Best iPhone SE (2020) Review: Will this affordable iPhone succeed in India?
This is not like the review of the iPhone SE (2020) that we would write for any other modern-day smartphone. The iPhone SE (2020) is so different from other phones in its price range in terms of features and target audience that it almost feels like it should be in a different product category.
If you have Rs. Is the budget of Rs 45,000, there are a lot of Android smartphones that may be more logical to buy. Although it is now the lowest-priced current-gen iPhone in Apple’s lineup, the iPhone SE (2020) is still hardly affordable by Indian standards. Think of it as a special tool for a specific purpose.
As someone who has bought and used the budget-minded iPhone 5c, the original iPhone SE, and the iPhone XR over the years, I have a particular interest in what it feels like to use this new entry-level model, and it’s in the table What brings In this review, I will tell you exactly what you will get for your money, and whether the iPhone SE (2020) should be considered.
iPhone SE (2020) Mobile Price in India & Positioning
If you were expecting a more affordable version of the iPhone 11 or even the iPhone XR, the new iPhone SE (2020) is not. The negatives jump out almost immediately – its old-fashioned design, small screen, and single rear camera are laughable on the surface, a world lacking a feature-packed sub-Rs. 10,000 Android phones.
Apple’s official price Rs. 72,500 have already raised a lot of eyebrows for this model, and many of you have made fun of it in the comments section. A jump of Rs. 47,800 for the 128GB version is not too drastic, but I don’t think there will be many buyers for Rs. 58,300 256GB version, which is the version tested for this review.
These prices are disappointing because it means Apple’s latest push into cost-sensitive markets like India, and once again our hopes of an affordable iPhone have been dashed. Of course, Apple’s own premium position has been further worsened by recently raised taxes, import duties and the US dollar exchange rate, which are beyond the company’s control. On the bright side, iPhone prices drop after a model has been on the market for a few months, and Diwali and Prime Day sales can see good deals on both phones. (Best iPhone SE (2020) Review)
Currently, the iPhone SE (2020) will compete with the iPhone XR, priced at Rs. 10,000 more on paper but often discounted around Rs. 40,000. Ideally, the iPhone SE (2020) costs around Rs. 30,000, replacing the iPhone 7 that still sells today. We hope to see good deals on the new iPhone SE next year.
iPhone SE (2020): Who should buy it?
Maybe you’ve always wanted an iPhone, but couldn’t afford one, or maybe you’re hanging onto an old or broken one and can’t upgrade because every new model is too expensive. The iPhone SE (2020) should have kept these clear goals in mind, and in a world without a discounted iPhone XR, this would be it. However, in some ways, the iPhone XR is a more modern device (despite its older processor) and is much more satisfying to own and use.
The new iPhone SE does not feel like what an iPhone – or even a smartphone – should be today. You are not getting the modern iPhone experience at a low price. That said, it will serve the purpose of an upgrade and it runs the latest version of iOS with all the apps you wanted.
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So who will specifically choose the iPhone SE (2020)? The big potential target markets are those who want a very compact but powerful smartphone, and people who don’t like change. The smartphone screen has ballooned of late, to the point that “football” -sized 6.5-inch screens are now the norm. There are no other modern phones that are similar to the 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2020), and even the original 4-inch iPhone SE was a fan due to its size and portability.
In addition, modern phones rely on swipe gestures, which not everyone can habituate to themselves. The iPhone SE (2020) provides familiarity and continuity when everything else is changing so fast.
iPhone SE (2020): What it does well
So far, I feel quite negative about the iPhone SE (2020), but it is still a premium device. Seen on its own, there is plenty to like and even some features that the Android model does not offer at this price level.
First, let’s talk about the look and feel of the iPhone SE (2020). It is very sleek and special attention is paid to Apple’s details. The body (and whatever is inside it) is essentially the same as the iPhone 8, which is below every last gram and millimeter. 148 grams in weight and just 7.3 mm thick, it is a small phone, and it is very easy to use with just one hand. It is so light that sometimes it slips out of my pocket when I sit, although thankfully the grip is good in the hand.
The front and back are all glass with a frame made of aluminium. The build quality looks very good. I’m reviewing the all-black version today, but I like the two-tone look from the white and (product) RED options. Then, Apple’s current-gen A13 Bionic processor is capable of on-device machine learning. This is the same chip that has been used in the most expensive iPhone 11 Pro models so far, which says a lot about Apple’s focus on providing a certain level of performance and feature parity with all of its new products.
