iPhone SE (2nd gen) overview: Features, specs, and price

iPhone SE (2nd gen) overview: Features, specs, and price

After several months of rumors and leaks, and years of eager anticipation from fans, Apple finally unveiled the new iPhone SE (2nd gen). With prices starting at $399, the iPhone SE 2 will be available for pre-order starting Friday, April 17. The refreshed iPhone SE offers a lot of bang for your buck thanks to its speedy processor, higher resolution screen, and more. And for fans of small phones, there’s quite a lot to love. But just because the new SE is a great value doesn’t mean you can’t get an even better deal buying gently used on Swappa. Read on to learn more about the new iPhone SE and how it stacks up to other options around $400.

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iPhone SE… updated

The original iPhone SE came out in 2016 and offered many of the same features from the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, but in a smaller form factor similar to what was first seen on the iPhone 5. It was also cheap, starting at just $399 for the 16GB model. Unsurprisingly, the original SE sold like hotcakes among value-conscious users and those simply looking for a device that’s a little easier to use one-handed. Although the original SE was given a very minor refresh a year later with larger storage capacities, fans of the SE were left longing for a true successor, with many coming to the conclusion that the idea of a smaller and cheaper iPhone had been put out to pasture. But this changes now!

The iPhone SE (2nd gen) is Apple’s latest take on an affordable Apple iPhone. It sits alongside the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max as the final member of the 13th iPhone generation. And just like the original iPhone SE crammed iPhone 6S internals into the iPhone 5 chassis, the updated iPhone SE 2 packs many of the iPhone 11’s innards into a smaller phone very reminiscent of the iPhone 8. While this may dash the dreams of those longing for another 4-inch iPhone with flagship specs, there’s still quite a bit to love about the iPhone SE 2.

What colors does the iPhone SE 2 come in?

iPhone SE 2 Color Options

The original iPhone SE was available in four colors: Silver, Gold, Space Gray, and Rose Gold. This time around, the new iPhone SE keeps thing simple with just three colors: Black, White, and the limited edition (PRODUCT)RED.

How big is the iPhone SE 2?

The iPhone SE (2nd gen)‘s three colors surround a slim and streamlined body that’s just a little bigger than its predecessor at 67.3mm x 138.4mm x 7.3mm. The new phone also features many of the same design cues seen in the iPhone 8, such as chin and forehead bezels and a front-mounted home button with Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

In fact, aside from a few very minor details, the iPhone SE (2020) looks almost identical to the iPhone 8. So if you haven’t embraced the notch, or if you simply prefer fingerprint authentication over Face ID, the new SE may be just what you’re looking for.

iPhone SE (2nd gen) specs and features

The refreshed iPhone SE 2 packs some of the best features of the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro in a smaller and much more affordable package. This includes speedy internals like the ultra-powerful Apple A13 Bionic processor and a starting storage capacity of 64GB. In other words, the new iPhone SE is a technological powerhouse capable of plowing through whatever heavy lifting you’ll need in the foreseeable future.

Display Size 4.7-inch Retina HD with True Tone (IPS)
Resolution 1334×750 (326 ppi)
Processor Apple A13 Bionic
Memory 3GB
Storage 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB
Rear Camera 12MP f/1.8 with OIS
Selfie Camera 7MP f/2.2
Battery Capacity 1821mAh
Dimensions 67.3 (W) x 138.4 (H) x 7.3 (D) mm
Weight 148g
Water Resistance IP67 water and dust resistance

iPhone SE (2nd gen) camera

Shot on iPhone SE (2020)

Apple iPhones always have fantastic cameras, and so far it’s looking like the iPhone SE (2nd gen) will continue the trend. Although the revised SE does away with the double- and triple-camera arrays of its larger and more expensive stablemates, the new SE packs a single 12MP camera that boasts similar specs to the primary wide angle camera on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Despite only having a single camera lens and lacking night mode, you shouldn’t worry too much about photo and video quality! Thanks to the powerful A13 Bionic chip, the iPhone SE 2 packs most of the computational photography tools available to the its bigger brothers. This means features like Smart HDR and Portrait Mode — although portrait mode is limited to people rather than pets or objects due to the single camera module.

Moving on to video, the iPhone SE 2 boasts impressive specs out of its front and rear cameras. The rear camera lets you shoot 4k60 or 1080p video at 240 fps for super slow motion. On the front selfie camera, you can shoot 1080p footage at 30 fps.

How much is the iPhone SE 2?

Let’s shift gears to the most compelling part of the refreshed SE: Price. The new iPhone SE 2 is available in three storage sizes: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. The new iPhone SE starts at a reasonable $399 for the 64GB model. Bumping up storage to 128GB increases price to $449, and going all the way to 256GB will set you back $549. So as you can see, things start getting a bit expensive once you start adding capacity — but choose wisely, since iPhones lack expandable storage.

What else can I get for the same price as the new iPhone SE (2nd gen)?

Now this is where things start to get really interesting. Although the updated iPhone SE 2 is undoubtedly one of the best values you can find in a new phone, we all know that buying secondhand on Swappa can save you a ton of money. This leads to quite a few compelling alternatives, such as the previous generation iPhone Xs and even the current generation iPhone 11!

Starting at just $389 on Swappa, the iPhone Xs is a great alternative to the new iPhone SE (2nd gen). Upgrading to the Xs gets you a modern, bezel-free design that showcases a larger and more vibrant Super Retina OLED screen. It also packs a more versatile, dual rear camera, enabling a wider range of photos and videos. That said, the new iPhone SE should be a tiny bit faster thanks to the newer A13 Bionic processor, as opposed to the A12 Bionic in the Xs.

What if you weren’t looking at the $399 base model iPhone SE 2 with 64GB, but instead set your sights on the 128GB ($449) or the 256GB ($549) models? Well, you can pick up a newish iPhone 11 on Swappa for as little as $475 — that’s only slightly more than the 128GB model and $74 cheaper than the 256GB variant of the iPhone SE! Upgrading to the iPhone 11 once again gets you that sleeker, bezel-free design and a better screen. In addition, you also get a more advanced camera, 1GB more RAM, and you retain the same A13 Bionic that’s also found on the SE.


Whichever phone you pick, you can rest assured that Swappa is here to help you save money. At Swappa, you’ll always find the best deals on gently used phones, tablets, laptops, and video game consoles. So what are you waiting for? Click on the button below to get the best deal on a used Apple iPhone. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out our iPhone Buyer’s Guide.