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Is Apple’s iPhone SE 2020 still a good buy in 2022?

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Apple’s iPhone SE was released in April 2020 and is still on sale for the launch price of $ 399.

John Kim / topwatchbest

Apple’s latest budget phone, expected iPhone SE 3can start at The next Apple event March 8. The latest rumors indicate that the SE 3 may have a retro look, 5G support and Face ID. Now that this new version of the inexpensive iPhone is likely to arrive soon, you should probably wait until March 8 before considering 2020 iPhone SE it is on sale now. But if your phone is broken or you absolutely need to buy a cheaper iPhone this week, there are components to the current iPhone SE that you might want to consider.

At $ 399 (£ 419, AU $ 749), the 2020 iPhone SE remains the most economical entry into the world of iPhones and iOS. But the iPhone 11 has seen significant price cut to $ 499while newer iPhone 13 Mini costs $ 729 (£ 699, AU $ 1199). That’s before we even consider the plethora of affordable Android rivals.

Let’s take a look at how the iPhone SE measures in 2022.


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What is iPhone SE 2020?

This is Apple’s attempt to provide an affordable option for the iPhone, with more lowered specs than other phones launched in 2020, but at a much lower price point. These specs include a 4.7-inch display, an Apple A13 processor, and a single 12-megapixel rear camera. Memory starts at 64GB, supports Qi wireless charging, and doesn’t have 5G.

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The 2020 iPhone SE is by far the cheapest iPhone you can buy direct from Apple.

Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

The iPhone SE costs $ 399

The $ 399 iPhone SE is the cheapest new iPhone you can buy, so if you’re just looking for the lowest cost, this is the way to go. While Apple was trying to do it IPhone 13 series more affordable, even the cheapest iPhone 13 Mini it starts at $ 699, which is a significant price increase compared to the SE.

The next cheapest iPhone you can get is the iPhone 11. It was released in 2019, but you can still buy a new one from the Apple Store. It uses the older A13 Bionic processor, starts with 64GB of memory, also has wireless charging, and offers an excellent dual rear camera. You also get a much larger screen with the iPhone 11; 6.1 inch compared with the 4.7 inch iPhone SE.

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The camera on the iPhone SE.

Angela Lang / topwatchbest

Apple gave the iPhone SE only one camera

While most phones launched last year had multiple cameras on the back, the iPhone SE has cut costs with just one. This will likely be one of the biggest trade-offs you can make, especially if you like taking photos with your phone.

While a single camera can take great photos … comfortably rivaling the iPhone 11 – it lacks the flexibility and creative potential of cameras with multiple lens options. I love using different lenses on more expensive iPhones. As a photographer, I wouldn’t want to forgo these shooting options, but they are available at an additional cost. iPhone 11 includes a standard camera and an additional ultra-wide angle lens that is great for capturing a wide scene in front of you. If you’re into photography, that’s an extra hundred bucks iPhone 11 can be a smart expense.

If multi-lens setups are important, but you don’t want to spend more than the SE’s price, you’ll need to consider an Android phone. Which brings me neatly to …

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Andrzej Hoyle / topwatchbest

iOS vs Android

While the iPhone SE is the cheapest iPhone you can buy, it is by no means the cheapest phone. Many Android brands offer much cheaper phones and tend to have more attractive specs, including multi-lens rear cameras, larger displays, more storage, and even 5G connectivity.

this OnePlus Nord N10for example, it has a 6.4-inch display, 128GB of memory, a good quality quad rear camera and 5G for super-fast data speeds. It can be picked up without a SIM card on OnePlus for just $ 300. If you’re looking for the best return for your money, you’ll usually find better specs at lower prices with Android.

It is even cheaper Samsung Galaxy A13which for $ 250 includes a triple-lens camera with a 50-megapixel main camera, 5G support and a 5000mAh battery.

The flip side of the argument is that Apple phones age better, even as five-year-old phones as the original 2016 iPhone SE able to run the latest versions of iOS – complete with security patches to keep them safe. They also have better value if you decide to sell your iPhone later.

Read more: How do I buy a new iPhone or Android phone?

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Angela Lang / topwatchbest

IPhone SE performance

The iPhone SE shares many physical features and hardware specifications with the 2017 iPhone 8, except for the processor. The 2020 SE has an Apple A13 Bionic chip; the same hardware that can be found on the more expensive iPhone 11. And it shows, with benchmarks that puts the SE 2020 leagues above the iPhone 8 and completely crushes OnePlus Nord N10.

It’s snappy to use and powerful enough to handle whatever you’re likely to throw at it, including most, if not all, of the biggest games you can find on the App Store. It may be a budget phone, but its CPU power means you’re getting everything out of budget. It also means that your phone will last longer, being able to deal with new versions of iOS as they come out.

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Lexy Savvides / topwatchbest

5G vs 4G

iPhone SE 2020 does not have 5G connectivity. This means that those exciting potential download speeds you may have seen in the ads will be beyond the reach of this phone. Sure, at the low price, which might not seem like a big deal right now, but if you plan on keeping the phone on for at least two or three years, you may feel different afterwards.

Rumors suggest that the SE 3 will support 5G. So your decision is whether or not you really want 5G in your life. If you do, you will have to look elsewhere or wait a little longer for the updated iPhone SE. That’ll mean looking at Android phones if you can’t stretch your budget to iPhone 12 serieswhich has 5G.

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