iPhone SE (2020) Review Analysis and Opinion

new iphone se 2020

The Best

  •  The small iPhone that many asked for
  •  Power of an iPhone 11
  •  People portrait mode
  •  From 489 euros

 The Worst

  •  Screen only 4.7 “
  •  Design from the past
  •  You don’t have Face ID
  •  Just a camera

Apple has released a new iPhone that starts at 489 euros. It is the iPhone SE (2020), an updated version inside – not so much outside – of a phone that was introduced four years ago. This year, the new generation model brings all the features that can be asked of an Apple mobile.

iPhone SE (2020): its name inherits the witness of the iPhone SE presented four years ago, while its design resembles the iPhone 8. But, despite what it seems from the outside, its characteristics are up to what it offers the last iPhone 11. We are talking about the new iPhone SE, the model with which this year, Apple wants to finish conquering all the undecided who needed a more adjusted price to make the jump to a new iPhone. It costs 489 euros, and we have already been able to prove it thoroughly.

The iPhone SE (2020) comes with the best Apple features in a design from the past, bringing back elements that already seemed extinct, such as the Touch ID fingerprint reader, a small screen, or a single primary camera. Despite this, the new iPhone hides inside features of the current generation. These include the A13 Bionic processor, 12 megapixels (f / 1.8) in its only primary camera, or a battery compatible with fast charging of 18 W, among others.

 But beyond that, what is really striking is that the new iPhone SE reduces the screen size to 4.7 inches. An unusual figure in this last generation (the iPhone 11. For example, it has a 6.1 “panel It is a small iPhone. A whole declaration of intent in 2020 that reflects a return to the origins of Apple.

iPhone SE 2020 Specifications

  • Retina HD 4.7-inch IPS screen (1334 x 750 pixels) with 326 dpi and 625 nits
  • A13 Bionic processor
  • 3 GB RAM
  • Storage 64, 128 or 256 GB
  • 12MP wide-angle f / 1.8 OIS rear camera. 5X digital zoom
  • 7 MP f / 2.2 front camera
  • 1,821 mAh battery, with Qi wireless charging and fast charging (18 W)
  • Touch ID fingerprint reader
  • Other Features WiFi 6 MIMO 2×2, 4G LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS, Dual SIM
  • Price 489 euros

It is the smallest of the current generation. Still, it is not the worst for this: technically, it has the same processor (A13 Bionic) as the iPhone 11, thus being more powerful than an iPhone 8 (A11 Bionic) or an iPhone XR (A12 Bionic). It can also boast of a single sensor in the main camera that, even in the absence of the telephoto lens, can take pictures with portrait mode (only people, yes).

In theory, it has everything that someone could ask an Apple mobile being aware that its small print includes some shortcomings compared to the last generation. Let’s see, in our analysis with opinions, what we liked the most about this phone (and the least).

It’s like going back to the iPhone 6, a design that sounds a lot to us.

new iphone se 2020

The moment I took this new iPhone out of the box, it was like going back to the iPhone 6 we tested six years ago. It is the design of a lifetime: large screen frames, a physical button for the fingerprint reader, metal sides … a trip to the past, in short.


  •  Size 138.4×67.3×7.3mm
  •  Weight 148 grams
  •  Materials Glass front and rear
  •  Aluminum on the sides

Accustomed to large mobiles, this terminal feels especially small – and light-in-hand: it has dimensions of 138.4 long by 67.3 millimeters wide, identical to the iPhone 8. And shares many similarities in design with the iPhone 8. It weighs 148 grams, a pen.

It is a light, compact and slim phone, ideal for carrying it comfortably in your pocket without leaving a half-screen peeking out of your pants. You can see a good quality finish, and in terms of finishes – not design – it has nothing to envy the most expensive model you can buy right now in the brand’s catalog.

Logically, the enormous size of the screen frames does not go unnoticed by anyone: the panel only occupies 65.4% of the front, which means that the rest of the space is in the hands of the frames. This is how it compares to the rest of Apple’s mobiles (a higher percentage, fewer frames):

Iphone Screen/Front Percentage

  • iPhone SE (2020) 65.4%
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max 83.7%
  • Apple iPhone 11 Pro 82.1%
  • iPhone 11 79%
  • iPhone XR 79%

 The numbers speak for themselves. None of the latest iPhone has a 79% drop in its screen / front ratio for the simple reason that they have facial recognition unlock, and no Touch ID. If we go to the last iPhone released with Touch ID, the iPhone 8, we find the same 65.4% that we have in this new model. Re-unlocking the phone with a Touch ID is a fascinating, nostalgic journey back in time. Touch ID is a technology that Apple has perfected to infinity over many years, so it goes without saying that the fingerprint reader works as fast as ever. If it is more comfortable or not than facial unlocking, that is because everyone values ​​it.

new iphone se 2020

Front glass, rear glass, and metallic sides, a robust body that this year is available in three different colors: white, black and red (the latter belonging to the PRODUCT (RED) program, in which during the performance of this analysis – May 2020 – All purchases of this phone contribute to the Global Fund’s fight against Covid-19). It is waterproof and dustproof, IP67 certified (up to one meter deep for 30 minutes).

