Is The iPhone SE (2020) 100% Worth It? Let’s Investigate…

by | 20/04/2020 10:28 am
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For $399 (or £419.99), you’re getting a brand new iPhone, TouchID, and Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset. But is the iPhone SE (2020) worth it or should you be looking elsewhere? Let’s investigate…


The iPhone SE (2020), whether you think it is good or bad, is a game-changer either way. Apple has NEVER released a phone this cheap before, and in a sea of $1000 smartphones, during a time of deep uncertainty, Apple’s iPhone SE could not have come at a more opportune time…

The take-away points here are this: Apple’s iPhone SE is based on the iPhone 8’s design, but it features a few choice updates – most notably the inclusion of Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset, a monumentally powerful SoC that will make the iPhone SE (2020) run as fast as the iPhone 11 Pro Max.

In order to give you a simple answer to the question of whether Apple’s iPhone SE (2020) is worth it, let’s look at all the reasons why you’d get it compared to all the reasons why you wouldn’t. At the end of this, we can then tally up the PROS & CONS and see which wins out…

Where To Buy It – Walmart | Three UK (#1 For Contract) | Verizon (Best USA Carrier Option) 

Why The iPhone SE (2020) is Totally Worth It…

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#1) The Price – It’s The Cheapest iPhone Release EVER

The iPhone SE (2020) retails for $399.99 in the USA and £419.99 in the UK. It is the cheapest iPhone Apple has ever released. Based on the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE (2020) is also the smallest iPhone Apple has released since 2017; its display is just 4.7in, making it the most portable, “new” iPhone you can buy. Mostly, though, people will get this phone because of the price – it is very reasonable.

If you want an iPhone and all the benefits that come with using Apple’s iOS platform, but you don’t want to spend $699 to $1200, the iPhone SE (2020) is a great option. You’ll pay less upfront and on contract and this, in turn, will help lower your monthly phone bills. For many, this will be enough reason to go with the iPhone SE (2020) over Apple’s more expensive iPhone 11 range and also the incoming iPhone 12 models.

#2) Performance

The iPhone SE (2020) might be based on the iPhone 8’s design, but it is NOT an iPhone 8. The iPhone SE (2020) features Apple’s A13 Bionic CPU, the very same SoC used inside Apple’s iPhone 11 range. This chipset is insanely powerful, leaving even Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 865 well and truly in its wake.

For this reason, if you go with the iPhone SE (2020), you can expect the exact same performance you’d get on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max. Only here, you’ll be paying a fraction of the price for it. The iPhone SE (2020) uses less RAM than the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro Max, but it will still perform like an absolute monster.

And this is really the iPhone SE (2020)’s secret weapon; the A13 chipset will make the iPhone SE (2020) perform better than most $1000 Android phones. Apple knows this which is why it was confident that it could get away with not altering the overall design of the handset. The power of the A13 CPU speaks for itself in real-world performance.

#3) Home Button & TouchID

FACE ID is fine, but I am a sucker for a home button and TouchID. I just prefer using my finger to access my phone over my face. I find, in most cases, it is just as convenient (and in some cases, it’s actually better). The iPhone SE (2020) has a home button and it uses TouchID. This means it doesn’t have FACE ID or the same gesture-based UX as Apple’s iPhone X, Xr, 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.

#4) Classic Design

The classic iPhone design and UX, in my opinion, is simpler to use and more intuitive than Apple’s more complex non-home button-lead UX that you find on its modern iPhone designs like the iPhone 11 and the incoming iPhone 12 range. If you’re like me, you’ll be much better off with the iPhone SE 2020 than Apple’s iPhone 11.

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You’ll get similar performance, just in a smaller, more familiar package. I’ve used an iPhone 11 for extended periods of time, and even then, I struggle to get accustomed to its gesture-based UX. However, whenever I use an older iPhone like the iPhone 8 Plus (or the iPhone SE, in this context) everything just seems to flow better.

