I swapped my iPhone 11 Pro for the new iPhone
The new iPhone SE 2020 is a follow up to the beloved original which first debuted in 2016. The bulky bezels and TouchID are still here in a small body, a throwback to the old-school iPhone design, along with improved camera tech and the brain of the iPhone 11 range in the form of the A13 bionic chip.
I swapped my current iPhone 11 Pro device for the new iPhone SE for a week to see what it was like to use. Here’s what it was like…
iPhone SE: Design
Phones have become too big recently. The high-end Samsung flagship, the S20 Ultra, has a 6.9-inch display, and Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro Max runs to 6.5-inches. My day-to-day phone is usually the normal 11 Pro, which is a relatively smaller 5.8-inches.
The SE is available in black, white and red (Apple)
<p>The iPhone SE, on the other hand, runs very small at 4.7-inches, harking back to the days when you could fit your phone easily in one hand without giving your thumb RSI trying to text on the screen, and it was secure in any pocket.
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was how light the SE is too. After a few years of using large, bulky phones, this was enjoyable by comparison. I even got quickly used to using TouchID instead of FaceID, particularly when outside wearing sunglasses as Apple’s FaceID won’t work when wearing something on your face. Where FaceID is better is doing things like making dinner or baking: if I needed to check what comes next in a recipe then the screen was at risk of becoming all grimy, whereas with FaceID, it opens up automatically.
Some people may find comfort in the old-school design of the SE with the thick bezels, particularly those who haven’t yet upgraded from the iPhone 7. I get the idea of familiarity and the classic iPhone design, but when you compare it to the likes of the cheaper Android models, such as Samsung’s A range which features Infinity Displays and tiny punchhole cameras, it makes you realise how much screen space is used up on Apple’s models.
iPhone SE: Camera
Apple says it has made its best single-camera ever in the iPhone SE, even better than the iPhone XR which was the last smartphone from the company to only feature one rear camera lens.
The colours are bright and sharp on images taken on the new iPhone SE
<p>The phone’s camera has the same tech you’ll find in the iPhone 11 range including six portrait lighting effects and QuickTake, which allows you to record video without leaving the Photo mode.</p><a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/tech/pixel-4a-release-date-rumours-uk-specs-design-a4428011.html"> <ul><li> Read more </li> </ul><p>Google's Pixel 4a smartphone could be arriving next month</p> </a> <p>This is one of my favourite Apple camera features: it’s so easy to miss a moment you want to record by faffing around to find the video function, but this removes that issue. You can even record high-quality video in 4K on the SE, not bad for such a well-priced phone. </p><!-- #### THIS IS TEMP CODE TO RESOLVE TEADS ISSUES ON SAFARAI - ISSUE-387 #### - START --><!-- #### THIS IS TEMP CODE TO RESOLVE TEADS ISSUES ON SAFARAI - ISSUE-387 #### - END --><!-- perform eplayer --><p>You can’t fault the camera on the SE. Images are bright and dynamic and can capture the richness of a scene easily. You can’t take fancy wide-angle selfies or ultra-wide angle shots on this phone like you can with the iPhone 11 range but for standard images and portrait shots you can do enough here. </p><!-- mpu0 ads for mobile --><h2>iPhone SE: Software</h2><p>The iPhone SE runs <a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/topic/ios">iOS</a> 13, Apple’s latest iPhone software, and it will receive software updates for the next two to three years at a minimum.</p><a href="https://www.standard.co.uk/shopping/esbest/gadgets-tech/phones/best-iphone-accessories-a4422586.html"> <ul><li> Read more </li> </ul><p>10 best iPhone accessories including gadgets for the new iPhone SE</p> </a> <p>iOS is a delight to use: it’s unbelievably easy to restore all my apps and data from the 11 Pro to the SE so I don’t have to waste time inputting contacts. Dark mode looks great on this device and fits in better with the design of the phone overall.
You can’t send Memoji videos but you can create stickers and use them in WhatsApp and messages to friends.
The ease of iOS is something that runs in the SE’s favour: for people who love Apple but don’t want to upgrade to the bigger phones, they’ll be happy to know that everything works just as expected on the SE.
iPhone SE: Performance
The best way to sum the iPhone SE is its an iPhone 8 design with the brain of the iPhone 11 range, thanks to the use of the A13 bionic chip. This is a certain plus for Apple: often when tech companies release a cheaper model, such as Google with the Pixel 3a (soon to be 4a range), they often use a mid-range chip in order to keep the cost low.
The iPhone SE has one rear camera as well as a selfie camera on the front (Apple)
<p>However, with the inclusion of the A13, the iPhone SE is extremely fast and responsive to use. It also provides those fun AI features to improve the pictures you take, as well as better gaming experiences. </p><!-- mpu0 ads for mobile --><p>The only issue I found was that the battery isn’t as good as the bigger models. The SE only has a 1,960 mAh battery, and though the power of the A13 includes battery efficiency, it means that you can’t really get more of a day’s full usage out of it. That isn’t an issue at the moment when I spend all my time at home but would get frustrating out in the real world again. </p><h2>iPhone SE: Verdict</h2><p>There’s a lot to love in a small package with the iPhone SE 2020. The camera is excellent, the actual power of the phone is decent, and it’s enjoyable to use a phone that can fit easily in your hand again.
The only area where the device is let down is with the mid-2010s phone design. When other phone manufacturers are updating their mid-range or cheaper phones with full screens and facial recognition tech, this does look dated in comparison. However, there will be some that love this design, and the price, and won’t be bothered by that.
iPhone SE: Price and availability
It’s available in three colours, black, white and (PRODUCT)RED and prices start from £419 for the 64GB model and up to £569 for the 256GB model.