Now that Apple’s new iPhone SE is finally here, it poses some fascinating questions for would-be iPhone patrons.
At $399, it is by far the most affordable new, non-refurbished iPhone you will get straight from Apple. Up till yesterday, that was the iPhone 8, however that cellphone is not out there. The iPhone SE is a much more highly effective gadget and provides vastly higher worth.
Then again, now we have the iPhone 11, which begins at $699, a reasonably phenomenal worth level given its stellar digicam and a set of options that is not very removed from the $999 iPhone 11 Professional.
Within the center, there’s nonetheless the iPhone XR, which prices $599 and is definitely much less highly effective than the iPhone SE in some regards, however its fancy design makes it almost indistinguishable from the iPhone 11.
So, the query loads of potential patrons will likely be asking is that this: Is the additional $200 or $300 value it, or must you simply get the most affordable iPhone?
Show and dimension
Most individuals, I guess, will make the choice by simply trying on the telephones. Sure, they’re very completely different. The iPhone SE has an historical design: a sq. show surrounded by large bezels, with a Residence button beneath. It contrasts strongly with the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11’s notched show. There’s additionally an enormous distinction in dimension. The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch show, whereas the opposite two units sport a 6.1-inch show.
If you cannot recover from that, then the iPhone SE may not be a very good match, however I nonetheless suppose it is best to take into account it. To begin with, the massive, notched show appears to be like fancier, however the boring outdated sq. show is ergonomically a extra smart choice. Would you want your TV to have a big notch on one aspect? You in all probability would not.
Second, the iPhone SE’s show, whereas smaller, is not technically any worse than the show on the opposite two units. All three telephones have LCDs with a 326 ppi decision, a 1,400:1 typical distinction ratio, True Tone assist and 625 nits of max brightness.
Final however not least, take into account the sizes. The iPhone XR and iPhone 11 are precisely the identical dimension: 5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches. The iPhone SE is significantly smaller, narrower and thinner, at 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches. Within the retailer, larger would possibly seem higher, however long-term, your arms would possibly thanks in the event you select a smaller cellphone.
Talking from private expertise, I switched from an iPhone X to the a lot bigger iPhone 11 Professional Max, and whereas I do like the larger show, the smaller cellphone felt so much higher in my arms. Half a yr in, and I am nonetheless continually reminded of that.
Processor and storage
On this division, the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11 are precisely the identical. Each include Apple’s newest A13 Bionic chip, and 64/128/256GB of storage, with upgrades to extra storage costing precisely the identical: $50 and $150. The iPhone XR has the older, A12 Bionic chip, and solely comes with 64GB and 128GB of storage.
The A12 chip on the iPhone XR is not unhealthy by any means, however it’s not as future proof because the A13. Additionally, in the event you’re aiming for maxing out storage, the iPhone XR is not the best choice.
It is value noting that the processor is very essential in terms of gaming. When you play loads of video games in your cellphone, each the iPhone SE and the 11 are higher choices than the iPhone XR.
There’s one unknown right here: We do not know the way a lot RAM the iPhone SE comes with. Sometimes, although, Apple’s telephones deal with most duties properly with far much less RAM than equally priced Android telephones. In different phrases, the quantity may not matter a lot.
The issue with evaluating the three telephones’ cameras is that we do not know, precisely, what the iPhone SE’s digicam is like in actual life.
On paper, the iPhone XR and the SE’s single rear digicam have very comparable specs, however Apple says that the iPhone SE’s digicam is definitely higher due to the brand new A13 chip. It definitely has extra Portrait mode choices, and Apple’s spec sheet signifies that solely the SE’s digicam has a sapphire crystal lens cowl, which means it ought to be tougher to scratch.
The iPhone 11’s twin digicam is by far one of the best, with two distinguishing options: ultra-wide mode and Night time mode. The primary one is good, though most customers can in all probability stay with out it. Night time mode, nonetheless, is big. You may really feel the distinction whereas taking night time panoramas, in these half-lit indoor pictures, and whereas goofing round with your mates in dusky bars (sure, at some point we’ll go to bars once more). In my view, principally each person will discover an enormous distinction right here, and it is in all probability the largest purpose why it is best to take into account splashing an additional $300 on an iPhone 11.