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There is no doubt that the processor is extremely powerful, and you are unlikely to face a slowdown for years, if at all. Said that, while Apple may use the same SoC that it has in its prescriptions, the company does not talk about detailed specifications, and an Under 13 Aion Bionic report has some merit.
For iOS, AnTuTu gave us a score of 370,086, while the iPhone 11 Pro managed 432,358. These scores should not be compared to Android devices since AnTuTu is platform-specific. For reference, an iPhone XR scored 366,781 and the original iPhone SE scored 153,907 using the same version of the benchmark. Geekbench 5 showed single-core and multi-core scores of 1,326 and 2,894 respectively.
As for graphics, GFXBench ran a solid 60fps in all scenes, including the high-end Aztec ruins scene (adapted for Apple’s metal framework). This is not too surprising given the low screen resolution, and again, Android device performance should not be compared.
We played PUBG: Mobile and Asphalt 9: Legends. Both went very smoothly in high graphics settings. We felt that the screen was a bit tight, but the body size relative to the screen gives us a better grip on what you’re doing. Relatively small and low-res displays provide excellent colour reproduction and viewing angles. Apple’s True Tone feature automatically adjusts the colour temperature based on ambient light. You get HDR 10 and Dolby Vision, plus haptic touch (but not physical 3D touch on the iPhone 8) for contextual actions that are tightly integrated with iOS.
Other specs include dual-SIM functionality (with a physical nano-SIM slot and an eSIM), Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, NFC (though Apple Pay doesn’t work in India yet) and stereo speakers. We are very happy to see wireless charging. Although the cameras are almost the same as the three-year-old iPhone 8, they are still great, and we will work more on our performance later.
iPhone SE (2020) Mobile Software & Ecosystem
The primary advantage of iPhones is the iOS ecosystem, which is user-friendly and simple at the cost of some customizability. The design is largely consistent and easy, and is good for the small iPhone SE (2020) screen. Our unit was running iOS 13.4.1 and received update 13.5.1 during our review period. You don’t get some clean features of Android custom skin, such as app cloning or a secure storage area, which would have been nice.
Apple regularly tightens its security and privacy policies compared to Android, and promises not to scoop personally-identifying information for profiling and advertising purposes. Apple has a strong track record with software updates, and you very much guarantee at least the next three major versions of iOS at no additional cost. iOS is also free of third-party bloatware and spam, which some expensive Android phones still affect buyers.
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These are the factors to consider when deciding whether the iPhone SE (2020) is a good value for money compared to Android devices at the same price level – many people pay attention to hardware specifications without factoring in the cost of software development Let’s focus.
iOS is now tightly integrated with many online services. If you are an existing iPhone (and Mac and / or Apple Watch) user, you have probably lost a lot of money in the iOS app. The value of continuity through iCloud, iMessage, FaceTime, AirDrop, Siri, HomeKit, Apple Arcade, and Apple Pay (where applicable) over time are the primary factors that will keep you on the platform. The (relatively) inexpensive iPhone SE (2020) is an important part of that strategy, even though many services require you to spend extra in monthly subscription fees.
iPhone SE (2020): The downsides
In my experience with the iPhone SE (2020) over the course of a few weeks, I set about finding out how its compromises would affect potential buyers. Most importantly, the small screen is not great for content consumption. It’s nice that there’s no notch, but the size and 750×1334-pixel resolution don’t make for a very crisp experience. Information density is low, and games and videos are not very pleasant.
Battery life is not great. We could comfortably get through a full day of video recording and lots of audio and video streaming usage, but there wasn’t enough left for the next morning. Apple does not publish battery capacity, but the reliable iFixit turbulence tells us that it is 1,281mAh – according to today’s standards. The A13 Bionic SoC contributes to power savings in day-to-day use, but the screen is a big drain. Our HD video loop test lasted only 8 hours, 42 minutes, which is well below average. (Best iPhone SE (2020) Review)
Apple still gives only 5W charger in the box and if you want to benefit from 18W fast charging then you have to use your own. Apple claims that you can get a 50 percent charge in 30 minutes with an 18W power source, which we cannot test. Some will also be removed from Apple’s proprietary electric cables. There is no 3.5 mm audio socket.
You don’t get Apple’s secure and convenient Infrared Face ID camera array, which also means that you can’t create animoji or emoji characters. 5G is not supported. There is no U1 ultra-wideband transceiver to detect the exact location, which other current iPhones have. Many people will be disappointed with the cameras, and we will meet him soon.
