If you’re looking at buying an iPhone and are wondering which iPhone serves up the best value for money, you’re in luck…
Which iPhone is the best value for money right now? Simple: the iPhone SE (2020) – it retails for $399.99/£419.99, is available on a range of affordable contracts (as you’ll see below), and it runs on Apple’s A13 CPU which means it is as powerful as the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Only with the iPhone SE (2020), you’ll pay almost £500 less.
So, yeah… if you want value for money when it comes to an iPhone, get the iPhone SE (2020).
Best iPhone SE 2020 Deals
If you want a flagship iPhone, but don’t want to pay $1000/£999, you’re next best option is going the refurbished route – this will save you around 40% if you go via a specialist retailer like Gazelle (if you’re in the USA). In the UK? Use Music Magpie – it has TONs of options and really great prices.
Buying iPhones refurbished is one of the best ways to net yourself a ton of value for money. You can buy an older flagship model, say the iPhone X or the iPhone XS, for around 40% less than it retailed for new. Even the iPhone 8 Plus – which is now super-cheap – is still a solid option in 2020 because of Apple’s excellent iOS support; the iPhone 8 Plus will get iOS updates until well into the late 2020s.
Bottom line? If you don’t mind using a slightly older phone, you can make MASSIVE savings by going the refurbished route with iPhones.
Why The iPhone SE (2020) is The Best Value iPhone
Up until 2020, Apple’s iPhones cost an arm and a leg to buy. The base model iPhone 11 starts at $699.99, and before that, you had the iPhone XR which retailed for slightly more when it first launched. Want a flagship iPhone? That’ll cost your $1000 minimum.
And that’s still the case in 2020, only now we have the newly minted iPhone SE (2020) to consider. Apple has only just launched this phone (it came out in April 2020) but it is already tipped to be the #1 best selling iPhone of the year.
The reason? Price. Apple’s iPhone SE (2020) is by far and away the best value iPhone you can get right now – it retails for $399.99 (and is super-cheap to on contracts too). The iPhone SE (2020) runs Apple’s A13 Bionic chip, the same CPU as the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, and is based on the iPhone 8’s design.
This means it has a home button and TouchID, perfect if you don’t really like Apple’s new all-screen, gesture-based iPhones. On top of this, the iPhone SE (2020) has wireless charging, is water-proof, and it comes in a range of color and storage options – all the way up to 256GB, although this model will set you back £569.99 (but that’s still cheaper than a 64GB iPhone 11).
Why is The iPhone SE (2020) So Cheap?
The main reason is simple: the iPhone SE (2020) is based on the iPhone 8, so Apple is basically re-using existing parts and components, especially the outer chassis. This means there was little to no R&D costs associated with the phone versus developing a brand new handset. Apple took the iPhone 8 and rejigged it for 2020’s market.
The iPhone SE (2020)’s display is a 4.7in True Tone 720p panel. That is fairly low-resolution. It also doesn’t use an OLED panel either. The battery is also fairly small too, although it should be able to make it through a full day’s worth of use thanks to the amazing efficiency of the A13 chipset inside it.
Apple has been pretty cagey about the iPhone SE (2020)’s camera tech; we know it’s a single 12MP lens that is most likely the same, or very close to the iPhone XR’s set-up. You do not get Night Mode on the iPhone SE (2020), although performance in good light is very impressive. The iPhone 8’s camera was no slouch either, so you can expect very good performance from the iPhone SE (2020)’s camera.
The reason the iPhone SE (2020) is so cheap, put simply, is because Apple hasn’t really designed a new here; instead, it has taken an existing iPhone, the iPhone 8, and modified it slightly. This allows Apple to keep its costs down and pass on the savings to you, the consumer. And this is significant because Apple has NEVER done this before.
Should You Buy The iPhone SE (2020)?
If you’re looking for great performance, years of updates, and stellar performance, then, yes, the iPhone SE (2020) is an obvious choice. The A13 chipset inside it makes it more powerful than even the most expensive Android phones on the markets, and Apple’s iOS platform is rich with content and media and is constantly updated.
There is talk of an iPhone SE Plus model coming. If true, I’d be more inclined to go with this model as it will, presumably, be based on the iPhone 8 Plus’ specs. And that means a dual-lens camera, a bigger battery, and a larger, higher-resolution display (though still only 1080p).
The SE Plus is currently only a rumor at the moment, but its release does make sense – Apple discontinued both the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus and these handsets were two of its biggest sellers, accounting for 21% of iPhone sales in 2019.
Basically, Apple needs a SE Plus model to replace the iPhone 8 Plus, so we can expect to see it launched very soon. It’d make little sense for Apple NOT to launch this phone, purely from a business perspective.
Still, for most people, especially those that want a smaller iPhone, the iPhone SE (2020) is going to be a great choice (especially if you want to buy one offline, without a contract). It is an immensely powerful phone with a solid camera and decent battery performance.
What more could you want!?
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.