New iPhone SE Review: Little Hero of the Apple Company
New iPhone SE has arrived to the market and Apple has a cheaper representative in the market now. This model is the special edition of the iPhone which is released to the market every three to four years and it is usually welcomed by users. New iPhone SE enjoys the same look as that of the iPhone 8, but it is powered with the powerful hardware of iPhone 11. This means, we can consider iPhone SE as an amazing iPhone in a smaller scale. But, do you think Apple has chosen a good combination for 2020? This is the question we are going to answer in this post.
Design and Build Quality
Apple design team designed iPhone 6 in order to use its design for a few years. The same design was used in iPhone 6, 6s and 7 and iPhone 8 only used glass panel instead of aluminum in the back. iPhone SE is similar to iPhone 8, but there are two small differences: First, the Apple logo is transferred to the middle of the back panel like all of the recent products of the company, and second is that fortunately Apple has left the white front panel and used black panel in all of the colors. This model comes in black, white and red colors.
Hence, you face the smallest and handiest iPhone of the market that you can use it with one hand. iPhone SE is suitable in terms of size and you can easily transfer it in your pocket.
The bezels of iPhone Se 2020 are very wide. The ratio of screen to phone is 65% which is at least 20% less than the flagships in the market. The only positive point of this model is its touch ID button which allows you to easily unlock the phone.
Although the design is a bit older, the product is still regarded as a premium devices that enjoys a higher build quality. The flagships of the market are still a combination of glass and metal and it seems that there won’t be a change in the materials of the phones in near future. Based on our experience, the glass panel used for this model is more resistant and the frame is made according to the IP67 standard and it is water and dust resistant.
Apple has returned the wide bezels and touch ID with standard ratio of 16:9 to the market and this model does not feature the screen notch and it shows us that the world without notch is still popular. This belief is due to the different types of notches produced by Apple which has caused several difficulties.
iPhone SE comes with a 4.7” IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1334×750 and pixel density of 326ppm which is far from the standards of 2020, but it does not lack anything in terms of performance. Apple uses the best displays in all of its products and iPhone SE is no exception. The maximum resolution of its display is 650 nits and it is possible to use it in different lighting conditions.
Thanks to True Tone technology and its special sensor, the display of iPhone SE produces the best white and grey spectrums based on the surrounding light. The phone’s display also supports a wide range of color space, and due to its maximum brightness and high contrast, it can display HDR content to some extent, but not as much as expensive iPhones that are fully compliant with the HDR10 standard.
User Interface
The new iPhone SE comes with iOS 13.4, but will also receive the 13.4.1 update from the start. This update fixes a few minor issues, including Facebook’s compatibility with various versions of iOS and the fact that Bluetooth doesn’t connect via the quick settings menu. This phone is updated to the latest hardware, along with the latest Apple iPhones.
The glorious return of Touch ID makes it possible to control the phone with the physical button and you no longer need to use gestures. The addition of a dark mode is another positive point that completely changes the look of the interface. You can adjust the dark mode to activate it from sunset to sunrise or over a period of time.
Other features of the new iPhone SE user interface are similar to other Apple products that use iOS 13. Applications are placed on the home screen and swiped from the home page to the right to the widgets page. The notification drawer opens with a swipe from top to bottom, and the control center opens with a swipe from the bottom edge to the top.
Unlike the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE lacks 3D Touch, and instead uses software vibration feedback, or, as Apple puts it, a hepatic touch. Pressing the program icon for a long time would take you to new shortcuts or settings. Of course, as expected, the Heptic Touch is disabled in the Notifications menu, and you can’t reply to long messages. This problem will be probably solved by a software update.
The main difference of iPhone SE and iPhone 8 is related to the hardware. This model is equipped with the flagship chipset of the Apple (A13 Bionic) which is also used in iPhone 11 family. It should also be noted that iPhone SE has only 3GB of RAM which is 1GB lower than iPhone 11. But it is expected to see a good performance like the flagships of the market.
We used AnTuTu and 3D Mark applications to assess the hardware of iPhone SE. The results along with the results of several other models are as follows.
As you can see, 1GB less RAM has caused a 7% drop in overall performance and a 16% drop in iPhone SE’s graphics performance compared to the iPhone 11 family. Compared to the most powerful rival flagship, the Galaxy S20 Ultra, the overall performance difference is 18% and the graphics processing power difference is more than 40%. The difference with the other Android flagships on the market, which use the Snapdragon 865 chipset, is a little more than that. In fact, the iPhone SE has the same performance as last year’s Android flagships or premium mid-range devices like the Honor 20.