Be aware that it ought to be potential to get a pretend Night time mode on the iPhone SE with a third-party app. The cellphone appears to have the specs to energy it; however there is no telling on how properly a third-party app will work.
Whereas I am unable to say a lot for video high quality, it is value noting that every one three telephones can take 4K video at 60fps. For cellular videographers, that with (low cost) 256GB of storage, might be a profitable combo.
A number of phrases on the selfie digicam. There are pretty massive variations right here between all three fashions. The iPhone SE has a 7-megapixel digicam that may do portrait pictures, however it’s not a TrueDepth digicam, which means these portrait pictures probably will not be nearly as good as they’re on pricier iPhones (additionally, no Animoji). The iPhone XR does have a TrueDepth digicam, however it’s additionally a 7-megapixel one. The iPhone 11 has a 12-megapixel, TrueDepth selfie digicam, which makes it a transparent winner right here.
As is the case with the cameras, speaking about battery life is tough with out testing the iPhone SE. It’s because Apple’s battery specs for various iPhone fashions aren’t precisely standardized.
For instance, the corporate says the iPhone SE’s battery lasts “about the identical as iPhone 8.” The iPhone XR typically “lasts as much as 1.5 hours longer than iPhone 8 Plus” and the iPhone 11 lasts “as much as 1 hour longer than iPhone XR.”
We’ll depart the trivialities for our assessment, however it’s secure to say that the iPhone SE will considerably lag within the battery life division behind the 2 different telephones. That is disappointing, provided that Apple positions it as a gaming gadget — it definitely has the chip to energy video games, however you will probably be tethered to a charger throughout longer gaming classes. When you’re not a heavy cellphone person, you will not thoughts, however everybody else ought to maybe look ahead to some real-life testing to disclose how good the iPhone SE’s battery life actually is.
The Face ID face recognition system, which the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11 have, may be very completely different from the fingerprint scanner on the iPhone SE. Nevertheless, after utilizing them each for a fairly some time, and switching between telephones with completely different biometrics usually, my verdict is that you will get used to each of them equally.
In different phrases, the distinction is there on paper, however in actual life, scanning your thumb on the iPhone SE’s Residence button whereas paying for a frappuccino (once more, we’ll do such issues once more at some point) is simply as simple as double-clicking the iPhone 11’s aspect button and letting it scan your face.
However in the event you’re used to a fingerprint scanner, and you actually don’t love change, you would possibly wish to get the iPhone SE.
The value variations are apparent — $399 vs. $599 vs. $699 — however it’s value trying into them in the event you’re trying to purchase a cellphone with greater than the bottom 64GB of storage.
For instance, an iPhone SE with 256GB of reminiscence prices $549, which means it is nonetheless cheaper than each the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11 with 64GB of reminiscence. When you really feel you are going to want extra reminiscence (maybe for these storage-hungry video games or for capturing video), this makes the iPhone SE an exceptionally whole lot.
The “low cost” aspect of Apple’s iPhone lineup has change into difficult in a great way. There are loads of fascinating decisions from $399 to $699, however as you have seen above, there’s various small however essential variations separating these telephones. Selection is sweet, however it may be complicated, so here is a TLDR:
Purchase the iPhone SE if..
You need the most affordable potential entry into Apple’s ecosystem of apps and providers.
You desire a future-proof cellphone.
You care extra about energy and utility than fancy appears to be like and a flexible digicam.
You need an inexpensive technique to get an iPhone with 256GB of storage.
You wish to shoot 4K video on a funds.
Purchase the iPhone XR if…
You need the iPhone 11’s design however $699 is only a tad an excessive amount of.
You do not thoughts that there is a $399 iPhone with a quicker processor and a greater digicam on the market.
Battery life is essential to you.
Purchase the iPhone 11 if…
Digicam high quality and flexibility is paramount.
You fancy the notched show.
Battery life is essential to you.
You desire a cellphone that is very near the iPhone 11 Professional for $300 much less.