iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone 8 – How Do Apple’s Entry-level Phones Compare?

By Michael Grothaus •  Updated: 04/15/20 •  5 min read

Apple’s newest iPhone is the iPhone SE (2nd generation). The iPhone SE is a phone Apple used to sell back in the day, which retained the old form factor of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5. The new iPhone SE now sports the form factor of the 4.7in iPhone 8, which Apple no longer sells.

That means the iPhone SE (2nd generation) is now Apple’s most entry-level model. But is it worth an upgrade if you’ve got the iPhone 8? Let’s take a look at how the two compare.

iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone 8 Quick Comparison

iPhone SE (2nd generation) vs iPhone 8
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Winner? Draw – The two iPhones are absolutely identical from a design standpoint.

MORE: The iPhone SE 2020 is FINALLY Here: Meet Apple’s $399.99 iPhone


Winner? Draw – The two iPhones feature the exact same display technology.


Winner? iPhone SE – The A13 is 40% faster than the A11.

iPhone SE (2nd generation) colors
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Winner? iPhone SE – The iPhone SE has an edge here as both its cameras support Portrait Mode photography.

Storage Options

Battery Life

Winner? Draw – The battery life is the same for both phones.

MORE: Is The iPhone XS Actually Worth Buying In 2020? My 2¢…



The winner here is the iPhone SE (2020). But it only wins because of two things: the faster A13 chipset and its camera system’s support for Portrait Mode. The A13 chipset is significant as it’s about 40% faster than the A11 found in the iPhone 8.

Portrait Mode, on the other hand, isn’t something many people who just take quick snaps with their iPhone will be using often. But the bottom line is both of these iPhones are EXTREMELY similar. The iPhone SE just happens to have a little better tech on the inside.

If you already have an iPhone 8 should you upgrade? Probably not. Not unless you are finding you need a much faster processor. And if you want a better camera, it’s better to upgrade to an iPhone XR from an iPhone 8.

MORE: iPhone 10 or iPhone X – How Do You Actually Say It!?

iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone 8: Specs

iPhone SE (2nd generation) splash
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Here are the specs for the iPhone SE (2020):

And here are the specs for the iPhone 8:

iPhone SE (2nd generation) vs iPhone 8
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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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