Apple iPhone SE 2 – The Truly Affordable iPhone

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By Akhil Kapoor - 
Thu, 28 May'20
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Introduction

Apple iPhone SE 2020, after being the most-awaited and rumoured smartphone of the year, has finally launched, and come into the hands of the users, and Apple lovers like us. It is built to achieve the goal of reaching the masses by keeping the price within the range of buyers. Not just the most affordable iPhone ever, it is definitely one of the best iPhones created so far in the budget.
Apple, generally, comes up with two to three models every year in the iPhone series. Usually,  they are the Plus, Pro, Max versions, but the new iPhone SE 2 is none of these. It is an altogether different release by Apple.
The “SE” stands here for Special Edition, officially. Although it is logical to say it stands for the Small Edition since it is the most compact iPhone in the last few years. The fact that makes it special is that it runs on Apple’s flagship-level processor A13 Bionic. The design of the iPhone SE 2 might seem familiar to you because it comes exactly in the iPhone 8 body. But what exactly are you looking forward to in a 400$ device? Jump right into the detailed review to see if it is worth considering.

Prices in India, Variants, Availability

iPhone SE 2 being the truly affordable iPhone comes with a price in India tag of Rs.42,500 for the base variant of 64GB storage. The iPhone SE 2 128GB is priced at Rs.47,800 while the 256GB storage variant costs Rs.58,300. It is available to order from Flipkart with exclusive offers up to Rs.3,600 instant discount on HDFC Bank Credit Cards or Debit Cards. The new iPhone SE is also available to purchase from all Apple authorised stores.

iPhone SE price

Box Contents

iPhone SE 2 comes in a similar box packing as seen earlier 0n the other iPhone models. The box contents of the new iPhone SE include:

  • iPhone SE 2
  • Charging Adapter
  • Lightning cable
  • User Manual

Specs at a glance

Before we get into the new iPhone SE and its detailed review, let’s have a quick look at the key specifications. Here is the list of what the iPhone SE 2 is offering at an attractive price of Rs.42,500: 

  • Display: 4.7-inch Retina IPS LCD
  • Chipset: A13 Bionic
  • RAM & ROM: 3GB with 64GB/128GB/256GB
  • Software: iOS 13
  • Rear cameras: 12MP Portrait
  • Selfie camera: 7MP
  • Battery: 1821 mAh Battery
  • Weight: 148 g
  • Dimensions: 138.5 x 67.4 x 7.8

With key specs discussed, let’s jump right into the review of the iPhone SE 2.

Design and Build

Apple iPhone SE 2020 looks familiar in the first look. It is dated back to the times of iPhone 8 in the same body and design. Just to cut down on the costs of the new iPhone SE, Apple continued with this hardware rather than spending on the whole new research and development for setting up a new manufacturing process. Apple brings back the concept of lightweight and compact smartphones. The new iPhone SE sports a durable glass on the back and aluminium design on a compact-sized body which feels quite handy. The new Apple iPhone SE 2020 when held together with the flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max looks terribly small but lighter. There is an IP67 rating for the resistance against any splashes and dust on the rear panel. The only way you can differentiate between the iPhone SE 2 and iPhone 8 is by the Apple logo which is shifted from top of the rear panel to the centre in the new iPhone SE. On the front is a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display as the iPhone 8. There are thick, chunky bezels on the top and bottom to make space for the Touch ID with haptic feedback feature. Apple ditched a separate 3.5mm audio jack as in all newer iPhone models but made sure to include the built-in stereo speakers.

iPhone SE design

The iPhone SE 2020 is available in three colour variants – White, Black and Red. The red with black colour variant is intriguing and makes a stunning combination.

Display

Apple iPhone SE 2 sports a 4.7-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 1334 by 750 pixels. In the world of 120Hz quad HD displays, the iPhone SE 2 still features its popular Retina HD screen which saves on the manufacturing costs. The display from Apple have always been good in terms of colour and clarity, even if it is on an LCD panel of low resolution. The content looks sharp and detailed. But, the maximum brightness is so low that it is significant when using the iPhone under bright sunlight.

Must Read: 5 Reasons not to buy iPhone SE 2

iPhone SE display

This Retina HD display looks mostly like the one we saw in iPhone 8 with thick monster bezels around the corners. If you are someone who is switching from big OLED panels with nearly zero bezels, opt for the iPhone 11 Pro instead because the iPhone SE 2 is not for you. This display supports the True Tone feature and Haptic Touch technology, along with a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating to prevent any smudges or scratches. Also, there is no disturbing notch from the iPhone X or 11 series, just a rectangular LCD panel.

