iPhone SE 2020 Review

The iPhone SE 2020 is another exceptional device from Apple. It is the company's second attempt at a budget-friendly phone. Great value with all the benfits of iOS software included.

iPhone SE 2020 Review

I finally did it! Did what you may ask? The switch over to the "dark side" from Android was a difficult decision nonetheless, but ultimately I did it. I'll explain the ins and outs of why and some frustrations that I have found along the short ride (as of May 8th, 2019 - a date which will live in infamy) only two days ago. There goes almost a decade of Android experience down the drain.

Enough blather let's get to it:

The Decision

The iPhone SE 2020 was a decision I made due to the cost of the device - starting at $399 I might add, rivaling some of even the cheapest/best performing Android phones on the market - and size. My first-generation Google Pixel phone had a 5-inch display; the iPhone SE 2020 clocks in at 4.7 inches. And shown in the unboxing video, a tiny bit smaller and thinner. Some may be thinking smaller is in contrast to the general trend. I just wanted to reduce pocket bulge and the chronic over-encumbered state (no Phablets for me).

The cost and performance measure was easy to justify. The iPhone SE 2020 has the A13 Bionic processor is inarguably in the best and highest performing phone on the market currently, the iPhone 11. To have the dwarf version of the iPhone 11 at half the cost is an incredible value. Side by side comparisons of the latest and greatest phone will show you that iPhone 11 comes out on top.

I'd be remiss if I did not touch on battery life in this post at all. This, to me, was a major factor as size usually necessitates sacrifices. The iPhone SE 2020 puts up a decent fight with some of the best in terms of battery life despite the size factor being a major contributor to reduced battery life. This leaves some room for improvement next iteration. But, it unsurprisingly outperforms my antiquated Google Pixel 1st gen.

I'll touch on the other specs of the phone which I have considered secondary, as I am not an avid social media user (camera) and storage. As for the former, the camera is still impressive to a certain degree. The only aspect left out is the night mode which isn't a game-changer. 12-megapixel and 7-megapixel (front-facing) are nice add-ons. Storage is another feature that has nice options but is not expandable in typical Apple fashion. The headphone jack is another missed feature, but in the Apple-centric world we live in, I'm sure some vendors have this adaptor and/r have already adapted as a product. Bluetooth is another grand appeal to the Airpod enthusiasts. So no headphone jack, no problem.

iPhone SE 2020 Unboxing Video

The Specs

  • Size/Display: 4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334x750 pixels
  • Pixel Density: 326ppi
  • Dimensions: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in
  • Weight: 5.22 oz; 148g
  • iOS version: 13
  • Back Camera: 12-megapixel
  • Front Camera: 7-megapixel
  • Video Capture: 4K
  • Processor: Apple A13 Bionic
  • Storage: 64GD, 128GB, 256GB
  • RAM: Undisclosed (lame)
  • Fingerprint sensor: Home button (bezel)
  • Headphone jack: (sigh) No
  • Price Tiers: $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)
  • Special Features: Water Resistant (IP67); dual-SIM (nano and e), and wireless charging (a usual sacrfice for small phones)

Android to Apple

As I contribute to the endless war of the 21st century (this article is merely a fragmented bullet in the otherwise brutal bloodshed), I wanted to point out the quirks or lost niceties in the transition.

First and foremost, I must say I am an avid Google Maps user. I have not found a comparable app. As a geographer - some initially think a rock seeker (geologist) - I take pride in my qualms with other mapping applications. I'll just gloss over Apple maps (pardon my french) as I think everyone and their mother knows it must not even be mentioned... and now on to Waze. Waze was bought out by Google Maps and is just an extension (kinda) of the crowned application. A respectable competitor to Google Maps, Waze sits as a great commuter option. I have not problems with it as directions-type application, but I digress. Google Maps is a feature-rich application that loses some of the best features (I think) in iOS. Downloadable maps were super convenient on Android, especially in the serviceless countryside. Another notable feature is the configurable commute times, I'll elaborate. In iOS, you are not able to change the times you would like, so you aren't able to foresee the general commute times during the week. Especially helpful for us in the horrid traffic of the metropolitan DC area.

Next, onto the seamless experience of Apple and iOS. I do really like this aspect of the transition. I don't need separate apps that do contribute to the experience within iOS. Apple has most of these built-in. The TouchID feature works nicely with other apps (banking and all others not mentioned). The Google Pixel fingerprint feature was okay. The only issue I have right now with the App Store is that it tells me I am paying for every app I download (and maybe I am in different ways than the money).

The last item I will mention is configuring the apps. This is just a drop in the bucket, but I do not like how I cannot move apps to anywhere on the screen. Android, in general, handles this a little better and their widgets are super convenient at times. Being able to see the weather quickly or my notes directly from the homes screen is something I will miss. I've had friends mention this same concern, so I think it should be an important factor for consideration if you are taking the plunge.

More may come in a later post...


For my final remarks, I think the iPhone SE continues the battle of good (light) versus bad (dark). Its performance exceeds many of the Android phones but still has some features and benefits that are much to be desired (the battery being an important one). But if you decide to switch to a smaller phone and join the group of hipster doofuses (like myself), be sure to note battery life is a problem with all small phones.

Buy the iPhone SE 2020