iPhone SE 2020 Review

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Written by:

Updated June 27, 2022
92 Expert Rating

The new iPhone SE 2020 comes packed with a few high-end features the best on our list offer, but at a friendlier price. In other words: for the best iPhone on a budget, we recommend it already. It comes with a superb battery and the powerful A13 Bionic Chip, seen in models like the Pro Max and the 11 Pro. So why do most users rate this top-tier smartphone highly? Find out more in our review.

Why We Like It – iPhone SE 2020 Review

A budget-friendly model that comes packaged with a few key high-end features that better models have, the powerful A13 Bionic Chip, and a superb batter.

  • Powerful A13 Bionic chip
  • Excellent battery
  • Better for your budget
  • Fast charger sold separately
  • Doesn’t include night mode in camera options

Related: For those who want to try a different device, check the Apple iPhone SE review


The iPhone SE 2020 trades a few new features its more talented siblings exhibit—but not too much that you feel cheated. Starting with battery life, you can get as low as 13 hours or 40 hours, depending on what you’re doing. Running apps on the iPhone SE 2020 feels good, and its powerful A13 Bionic Chip provides some fast performance; it has to, after all, since it’s in the top three iPhones on our list.

With Smart HDR and 12MP, you can get excellent shots with a wide dynamic range. Low light situations could be better, and would have benefited from a Night Mode—a feature the SE 2020 lacks but its brother, the iPhone 11 Pro, has. The same can be said about video recording, though 4K is beautiful.


Performance aside, the biggest difference—and what helps reduce price—is the use of a single rear camera rather than two, like the Apple iPhone 11, or triple camera system, like the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Of course, it has a front facing camera, and the front camera is still great for Portrait Mode. Aesthetically speaking, the Apple iPhone SE 2020 looks like a small iPhone 11. It comes in black white and red, which looks gorgeous. The home screen doesn’t have that extra bezel along the top like the iPhone XR has.


What makes the iPhone SE 2020 so inviting is its price. For $400, you’re getting a pretty powerful iPhone that’s packing the A13 Bionic Chip, the same processor that’s built into our top three iPhones. For someone who’s on the fence about switching from, say, Android phones, the SE 2020 makes the best argument for budget. Is it the best? Far from it—but it takes advantage of a few key features that made the first three so great, and cuts away some fat for the sake of pricing. However, the fast charger for wireless charging is sold separate.

Related: Discover other interesting phones in our Apple iPhone XR review

iPhone SE 2020 Review Wrap Up

It’s good to see Apple providing a version of the iPhone that’s budget-friendly. A few features get left on the cutting-room floor, like Night Mode, but its performance more than makes up for it. It has a battery that can last an entire day or two—when used when necessary—and the powerful A13 Bionic Chip to run the show.

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