iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone XR – Which One Should You Get?

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

The cream of the crop when it comes to iPhones is the iPhone 11 Pro series. But let’s face it: those phones are expensive. That’s why Apple offers lower-cost options, namely the new iPhone SE (2nd generation) and the two-year-old iPhone XR.

But just how to the iPhone SE and the iPhone XR compare? And which is right for you? Let’s take a detailed look at their specs to find out.

iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone XR Quick Comparison

iPhone SE (2nd generation) vs iPhone XR
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Winner? iPhone XR – The iPhone XR has an edge-to-edge design and Face ID. It’s stunning.


Winner? iPhone XR – While the display tech in both is the same, the edge-to-edge display of the XR beats the iPhone SE with its chin and forehead.

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Winner? iPhone SE – The A13 is 20% faster than the A12.

iPhone SE (2nd generation) splash
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Winner? Draw – The camera systems on both phones are almost identical, though the SE does have a few extra Portrait effects.

Storage Options

Battery Life

Winner? iPhone XR – You get an extra three hours of battery life.

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Any way you look at it, it’s easy to tell which phone looks better from a design standpoint: the iPhone XR is the clear winner here. That’s because it features that gorgeous (and HUGE) 6.1in edge-to-edge display. It also sports Apple’s Face ID system, which blows the Touch ID system on the iPhone SE out of the water.

But the iPhone SE does beat the iPhone XR in some respects. Most notably, the iPhone SE features the A13 chipset. That’s the exact same one found in the iPhone 11 Pro. The iPhone XR, on the other hand, still has the A12 chipset. You’ll see about a 20% speed boost in the A13 versus the A12.

The camera systems on both phones are nearly identical–so that’s not much of a way to differentiate the two. Which should you get? If you have the money, for the iPhone XR. Its design and Face ID tech is a better catch than the updated processor in the iPhone SE. Of course, if you want the cheapest iPhone possible, the iPhone SE is the one to grab.

iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone XR: Specs

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Here are the specs for the iPhone SE (2020):

And here are the specs for the iPhone XR:

MORE: iPhone Size Comparison Chart: Ranking Them ALL By Size…

iPhone SE (2nd generation) vs iPhone XR
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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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