iPhone SE vs iPhone XR: Best Budget iPhone to Buy in 2020

iPhone SE vs iPhone XR: Best Budget iPhone to Buy in 2020
Yesterday, Apple lastly introduced the iPhone SE after months of leaks and stories, and actually, years of ready for the successor to the ‘affordable flagship’ iPhone concept that began with the unique iPhone SE. The new iPhone SE (or iPhone SE 2) is right here now and it’s a stable possibility for anybody in search of a finances iPhone in 2020. However, there’s additionally the iPhone XR that is available in at an analogous worth level in India. So, should you’re in search of the most effective finances iPhone, here’s a detailed comparability of the 2020 iPhone SE vs iPhone XR.

Design and Build

The very first thing you’d discover with a model new telephone, and that is very true with iPhones, is the design and construct. Cupertino has a really particular means it designs its smartphones, and they’re quintessentially Apple in the way in which they feel and appear. The iPhone SE takes a step again in time, so far as the design is worried and occupies the shell of the now discontinued iPhone 8.

That means, the brand new iPhone SE comes with a fairly chunky brow and chin, and a design that was nonetheless acceptable again in 2017 when the iPhone 8 launched, however is unquestionably fairly outdated by at this time’s requirements.

The new iPhone SE

However, it’s not all unhealthy. For one, lots of people really don’t like full-screen units with enormous shows, and I’m assuming Apple did its market analysis earlier than deciding on going with a 3 12 months previous design. Moreover, personally, the in-hand really feel of the iPhone 8 was nigh unbeatable in lots of methods.

The iPhone XR, with its full-screen design is extra updated so far as smartphone design tendencies are involved, but it surely’s additionally an even bigger telephone, a barely thicker than the iPhone SE. The iPhone XR is 8.3mm in thickness — that’s 1mm greater than the iPhone SE, and imagine me, 1mm may learn like a fairly tiny quantity, however in terms of in-hand really feel, the distinction may be pretty noticeable.

Apart from that, each the iPhone SE and that iPhone XR include the identical glass-back design, which affords them wi-fi charging functionality, and an enormous tendency to be fingerprint magnets.

At the top of the day, design stays a extremely subjective factor. If you dislike the brand new iPhone designs with their enormous notches and gesture controls, the iPhone SE 2 could be the iPhone you’ve been ready for. However, should you’re seeking to get an iPhone that won’t look outdated for a few years, I’d recommend going with the iPhone XR.


Moving on to the show, there’s clearly the massive dimension distinction within the screens once you pit the iPhone XR vs the iPhone SE 2, however there’s extra there than you may realise.

So the iPhone SE comes with a 4.7-inch Retina HD show with a 1334×750 pixel decision. The iPhone XR, alternatively, comes with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina show with a 1792×828 pixel decision.

iPhone SE comes with a small 4.7-inch LCD show

That may make it appear as if the iPhone XR has a greater decision display screen than the iPhone SE 2020, but it surely’s probably not the case, and Apple clarifies that with the PPI quantity talked about alongside the decision in its spec-sheet. Both the iPhones include a 326ppi show, which implies the pixel density of each these shows is strictly the identical. So if somebody is telling you that the iPhone SE comes with a lower-res show, they’re solely half-right. What actually issues extra is the PPI worth, and there each the telephones are evenly matched so that you received’t be lacking out.

What you may be lacking out on, is the expertise of getting an edge-to-edge show in your iPhone, and that must be a consideration for you earlier than you make a shopping for determination. Personally, I might let you know to go along with the iPhone XR as a result of it has a extra immersive show, and even with that notch, a a lot greater screen-to-body ratio than the iPhone SE.

Processor, Performance, and RAM

Between the iPhone SE and the iPhone XR, the processor varies by a fairly stable margin. The iPhone XR comes with the A12 Bionic chipset from 2018 whereas the iPhone SE comes with the most recent A13 Bionic chipset that’s contained in the iPhone 11 collection as properly.

Design-wise, each these chipsets are related. Both the A12 Bionic and the A13 Bionic include a 6-core CPU with 2 excessive efficiency cores and 4 excessive effectivity cores. They additionally include a 4-core GPU with Metal help, and an 8-core Neural Engine for AI and ML duties.

However, with the A13 Bionic, Apple has made enormous strides ahead not solely when it comes to efficiency (which has all the time been top-notch on iPhone chipsets) however extra importantly when it comes to battery life.

