iPhone SE Reviews: High-End Performance With Budget-Friendly Price

First impressions and reviews of the new iPhone SE are now out, with many praising the device's flagship performance at a budget-friendly price.

The second-generation iPhone SE has a similar design as the iPhone 8, including a 4.7-inch display and a Touch ID home button, but it takes a big leap forward in performance. Despite starting at just $399, the device is powered by the latest-and-greatest A13 Bionic chip, the same processor found inside the high-end iPhone 11 Pro.

iphone se 2020 red
The Verge's Dieter Bohn:

If I were buying the iPhone SE, I'd seriously consider spending the extra $50 to upgrade the storage to 128GB, just in case I'd want it three or five years down the road. That timespan is the reason the iPhone SE is a big deal. No other phone that costs less than $500 can claim to be this good, nor last that long.

The iPhone SE is not just a good deal. It's also a really good smartphone.

The new iPhone SE can be pre-ordered on Apple.com in the United States and more than 40 other countries and regions. Pricing starts at $399 for 64GB of storage, with 128GB and 256GB options available for $449 and $549 respectively. The first deliveries to customers and in-store availability at select resellers will begin Friday, April 24.

Reviews

Video Reviews and Unboxings










With the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus now discontinued, the lower end of Apple's smartphone lineup now includes the new iPhone SE and the iPhone XR, released in October 2018. Thinking about upgrading? Read our comparison of the devices.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Tag: reviews
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

nameischarles Avatar
19 months ago
I really thought my mum would have wanted this as her iPhone 6S is slowly dying and she never really wanted to get rid of it for so long.

I told her I'll upgrade her to the new SE and she told me she didn't want the same boring looking phone again haha she wanted the newer fancy looking iPhone 11 Pro. So I upgraded her to the iPhone 11 Pro today.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
I7guy Avatar
19 months ago
Apple might just have hit the nail on the head with the new Iphone SE.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Justanotherfanboy Avatar
19 months ago

Think this. Apple tried hard from iPhone 4-8 to keep iPhone look symmetrical especially front. Than Apple let go symmetry concept when introduced iPhone X with top notch and nothing similar at bottom.
So, Apple could have increased the screen towards top side giving more screen in the same iPhone 8 size frame by reducing thick top bezel like most android phones top part of screen. Bottom could not be reduced because of beloved Touch ID. This could have given 2020 SE new identity. Wasn't that difficult.
Think this.
Apple is only able to offer a phone this crazy cheap every 3-4 years or so by reusing EVERY SINGLE part that they possibly can, that’s already been in production for years & they have reached economies of scale with.... processor from the latest 2 phones, casings they’ve been making for many years now, etc.
The reason this phone can be cheaper whilst maintaining a profit margin is because there’s very little r&d to recoup, no new manufacturing techniques to work wrinkles out of, etc.
You're talking about new design, new tech, more r&d, etc...
What isn’t that difficult is seeing why they went their route, not yours.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dubar Avatar
19 months ago
I think I might be able to convince the wife to get rid of her Android. She's only slightly jealous of me being able to control the Apple TV from my phone.

Crosses fingers
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Pearple Avatar
19 months ago
I would like to share my detailed comprehensive review of the new iPhone SE with all the folks at Mac rumors.

Here it is:












WAY

















TOO






















BIG!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
willyx Avatar
19 months ago

This will be a big hit for a lot of people.

But I can’t help think that they could’ve made a phone with a 4.7” edge-to-edge screen with a smaller footprint than the first iPhone SE. The first iPhone SE measured about 5.4” diagonally, so if you take any bezel space into account you could squeeze a 5 inch screen in there.

Wait a minute, it all makes sense. There’s a 5.4” iPhone that’s rumored in the fall. That’ll be the high end compact version.
For the 100th time. The WHOLE POINT of this device is to reuse an old iPhone case, for which there is already an amortised logistic chain in place, to make it CHEAP by Apple standards. So no, there is no way they would have changed the design for the iPhone SE to accommodate a larger screen or anything else that does not fit the iPhone 8/7/6s/6 chassis.

Enough of these kind of comments, seriously.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...