iPhone SE review: What’s new with the Apple iPhone SE 2020

In 2016, Apple released the iPhone SE (known also as the 1st generation iPhone SE). The original iPhone SE was a compact and affordable option for Apple’s smartphones with all of the features one comes to expect from an Apple iPhone. 

As years have passed, the original iPhone SE might seem a bit outdated by now. Luckily for all iPhone and Apple fans, Apple upgraded its first generation iPhone SE to the year 2020. The iPhone SE 2020 (or 2nd generation iPhone SE) is an improvement in many ways, but how does it match with other newer Apple smartphones? 

The iPhone SE 2020 is a great option for those who are looking for an affordable (even cheap) option for an Apple smartphone. For example, you can get a refurbished iPhone SE 2020 starting at just a bit over 300€. So, let’s take a look at the all new iPhone SE 2020.


One notable aspect of the iPhone SE 2020 is its size. With a display of only 4.7-inches, the new iPhone SE is one of the smallest Apple smartphones you can buy and weighs only 148 grams. The iPhone SE 2020 is perfect for those who value a compact and lightweight smartphone that is easy to hold and carry around. In comparison, some other iPhone models, such as iPhone 11 and iPhone 12, have a display of 6.1-inches – or even more.

However, unlike with some other newer iPhones, the iPhone SE 2020 has quite large bezels – the frame around the phone’s screen. Meanwhile, many other modern iPhone models have a screen that covers more or less the entire front side of the device.

When it comes to different colour options of the new iPhone SE, there are three to choose from: black, white and the so called Product Red. There are certainly other iPhones with a wider variety of colour options, but thanks to the iPhone SE 2020’s sleek design, it looks good regardless.


So, the iPhone SE 2020 has a small 4.7-inch display, but how does it look and perform? The screen of the new iPhone SE is certainly no match to some of the more advanced models’ fancy OLED screens. Still, the Retina HD display of the SE 2020 is still good for a device this small. The 4.7-inch display is great for those who want a small phone, but might be too small for intense mobile gaming and watching movies on a smartphone.

The brightness of iPhone SE 2020’s display is up to 625 nits and is definitely an improvement over the original 1st generation iPhone SE. With brightness of 625 nits, the SE 2020 does not pale in comparison to other models either. 

With Apple’s True Tone feature, the phone is able to adjust the screen’s brightness and colours depending on the surrounding environment. In other words, you can enjoy using the phone whether you are outside in bright sunlight or in a dimly lit room.


Another way in which the new iPhone SE beats the original one is its front and rear cameras. The original Apple iPhone SE had a front camera with only 1.2-megapixels, whereas the new updated SE 2020 has a camera of 7-megapixels on the front. 

Meanwhile, the rear camera is 12-megapixels that is on par with other newer iPhone models. However, the only downside is that the iPhone SE 2020 has only a single Wide camera on the back. Yet, the iPhone SE 2020 is well capable of taking excellent photos, in addition to shooting great videos in 4K resolution.

With some additional features such as optical image stabilisation and Portrait lighting, the iPhone SE 2020’s camera is impressive for a phone of this budget. For example, you can take professional-level photos with the front and rear cameras’ Portrait Mode, while the next generation Smart HDR feature allows you to take even greater visually stunning photos. Unfortunately, the iPhone SE 2020 is lacking Night Mode, a favourite feature of many iPhone owners that allows you to take great photos even in the dark.

Processor and battery

Comparing the old and new iPhone SE’s processors seems almost unfair, as the newer SE 2020 beats the first generation model hands down. Whereas the original iPhone SE was packed with an A9-chip, the new iPhone SE 2020 comes with Apple’s powerful A13 Bionic -processor. 

With the A13 Bionic -chip, the iPhone SE 2020 is capable of running even applications and tasks that require quite a bit of processing power, such as augmented reality and intense mobile games. The upgraded processor also makes browsing the internet as well as using social media and other apps smooth and fast.

According to Apple, the new iPhone SE’s battery lasts up to 13 hours of video playback. This is not quite as long as with many other newer iPhones, but well enough to get you through the day.

Technical details of iPhone SE 2020


4.7-inch Retina DHD display

Rear camera

12MP Wide camera

Front camera

7 MP camera


A13 Bionic chip, Third‑generation Neural Engine

SIM card

Dual SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)


Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology


Lightning connector


4G / LTE, Wi-Fi

Touch ID

Fingerprint sensor helps protect your privacy


1.821mAh battery

Size and weight

138.4 mm x 67.3 mm x 7.3 mm / 148 g



Verdict: Should you get the iPhone SE 2020?

If you value a powerful processor, small size, high-quality cameras and affordable price, then definitely go with the iPhone SE 2020. With many additional features such as Touch ID, the new and upgraded iPhone SE 2020 is a great option for lower priced and small Apple smartphones.

Also remember to consider opting for a refurbished iPhone SE 2020. You can save a great deal of money by buying from a reliable reseller of refurbished Apple iPhone’s without having to make compromises on quality.

Pros of the iPhone SE 2020

  • Powerful A13 Bionic -processor
  • 12-megapixel rear camera and 7-megapixel front camera with plenty of features
  • Lightweight design and small size
  • Affordable price

Cons of the iPhone SE 2020

  • The display is not quite as advanced as the newer models’ OLED displays.
  • Only a single rear camera.
  • The screen might be too small for some.

iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone 11

The iPhone SE 2020 was released alongside Apple’s iPhone 11 models, so it is reasonable to compare these. In case you are looking for a larger smartphone with some more advanced features, we recommend checking out the iPhone 11 as well. If even the iPhone 11 is not enough, check out iPhone 11 Pro with a stunning OLED display as well as a triple camera or the iPhone 11 Pro Max with even larger display.

Getting a refurbished Apple iPhone

Once you have decided if the iPhone SE 2020 could be the one for you, go check out Swappie’s excellent selection of professionally and reliably refurbished iPhones

When getting an iPhone from Swappie, you are sure to get a device that has undergone our rigorous 52-testing procedure, so you can be certain that your new Apple smartphone will be as good as new. We also offer a 12-month warranty as well as a free 14-day right to return.

So check out our selection of refurbished iPhone SE 2020 smartphones as well as other great products.