The A13 Bionic presents 20% quicker efficiency cores that use 30% much less power. The excessive effectivity cores are additionally 20% quicker however use 40% much less power. The GPU makes use of 40% much less power as properly, and the Neural Engine makes use of 15% much less power as in comparison with the A12 Bionic.

Overall, Apple claims the A13 Bionic presents upto 40% higher battery life than the A12 Bionic did, and that makes a stable distinction.

Look, so far as efficiency is taken into account, the A12 Bionic and the A13 Bionic received’t make a lot of a real-world distinction. They are each high-end chipsets that can simply final you 2-3 years with out being massively impacted. However, the battery life variations are appreciable. In my expertise, the iPhone 11 lasts for much longer than my iPhone XR does, and lots of it’s in all probability due to the A13 Bionic’s extra power-efficient design.

That mentioned, multi-tasking nonetheless may take a slight hit on the iPhone SE. A leaked Chinese telecom itemizing means that the telephone has 2GB RAM. That’s really first rate for iOS to deal with apps, however the iPhone XR has 3GB RAM so it can clearly be significantly higher at dealing with a number of open apps.

Anyway, so far as the processor is worried, there isn’t a cause to even think about the iPhone XR when in comparison with the iPhone SE 2020. The SE brings the most recent chipset which isn’t solely extra highly effective in each means, but additionally extra energy environment friendly. I might wait a bit to see precise evaluations of the iPhone SE although, as a result of the 2GB RAM is likely to be a slight concern.


In phrases of cameras, each the iPhone XR and the iPhone SE are pretty evenly matched. Both the telephones are outfitted with a single 12MP shooter on the again with an f/1.8 aperture together with a slow-sync flash. They have Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting results as properly. However, the iPhone SE has entry to all 6 portrait lighting results, whereas the iPhone XR solely will get 3 of these — not a giant deal by any means, however should you use Portrait Effects, you then may wish to know this.

Both the telephones additionally function OIS on the rear digicam, and are able to capturing 63MP panoramas, together with movies as much as 4K at 60FPS and slo-mo movies at 1080p as much as 240FPS.

On the entrance, each telephones function a 7MP selfie digicam with an f/2.2 aperture with Portrait Mode and Depth Control. Both the iPhone SE and that iPhone XR additionally help all six Portrait Lighting results on the entrance digicam, and might shoot 1080p movies.

However, for some cause, the iPhone SE can solely shoot 1080p 30FPS movies from the entrance digicam whereas the iPhone XR can shoot 1080p at 30/60FPS. I don’t assume that is too huge a deal, but it surely’s an attention-grabbing distinction.

Basically, in terms of the cameras, each these telephones are form of the identical telephones apart from a number of, minor variations. Also, since I haven’t used the iPhone SE but, I can’t touch upon the picture high quality from the telephone, in order of proper now, the iPhone SE and the iPhone XR tie on the digicam entrance.

Face ID vs Touch ID

This is a tricky one to name for me. I’ve all the time beloved Touch ID on iPhones ever since I first used it by myself iPhone 5s again within the day. This implies that I’m nostalgically comfortable about seeing the Touch ID sensor again on the iPhone SE.

However, Face ID is rather a lot higher in some ways in comparison in opposition to Touch ID. For one, it’s extra seamless in most use-cases apart from some edge-case situations the place a fingerprint scanner may make extra sense.

face ID Apple iPhone X

However, extra importantly, Face ID presents extra safeguards than Touch ID. For one, Touch ID can be utilized even once you’re sleeping as a result of it’s only a fingerprint, and until you intentionally allow Lockdown mode in your iPhone each night time earlier than you sleep, Touch ID will unlock your telephone no matter whether or not you’re asleep or awake. Face ID, alternatively, has an opt-out choice to examine for consciousness. Your telephone will solely unlock if it detects that your eyes are open and trying in direction of the telephone, which is only a neat little safeguard to have, and is one thing that different telephones are additionally utilizing, such because the Pixel 4 which just lately bought this function.

Still, Touch ID, in my expertise presents a extra dependable unlock than Face ID does. Since it doesn’t rely in your face, and doesn’t use your digicam, you possibly can just about unlock your telephone from no matter bizarre angle you need to, so long as your registered finger can contact the scanner. This isn’t true for Face ID, and whereas Face ID has gotten means higher than it was, it’s undoubtedly not as quick as Touch ID.

Still, I believe Face ID is a greater possibility for safety. It’s extra foolproof than Touch ID, and it simply feels extra pure to make use of. Just choose up your telephone, and it’s unlocked, so you possibly can proceed utilizing it as if it by no means was locked, which is a fairly seamless expertise to have.