What a smaller screen: if you were looking for a compact iPhone, this is for you

new iphone se 2020

The size, 4.7 inches, is surely the most striking aspect of the screen of this iPhone: not because the other specifications (Retina IPS LCD panel, HD + resolution, 326 PPI …) are not, but because in a year starring terminals of six or more inches, one is surprised to find such a small device.


  • Size 4.7 inches
  • HD + resolution (1,334 x 750 pixels)
  • Retina IPS LCD technology
  • Ratio with respect to the front 65.4%
  • True Tone Technologies
  • Extras Oleophobic treatment

It is a screen size that I can assure you will not be suitable for everyone: if you have big hands, you will end up desperate having to type on such a small keyboard. On the other hand, if that is not your case, perhaps 2020 is finally the year when it is convenient for you to renew your iPhone from several generations ago by a model of similar dimensions.

Far from the Super Retina OLED panel of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the new SE is made up of a much more modest IPS LCD-type screen that offers a maximum resolution of 1,334 x 750 pixels. It also does not have HDR, which already tells us on paper that it is a rather simple screen in terms of multimedia consumption.

The resolution is only HD +, but it should be borne in mind that with the small size of the panel, we are actually talking about a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, with which no one thinks that you will see huge pixels like in mobile phones with these characteristics. Of yore. It is a pixel density identical to that of the iPhone 11, for example.

A fun camera despite its unique lens

new iphone se 2020

In the photographic section, the main criticism that can be made to this Apple mobile is the absence of additional lenses to the primary camera. It is one of the most significant cuts that this phone presents, with its unique 12 megapixel (f / 1.8) lens it has to defend itself in all situations. In any case, the truth is that it does not do anything wrong.

Front main camera

  •  Megapixels 12 megapixels 7 megapixels
  •  Aperture f / 1.8 f / 2.2
  •  HDR Yes Yes
  •  OIS EIS stabilization
  •  Video Up to 4K 60fps

Despite having a single lens – which is not bad in itself, remember what surprised us the only Pixel 3 XL camera in its analysis – the iPhone SE (2020) is capable of taking pictures with portrait mode as long as Yes, it is a person.

new iphone se 2020

Although it is the smallest in the family, the truth is that the SE (2020) has the photographic quality of an iPhone to the last. You need a second lens to play with specific scenes (the wide-angle for photos in closed spaces, or the telephoto lens for close-up shots of objects with the background out of focus), but the only camera it has does its job really well.

For the videos, say that it records up to 4K with a maximum rate of 60 fps. Besides, it should be noted that it records videos with stereo sound. On the front, we have a 7-megapixel camera with f / 2.2 aperture, HDR and video recording of up to 1,080 pixels at 30 frames per second. Nothing of the other world, but enough to make quality selfies with right light conditions.

I do not know if it is due to the small size of the mobile or the sensor’s characteristics, but the truth is that the front camera has given me the feeling of being very sensitive to any movement of the hand. Several attempts have taken me to make a sharp photograph in portrait mode and studio light on more than one occasion. You can download in original quality all the pictures taken with the mobile camera from this folder.

As Apple says: Thanks for the chip, iPhone 11 Pro

Apple carries on its official website a very curious claim for this phone: “Thanks for the chip, iPhone 11 Pro”, they say in one of the sections of the announcement. The truth is that they could not be more successful: the iPhone 11 Pro has given the SE (2020) its processor, the A13 Bionic, which we already know offers unmatched performance in any task.

iPhone SE (2020) 

  •  A13 Bionic processor x6 cores (2 x 2.65 GHz Lightning + 4 x 1.8 GHz Thunder) 
  • RAM 3 GB
  • Internal storage 64, 128 and 256 GB

iPhone 11 Pro

  • A13 Bionic processor x6 cores (2 x 2.65 GHz Lightning + 4 x 1.8 GHz Thunder)
  •  RAM 4 GB, Internal storage 64,128 and 256 GB

It is a six-core processor that reaches a maximum clock speed of 2.65 GHz, backed in this case by a 3 GB RAM (the iPhone 11 Pro has 4 GB) that are complemented by options of 64, 128 and 256 GB internal storage.

