Marketed from 399 dollars, the new iPhone SE is equipped with the same processor as the iPhone 11, yet sold almost double. Is Apple’s new affordable smartphone a better deal?

Regardless of appearances, the iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone 11 have a lot in common. Marketed from 399 dollars, the new affordable smartphone from Apple takes the design of the iPhone 8 but borrows from the iPhone 11 some of its characteristics. Should we rush towards this new device at an ultra competitive price? Should we invest more and opt for the latest iPhone 11? Here are the main differences between these two devices so that you can form an opinion.

Design: 2014 vs. 2017

Aesthetically, the new iPhone SE does not really dream. This smartphone is identical to the design of the iPhone 8 which had itself borrowed its look from the iPhone 6 of 2014. Six years later, Apple is certainly releasing the final iteration of this emblematic design which, faced with smartphones edge-to-edge screen, clearly dated. The iPhone 11, with its thin borders and its notch (inherited from the iPhone X of 2017), is undeniably much more in tune with the times than the iPhone SE.

If there is a good chance that the screen of the iPhone 11 will be brighter and better calibrated than that of the iPhone SE, be aware however that the two devices incorporate an LCD screen. In other words, the gap between these two smartphones should remain slight in terms of display quality. Opting for an iPhone 11 rather than an iPhone SE will not offer as significant a difference as if you opted for an iPhone 11 Pro, equipped with an OLED screen.

Of course, the main advantage of the iPhone SE remains its fairly small size. If its screen is smaller than that of the iPhone 11 (4.7 inches against 6.1 inches), its borders are unfortunately quite thick. Despite this, the SE case, with a height of 13.84 cm and a width of 6.73 cm (against 15 cm and 7.57 cm for the iPhone 11), is much easier to handle. Lovers of compact smartphones should rejoice.

Reading fingerprints against facial recognition

Thanks to its borders, the iPhone SE resuscitates Apple’s iconic Home button. The latter incorporates a Touch ID fingerprint sensor that allows you to quickly unlock your smartphone with your finger. For its part, the iPhone 11 uses Apple’s very sophisticated 3D facial recognition technology, Face ID.

Some prefer Touch ID, others Face ID. No system is really better and everyone has their faults. For example, Touch ID does not like wet fingers while Face ID does not like sunglasses or masks. It’s up to you to choose what suits you best.

The same A13 Bionic processor

The iPhone SE uses the Apple A13 Bionic processor, introduced with the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. It is the most powerful mobile SoC on the market, ahead of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 and Huawei’s Kirin 990. In other words, this chip is extremely efficient and allows you to do everything, including augmented reality gaming. For once, the two mobiles are from this point of view equally. A smartphone as powerful at less than 500 euros is very finely played on the part of Apple.

The iPhone SE and iPhone 11 share other features. Support for Wi-Fi 6, 4G Gigabit class, wireless charging, 18W fast charging (even if they come with a 5W charger), water resistance (IP67 for the first, IP68 for the second)… The Apple’s affordable smartphone finishes convincing with its level of equipment.

A smaller battery, really?

According to China Unicom, the iPhone SE has a very small 1821 mAh battery. It is much less than the 3110 mAh of the iPhone 11 which is among the most enduring mobiles. If you will have to wait for our laboratory tests to find out what the iPhone SE is really worth, be aware that its A13 Bionic processor could allow it to last longer than the iPhone 8 equipped with the same battery. Apple has already shown us in the past to be strong in energy optimization. However, on paper, the iPhone 11 is likely to be superior.

One camera

On the back of the iPhone SE, there is only one camera. Attached to a 12 Mpix sensor, the latter seems identical to that of the iPhone 8. However, Apple has made many software adjustments to its new device. The iPhone SE can take photos in portrait mode and uses the same algorithms as the iPhone 11, which should allow it to enjoy similar quality during the day. When it comes to photography, software matters as much as hardware on a smartphone.

For its part, the iPhone 11 uses a dual camera module. It has the same main 12 Mpix sensor as the iPhone SE (but has a night mode) and an ultra wide-angle attached to a 12 Mpix sensor. The iPhone 11 is therefore undeniably more versatile than the iPhone SE, even if both smartphones benefit from the new interface of the Apple Camera application.

Probably the same lifespan

Finally, let’s talk about the lifespan of iPhone SE and iPhone 11. It’s no secret, Apple maintains its devices longer than other manufacturers. The iPhone SE released in 2016 with iOS 9 is compatible with iOS 13 and is still being sold at a good price. Just like the iPhone 11, the iPhone SE 2020 will be delivered with iOS 13 and will probably benefit, like him, from updates for 4 years. At 399 dollars, the iPhone SE has everything from an excellent choice. Only those for whom modern design, high autonomy and great versatility in photography are essential will prefer to turn to the iPhone 11.

SPECS: Apple iPhone SE vs Apple iPhone 11

iPhone SE

iPhone 11
AbstractThe iPhone SE (2020) is Apple’s cheapest smartphone. Equipped with the A13 Bionic processor of the iPhone 11, this device incorporates the compact design of the iPhone 8 (4.7 inches) and some of its features such as its fingerprint sensorSuccessor of the iPhone XR, the iPhone 11 differs from its predecessor by the use of a dual camera module. On its back is an ultra wide angle in addition to the main lens, each of which is associated with a 12 Mpix sensor.
SystemiOS 13iOS 13
ProcessorApple A13 BionicApple A13 Bionic
Number of hearts66
Processor frequency2.65 GHz2.65 GHz
Graphics chipIntegratedIntegrated
Support memory cardsNoNo
Random access memory (RAM)4 Go
Capacity64 Go64 Go
SAR index0.95 W/kg
Protection index (Tightness)IP 67IP 68
Biometric sensorFingerprintsFacial recognition
Dual SIMYesYes
Size (diagonal)4.7 “6.1 “
Screen technologyLCDLCD
Screen definition750 x 1334 px1792 x 828 px
Screen resolution326 ppp326 ppp
Refresh rate60 Hz60 Hz
Input and output
Wi-Fi supportyesyes
Wi-Fi standardWi-Fi 802.11 n/ac, Wi-Fi 802.11b, Wi-Fi 802.11g, Wi-Fi 6Wi-Fi 802.11 n/ac, Wi-Fi 802.11b, Wi-Fi 802.11g, Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth supportyesyes
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 5.0Bluetooth 5.0
NFC supportyesyes
Infrared support (IrDA)NoNo
Main photo sensor12 Mpx12 Mpx
Second photo sensor12 Mpx
Video recording (main)2160 x 3840 px3840 x 2160 px
Front sensorYesYes
Video definition of the front sensor1920 x 1080 px3840 x 2160 px
Front photo sensor 17 Mpx12 Mpx
GSM bands850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz Mhz850 MHz, 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 1900 MHz Mhz
Max flow in 3G reception42 Mbit/s42 Mbit/s
Compatible with 4G network (LTE)YesYes
5G network compatibleNoNo
Removable batteryNoNo
Battery capacity3110 mAh
Wireless chargingyesyes
Width6.73 cm7.57 cm
Height13.84 cm15.09 cm
Thickness0.73 cm0.83 cm
Volume (cm3)67.99 cm394.81 cm3
Weight148 g192 g

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