Review: iPhone SE (2020)

In a world of $1,000 smartphones where does a $400 iPhone, with an age-old design, fit in?

My daily phone is the iPhone 11 Pro. I absolutely love it except for one thing, it is still too big. I know I am in the minority here as the Plus and Max size devices are extremely popular. But, I know there are a lot of those out there who still love a small phone. That is where the iPhone SE comes in.

Remember the iPhone 6, 7, and 8? Well the iPhone SE has the same 4.7-inch screen as those devices. There is nothing new when holding this device. This isn’t a bad thing though. The size feels so great in the hand if you like smaller phones. I love that I can hold this phone and use it in one hand. Also, coming from a bigger phone, that is very heavy, this phone is amazingly light. I sometimes had to check my pockets to make sure it was still there! The size and feel of it is my favorite part of the iPhone SE

The performance on this thing is great. I don’t have much to say other than you are getting the same power in this phone, for $400, as you do with a $700-$1,000 phone. That is astonishing.

The camera is very good. I have wanted this type of camera since the iPhone 8. I loved the dual cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus because of Portrait Mode. When the 8 and 8 Plus came out, I was hoping the smaller 8 would get the Portrait Mode feature but it didn’t. To get that feature you always had to pay the premium and get the larger phone. Then the iPhone XR came out. It was significantly cheaper than the iPhone XS at the time and had a single camera that could take portrait photos. That was great but you could only take portrait photos of humans with the XR camera. That is the same with the iPhone SE. If you try taking a portrait photo of anything other than a human’s face, it will tell you that it cannot detect a human. This is a downside to the camera, for sure. Outside of that, the camera is great.

Another pain point for me is the battery. If you have followed this blog for a while you will know that I get all of the new battery cases for phones when they come out. The last few from mophie and Apple’s Smart Battery Case for the iPhone 11 Pro wasn’t really needed. The 11 Pro’s battery is just so good. But the iPhone SE reminds me why the battery case market was a thing years ago. If you are near a charger all day, this will not be a problem. If you cannot get to a power outlet throughout the day, you will be scrambling to find a charge at the end of the day. Of course, everyone uses their phones different, but if you plan on keeping this phone for a while, a battery pack or battery case may be something you want to invest in.

I forgot how well Touch ID worked on the iPhone. It is extremely fast and in today’s world where a face mask might be the new normal, Touch ID was a joy to have compared to Face ID. With that being said, Touch ID seems like an extra step. Coming from Face ID, I was sometimes waiting for the phone to unlock forgetting to put my finger on the button to unlock it.

If you are coming from something older than the iPhone 8, the SE is an amazing upgrade. If you want a phone that will get you through the next few years without any problem, get the SE. If you want the cheapest or lightest iPhone out there, the SE is by far one of the best values available. If you love the home button and refuse to jump into the Face ID generation, get the SE. If you have been trying to get your friend or family member to upgrade, get them the SE. If you want the latest and greatest, well, you probably already have it and it is safe to say the SE is not for you. But only you can make that decision.

You can pick up the iPhone SE from Apple starting at $400 for the 64GB model. I highly recommend paying the extra $50 and getting the 128GB for $450.

Disclaimer – Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.

Apple’s Newest iPhone – iPhone SE (2020)

After nearly two and a half years since the launch of the iPhone 8 and the iPhone X, we now have what some have been calling the iPhone 9. This is the new iPhone SE.

If you have been paying attention to the rumors, this will come to you as no surprise. Think of the iPhone SE as a beefed-up, yet less-costly, iPhone 8.

This phone has the same 4.7-inch LCD screen that the iPhone 8 has. It has wireless charging. It has a home button with Touch ID.

Source: Apple

What is different than the iPhone 8? Well, it now has the same processor as the super-fast, iPhone 11 model phones. Not only does that mean this thing is fast, but it also means that it will be probably be supported two years longer than the iPhone 8 will be. The camera received a nice upgrade over the iPhone 8 that now includes portrait mode for people. The battery should be significantly better since this model ditched the 3D Touch haptic module. Best of all, it is $50 cheaper than the iPhone 8 at only $400.

Who is this for? This is for those who want the smallest iPhone available. Though it doesn’t have the latest and greatest, top-of-the-line features like Face ID, dual or triple cameras, or the intuitive home button-less interface, it is still an iPhone. This is also for those who want the least expensive iPhone out there. Maybe you love the home button and Touch ID, maybe you just want best iPhone for the least amount of money. This is it.

I’m excited for this. I use an iPhone 8 as a company device and there are a lot of times that I enjoy it over my iPhone 11 Pro. I love the size. Sometimes Touch ID is just so fast that it outshines Face ID. This phone is going to be very popular because not only is it lower in price, but it is also familiar to those who have never upgraded to an iPhone since the iPhone X redesigned the interface.

The iPhone SE launches April 24th for $399 for 64GB of storage. It is also available in 128GB for $450 and 256GB for $550. It is available in Black, Red and White.

Are you picking up an iPhone SE? Let me know on Instagram or twitter so I can hear what you have to say about it!

Which iPhone is Best for You?

The simple answer, the one that works. But let’s look a little closer to the current phones Apple has to offer.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is the classic iPhone experience. You get a 4-inch screen with the guts of an iPhone 6s.  If you remember the iPhone 5 and 5s, the iPhone SE will look familiar, as it is fairly identical in looks.  For someone who wants that small form factor, I still think the iPhone SE is a great choice, especially for the price. This is Apple’s cheapest option to get the iPhone experience. This is also one of the last iPhones that still have a headphone jack if that is important to you. If you are on a budget or need a quick but reliable replacement phone, the SE is a fantastic choice.

