Apple iPhone SE (2020) vs. Apple iPhone XR | Digital Trends

The new iPhone SE is here, providing arguably the perfect efficiency in a telephone below $400 — together with a variety of high-end options like an important digital camera and stable show.

But should you’re searching for an affordable iPhone, you could be tempted to show in the direction of older fashions as an alternative, particularly if you may get one second-hand or refurbished. Last yr’s “budget” mannequin, the iPhone XR, gives a extra fashionable design and an enormous 6.1-inch show.

Which machine actually represents higher bang on your buck? Should you save your money and go for the 2020 iPhone SE, or spend a little bit further and purchase the iPhone XR? We put the 2 telephones face to face to seek out out.


iPhone SE (2020)
iPhone XR
Size138.Four x 67.three x 7.3mm (5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches)150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm (5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches)
Weight148 grams (5.22 ounces)194 grams (6.84 ounces)
Screen dimension4.7-inch Retina IPS LCD6.1-inch Retina IPS LCD
Screen decision1,334 x 750 pixels (326 pixels per inch)1,792 x 828 pixels (326 pixels per inch
Operating systemiOS 13iOS 13
Storage area64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
MicroSD card slotNoNo
Tap-to-pay providersApple PayApple Pay
ProcessorApple A13 BionicApple A12 Bionic
CameraSingle 12MP rear, 7MP entranceSingle 12MP rear, 7MP entrance
Video4K at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps4K at 60 frames per second, 1,080p at 240 fps
Bluetooth modelBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
Fingerprint sensorYes, front-mountedNo
Water resistanceIP67IP67
Battery1,821mAh, 18W fast-charging, Qi wi-fi charging2,942mAh, 15W fast-charging, Qi wi-fi charging
App market Apple App StoreApple App Store
Network assistAT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, VerizonAT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon
ColorsBlack, white, pinkBlue, White, Black, Yellow, Coral, Red
Buy fromAppleApple
Review rating4 stars4.5 stars

Design, show, sturdiness

The design of those two telephones is among the largest factors of distinction between then. The iPhone XR gives the same general design to the iPhone X, together with an edge-to-edge show with a comparatively giant notch on the prime. The machine does supply a enjoyable look, because of the vary of colours that it comes with — so it is best to be capable to discover a colour that you simply like, even when its the black mannequin.

The iPhone SE’s design is a little more understated. The machine appears to be like nearly equivalent to the iPhone 8, together with with the comparatively giant chin and brow, and even the Touch ID fingerprint sensor below the show. Sure, the design is iconic, however in a world of edge-to-edge shows, and when most Android producers are launching bezel-less gadgets on this value vary, the iPhone SE does look dated.

The show is a little bit completely different, too. Because of its design, the iPhone SE‘s show is kind of a bit smaller than the competitors, coming in at 4.7 inches, with a decision of 1,334 x 750 pixels, which equates to 326 pixels-per-inch. The iPhone XR steps issues as much as a 6.1-inch show dimension — however whereas the decision is larger, the pixel density is identical. The shows look equally sharp.

Both of those telephones are constructed with glass, so should you’re apprehensive about breaking them, it is best to use a case. And, they each have an IP67 water-resistance score, that means they need to survive unintentional dunks, however don’t take them swimming.

The iPhone XR has a extra fashionable design, and whereas the show isn’t higher, it’s greater. It’s the winner right here.

Winner: Apple iPhone XR

Performance, battery life, charging

iPhone SE
Matthew Smith / Digital Trends

The iPhone SE has been getting rave critiques since launch, and loads of that comes all the way down to glorious efficiency. The machine gives Apple’s latest-and-greatest processor, the Apple A13 Bionic. That’s the identical chip that you simply’ll get within the iPhone 11 Pro, the corporate’s flagship telephone, and the result’s that you simply’ll get blazing quick efficiency that both beats or comes near even the most costly flagship Android telephones on the market.

The iPhone XR has a high-end chip too — but it surely’s the last-generation high-end chip. With the A12 Bionic, the iPhone XR will nonetheless be capable to deal with every part that you could throw at it, together with cellular gaming and multitasking, but it surely would possibly take a cut up second longer to load apps, and it possible gained’t get updates as far into the long run.

The battery lifetime of the iPhone SE is ok, and it ought to get you thru a day of regular use, but it surely’s not wonderful. The iPhone XR, however, has a a lot bigger battery, and whereas the truth that it has to energy a bigger show does offset a few of that further juice, the machine will nonetheless regularly finish the day with a very good 40% to 50% battery left. Both gadgets assist wi-fi charging and quick charging.

The iPhone SE is the higher performer, however solely by a little bit — and contemplating how a lot better the iPhone XR’s battery is, it’s the winner right here.

Winner: Apple iPhone XR


iphone xr lens
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

On paper, the digital camera specs look very comparable. Both gadgets supply a 12-megapixel rear-facing digital camera, with a 7-megapixel front-facing digital camera. That stated, the sensor on the iPhone XR is newer — whereas the sensor on the iPhone SE is identical because the iPhone 8.

Still, Apple says that the A13 permits for higher digital camera processing than the A12 — so the hole between the 2 gadgets is probably going fairly small. This one’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Software and updates

iphone xr instagram
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

These are each iPhones — and so they’re each appropriate with iOS 13, Apple’s newest cellular software program. The expertise on the 2 telephones is probably going comparable, apart from the particular options that we’ll get into later.

It’s onerous to say which machine will get software program updates for longer. While the iPhone SE is newer, Apple is thought for supporting gadgets for so long as it may possibly — and if we needed to guess, each telephones will possible nonetheless be getting software program updates in 4 years. Because we are able to’t predict the long run, this one’s a tie.

Winner: Tie

Special options

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The general expertise on these two telephones will probably be comparable, however there are a couple of key variations. Notably, the iPhone XR has Apple’s Face ID, which lets you unlock your machine, pay for issues with Apple Pay, and extra — with solely your face. If you’ll be able to name it a particular function, the iPhone SE has a fingerprint sensor, which could be simpler to make use of when your machine is in your desk.

Winner: Apple iPhone XR

Price and availability

The iPhone XR has been accessible for round a yr and a half now, and it’s nonetheless accessible from the Apple web site for round $600. That stated, you’ll be able to most likely discover one for cheaper refurbished should you’re prepared to not have a very new machine.

The iPhone SE, however, is out there now from the Apple web site for under $400 — making it simply among the best telephones in its value vary.

Overall winner: iPhone XR

Which machine is finally higher? Well, the iPhone XR. It has a extra fashionable design and a greater battery, making it a wonderful possibility.

However, the iPhone SE is kind of a bit cheaper, and because of this, it’s simply the best choice in its value vary. Choosing the iPhone XR over the iPhone SE means you’re paying an additional $200 for a bigger show and Face ID.

If you’re prepared to pay a little bit further, then the iPhone XR is the best way to go, however should you’re strapped for money, or efficiency is a very powerful factor to you, the iPhone SE stays an important selection.

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