Is iPhone SE 2020 Worth Buying? Here is An Honest Opinion

Is iPhone SE 2020 worth buying? We dissect Apple’s cheapest and smallest device and compare it with its competitors and here’s our honest opinion.
Is iPhone SE 2020 Worth Buying

The release of second-generation iPhone SE has elated, captivated, confused, and miffed smartphone consumers. Is iPhone SE 2020 Worth Buying? This one question is plaguing a lot of people. So, we decided to answer it, with all honesty.

Priced at $399, iPhone SE 2020 is currently the cheapest and smallest iPhone. But does it pack features that could justify the price? How well does it stand amongst its competitors? Should you buy a new 2nd-gen iPhone SE or skip it? Let’s find out.

iPhone SE 2020 to Buy Or Not to Buy

Apple is notoriously famous for its high-pricing. While lovers chalk it up to innovation and quality, haters claim it as a sham. Ironically, even the cheapest iPhone is facing the wrath of this divide.

Due to which potential buyers are confused, whether the second-generation iPhone SE is the best phone in that budget or not. But this isn’t a mere yes or no question; it carries layered, fact-governed, and subjective explanation. Which we have tried to sum-up below:

Comparison: iPhone SE 2020 vs Pixel 3a vs Galaxy A51

iPhone SE 2020 vs Pixel 3a vs Galaxy A51 Comparison

iPhone SE 2020’s most notable competitors in the $400 segment are the Google Pixel 3A and Samsung Galaxy A51. With their respective pros and cons, here’s how they fare against each other.

Build & Design

In the world of the ever-reducing screen to body ratio, iPhone SE 2020 and the Pixel 3a boast prominent bezels. In contrast, Galaxy A51 features an edge-to-edge design and a hole-punch camera.

  iPhone SE 2020 Google Pixel 3a Samsung Galaxy A51
Display 4.7″ Retina HD 5.6″ OLED 6.5″ Super AMOLED
Resolution 1,334×750 pixels 2,220×1,080 pixels 2,400×1,080 pixels
Pixel Density 326 PPI 441 PPI 405 PPI
Screen to Body ratio 65.4% 75.0% 87.4%
Body Aluminum frame, glass back Plastic frame, Plastic back Plastic frame, Plastic back
Headphone Jack No Yes Yes
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 No No

Form Factor

Oh yes, the iPhone SE 2020’s design is outdated. But repeating the basic design also means proficiency during manufacturing.

This is why Apple can offer the luxe look and rock-solid built of metal and glass at this price. Notably, the two Android devices carry a plastic form factor.


iPhone SE 2020 Brilliant 4.7-inch Retina HD display

In terms of display, iPhone SE 2020 is the smallest in size, lowest in resolution, and pixel density. Moreover, it sports an LCD, while the others have OLED and AMOLED display.

However, Apple’s LCDs are quite top-notch. Thanks to its true-tone, wide color gamut, night shift, and 625 nits brightness, it more or less makes the cut.

Power and Performance

The 2020 iPhone SE carries the same processor as the iPhone 11 Pro, A13 Bionic. And as of now, there is no faster smartphone processor for any price.

  iPhone SE 2020 Google Pixel 3a Samsung Galaxy A51
Chipset A13 Bionic (7nm) Snapdragon 670 Exynos 9611 (10nm)
CPU 2.65 Hexa-core 2.0GHz octa-core 2.3GHz octa-core
RAM 3 GB (alleged) 4 GB 4 GB
Software iOS 13 Android 9.0 Android 10
Storage 64 GB 64 GB 128 GB


iPhone SE 2020 managed to outperform even iPhone XS Max in the AnTuTu benchmark test. So, one thing is clear that second-generation iPhone SE offers a premium level of performance, faster than most Android smartphones.


Amped up RAM is the current smartphone trend, which makes us question if 3GB RAM is sufficient.

An essential aspect of RAM performance is software optimization. And iOS is really-really smart in that manner.