The iPhone SE comes in 32GB for $349 and 128GB for $449.  Also, the iPhone SE comes in 4 colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold.

8bab8a09-8d7d-406c-b793-e0718f6bef5a

iPhone 6S

Next up, we have the iPhone 6s. Originally released in September 2015, this is the oldest iPhone that Apple offers. You have two options to choose from with the 6s, you have the regular 6s, with a 4.7-inch screen, and the iPhone 6s Plus, with a 5.5-inch screen.  The differences between the two, other than size, is that the Plus has a higher resolution display, photo and video optical image stabilization, and a far bigger battery.

It is a personal preference as far as size is concerned but having a Plus phone before, that battery is a monster!

As far as the 6s goes, as a whole, I would not recommend spending the money on this phone. If you can, look around at your carrier to see if they are offering this phone for free on some type of deal. Other than the SE, the 6s is one of the last iPhones that still includes a headphone jack. For some people, this is why they are still buying this phone and I can’t blame them.

The iPhone 6s comes in 32GB for $449 and 128GB for $549.

The iPhone 6s Plus comes in 32 GB for $549 and 128 GB for $649.

Like the SE, the iPhone 6s comes in 4 colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Rose Gold.

b8bdbe8a-5282-493e-8a2b-bfa97fa0116f

iPhone 7

Like the 6s, the 7 comes in two flavors, a big and a small. The regular 7 and 7 Plus again have 4.7 inch and 5.5-inch screens.

Starting with the iPhone 7 is where I start to recommend the Plus size phones a little more. All because of that camera. You can read my original review of the 7 Plus, here.  Along with the massive Plus-sized battery, the better screen resolution, the 7 Plus has a dual camera that offers a 2X optical zoom and my favorite feature, portrait mode. Portrait mode makes your pictures look a little more crisp and professional by focusing on your subject and adding some blur to the background. It is amazing to have all of this power in your back pocket.

The iPhone 7 is the first iPhone without a headphone jack. This is a pain point for a lot of people but Apple does include an adapter, in the box, that allows users to use their current 3.5mm headphones, with the phone. If you wanted to charge your phone while listening to music, I do recommend this adapter from Belkin.

I would recommend the iPhone 7 to everyone if you do not want to spend as much money on an 8 or X but still want a phone that will run Apple’s latest software without a hitch.

The iPhone 7 comes in 32 GB for $549 and the 128 GB for $649.

c831ec42-62cd-4813-a19a-3505abf03cd1

The iPhone 7 Plus comes in 32 GB for $669 and the 128GB for $769.

865a28e2-02e1-4436-ba1d-eaf7e4bfb284

The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus comes in 5 colors, Jet Black, Black, Silver, Gold and Rose Gold. For what it is worth, the Jet Black is my favorite. It has a glossy type back which makes the phone easier to grip when out of a case. The downside to the Jet Black is that IT WILL get scratches on it.

iPhone 8

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus is an easy yes because it is one of the newest iPhones. But the differences between the 8 and 7 aren’t as impressive, in my opinion. It does have the newest A11 Bionic processor so it will be a little quicker than the 7. Also, the 8 is the first iPhone with built-in wireless charging, which is great to have. In addition to wireless charging, the iPhone 8 supports fast charging for the first time. With the right charger, you can charge up the device to 50% in 30 minutes.

If you have been following along the difference between the regular and Plus sized phones, remain the same.

The iPhone 8 comes in 64GB for $699 and 256GB for $849.

87c7e79f-5a79-4691-a39a-1d696f42aadc

The iPhone 8 Plus comes in 64GB for $799 and 256GB for $949.

091c1922-c937-49ce-b40d-512ca0dfda82

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus comes in 4 colors, Silver, Gold, Space Gray and Red.

iPhone X

Here it is, the main event, the iPhone X.

I love this phone.

ac6f6b7b-be78-4074-a4d9-f04a6ee212bd

This is the first iPhone in years that feels new.  While it is an iPhone and anyone who has used an iPhone before will be comfortable with it, Apple has done something special with this one. They have added gestures and new features that make it, in my opinion, the best phone available right now.

Goodbye home button. Since the home button has gone away, Apple had to engineer some new ways to navigate the phone. To go home, all you do is swipe up from the bottom. To change applications, a swift swipe from the left corner will do that for you.

Also, since the home button is gone, that means as is the fingerprint reader. To unlock the phone, Apple has incorporated Face ID. It isn’t as reliable as Touch ID was but it works and I can only imagine how the future iPhones are going to benefit from this feature.

Personally, the reason I love this phone so much is the size. I never cared for holding the size of the Plus but always wanted the battery and the camera. With the X, you get best of both worlds. You get a 5.8-inch screen (compared to 5.5 inches on a Plus) and is only slightly bigger than the regular 4.7 inch iPhones. This is what I have been wanting. In addition, it has the dual camera that allows us to take those lovely portrait mode pictures.

Unfortunately, all of this greatness comes at a price.

The iPhone X comes in 64GB for $999 and 256 GB for $1149.

The iPhone X comes in Silver and Space Gray.

Conclusion

That was a lot of information. The best tip that I can give you is to look around and check with your carrier store. Most times, especially this time of year, they will offer great deals on iPhones.

Also, keep in mind, you can accomplish pretty much all of the same tasks on every single one of these. If the differences in features are worth it to you, spend the money to get what you want.

One last tip, always remember that in September we will probably see new iPhones.  I hope to keep this updated every three months and when new iPhones are released.

Let me know which iPhone you plan on picking up on twitter and Instagram!

Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will make a commission if you decide to purchase after clicking the link.