The iPhone SE 2020 is a great example of why Apple does not make affordable phones. This compact iPhone was released almost two years ago. It had specs that were comparable to the top iPhones of the time, and a very affordable price. The iPhone SE’s $399 price is $300 lower than the iPhone 13 mini , which costs $699.
The iPhone SE is a compelling choice for budget-minded users, especially those who still own the iPhone7. Although the phone is more than five years old now, many people still own their iPhone 7 and 7 Plus handsets. This is especially true since they can run iOS15, Apple’s current iPhone software.
The iPhone SE will be a significant upgrade to your current phone if you feel it is time to do so. It’s worth looking at the differences between iPhone SE and iPhone 7 to see how much you’ll make.
We take a closer look at Apple’s improvements to the iPhone SE, its flagship device, since a few years back. You may be tempted to upgrade, but you might not be convinced by the iPhone 13 fall release. The iPhone SE3 will arrive in spring.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7 – Specs compared
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7 – Price
For a 64GB iPhone SE, the starting price is $399 You’ll need to double the storage capacity to 128GB, which will cost you $449. $549 is the price of the 256GB model. Apple’s iPhone SE price has not been reduced despite the release of new iPhone models. Only the iPhone XR (499) and iPhone 11 (599) saw price drops.
The iPhone SE has only been available for two years. We are now seeing discounts in the form rebates when you trade in your device to purchase the iPhone SE from a retailer. We are tracking the best iPhone SE offers.
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The iPhone SE is less expensive than the iPhone 7’s launch price in 2016, when it was launched. The iPhone 7 was priced at $649 back then. However, prices have fallen with the release of newer models. You can now find the iPhone 7 at a discount carrier or retail site for as low as $200, although you may be purchasing a used model.
Apple offers a special discount on the iPhone SE’s new price if you trade in your older models. iPhone 7 owners get as high as $40 off their iPhone SE while the iPhone 7 Plus offers up to $100 in rebates.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7 Design and Display
The iPhone SE’s iPhone 8 design is what’s most prominent, but it also has a 4.7-inch display surrounded by thick bezels at the top and bottom. The Touch ID-supporting home button is located below the screen. It’s almost as if the iPhone X-style designs from the past few years have never been realized.
To detect size differences, you would need a ruler to place the iPhone 7 and iPhone SE 2020 side by side. The differences in the iPhone SE 2020’s 5.45×2.65x 0.29-inch iPhone SE are only marginal. The iPhone 7 weighs 5.22 ounces more than the iPhone 7.
The screens appear identical on paper as they both have LCD panels with 1334×750 resolution. Display technology has advanced since the iPhone 7’s debut. True Tone is a feature of the iPhone SE that allows it to adjust the color temperature of its display according to ambient lighting.
The iPhone SE screen measures 653 nits using a light meter. It is, however, brighter than that of the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 Plus was 578 nits when we tested it back in 2016. Both phones’ LCD panels captured the same percentages of sRGB colors, so there won’t be much difference in their color range.
iPhone 7 owners will also be familiar with the design elements of iPhone SE, both for good and bad. The IP67 water resistance rating means that the phone can be submerged in water for up to 30 minutes. This is unchanged from the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 doesn’t have a headphone socket.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7: Cameras
This is where the new starts to separate itself from the past. The iPhone SE has a single rear camera just like the iPhone 7. The iPhone 7 Plus has a second telephoto lens, which provides an optical zoom. The similarities end there. Both the iPhone SE, iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 have 12MP lenses with apertures at f/1.8.
The rear sensor of the iPhone SE is more similar to the one Apple used in the 2018 iPhone XR. This phone certainly improved on the previous single-lens iPhones in terms of picture-taking abilities. The A13 Bionic processor that powers the iPhone SE — we’ll get to that in a moment — aids with computational photography through the chipset’s built-in neural engines.
Smart HDR is a feature of the iPhone SE’s camera that can enhance the details in your photos. The iPhone SE is capable of creating lighting effects and controlling the depth-of-field on portraits. The iPhone SE has a rear camera and a 7MP front camera that can be used to take portraits. This is beyond the iPhone 7’s skill set.
