photo quality corresponds more to that of the iPhone XR, but offers the processing speed and the extra effects of the iPhone 11 series.

A special feature of the iPhone SE compared to the other models is the lack of a second or third camera. However, the test showed that the bokeh effect still works well. The studio light effects, for example for black and white shots, also made a good impression.


A clear difference compared to the iPhone 11 or the iPhone 11 Pro is the image quality in low light. The example photo below this paragraph shows: Where the 11 Pro still shows objects in the nightly living room, the image of the SE camera is fuzzy. But why is the night mode missing, which ensures impressive detailed photos in low light in the iPhone 11 camera thanks to automatic long exposure? Apple's explanation: The sensor lacks the "Focus Pixel" technology introduced with the iPhone 11. That said, there are differences in the sensor and the iPhone SE may not use "phase detection" auto focus (Apple introduced the Focus Pixel technology with PD auto focus on the iPhone 6).



Is the iPhone SE (2020) LTE capable?

LTE and WLAN where already had by the original iPhone SE. The iPhone SE (2020) speeds up both, even compared to the iPhone 8. Because Apple uses a similar technology to the iPhone 11 in the fresh smartphone, so it relies on the brand new Wi-Fi 6 (WLAN-ax) and the latest LTE Technology with a faster gigabit speed. As expected, the iPhone SE does not have 5G; the iPhone 12 will offer that at the earliest.

iPhone SE: fast charging or not?

Apple includes the old power adapter with a large USB-A connector for the iPhone SE. This is nice and small and the associated USB Lightning cable also works on older computers without USB-C, but the charging speed is as slow as that of the iPhone 8. A full charging process takes almost three hours (2:47 hours: min) , after 15 minutes the battery level shows just 12 percent charge. The good news: With a suitable USB-C power supply such as the Anker PowerPort III Mini (around 20 euros) and fast-charging USB-C lightning cable, fast charging with 18 watts works. Wireless charging is also possible.

iPhone SE (2020): does it have NFC?

Important for contactless payment via smartphone, for example at the supermarket checkout: NFC short-range technology is built into the iPhone SE - the mobile phone is therefore fit for Apple Pay and other NFC functions (Near Field Communication).

Which SIM card fits the iPhone SE 2?

The iPhone SE 2 has the usual slot for a nano SIM card. An eSIM is also installed, for example for dual SIM operation. You can activate this in parallel to the built-in SIM with a separate tariff and can then be received on two numbers.

iPhone SE (2020): accessories and scope of delivery

As usual, Apple only supplies the basic equipment including a slow power supply. Therefore, before buying, check whether you need additional accessories. For example, if you only want to use a new computer with a USB-C socket, connect classic headphones with a jack plug, or want to charge your iPhone SE faster, you have to buy extra accessories.

iPhone SE: The cheapest iPhone model so far

An Idealo evaluation for the iPhone SE shows that it is the cheapest iPhone model to date - and currently the one with the smallest display size. Apple only built smaller screens up to the iPhone 5S and iPhone SE (2016).

iPhone SE (2020): price, release, colors

Many Apple fans not only wanted a handy iPhone, but above all an affordable one. Apple fulfills this wish with the iPhone SE (2020): The new cell phone with 64 gigabytes (GB) of storage costs 479 euros. The iPhone SE with 128 GB costs 529 euros, the iPhone SE with 256 GB 649 euros. Sales started on Friday, April 24, 2020, pre-orders started a week earlier. Apple offers three colors: black, white and red; the red variant is called "Product (Red)". Part of the proceeds of the red variant goes to the Global Fund to combat Covid-19 (coronavirus).

iPhone SE cheaper: exchange old iPhone?

Apple promises customers who trade in their used iPhone ideally a credit of up to 329 euros - depending on the condition and configuration of the smartphone. But if you think you can exchange your four-year-old iPhone SE for a surcharge of 179 euros for a brand new iPhone SE (2020), you are wrong: For the 2016 model, Apple has a price of "up to 45 euros". For an iPhone 7 with 128 GB, a maximum of 95 euros can be expected. Posting the old devices on Ebay is probably more lucrative, albeit more complex.

Conclusion: how good is the iPhone SE 2?

The iPhone 11 series was a success for Apple. But the iPhone SE (2020) caters to all those for whom the newer iPhones are too big and too expensive - and also takes home button enthusiasts with them. The fresh model is worlds more modern than the iPhone SE from 2016. In the test, it convinced at work speed, daylight photos and surprisingly even at the battery life. For the price starting at 479 euros, Apple has put together a strong package that is quite sufficient for many iPhone users. The iPhone SE could also be popular outside the iPhone fan community. Because with the exception of the Samsung Galaxy S10e , handy Android smartphones are difficult to find.

Apple iPhone SE (2020): alternative

However, if you want a large display and innovative technologies such as Face ID or ultra-wide-angle lens, you should take a look at other models in a large iPhone comparison . A good price tip is the iPhone XR .With the A12 processor and Wi-Fi 5, it is slower in some points than the iPhone SE (2020) and anything but compact, but the operating concept with facial recognition is more modern, the display is larger and the battery life is even longer.

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