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iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone XR: It is a tough fight

Ankita Chakravarti     April 16, 2020

Apple launched the much-awaited iPhone SE 2020 on Wednesday, putting an end to all the speculations. The phone with some interiors of the iPhone 11 and exteriors of the iPhone 8 is being touted as the second "budget phone" by Apple after the iPhone SE, which was launched in 2016. Of course, the budget part is relative. This is still an iPhone and it is still expensive. The iPhone SE 2020 starts at Rs 42,500 in India, making it the cheapest new iPhone if we go by MRP.

The price is sure to attract a lot of first-time iPhone buyers but will it be great update for people using older models of iPhone such as the iPhone 7, iPhone 8? Or should buyers consider another affordable Apple iPhone: the iPhone XR, slightly old but still worthy of veneration.

Interestingly, the iPhone XR is the only iPhone that comes to the mind whenever a comparison is being contemplated. The iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone XR do not have much of a price difference and they have even some similarities in terms of hardware like the same rear camera. So, how the two compare: The iPhone SE 20202 vs the iPhone XR?

iPhone SE vs iPhone XR: Design and Display

Apple's new iPhone SE 2020 brings back the 4.7-inch screen display and the Touch ID. The last iPhone to feature a Touch ID was the iPhone 8 series, which was launched back in 2017.

The iPhone SE 2020 has the regular thick bezels that we have seen on the iPhone a lot earlier, whereas the iPhone XR with a 6.1-inch LCD display has an almost edge-to-edge screen.

The iPhone XR is a better option for people who prefer bigger screens and a modern look. You wouldn't go back to the old 2014 iPhone look at a time when smartphone makers are increasingly making bezel-less displays. However, if you miss the iPhone's smaller iconic 4.7-inch screen, which is easier to handle and fits perfectly in your pocket, then iPhone SE is the phone for you.

iPhone SE vs iPhone XR: Camera

There is not much of a difference in the camera of the iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone XR as they feature a 12-megapixel single rear camera f/1.8 aperture. The phones come with support for portrait mode along with the depth sensors.

On the front, the phones feature a 7-megapixel camera f/2.2 with TrueDepth sensor and Portrait Mode support for selfies. Both the phones are good for clicking pictures and selfies so the buyers don't have to ponder much about the camera before picking any of the phones.

We suspect that due to the A13 Bionic processor, the iPhone SE may click somewhat better photos. The newer processor has more speed and hence may help Apple do better photo processing in the iPhone SE. But the difference, if any, between the photos clicked with the iPhone XR and the iPhone SE is going to be minuscule.

iPhone SE vs iPhone XR: Performance

This is one area where the iPhone XR lags behind the newly launched iPhone SE 2020. The iPhone SE is powered by the A13 Bionic chip, the same chipset which is present in the iPhone 11 series. The A13 Bionic chipset is the fastest processor present in a smartphone. The iPhone XR, on the contrary, features an older A12 Bionic chip which is still very fast and best-in-class.

The interesting bit, however, is that the A12 Bionic and A13 Bionic may have theoretical speed differences, but the real-world performance is similar for both. Both the iPhone XR and the iPhone SE are going to be an incredibly fast phone for you.

Coming to the battery, the iPhone SE has the same battery as the iPhone 8 whereas the iPhone XR's battery is said to be better than the iPhone X. The iPhone XR is known or providing the best battery life. However, it was later superseded by the iPhone 11.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 2020: Verdict

Overall, we feel that the iPhone XR is going to be a better purchase, largely because of its screen. If I were to pick a phone between the two, I would opt for the iPhone XR because of the battery life and the screen size. At a time when people are looking for phones for bigger and bezel-less display, I wouldn't want to go back to the old iPhone design that dates back to 2014.

The iPhone SE 2020, though, has its charm. The smaller screen could be a big pull for some. Touch ID could be another part that many may like. Lighter and more compact design is another part that some consumers will prefer.

But these are very specific preferences. For most users, the iPhone XR would be a better bet if the price is right. Under Rs 50,000, the iPhone XR is a better deal than the iPhone SE. If the price of the iPhone XR somehow goes above Rs 50,000, then the iPhone SE makes more sense.


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