iPHONE SE 2020 Depth Comparison and Review - THE INDIAN TECH GUY

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Friday, June 5, 2020

iPHONE SE 2020 Depth Comparison and Review

Source -https://www.gsmarena.com 

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Introduction

 
 Ah, the Apple iPhone SE. The Special Edition. Even if the Smaller Edition was more appropriate. And just like the first iPhone SE, its second generation is both - Small, even if larger than the first one, and Special - as such launch happens once in four years or so.

We are sure Apple had plans for a great premiere event last March, but COVID-19 turned everything upside down and such plans were abruptly scrapped. The new iPhone was unveiled fanfare-less on the maker's website, out of the blue, but it quickly became famous for being not only one of the cheapest iPhones ever made but also as one of the season's hottest bang for the buck offers.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Imagine that - bang for the buck coming from Apple! Indeed, the highlight feature of the new iPhone SE is the A13 Bionic chip - that's Apple's latest platform - the one that's powering the iPhone 11 trio. As for the rest, well, it's mostly iPhone 8.
Apple did use the 2.5 years old iPhone 8 as a canvas in more than one way. The shell is the same, as is the screen (sans the 3D Touch layer), same front and rear cameras ergo photo and video capabilities, same stereo speakers, same battery capacity, same charging capabilities.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review A thorough look reveals the iPhone SE (2020) is indeed small by today's standards, and while it brings features introduced more than two years ago, those are hardly outdated - the phone is water-resistant, its single camera offers numerous features such as portraits, Smart HDR and even 4K at 60 with both OIS and EIS available, while the stereo speakers are of an excellent quality that is tough to beat even to this very day.

Apple iPhone SE (2020) key features


  • Body: Aluminum frame, Gorilla Glass front with oleophobic coating, Gorilla Glass back with glossy finish, IP67 certified for water and dust resistance. Red, Black, and White color options; 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm; 148g.
  • Screen: 4.7" 16M-color LED-backlit IPS LCD screen of 750p resolution, 326ppi, True Tone adjustment via four-channel ambient light sensor.
  • OS: Apple iOS 13.
  • Chipset: Apple A13 Bionic (7nm+) chip - 2x2.66 GHz Lightning + 4x1.8 GHz Thunder) Apple CPU, four-core Apple GPU, 8-core Apple NPU 3-gen.
  • Camera: 12MP camera with F/1.8 lens, optical image stabilization, quad-LED flash with slow sync, phase detection auto focus, Smart HDR, wide color capture.
  • Video recording: 2160p@60/30fps, 1080p@30/60/120/240fps video recording
  • Selfie: 7MP F/2.2 front-facing camera with BSI sensor and HDR mode, 1080p@30fps video
  • Storage: 64GB, 128, or 256GB of built-in storage.
  • Connectivity: 4G LTE Cat.12; Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac; Bluetooth 5.0; Lightning port; GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS, GALILEO, QZSS; NFC (Apple Pay only).
  • Battery: 1,821mAh battery, 18W fast charging, wireless charging (Qi compatible).
  • Misc: Stereo speakers, pressure-sensitive Home key with fingerprint scanner, Taptic Engine.
The bezels are what looked old on the iPhone 8, and now they look ancient on this new SE model. They are wonderful as thumb rests for when you are using the phone in landscape orientation for gaming or videos, but they will be a target for many laughs either way. And the battery capacity could have been improved a bit, but we are yet to see the new A13 chip in action, so let's not judge just yet.
And now, it's time to unpack our red iPhone SE.

Unboxing the Apple iPhone SE (2020)

The iPhone retail bundle has seen few changes over the year with the most prominent being the 18W charger replacing the 5W adapter for the iPhone 11 Pro models. That is not the case with the iPhone SE, though.
The Apple iPhone SE (2020) retail box contains the prehistoric 5W charger and the usual Lightning cable. We do appreciate the EarPods that are included with every iPhone, though. Two Apple logo stickers and the SIM ejector complete the SE bundle.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review The iPhone SE supports USB-PD fast charging (up to 18W), as well as wireless charging (up to 8W), so at least you are not without other options. You just have to get yourself a quick charger separately.