Maybe I’m just getting old!? Either way, I definitely prefer my iPhones with a home button…

#5) Years of Software Support

Another big reason to get the iPhone SE (2020) would be Apple’s impressive software support. In fact, this is perhaps the #1 reason to get this phone over, say, the Google Pixel 3a or Pixel 4a. Even though Google makes these models, it only guarantees updates for a few years. With Apple, you will get A LOT more. Hell, the original iPhone SE is still getting updates.

If getting regular software updates is important to you, and it really should be, as they protect against all kinds of things, then the iPhone SE (2020) is a great option, especially if you’re grown tired of waiting for Samsung or LG or Huawei to update your Android phone. With the iPhone SE (2020), you’ll get new iOS updates as soon as they’re released. And you’ll get them well into the late-2020s as well…

#6) You (Potentially) Can Buy It Outright

Everybody hates contracts, right? It’s basically leasing. And leasing sucks because you don’t actually own the thing you’re using – instead, you’re effectively “borrowing” it until you’ve paid in full or your contract ends. Up to now, buying an iPhone outright just wasn’t an option for 99.9% of people. But the iPhone SE (2020) changes all this…

At $399.99, the iPhone SE (2020) still isn’t cheap by any stretch of the imagination. But it is cheap for a phone – especially a phone running Apple’s A13 CPU. If your credit card can handle the price, buying the iPhone SE (2020) outright and shopping around for a solid SIM-only deal is the #1 way to buy this phone.

You can pay the phone off over a few months to a year and reduce your data bill considerably, providing you get yourself a decent SIM-only data plan (this one from Three is bloody fantastic). Alternatively, if you must go the contract route, the iPhone SE (2020) is the cheapest iPhone option you can buy right now from a monthly-fee perspective (Verizon’s deals are very impressive, as are Three’s in the UK).

Why The iPhone SE (2020) Might Not Be Worth It…

  • No 5G – The iPhone SE (2020), like the entire iPhone 11 range, does not feature 5G connectivity. If you want 5G, you’re going to have to wait until the iPhone 12 launches later this year.
  • The Camera is From 2017 – The iPhone SE (2020)’s camera is based on technology from 2017. This isn’t a deal-breaker, as it is still a very competent camera, but it does pale in comparison to more modern cameras found on the iPhone 11 Pro, Google Pixel 4, and Samsung Galaxy S20.
  • You’ll Probably Need More Than 64GB of Storage – The base model iPhone SE (2020) retails for $399.99, but this only gets you 64GB of storage. If you want more – and, trust me, you will need more – you’re going to have to pay more and get the 128GB model. It’s still relatively cheap for an iPhone, but it is NOT $399.99…
  • The Pixel 4a is Coming – If you’re an Android user and the iPhone SE (2020) has piqued your attention. Keep this in mind: Google is about to release the Pixel 4a, a $399.99 phone that will pack in an OLED display and a vastly superior camera to the one you get with the iPhone SE (2020). If you’re on the fence, it might be worth waiting to see how things pan out with the Pixel 4a before pulling the trigger on the iPhone SE (2020)…

Wrapping Up: Is The iPhone SE (2020) Worth It? 

As you can see from the above lists, the PROS of getting the iPhone SE (2020) far outweigh the CONS. If you’re after quality and value for money, the iPhone SE (2020) is 100% worth it. It has a killer CPU, great design, and it will get updates for years to come. On top of this, you also get access to Apple’s rich ecosystem.

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If you’re not bothered about 5G or having three cameras on the rear of your phone, and you’re more impressed by price and usability, then the iPhone SE 2020 is a near-perfect phone. It’s small, powerful, and it features TouchID and a home button which, in my opinion, make it way more usable than Apple’s all-screen iPhones like the iPhone X, iPhone 11, and the incoming iPhone 12.

Given all of the above, I have no problem whatsoever recommending the iPhone SE 2020. In fact, I’m giving serious thought to picking one up myself… And if you’re thinking the same, check our the #1 best places to buy the iPhone SE 2020 below…

Where To Buy It – Walmart | Three UK (#1 For Contract) | Verizon (Best USA Carrier Option) 

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