Apart from the second lens, the iPhone SE’s biggest feature is the Night mode support that was added to the iPhone 11 models last year. This means that the iPhone SE’s flash will be required to work in dark rooms. This is not an iPhone 7 feature, so anyone upgrading phones won’t lose what they had.
Although we don’t have an iPhone 7, we have done head-to-head comparisons with other iPhones and the new iPhone SE. We are convinced that this phone is one of the best camera phones . The Pixel 5a is the best low-cost option for a camera.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7 – Performance and software
The A13 Bionic processor powers the iPhone SE 2020. This is the same Apple-designed chipet that powers iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro Max. The A13 was the fastest chip in our mobile benchmarks prior to the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 is now the speed king, thanks to its A15 Bionic Chip. However, the iPhone SE still beats the iPhone 7 with its A10 Fusion chip.
Apple claims that the iPhone SE has a CPU performance up to 1.8x higher than the iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 7 Plus, and a graphics processing power up to 2x as powerful.
The iPhone SE scored 3,226 in the multi-core test, and 1,337 in the single-core section of the Geekbench 5 performance testing. These numbers are comparable with the iPhone 11’s. The iPhone 7 might have trouble keeping up with its 4.5-year old processor.
The iPhone SE’s base model has twice the storage capacity of the iPhone 7, which offered 32MB. The iPhone 7 was also available in 128GB or 256GB capacities, which is the same as Apple’s new phone.
Both phones have the same software experience. The iPhone 7 can run iOS 15, but apps will be slower on the iPhone SE. Some functions of iOS 15 will not work on the iPhone 7 because they require an iPhone with at least A12 processor.
iOS 16 is expected to be released later in the year. We believe that Apple will continue to support the iPhone SE 2020. We hear that the original iPhone SE will not be so fortunate. According to rumors, the iPhone 7 will meet the cutoff for iOS 16 support. But only barely.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7 – Battery life and charging
This is one area that iPhone 7 users upgrading to the iPhone SE may not notice a significant difference. According to teardowns, the iPhone SE’s 1,821-mAh battery is reported. Apple does not disclose the battery size. This is actually less than the 1,960mAh battery in the iPhone 7.
Apple claims that the iPhone SE should be able to last as long as the iPhone 8. However, our tests years back showed a slight improvement over the iPhone 7. The iPhone SE averaged 9h18 minutes for our battery test that involved continuous surfing over LTE. This is below the average smartphone’s performance and far behind the iPhone 11.
Wireless charging support is something that the iPhone SE 2020 has, but it’s not available on the iPhone 7. You can charge your iPhone SE with any Qi-compatible charger. This is because the wired charger included with the iPhone SE’s iPhone SE is the same 5-watt Lightning charger. An 18-watt charger will be required to fast charge your phone.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 7 verdict – Upgrade or switch to another iPhone?
The iPhone SE looks very similar to the iPhone 7 and is also a significant upgrade from the flagship Apple phone a few years back. The iPhone SE offers faster performance, better cameras, and wireless charging support. This makes it a future-proof phone.
However, upgrading isn’t as simple as it may seem a few months ago. We are hearing more about the new iPhone SE version that will be available in 2022. The iPhone SE 3 will not feature a new design. However, it will likely use the A15 Bionic chip that is found in the top-of the-line iPhones. This means that the iPhone SE 3 will be compatible with 5G, something that is not available on the current iPhone SE.
Apple has also released other iPhones since 2020’s iPhone SE release. The iPhone 12 miniature and iPhone 13 min are both smaller than the SE. The iPhone 13 mini is $699, while the iPhone 12 mini is $599.
This brings us back to iPhone SE 2020’s main appeal: its balance of value and compact size. The iPhone SE is an excellent choice for those who prefer smaller phones but don’t want top-dollar. However, the iPhone SE’s promise makes the iPhone SE 3 worth the wait.