While Android requires a higher RAM capacity, iPhone SE can manage with 3GB Ram for years to come.


iPhone SE 2020 camera Comparison

On paper, Galaxy A51 takes away the glory with the quad-lens camera setup. However, it doesn’t manage to beat Google or Apple in terms of computational photography.

  iPhone SE (2020) Google Pixel 3a Samsung Galaxy A51
Rear Camera One, 12 MP One, 12 MP Four, 48 MP, 12MP (ultra-wide), 5 MP (macro), 5MP (depth)
Front Camera 7 MP 8 MP 32 MP
Video capture 4K 4K 4K

Image processing

iPhone SE 2nd Generation carries next-generation Smart HDR and semantic rendering features. And with the right lighting, it takes at par pictures with the 11 series, especially the portraits.

Now, that’s a pretty impressive feat at this price point. Though there is one potent thing missing, the Night Mode.

Low-Light Photography

iPhone SE 2020 hands down win during bright or well-lit scenarios. But Pixel 3a’s Night Sight feature takes the crown under low-light conditions.

4K Video up to 60 fps

Second generation iPhone SE boasts best in class video capabilities with 4K stabilized both optically and with software, extended dynamic range.

Battery and Charging

While Apple did not reveal iPhone SE 2020’s battery mAh, it did say that it’s similar to iPhone 8. Moreover, iPhone SE 2020 continues the legacy of iPhone lightning connectors.

  iPhone SE 2020 Google Pixel 3a Samsung Galaxy A51
Battery 13 hours of video playback 3,000mAh 4,000mAh
Port Lightning USB C USB C
Adapter 5W 18W 15W
Fast Charging Yes Yes Yes
Wireless charging Yes No No

Battery Life

The iPhone SE 2020 certainly loses some points in this department with the smallest battery of all. Although it boasts an amazing standby time and can last all day long during basic use.

Fast Charging

While the device supports fast-charging up to 18W, it does not accompany a fast charger in the box, as the others do.

Wireless charging

What works in its benefit is the Qi-compatibility, you can easily juice up the device with a wireless charging pad.

Do note that 2020 iPhone SE is the only smartphone with wireless charging in this price segment.

Perks of Owning an iPhone SE 2020

In some areas, the Android counterparts have an advantage over iPhone SE 2020. However, Apple’s entry-level device carries some exclusive premium features that tip the scale towards it.

For instance, the $399 phone has the fastest processor than any Android device, period. And then there are a few benefits of owning an Apple phone of any range such as:

iOS Updates

Apple usually guarantees up to 4 years of iOS updates. So you are privy to the latest software and security updates for at least four years.

And yes, you might not feel the processor speed right now. But thanks to it, the iPhone SE 2020 will be working like a breeze even with iOS 16.

Even the most expensive Android devices offer just two years of updates. In terms of software, you will be availing of a long-lasting phone.

Apple Ecosystem and Features

There is seldom anything that can beat the inclusiveness, smartness, and comfort of Apple’s ecosystem.

When you own multiple Apple devices, interaction across devices is super simple, from AirDrop to Handoff.

Then there is family sharing, great parental control, FaceTime, iMessage, and other features you only get with an Apple device. At $399, that’s quite a lot of perks, I must say.

Apple’s Privacy and Security

Apple's Privacy and Security

The tech giant goes to great lengths to safeguard its users’ data and privacy. Yes, there are a few hiccups here and there. But they are lesser than any other manufacturer.

In all, Apple has a better privacy rating than any other smartphone manufacturer.

Our Verdict: Is the new 2020 iPhone SE worth buying?

iPhone SE 2020 does compromise in certain areas, but it is still a premium level phone. Go check out YouTube; the 2nd-generation iPhone SE is being compared to iPhone 11 and other high-end flagship devices from Samsung and OnePlus.

This, in itself, is the proof of the power this phone brings to the table.

Moreover, any smartphone under $500, doesn’t guarantee as much shelf-life as this one. iPhone SE 2020 promises to stay relevant in terms of software, speed, and hardware (to some extent) easily for the coming 3-4 years.

It’s not just about spending $399, it is also about how long that investment lasts you in comparison to others, and iPhone SE wins the race hands down. We promised an honest opinion in the beginning, and our verdict is that iPhone SE 2020 is definitely worth buying.

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