Short answer: Is the iPhone SE (2020) worth it in 2021? The iPhone SE (2020) is absolutely worth buying in 2021. The iPhone SE (2020) is the second-generation iPhone SE, and it is a recently released iPhone that features a smaller form factor, a home button with Touch ID, and perhaps best of all — you can get a gently used model for a really great price.
Apple released the 2nd-generation iPhone SE in April 2020. The 2nd-generation iPhone SE, which is also known as the iPhone SE 2020, was released after the iPhone 11 lineup and before the iPhone 12 lineup. But despite having a 2020 model year release and sitting between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, the iPhone SE 2020 is actually a follow-up to the 1st-generation iPhone SE, which was released in March 2016. Continue reading to see if the 2nd-generation iPhone SE is worth buying in 2021.
Table of contents:
- What are the specs for the iPhone SE 2020?
- What are the iPhone SE 2020 features?
- Here are the reasons to buy an iPhone SE 2020
- Is the iPhone SE 2020 worth it in 2021?
The iPhone SE 2020 may sit in between the iPhone 11 and 12 in terms of release date, but there are some key differences. Apple released the iPhone SE 2020 with a starting price of $399, which makes it a more affordable iPhone, at least in terms of MSRP. But the iPhone SE 2020 also has a smaller display and a home button.
It has been easy to recommend an iPhone SE 2020 to someone who is looking for a smaller phone or a less expensive phone. Of course, it was also an easy recommendation if someone was looking for a modern spec’d iPhone with a home button and Touch ID. The less expensive aspect and the home button remain as key features for the iPhone SE 2020. But if you’re simply looking for a smaller iPhone, Apple now also has the iPhone 12 mini.
Check out the following table to see how the 2nd-generation iPhone SE stacks up against the iPhone Xr, iPhone 11, iPhone 12, and the iPhone 12 mini.
|iPhone SE 2020 specs||iPhone Xr specs||iPhone 11 specs||iPhone 12 specs||iPhone 12 mini specs|
|Display||4.7″ Retina HD||6.1″ Liquid Retina HD||6.1″ Liquid Retina HD||6.1″ Super Retina XDR||5.4″ Super Retina XDR|
|Processor||Apple A13 Bionic chip||Apple A12 Bionic chip||Apple A13 Bionic chip||Apple A14 Bionic chip||Apple A14 Bionic chip|
|Storage||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|Front Camera||7MP FaceTime HD||7MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth||12MP TrueDepth|
|Rear Camera||Single 12MP wide||Single 12MP wide||Dual 12MP ultra-wide and wide||Dual 12MP ultra-wide and wide||Dual 12MP ultra-wide and wide|
|Battery||1,821 mAh||2,942 mAh||3,110 mAh||2,815 mAh||2,227 mAh|
If you are simply looking at the specs, you may find yourself drawn to the iPhone 12, or the 12 mini. But the iPhone SE 2020 wasn’t really about being an iPhone with high-end specs. Sure, it is powered by the same Apple A13 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 11, but it also has a smaller display, less RAM, and a smaller battery. Instead, the iPhone SE 2020 was about being a smaller and less expensive phone — and that is where it shines, even in 2021, and even when it is compared to the other small iPhone, the 12 mini.
When Apple releases a new iPhone, they typically include new features, both on the hardware and software side. But the release of the iPhone SE 2020 was a little different, and a big focus dealt with the price. Apple called it the “most affordable iPhone” and now, roughly one year since the iPhone SE 2020 was first released — it remains a really good iPhone that can be purchased at a really good price.
Putting the “affordable” price aside, the iPhone SE 2020 also supports the key features you come to expect from any iPhone. Some of the key features of the iPhone SE 2020 include:
- 4.7” Retina HD display with True Tone with support for Dolby Vision and HDR 10 playback
- Home button with Touch ID
- Qi wireless charging
- Fast wired charging capable of providing a 50% charge in 30 minutes using Apple’s 20W power adapter and a Lightning cable
- 12MP wide rear-facing camera with f/1.8 aperture and support for Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, and next-generation Smart HDR
- 4k video recording at up to 60 frames per second using the rear camera
The iPhone SE 2020 has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that is rated to provide up to 13 hours of video playback, up to 8 hours of streamed video playback and up to 40 hours of audio playback. Also included is NFC, which means support for Apple Pay transactions as well as support for Express Cards with power reserve.
The iPhone SE 2020 is available in three color options: black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED, and of course, you will be able to access Siri using your voice by saying “Hey Siri.”
- …you want a smaller iPhone: The iPhone SE 2020 has a 4.7” Retina HD display and measures 5.45 (H) x 2.65 (W) x 0.29 (D) with a weight of 5.22 ounces.
- …you want an iPhone with a home button and Touch ID: Apple began the shift from Touch ID to Face ID in 2017 with the release of the iPhone 8, 8 Plus, and iPhone X. Since the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus release, the 2nd-gen iPhone SE is the only iPhone to arrive with a home button.
- …you want a less expensive iPhone: The iPhone SE has an MSRP of $399, which makes it the most affordable iPhone. Of course, the lower MSRP also means you’ll find even better prices when buying newish.
The iPhone SE 2020 is absolutely worth buying in 2021. The phone has solid specs, including the Apple A13 Bionic chip, but it also has a smaller overall size and can be found at a great price that keeps getting better as time goes by. The iPhone SE 2020 is a great option to consider if you want an all-around solid iPhone without breaking the bank. But it is an even greater option to consider if you want a modern iPhone with a home button. Learn more in our iPhone SE 2020 overview, then find the best deals by clicking below.