Design and handling

There are always two ways to look at an iPhone, especially one with such a controversial design as the iPhone 8, sorry, SE. It's either love or hate. It has been this way since the iPhones came into existence, even if specs, features, and prices do help fuel these two feelings, too. But one thing is undeniably true - this is not only the smallest iPhone available but one of the most compact smartphones on the market.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Remember when we called the 6" Xiaomi Mi 9 SE one of the most compact phones and a remarkably pocket-friendly handset? So, we take those back - these titles belong to the iPhone SE now. Thank you, Mi, you may go now.
So, the iPhone SE (2020) is indeed quite small - it measures 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm and weighs just 148g - meaning it is 1cm shorter and 3mm narrower than the Mi 9 SE.
But if we are to compare the new iPhone SE to the old one, well, it's definitely grown bigger - 1.5cm taller and 1cm wider, to be specific. It also gained some 35g - a noticeable load if you are comparing those two directly.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Well, the past couple of years did change the definition of the small smartphone, for the worse if you ask us, and the new iPhone SE is well below the current status quo.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 reviewiPhone 11 Pro, iPhone SE (2nd Gen), iPhone SE (1st Gen) But as far as its design is concerned - it's modern but also, a remnant of our digital past. The iPhone SE (2020) uses the same Gorilla Glass panels and aluminum frame the iPhone 8 had back in 2017 - and even then this design was already three-years-old.
And as the most recent teardowns have revealed, Apple has recycled pretty much everything in the iPhone SE - from the hardware design on the outside to the components used inside.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Still - a glass-sandwich body with a metal frame is the default phone design in 2020, so the iPhone SE is as current as possible looking at its bill of materials. Even better, it is IP67-rated for dust and water resistance - something that still many decide not to offer and yet, here were have it on a $400 phone.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Then we look at the front and honestly, we can hear 2014 calling and asking its bezels back. The iPhone SE has large black bezels above and below its LCD screen, and for some of you, they will be too much of an eyesore to bear. We can get behind this, of course - not only the screen doesn't impress with the resolution, but it also makes you lose all that room to what - a Home key and earpiece?
Then again - the earpiece is one of the loudest speakers you can get on a smartphone today, one of two actually, and we are impressed with quality audio coming from the SE stereo speakers. The old 7MP selfie camera is around, now capable of selfie portraits, too.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review The Home key is also your Touch ID - a feature many missed when it got the boot on the iPhone X. It is the fastest and most convenient security measure, and on top of that - the Home key is also the better way to work with iOS than the current swiping mess.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Sure, the bezels have the benefit of providing nice grip. Such a powerful small phone will need a proper grip for gaming, and the two non-screen ends provide that in buckets. You can rest your thumbs there comfortably and enjoy your gaming session hassle- and obstruction-free.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review The 4.7" IPS LCD screen is familiar - it's the same display we saw on the iPhone 8 with the so-called Retina 326ppi resolution. There are no notches, it's fully utilized by every app and games because of its native 16:9 aspect, it is bright and with excellent contrast and color reproduction. Small - it is. Bad - it is not.
One thing that's missing from the iPhone 8 display is the 3D Touch layer. Apple has ditched the 3D Touch sensors in favor of tap and hold gestures plus feedback from the Taptic Engine. It works almost the same, plus nobody was using the 3D Touch anyway.
The custom-made Gorilla Glass has 2D finish at the front and then transition rather seamlessly into the aluminum frame. The frame itself has a matte finish that provides for some grip and contains all ports and buttons.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review The silencer switch and the volume keys are on the left, while the power button and the SIM slot are on the right. The Lightning port, the speaker grille, and the mouthpiece are all at the bottom of the iPhone SE.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review The back of the iPhone SE, especially this red one, is as beautiful as it can get. Not having a multiple-camera setup makes for one of the cleanest and stylish rear glass panels we've seen in a while. It is also custom-made by Corning, with 2.5D finish.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review The main camera is protruding just a tiny little bit, and a thin metal ring surrounds it. Next, flush with the glass, is the dual-tone quad-LED flash. The iPhone SE barely wobbles on a flat desk, and that's only if you are tapping around the top left part of the phone.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review Finally, the iPhone SE is a joy to handle, easily operated with one hand, and it just disappears in pockets. The brushed frame provides enough grip, and even while fingerprint smudges accumulate on the glass with time, the oleophobic coating makes them easy to clean with a quick swipe.

