The new iPhone SE is similar to the iPhone 11, just smaller and cheaper


Apple announced its latest iPhone SE for 2020 Wednesday, in an effort to woo budget-conscious phone users who might not be able to splurge on $ 1,000 handsets like the iPhone 11 Pro or Galaxy S20. As the sequel to 2016 sleeper-hit iPhone of the same name, the iPhone SE starts at $ 399, £ 419 or AU $ 749. And with a 4.7-inch screen, it’s notably smaller than Apple’s current flagship line and the iPhone XR.

With a four-year gap between the new iPhone SE and the old one, Apple went to town with the upgrades. This includes wireless charging, better camera specifications and water resistance. (Unfortunately, for wired headset users, the new iPhone SE does not have a headphone jack.)

If you’re looking for a new iPhone but want to save as much money as possible, the iPhone SE is your best bet – you’ll save $ 300 compared to the price of the iPhone 11 (which costs $ 699, £ 729 or 1,199 $ AU). But the iPhone 11 has a few additional features that, if you can afford it, are useful. If you weigh between the two phones, here is an overview of what you get with that extra $ 300.

The new iPhone SE (left) with the iPhone 11 range.


Size and design: the iPhone SE is small and compact

The most obvious difference between the two phones is that the iPhone 11 is larger. The iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch screen while the iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen. While you get more screen space for your apps and watch videos with the former, the iPhone SE will appeal to users for its comfortable portability and compact handle.

Both iPhones have LCD screens, but iPhone 11 has a “Liquid Retina HD screen” while iPhone SE has “Retina HD”. These are brand terms that Apple uses to differentiate its display technology; all you need to know, however, is that the screen of the iPhone 11 is sharper, although they both have the same number of pixels per inch or pixel density.


Sales of the new iPhone SE in red will support relief from coronaviruses.


Some users will also like the iPhone SE home button. Now that Apple is abandoning the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE will be the only iPhone that Apple will sell with a physical home button. In addition to being intuitive to use, it also means that you don’t need to use swipe gestures to return to the home screen or call up recent apps. The home button will also house the device’s fingerprint reader to unlock the phone and authorize digital payments (what Apple calls Touch ID). The iPhone 11, however, uses face mapping sensors on the front camera for biometric security (aka: Face ID).

Both devices are IP certified for water protection. But because the iPhone 11 is classified IP68 compared to the IP67 rating of the iPhone SE, this means that the iPhone 11 is a little more durable against submersion (as in, it is certified to withstand a longer or deeper immersion in water) . On paper, an IP67 certification level means that the iPhone SE can survive up to a meter of water (3.3 feet) for about 30 minutes.

Finally, the iPhone SE is only available in black, white and red. The iPhone 11 is also available in these three colors, but if you want more options, you can also get it in pastel yellow, green and purple.

Camera: iPhone 11 has the upper hand

If you’re not necessarily a smart camera user, the iPhone 12’s single 12-megapixel rear camera should be enough to post images on Instagram and for occasional video recording. But if you care about photography or want more tools at your disposal, the iPhone 11 has notably a better camera configuration than the iPhone SE.


The iPhone 11 has two rear cameras.

Angela Lang / CNET

IPhone 11, for example, has a second wide angle camera. This means that you can take panoramic panoramic photos or more spectacular and creative photos at close range. And although both iPhones have a 5x digital zoom that uses software to render close-up images, only the iPhone 11 has the hardware to perform 2x optical zoom, which does not degrade image quality. The iPhone 11 also has Apple low-light camera mode, night mode. Night mode reduces things like digital artifacts, graininess and motion blur to capture and brighten images taken in subdued lighting.

As for the front camera, the iPhone 11 doesn’t just have a better selfie camera because it has more megapixels (12 megapixels compared to the 7 megapixels of the iPhone SE). It can capture 4K videos (compared to 1080p video of iPhone SE) and record slow motion video, too.

Processor and battery: both have A13 Bionic

As a budget phone, Apple could have equipped the iPhone SE with an older processor. But the device is equipped with the latest proprietary technologies A13 Bionic chip, the same as the one inside the iPhone 11. This means that we should be able to observe similar processing performance speeds, but we won’t know for sure until we get the iPhone SE in our hands and that we can run benchmark tests.

Apple A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max

Apple A13 processor.

Screenshot of Stephen Shankland / CNET

For what it’s worth, when we ran 3DMark’s Geekbench 5 and Slingshot Unlimited on the iPhone 11 last year, it worked comparably – and sometimes better than – the Galaxy S20, Pixel 4 and OnePlus 8 Pro. But again, we don’t yet know about the performance of the iPhone SE.

As always, Apple does not disclose the battery capacity of the iPhone SE. According to its figures, the battery of the iPhone SE does not last as long as that of the iPhone 11. When it announced the iPhone 11, Apple claimed that it lasts up to “an hour longer” than the iPhone XR and cited 10 hours of streaming video playback. Unofficial dismantling of the handset also revealed a 3,110 mAh battery. This time around, Apple said the iPhone SE had the same battery life as the iPhone 8 and listed 8 hours of streaming video playback. Although we don’t yet know the specifications for the iPhone SE, the iPhone 8 had a battery of 1,821 mAh according to third-party teardowns.

iPhone SE (2020) vs. iPhone 11

Apple iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone 11

Display size, resolution

4.7 inch Retina HD; 1,334 x 750 pixels

6.1-inch Liquid Retina LCD; 1,792 x 828 pixels

Pixel density



Dimensions (inches)

5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inch

5.94 × 2.98 × 0.33 inches

Dimensions (millimeters)

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

150.9 × 75.7 × 8.3 mm

Weight (ounces, grams)

5.22 oz; 148g

6.84 oz; 194g

Mobile software

iOS 13

iOS 13


12 megapixel

12 megapixel (wide), 12 megapixel (ultra wide)

Front facing the camera

7 megapixel

12 megapixel

Video Capture




Apple A13 Bionic

Apple A13 Bionic

Storage room

64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB

64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB


Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Expandable storage




Not disclosed

Not disclosed

Fingerprint detector

Home button





Headphone jack



Special features

Water resistant (IP67); dual SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging

Water resistant (IP68); dual SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging

Price without contract (USD)

$ 399 (64 GB), $ 449 (128 GB), $ 549 (256 GB)

$ 699 (64 GB), $ 749 (128 GB), $ 849 (256 GB)

Price (GBP)

£ 419 (64 GB), £ 469 (128 GB), £ 569 (256 GB)

£ 729 (64 GB), £ 779 (128 GB), £ 879 (256 GB)

Price (AUD)

AU $ 749 (64 GB), AU $ 829 (128 GB), AU $ 999 (256 GB)

AU $ 1,199 (64 GB), AU $ 1,279 (128 GB), AU $ 1,449 (256 GB)

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