Release of iPhone SE 2: The most important facts

Editorial

For many months, rumors of the latest iPhone SE model suggested that it would be called the iPhone SE 2. Despite many industry experts continuing to label it that way, Apple eventually launched the iPhone SE branding it as the iPhone SE 2020 (second-generation). The device started shipping worldwide from April 24 and has already curried favor with many consumers seeking a cheaper, lightweight alternative to Apple’s XR model.

If you want to know what’s happening under the bonnet of the iPhone SE 2020, read on as we delve deeper into the key facts and figures that underpin the newest iPhone in town.

Screen design and display

If you’ve already looked at pics of the iPhone SE 2020 and had a sense of déjà vu, that’s entirely natural. The iPhone SE 2020 has the same screen design and display as the iPhone 8 released in 2017. With a 4.7” screen, this makes the SE 2020 somewhat smaller than newer iPhone models and considerably clunkier too. The screen design feels heavier, which jars with the rest of the industry opting for ultra-portable designs.

Nevertheless, it’s still a welcome upgrade from the original iPhone SE, which boasted a meagre 4” screen.

Audio

It’s hard to break it to you, but the iPhone SE 2020 does not come with the 3.5mm headphone jack. This is hardly breaking news given that it was confirmed over two years ago that it would “lack a jack”. The inclusion of the 3.5mm jack in the original iPhone SE caused mass hysteria among traditionalists, so it’s understandable that you might be frustrated to hear of its culling once more.

In place of the 3.5mm headphone jack, Apple gives iPhone SE 2020 owners a pair of EarPods which can connect to the new device via its Lightning connector. You may need a Lightning adapter if you want to use older wired headphones too.

Refined chipset improves overall performance

Where the iPhone SE 2020 is a significant step up from its iPhone 8-like appearance is its performance. The iPhone SE 2020 features a new A13 bionic chipset which is a vast upgrade to the handset’s engine. This additional power actually rivals the iPhone 11 for its speed and efficiency in moving from one application to the next.

TechRadar proved that the SE 2020 is capable of matching the iPhone 11 Pro Max in terms of exporting iMovies at virtually identical speeds. This is exciting, particularly if you want the iPhone SE 2020 to offer you some longevity.

The camera stands up to newer models despite its ‘dated’ hardware

The camera is undoubtedly one of the most important hardware elements of the iPhone SE 2020. Failure to perform here and the SE 2020 would surely fall flat on its face on the shelves. Fortunately, it does not disappoint. The A13 bionic chipset plays a crucial role with the handset’s camera too, greatly enhancing image processing compared with the original SE device. That’s despite the fact that the SE 2020 features the same 12MP camera as the iPhone 8, complete with a six-element lens.

Source: Unsplash

Battery life

Unfortunately, although the new A13 bionic chipset helps to ramp up everyday performance and app efficiency, it fails to improve the battery life of the SE 2020. It comes with a replica iPhone 8 1,821mAh battery pack, which was hardly stella at the time of its release. The iPhone 8 could barely last three-quarters of a day without needing a charge and it’s a similarly frustrating story with the SE 2020.

During days when you may not use your handset as much, you could expect 30% to remain at the end of the day, and most iPhone SE 2020 devices will only drain by 5% overnight – providing you don’t have multiple devices connected using Bluetooth. This can lead to a much more significant drain.

The iPhone SE 2020 in summary

Overall, if you are seeking something lightweight and durable, the iPhone SE 2020 is a very sensible choice. Just be mindful that the lighter it is, the easier it is to throw around and break accidentally. Although the handset costs almost half the price of the iPhone 11, you should still invest wisely in an iPhone insurance plan that guards against damage and theft.

However, on the whole, the iPhone SE 2020 is a very solid release from Apple, particularly for consumers seeking the best bang for their buck. The SE 2020 is the cheapest iPhone model yet and with a new and improved chipset it tries hard to keep pace with some of the newest high-performance iPhone models of recent times.

Don’t buy the iPhone SE 2020 if you are expecting industry-leading battery life. Although it still offers several hours of solid usage, the latest models last an entire day of continued use effortlessly thanks to today’s technology. There were always trade-offs with iPhone’s original budget-friendly SE model back in 2016 and it’s certainly still the case here with the SE 2020.

Header image source: Unsplash

Last modified: July 15, 2020

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