In phrases of connectivity, each telephones help FDD and TDD LTE bands, though the iPhone SE does help extra TD-LTE bands than the iPhone XR. How a lot of a distinction this might make is unsure to me proper now, but it surely’s undoubtedly not worse.

Also, the iPhone SE improves the WiFi capabilities by including help for WiFi 802.11ax (generally generally known as WiFi 6) whereas the iPhone XR solely helps WiFi 802.11ac. So the SE is unquestionably extra future-proof when it comes to wi-fi connectivity than the iPhone XR is.

It’s additionally vital to notice that each the iPhone SE and the iPhone XR include 2×2 MIMO for LTE. That might imply potential sign drops or decrease sign strengths in sure areas. The iPhone XS, and the iPhone 11 Pro include 4×4 MIMO. Surprisingly Apple by no means talked about this for the iPhone XR in its specs-table, but it surely has talked about it for the iPhone SE, in all probability as a result of current lawsuit in opposition to the corporate for deceptive customers by not informing them in regards to the 2×2 and 4×4 MIMO distinction between the iPhone XS and the iPhone XR.

Anyway, in terms of connectivity, the iPhone SE beats out the iPhone XR when it comes to higher WiFi help for the long run, and a few further TD-LTE bands. However, until you reside on absolutely the bleeding fringe of WiFi networking, I doubt you’d want 802.11ax anytime quickly, particularly in India. So, that shouldn’t make a really huge distinction for you anyway.

Battery and Charging

Apple doesn’t give numbers in terms of batteries on its telephones. Instead, it compares them with older iPhones. For the SE, Apple says the battery life is about the identical because the iPhone 8. That’s not the most effective battery life in any respect.

The iPhone XR, alternatively, presents the identical battery life because the iPhone 8 Plus (in Apple’s phrases). In my utilization, the iPhone XR lasts properly over a day with regular utilization. By these requirements alone, the iPhone SE’s battery life wouldn’t be as good because the iPhone XR’s.

What’s extra, a just lately noticed itemizing on a Chinese telecom web site claims that the iPhone SE has a 1,821mAh battery. Let me simply put this in perspective right here — the iPhone XR has a 2,942mAh battery. That’s a giant distinction, and possibly the A13 Bionic will assist support battery life, however I doubt it can come wherever near the iPhone XR’s stellar battery life.

Moving on, there aren’t actually any variations on the charging entrance, however I do need to make clear sure issues about each the telephones so far as charging is worried.

One, each the iPhone XR and the iPhone SE help as much as 18W quick charging by way of USB-PD. However, neither ships with a quick charger within the field, as a result of Apple refuses to do the precise and wise factor. You’ll have to purchase the quick charger individually, or use a USB-PD adapter that pushes 18W. You can even want to purchase the USB-C to Lightning cable as a result of the 18W quick charger Apple sells makes use of USB-C.

Second, each the iPhone SE and that iPhone XR help wi-fi charging on Qi appropriate chargers, which is sweet as a result of there are lots of Qi-compatible wi-fi chargers on the market, so you may get one for a comparatively low worth.

Still, I might say the iPhone XR wins right here purely as a result of it has a a lot bigger battery pack than the iPhone SE.

iPhone SE vs iPhone XR: Which One Should You Buy?

As you’d have guessed by now, each these telephones are pretty related besides in methods which can be extra subjective in nature — such because the full-screen notched design of the iPhone XR. If I had to decide on, I might undoubtedly go along with the iPhone XR purely as a result of the design isn’t outdated, and if I’m spending a lot cash on a telephone, I would like it to look, properly… not previous.

It’s additionally annoying that the iPhone SE’s worth in India is Rs. 42,500 for the bottom 64GB variant. Had the iPhone SE been priced round Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000 (which is what it ought to’ve been, based mostly on the US worth), the iPhone SE would’ve been unbeatable, even compared to lots of Android smartphones on the market.

Right now, you may get the 64GB iPhone XR for round Rs. 45,000 normally. Sometimes that goes as much as round Rs. 48,000 and typically it goes all the way down to round Rs. 43,000. It simply doesn’t seem to be the iPhone SE is providing sufficient when it comes to inner {hardware} to justify a worth level like that with a design that’s 3 years previous on the very least.

Obviously, all of it boils all the way down to your private desire, which is why I’ve defined each factor with a lot element on this article. However, should you had been to ask my opinion, I might say you must go for the iPhone XR. It seems to be higher, it can provide the identical real-world efficiency, and can simply final one other 3 years and not using a problem.

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