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iPhone SE 2020 review: Still too expensive

Posted in Reviews on by Stein JürgenDownload .

Is a small compact phone the future? For some people it is for some reason and Apple has finally accepted that with the new and for Apple cheap iPhone SE. But is it worth the money?  See our test with pros, cons and price + a guide to one great alternative and two poor.

I’m a sucker for phones with big displays. I have said that before and will say it again – A sucker! But I was till excited to see what the the small iPhone SE 2020 could offer me. Not much I’m afraid.  Most reviewers conclude it’s the iphone for most people – I disagree.  Completely.

As always, the positive stuff first.

Review iPhone SE 2020


The iPhone SE 2020 is designwise a true copy of iPhone 8. I’m a fan of using things over and over again but when you pay big money for a phone I guess you want something that is a bit different.

One thing I must grant other reviewers – it’s more handy than any other phone on the market. Unless you have an iPhone 8, 7, 6 og 5 or an android phone from 20010.

It feels well build, it’s waterproof, it’s small, it’s light. It’s perfect if you want a small phone that’s easy to use with one hand.

Read more: Phones with best design and material

User friendliness & Navigation speed

iPhone SE comes with the newest iOS 13 and can be upgraded to at least iOS 17 and maybe also iOS 18. Combined with the powerful A 13 Bionic chipset you have a phone that can easily last for 4-5 years. Of course you have to change the battery a few times during these 4-5 years – but still.

It’s easy to make fun of the A13 bionic chipset – why put such a powerful processor in such a small phone – so you can open iMessage extremely fast?

But it’s actually a stroke of genius from Apples hand.  The phone is – for Apple – cheap and you can use it for many years thanks to the A13 Bionic.

Normally I critizises phones with only 64 GB memory but in this case I guess it okay. You are not going to use the phone for heavy gaming or video recording or load it with heavy apps so I guess the memory capacity is fine.

Read more: Most user friendly phones


I’m in a good mood right now so I put the camera in the pro section. There is only one camera on the back and it’s easy to see the advantages with 2-3 cameras on the back. There are no as many possibilities with just one camera and the picture quality is not amazing. But it’s rather good.

Pictures taken in broad daylight have nice colours and sharpness. Portrait photos looks great thanks to nice software manipulation.

Zoom and wide angle is not a thing on the phone and pictures shot in the dark looks poor. There is no Night Mode.

Read more: The best camera phones


The price level for iPhone SE is around 500 dollars or 450 euros. That sure makes it a cheap iPhone – but its not a cheap phone and it does have some big issues.

Read more: Compare prices on iPhone SE



The display is simply to small. It’s to small for a modern phone user being online, streaming movies and games, reading books and magazine – and so on.

The display is 4,7 inch big and as nice this make the format and seize of the phone, just as awfull is it when using the phone.

Read more: Phones with best display


The battery has an embarrassing low capacity and an awful battery life. 1.821 milli amp hours is low even for a phone with a small display. Test have shown that the battery gives only less than 5 hours video play back where other phones in the same price level  phones can play 7-8 hours.

Poor battery capacity, poor battery life.

The charging speed is also terrible. There’s only a 5 watt charger in the box and it takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to charge it from 0-100 percent. It does support fast charging but you have to buy a fast charger yourself.

Read more: Phones with long battery life

Antenna quality

The sar value is very high and much higher than on most phones and the antenna quality still sucks. In cities you probably won’t get a poor mobile coverage – unless you live in concrete buildings or have enviromental friendly windows in your house or apartment. In the outskirts with long distance between antenna base stations there’s a high risk of losing the connnection which means poor voice quality and slow data speed.

The poor antenna quality also means, that the phone has to use more power to stay connected – this means using more battery.

Read more: Phones with best antenna quality


There are not many alternatives to iPhone SE when we only talk seize. Actually there’s only one great, the Smasung Galaxy S10e and then some poor ones.


iPhone SE is not a good phone, but it will do the job for people who don’t use their phone for many things – mostly for talking, texting and some very light reading and basic pictures.

Read more: Phone reviews

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