Most importantly, the iPhone SE (2020) seems painfully dated. Despite its high-end build quality, there is none at the front of the huge forehead and chin, which makes all screens feel like wasted space in the phone’s age. The design dates from 2014 all the way to the iPhone 6.
The small screen is anything that powerful SoC can do, including augmented reality apps, 3D games, and even general productivity.
If you think you’ll be disappointed with any of these factors, imagine how you might feel in three to five years when your iPhone SE (2020) is still within its useful lifetime. If you intend to use your phone for a long time, it may be worth spending more on the iPhone XR now.
iPhone SE (2020) Mobile Cameras
You only get a 12-megapixel f / 1.8 rear camera and a 7-megapixel f / 2.2 front camera, which will turn off a lot of people. I like the wide-angle or telephoto capabilities, but I can certainly live without the nearly useless low-resolution depth sensors and macro cameras that Android manufacturers like so much.
The iPhone SE (2020) cameras combine old hardware with new software. You get the same sensor and lens specifications as the iPhone 8, but the A13 Bionic SoC allows for some amazing new features and capabilities. There is actually quite a long list: you get a portrait mode with variable depth and studio lighting effects manually using software, smart HDR, extended dynamic range in the video, and selfie video stabilization. (Best iPhone SE (2020) Review)
The iOS camera app is what you’ll see on the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro series. Apple now makes more control accessible in the viewfinder, including photo aspect ratio and video framerate, though it comes at the cost of UI clutter. Primary modes include Timelaps, Slow-Mo, Portrait and Pano. Unfortunately, there is no night mode, such as on the iPhone 11 and above. (Best iPhone SE (2020) Review)
As for quality, the iPhone 8 was no bag and so the iPhone SE (2020) is not either. The single rear camera is remarkably capable. Daylight samples looked crisp with well-balanced colour and exposure. The focus was not always perfect, but when it was, the level of detail was excellent in small subjects and fine textures. Portrait mode works best when the phone detects a face, but the natural depth of field is quite pleasant even when there is a difference between a subject and a background.
Unfortunately, the quality was not as good at night. Many of our shots showed motion due to moving or shaking hands immediately after hitting the shutter button. The expansion was somewhat correct, and we’ve certainly seen it better than other phones in this price segment. The camera appears to be doing a decent landscape with some ambient light.
Video recording goes to 4K at 60fps, although the default is more usable 1080p at 30fps. We found the video quality to be excellent, with steady stabilization even when we were on the go, and perforated colors that were well balanced. Even at night, we were able to expand into reasonably well lit areas.
The front camera is good, but not great. You get portrait lighting and variable aperture effects, and thankfully there was no beautification. Depth sensing is quick, and saved results are more accurate in terms of detecting results than what you see in the viewfinder. You can also adjust portrait lighting after taking a shot.
The iPhone in general has a lot more to offer than the iPhone and iPhone SE (2020), but that doesn’t completely excuse its high price and odd combination of current-recycled features. It is disheartening to pay so much inappropriately and not feel the typical excitement about a new product that can do attractive new things. While the original iPhone SE made me feel humble and modest, this new model reminds me that I can’t do anything good.
Apple knows that many people are ready to pay more for the iPhone experience, ecosystem and brand than they would for an Android phone. The real question is whether the iPhone SE (2020) offers good value starting from Rs. 42,500. I really don’t think so – a Rs. 30,000 will do a much better job in India, despite how conscious shoppers are here, and I hope that this phone will go up for sale soon enough.
There are highly capable Android phones at this price level including OnePlus 8, Samsung Galxy S10 Lite, Realme X50 Pro 5G and Xiaomi Mi 10 5G, if you are considering buying this phone, you do not want any of them Also – if you want an iPhone. SE (2020) would serve that purpose, but would not be entirely satisfactory. I suggest the iPhone XR which is often discounted at this price level, as long as size is not really a problem. If you are set to iPhone SE (2020), then you should wait a few months to drop the price, which it will inevitably be.
Best iPhone SE (2020) Review
Slim, light, easy to use
Good daylight camera performance
Regular iOS updates likely for many years
Dated looks and small screen
Single rear camera
Average battery life
Battery Life: 07/10
Value for Money: 07/10
Front Camera: 7-megapixel
Rear Camera: 12-megapixel
OS: iOS 13
Resolution: 750×1334 pixels