IPhone SE Review: Apple s 399 IPhone Lives Up To The Hype

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Update, November. 9: iPhone 12 is hither. Say CNET's reviews of the ,  and .


Apple iPhone SE (2020)

How it mountain up

LikeLow-cost priceLong stamp battery spirit so farBig derriere cameraiPhone 11 Pro-level performance

Don't LikeHonest-to-god iPhone designSelfie camera is mediocre

On that point are a Lot of slipway to call back astir Apple's New $399 iPhone SE. Unitary is that it's a More low-cost alternative than the (), with , which it is. Or that it's the 2020 sequel to the , which it as well is. Or, at 4.7 inches, that it's the smallest and cheapest iPhone you put up presently steal (though ). Or -- and this is my pet elbow room to reckon well-nigh it -- that . In fact, the fresh iPhone SE is totally these things and that's why I'm enamored with it.

The Modern iPhone SE has the classic plan that outlined the iPhone for its firstly 10 long time. The design, the torso and the tv camera lenses are totally the Same as 2017's . But Orchard apple tree performed a canny brain transplant, replacing the virtually 3-year-Old central processor with the put-upon in the iPhone 11, . This goes swell on the far side a simple-minded specification knock by majorly improving things like the cameras and bombardment life history. The fresh CPU non solely runs faster, just it will in all likelihood future-validation the ring done old age of iOS updates.

Read more: 

Merely a $399 (£419, AU$749) iPhone comes with compromises, which Apple chose sagely. The SE has only a , it doesn't get Face up ID and it lacks camera features equivalent Nighttime Mode, Slofies and Deeply Merger processing. The selfie camera is OK merely non as awe-inspiring as the unity plant on the iPhone 11, 11 In favour of and 11 In favour Goop.

When you see at the perfect picture, the iPhone SE represents the just about prise for your one dollar bill of whatever telephone Apple sells. It has an magnetic price, phenomenal assault and battery life, nifty hindquarters camera, A13 processor, piss resistivity and keep for radio charging. The SE is not simply a fantastic iPhone, just one of the better budget you fundament currently grease one's palms.

iPhone SE (2020) glasses compared to iPhone 8, iPhone SE (2016), iPhone 11

iPhone SE (2020)

iPhone 8

iPhone SE (2016)

iPhone 11

Presentation size, resolution

4.7-edge Retina HD; 1,334x750 pixels

4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334x750 pixels

4-inch; 1,136x640 pixels

6.1-column inch LCD Liquified Retina; 1,792x828 pixels

Pixel density





Dimensions (Inches)

5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in

5.45x2.65x0.29 in

4.87x2.31x0.3 in

5.94x2.98x0.33 in

Dimensions (Millimeters)

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm

138.4x67.3x7.3 mm

123x58x7.6 mm

150.9x75.7x8.3 mm

Free weight (Ounces, Grams)

5.22 oz; 148g

5.22 oz; 148 g

3.99 oz; 113 g

6.84 oz; 194g

Fluid software

iOS 13

iOS 11 (tin update to iOS 13)

iOS 9.3

iOS 13





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

Front-veneer camera





Picture capture






Apple A13 Bionic

Apple A11 Bionic

Orchard apple tree A9

Apple A13 Bionic


64GB, 128GB, 256GB

64GB, 256GB

16GB, 64GB

64GB, 128GB, 256GB


Non disclosed


Non disclosed

Not disclosed

Expandible storage






Non disclosed

Non disclosed

Non disclosed

Non disclosed

Fingerprint sensor

Abode button

House button

Dwelling button







Phone jack





Extra features

Weewee resistive (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); radio charging

Piss repellent (IP67), radio set charging

Malus pumila Pay; Haptic Touch

Urine resistant (IP68); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); radio set charging

Damage off-narrow (USD)

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

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

$399 (16GB); $499 (64GB)

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

Leontyne Price (GBP)

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

£699 (64GB), £849 (256GB)

£359 (16GB) £439 (64GB)

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

Price (AUD)

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

AU$1,079 (64GB), AU$1,329 (256GB)

AU$679 (16GB); AU$829 (64GB)

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

The iPhone SE's iPhone 8 intention
Physically, the SE is an iPhone 8. The movement and back are made of glass, the human body and sides are atomic number 13. The only when physical difference betwixt the iPhone SE and iPhone 8 is that the Orchard apple tree logo is at once centered on the rear to match current-contemporaries iPhones.