You will say, and what else gives me that it is an A13 Bionic processor instead of. For example, an A11 Bionic like the one that brought the iPhone 8? According to Apple, the A13 is x1.4 times faster than this model. Still, the important thing is not only: the important thing is that two or even three years from now. Parts with a mobile phone whose processor guarantees that you can enjoy all the news that comes with iOS 14, iOS 15, and what happens.

iOS 13 in the year of services

From year to year, little has changed aesthetically in iOS, Apple’s mobile operating system and the fluidity is still undeniable, although now that 60, 90, and even 120 Hz are on Android phones. One is no longer as surprised to navigate the interface of an iPhone as it was two or three years ago. We will see if the rumors that the iPhone 12 will reach 120 Hz are true. It would be worth seeing.

iOS, meanwhile, has become the operating system for services. Apple has spent years turning its strategy towards digital to obtain profitability with services. Such as iCloud (from 0.99 euros per month for 50 GB; up to 5 GB is free), Apple Music (9.99 euros per month), or Apple TV + (4.99 euros per month). All tied to monthly payments that allow you to squeeze more and better the product.

Regarding the version of the operating system, the iPhone SE (2020) that stars in this analysis could already be updated to iOS 13.5. Which facilitates access to the system when you are wearing a mask – although in this case, it would not matter. Since the unlock of the screen is done through the fingerprint reader.

Ah! Do not forget that with the purchase of your iPhone you get Apple TV + for free for a year. You can redeem it for the first 90 days from the device settings.

The connectivity you would expect

A striking aspect of this device’s connectivity is Dual SIM. You can use a Nano SIM card, accompanied by an eSIM. This virtual card will allow you to have a fully functional second number inside the iPhone. To separate leisure from work, it is a fascinating detail. Through the wireless connectivity section, we can practically tiptoe because on an iPhone it is an aspect that does not usually have much mystery. Dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 (with A2DP and LE), NFC for mobile payments, GPS (with A- GPS and GLONASS). The basics already in any range, go.

Regarding the battery charge, it should be remembered that we have wireless charging (Qi). It is the most widely used wireless charging technology on the market. Which will surely be worth the wireless charger you already have at home.

The battery of this iPhone is 1,821 mAh, which means that it is identical to that of the iPhone 8. It is a battery that performs wonderfully with the A13 Bionic processor. Offering a day of use thanks to the fact that the screen does not; it is precisely a devourer of resources given its content, size, and resolution. This year, you can also opt for 18W fast charging by purchasing a separate adapter (the slow charger comes in the box).

And what about the sound? It incorporates a single multimedia speaker, located on the right side of the bottom. Still, the call speaker complements the audio, also emitting sound when you are watching a movie or listening to music. The sound is not comparable with a mobile of the best high-end this year. But it meets what would be expected in a terminal in this price range.

Conclusions: It is the small iPhone that a not so small market asked for

Apple has spent years trying to hit the nail on the head with its cheapest iPhone generationally. It was very close to that iPhone XR whose biggest drawback, as you could see in its analysis. Was precisely its price (we gave it a 3/5 in value for money). Since it cost 859 euros for the entry model. It had the essence of a more affordable iPhone at the price of … an iPhone.

This year, Apple has hit the target with the new iPhone SE. “From 489 euros” is a claim that until now, it could not be said of any new iPhone. Starting with a 64 GB configuration that is more than enough for any user – if it has not yet leaped the cloud.

It is a small phone, easy to use with one hand, and ideal for day to day if you are not going to demand more than what the websites you visit daily, social networks, and the odd video on Youtube. It seems like a lie but in our analysis of mobiles. We often forget that there is still a broad audience that prefers small phones. Even though the trend is going to the opposite extreme.

Forget what you see on the outside: This iPhone has everything you will see on the most expensive iPhone. The advantage is that it starts at 489 euros. A reduction of more than 40% compared to the starting price of the XR. It is not cheap, but it is a much more reasonable figure for a model. After all cuts out on screen, camera, and facial recognition.

If you consider that you can live without a telephoto camera, a larger screen, or a facial recognition system, which are the main shortcomings of this mobile, then the new SE (2020) from Apple is made for you. In case you’re looking for something bigger, check out our review of the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

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