Display

The iPhone SE (2020) borrows iPhone 8 display - yes, the same that was borrowed in the first place from the iPhone 6. The panel in question was introduced way back in 2014, but it was improved over the years with wide color gamut support, True Tone enhancements, and HDR adjustments.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review So, the new iPhone SE packs a 4.7" 16:9 LED-backlit IPS LCD screen, also known as Retina display, which has 326ppi or 1334 x 750 pixels. This particular pixel density has been introduced with the iPhone 4, and it is the true meaning behind the word Retina in Apple's world all these years. The iPhone X was first to change that to Super Retina 458ppi.
The screen is flat, protected by a custom-made glass by Corning and has oleophobic coating for additional smudge resistance.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review TrueTone color-correction adjustments are available for the iPhone SE display, Night Shift - the blue-light filter, is a part of the iOS feature set, too.
Apple says the screen can display HDR10 and Dolby Vision content. Thanks to the wide color support, the high screen brightness, and contrast, the display can do some improvements to the dynamic range, and you can indeed see some benefits. But a proper HDR-enabled screen, like the iPhone 11 Pro's, can show you true HDR10 with all the benefits.
And now with all these technicalities out of the way, let's look at some numbers.
The Apple iPhone SE (2020) screen can be very bright - we measured 670 nits at the top end of the brightness slider. That's even more than the promised 625 nits from Apple. The black levels are about average, and the iPhone SE panel delivered north of the suggested screen contrast ratio of 1400:1.
The minimum brightness we captured on the white color is 2.7 nits - a great one for reading sessions in the dark!
Display test 100% brightness
Black,cd/m2 White,cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Apple iPhone SE (2020) 0.434 670 1544:1
Apple iPhone 8 (Standard) 0.399 566 1419:1
Apple iPhone 8 (Max Auto) 0.468 640 1368:1
Apple iPhone SE 0.77 618 804:1
Apple iPhone X 0 679
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE 0 444
Xiaomi Mi 9 SE (Max Auto) 0 637
Realme 6 0.343 451 1315:1
Realme 6 Pro 0.318 421 1324:1
Realme X50 Pro 5G 0 525
Realme X50 Pro 5G (Max Auto) 0 635
Samsung Galaxy S20 0 397
Samsung Galaxy S20 (Max Auto) 0 814
Apple iPhone 6 0.61 740 1213:1
We did our usual measurements on the iPhone SE screen, and we captured very accurate levels of color rendering. The screen has an average deltaE of 1.4, while the maximum deviation of 2.8 is at point white. All measured colors are well below deltaE of 4, which means the screen has excellent calibration.
These measurements were taken with TrueTone turned off, as it changes the color calibration depending on the ambient light and can fool our colorimeter. For the most realistic colors, you should keep this option off, whereas for the most eye-pleasing rendeding of white and gray - keep it on.

Battery life and charging

The iPhone SE (2020) is powered by 1,821mAh battery - the same capacity as iPhone 8's, though a different cell. You can charge the iPhone SE with its ancient 5W charger, the Pro's 18W charger, or any USB-PD charger really. The iPhone SE also supports wireless charging, so that's an option as well.
The iPhone SE ships with a regular 5V/1A charger plug that replenish 27% of a dead battery in 30 mins, while a full charge requires about 2 hours and 30 mins.
We also tested the iPhone SE with the iPhone 11 Pro 18W charger - it refills about 57% of the SE's battery in 30 mins, while a full charge takes about 100 mins.
The iPhone SE posted balanced scores on our battery test - it can do about 10 hours of 3G calls, north of 13 hours of web browsing on a single charge, or you can watch videos for about 9 hours. The standby endurance turned out above average and thus the good but unremarkable overall endurance rating of 59 hours.
Still, for such a small battery, the screen-on times turned out to be rather respectable.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review
Our battery tests were automated thanks to SmartViser, using its viSerDevice app. The endurance rating above denotes how long a single battery charge will last you if you use the Apple iPhone SE (2020) for an hour each of telephony, web browsing, and video playback daily. We've established this usage pattern so that our battery results are comparable across devices in the most common day-to-day tasks. The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritty. You can check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Speakers

The Apple iPhone SE (2020) has two speakers - one dedicated at the bottom and the other one is the earpiece. The bottom one offers more bass than the earpiece, but other than that - their loudness seems balanced enough.
Apple iPhone SE 2020 review In our new speaker test, the iPhone SE scored a Very Good mark for loudness. As for the quality - it's also very good. The bass and melodies are great, but the vocals could have been better as they sound suppressed at times.

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