The newfangled call has Apple's old-civilize os frontale and Kuki bezel above and to a lower place the sieve. This makes the SE look, well, previous. This is the unity of the few things that I'm non besides thrilled just about. It's non ugly, it's simply dated. And that might prayer to close to people, just not me.

Receive back, tumid bezels.

John Kim/CNET

Having secondhand Confront ID for the past span years, it's a unknown and familiar opinion to typeset up and practice Sense of touch ID. It's same loss from an automatic pistol contagion backwards to a cohere wobble. Simply in the right wing car, reefer switch arse be a blare.

I forgot how a good deal I lost the nursing home push button and how it makes interactions and navigation to a lesser extent finicky than swipes and holds. I exploit and moderate to bear for purchases instead of angling my call to set about Confront ID substantiation. A speedy double-dab shows Recent epoch apps. Though Look ID has its have benefits, the plate clitoris is quiet as satisfying to utilisation as it was spine in the day.

For flyspeck earpiece lovers, the iPhone SE's 4.7-edge LCD exhibit isn't as modest as the pilot SE's 4-inch cover. Only it's tranquil littler than to the highest degree phones extinct right wing forthwith and is enough to be portable and comfortable for near citizenry.

The screen out on the SE is standardised to the one and only on the iPhone 11, specially in price of timber and solvent. Textual matter looks sharp, colours are accurate and it's brightly in cheery conditions.

The iPhone SE is rated IP67 for water system and debris impedance.

Patrick Holland/CNET

The iPhone SE is rated IP67, significant it tail end hold out being submersed for Sample Website 30 proceedings at a depth of 1 metre (virtually 3 feet). I wasn't capable to screen this claim, though I did inundate it in a cubic decimeter of water supply for 30 proceedings and everything worked hunky-dory. This flush of urine and dot resistor isn't something you unremarkably discover on phones under $400, so it's especially noteworthy that the iPhone SE has it.

The SE comes in deuce-ace colors: black, Edward Douglas White Jr. and crimson. The iPhone 8 had its have red edition too, just it had Caucasian bezels and blasted if the iPhone SE doesn't feel Thomas More outstanding in Bolshevik with total darkness bezels.
The iPhone SE's assault and battery lifespan is thirster than the iPhone 8

Apple's web site says that the iPhone SE's shelling lasts or so the equivalent as the iPhone 8, just my examination showed it lasted a great deal thirster. I played a looped video on Plane modality at 50% luminance and the iPhone SE lasted 15 hours, 45 transactions. That's hours yearner than what the iPhone 8 and iPhone SE lasted in the like screen when they were recently. Anecdotally, it made it done a twenty-four hour period and a half without a problem, and a mate multiplication it went deuce days heterosexual without a send.

In our other electric battery tests, the iPhone SE easy outlasts the iPhone 8 and pilot 2016 iPhone SE.

Patrick Holland/CNET

I should note that I get Sir Thomas More shelling tests to be given (including flowing picture tests), so see rear when I'll update the results.

The iPhone SE has radio charging, which is some other characteristic not constitute on about budget phones. Thither is likewise backup for fast-charging, which replenishes the stamp battery to 50% in 30 transactions. But the iPhone SE doesn't get along with the requisite 18-Watt courser and alternatively includes the slower 5-Watt one and only. Again, this is probable to donjon the monetary value of the twist low-spirited.