Performance

Apple iPhone SE 2 feels like it is made to last for years. The design and display may look old-school but when it comes to performance, it has got the valour to outpower even the $1000 flagships. The new iPhone SE brings in the third generation A13 Bionic chip from the iPhone 11 series which is by far the fastest chipset made by Apple, although it is somewhat underclocked when compared to the iPhone 11 series. The reprocessed iPhone 8 gets 3GB RAM which will never be a problem for the user because of the excellent RAM performance in iPhones. It will be able to run all the latest features by Apple based on the Augmented Reality. The handling of games didn’t have even the slightest of the lags. You are not gonna face any problem with the performance.

iPhone SE processor

The iPhone SE 2 is available in three storage variants of 64GB, 128GB and 256GB with same 3GB RAM inside.

Must Read: 5 Reasons to buy iPhone SE 2

Software

iPhone SE 2 is running on the latest version of iOS 13 with support for all the future updates from Apple for at least next four to five years. Apple decided to ditch the 3D Touch technology in the new iPhone SE.

iOS is a clear preference for the users for there is no third-party bloatware on the device which makes it the most comfortable to use user interface. Almost all the apps are available on the iOS App Store but some still remain exclusive to the Android.

Cameras

Apple is known for its stunning cameras and so you see in the all-new iPhone SE 2020. There is a single 12MP camera at the back which is a wide-angle camera and supports digital zoom up to 5X. The rear camera features the Portrait Mode with single-camera itself using the neural engine on the A13 Bionic chip, with all the portrait lighting effects as well seen on the higher end models by Apple. With this, there is a 7MP front camera for selfies with portrait mode enabled.

The iPhone SE 2020 camera also allows for 4K video recording with cinematic video stabilisation and 3X digital zoom.

Battery

Apple refrained from officially announcing the specs of the battery size in the iPhone SE 2 but mentioned that the new iPhone SE will last as long as the iPhone 8. This means the battery size is nearly 1821 mAh from our knowledge of iPhone 8. While the iPhone SE 2 is powered by the A13 Bionic which is quite power-efficient, the battery life is not extra-ordinary as it lasts just for a day. Just. And you would want your charger to be around you by the end of the evening. The standby time is just right with screen time of up to 4 to 5 hours a day.

iPhone SE battery

The new iPhone SE is fast-charge capable which can charge the phone up to 50% in just 30 minutes with the 18W adapter, but this adapter comes separately, not in-the-box like in the iPhone 11 Pro. You will be glad to know that iPhone SE 2 also supports the wireless charging feature because of the glass back design it boasts.

Audio, Connectivity, Biometrics

iPhone SE 2 features dual stereo speakers on the bottom which is impressive but not as good as on the latest iPhones. The 3.5mm headphone jack is also missing here as in all other iPhones.

iPhone SE 2020 includes the finest internals like the Wifi 6 for faster download speeds and Bluetooth 5, though there is no support for 5G connectivity and missed for obvious reasons. Apple also brought the dual sim with e-sim in the new iPhone SE.

iPhone SE 2 brings back the Touch ID button to unlock the iPhone loved by all. Configured with the latest A13 Bionic chipset, the Touch ID is faster than ever. It might not be as fast as the Face ID though, which is missing in the iPhone SE 2. In a world where it has become necessary to wear masks while moving out, the Touch ID feature is a blessing.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Portrait Mode even with a single camera
  • Compact size and handy design
  • A13 Bionic chip
  • Splash, water and dust resistant with IP67

Cons:

  • Visible thick bezels
  • Four-year-old iPhone design

Verdict

iPhone SE 2 is the truly affordable iPhone ever and an amazing upgrade over the previous iPhone 6, 7 and 8 models. Apple iPhone SE 2020 is definitely the most affordable iPhone ever, but not really the most affordable smartphone. With the A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone SE 2 impresses in the performance segment. The single 12MP camera also takes great portrait shots. Even though it sports the same old design, its compact size and handiness make it the love of all. This iPhone serves as a treat with the next-gen processor and camera in a compact design. The new iPhone SE price still is pretty expensive if we consider other options that are available from the Android competitors like the Oneplus 8.

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