Of course, we still have a super powerful phone that easily runs all the apps and games of the day with the highest graphics settings. We ran Asphalt 9 in 60 frames mode and Call of Duty Mobile on Very High graphics settings and Max Rhythm frame on iPhone SE. In fact, the iPhone SE meets all the expectations of a smartphone.
iPhone SE enjoys connectivity options such as dual-band WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 and GPS. This phone supports only one SIM Card and dual SIM Card model is not available unlike iPhone 11 family.
Fortunately, Apple, unlike some manufacturers, hasn’t removed the stereo speaker to reduce costs, and the iPhone SE uses a speakerphone next to the main speaker to play audio. The loudness of this phone is quite satisfying, but in terms of bass playback, it doesn’t perform similar to flagships like the iPhone 11 Pro or the Galaxy S20 Ultra.
The iPhone SE uses the same composition as the iPhone 8’s camera, which looks a bit poor on paper and can’t meet users’ expectations in 2020. However, due to the new and powerful hardware, this camera can take portrait photos alone or take 4K videos at a rate of 60 frames per second. Here are the specifications of the main and selfie camera of this phone:
Main Camera: 12 MP, f/1.8, autofocus PDAF, optical image stabilizer, digital stabilizer.
Selfie Camera: 7 MP, f/2.2, digital stabilizer.
Although the iPhone SE’s camera doesn’t seem satisfying on paper, it actually works beyond expectations. Photos of this phone in bright light are very decent. Natural colors and good contrast, along with smart HDR capability, usually give you the best results on the first try. The details of the photos are also acceptable, unless you zoom in too much on them. Here are some examples of photos in sufficient lighting condition.
As you can see, iPhone SE can capture good photos with an old and small sensor. The portrait pictures of this phone are quite satisfying. It should be noted that there are some issues in separating face and hairs.
In the dark, the new iPhone SE’s camera does its best to deliver a good photo, but usually the output is very noisy. Of course, the colors are relatively natural and there is a good balance between the dark and light points of the photo, but if you enlarge the image a bit, you won’t see much detail. I wish Apple would bring the Night Mode feature to this phone as well.
Despite its low resolution, the iPhone SE’s selfie camera captures great photos that satisfy even the most demanding users. In the right light, the faces are completely natural and real, without any artificial beautification or skin discoloration. The portrait is also captured with the same camera in an acceptable way. In a dark environment, however, we see a noticeable decrease in the quality of photos in terms of color and detail, while there is a lot of noise in the image.
You can watch the sample videos recorded with iPhone SE in the video review. Optical and electronic image stabilizers work well together to neutralize vibrations. Of course, contrary to expectations, this feature is better in 60 frames per second videos. One of the problems with the phone’s cameras is the reflection of light in the lens, which reduces the quality of photos and videos at different angles.
Battery and Charge
Battery is one of the issues that is highly discussed about iPhone SE. The battery capacity of this phone is only 1821 mAh which is not consistent with its powerful processor. Of course, if you like a small phone, you have to get used to this weak battery.
Our tests show that the battery lasts 3.5 hours for playing games. In normal usage, it lasts for one working day but it doesn’t last to the next morning. Hence, you should charge your phone with the old 5W charger which is in the box.
It takes about three hours to fully charge the phone with a 5-watt charger, which is not at all acceptable for a battery with this capacity. Of course, the iPhone SE also supports 18-watt fast charging and wireless charging, but the former requires a special charger and cable, and the latter takes more than three and a half hours.
The iPhone SE is currently the cheapest and smallest iPhone on the market, which also has its own fans and is welcomed in various markets. Before you buy this phone, you should determine if it can meet your needs.
If you want to buy a new iPhone but don’t want to spend more than $1000, the new iPhone SE is the only option. If you’re looking for the most handsome flagship phone on the market, you’re interested in Apple’s ecosystem and its multi-year updates, and your low-end smartphone experience is important, the iPhone SE can meet your needs.
However, if you are looking for a new phone with a modern and up-to-date design, battery capacity and charging speed are important to you, and you are interested in multiple cameras with optical zoom or ultra-wide shooting capability, iPhone SE will not be a good option for you.