iPhone SE vs 2020 iPhone SE: Here’s Why You Should Upgrade

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 16 Apr 2020

2020 iPhone SE Colors

The 2020 iPhone SE is going to make a lot of people excited. Not everyone in this world can afford to spend $700-$1000 on a smartphone and the 2020 iPhone SE is going to be the perfect choice for them. Original iPhone SE owners who loved the form factor of the device should also consider upgrading to its 2020 refresh because of the massive improvements it brings in almost every department. If you are in two minds on whether you should upgrade from the original iPhone SE to the 2020 iPhone SE or not, read our guide to find out.

Irrespective of how much you love your iPhone SE, there’s no denying the fact that it is an extremely old device now. Sure, it might be working fine but you are only going to realize how old the device is once you upgrade to the 2020 iPhone SE. If you can spend $399 on a new smartphone right now, read our decision below to know why the 2020 iPhone SE is a worthy upgrade over the original SE.

iPhone SE to 2020 iPhone SE – Upgrade or Not?


  • 2020 iPhone SE – 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, 148gms, IP67 certified
  • iPhone SE – 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm, 113gms

The 2020 iPhone SE is bigger than the original iPhone SE by a fair margin. The design is also a bit different as the 2020 iPhone SE looks just like the iPhone 7 and iPhone 8, while the original iPhone SE had a design identity of its own. The glass back of the 2020 iPhone SE means that it can easily shatter when dropped, an issue which one never had to care about on the original iPhone SE since it had an aluminum back. Whether these changes are good or bad depends on one’s preference, but when there are quite a few benefits to them.

Apple iPhone SE 2020 Black Camera Touch ID

Firstly, the 2020 iPhone SE is IP67 certified meaning it is dust and water-resistant. This means if you ever accidentally spill water on your new iPhone SE, you won’t have to worry about it going bonkers and not working properly. Additionally, the glass back means the 2020 iPhone SE features Qi wireless charging — a very nice convenience to have in this day and age as wireless chargers are becoming a commonplace. The 2020 iPhone SE is not going to win any design awards especially with its chunky bezels at the top and bottom, but when compared to the original iPhone SE, it is surely a step up in some big aspects.

While both iPhones feature Touch ID, Apple is using the second-generation sensor on the 2020 iPhone SE. This new sensor is noticeably faster and more reliable than the original Touch ID sensor found on the 2016 iPhone SE.

One thing that’s missing on the 2020 iPhone SE is the headphone jack which the original iPhone SE had.

iPhone SE from the rear Display

  • 2020 iPhone SE – 4.7-inch Retina HD, 1334 x 750 resolution, 326 ppi
  • iPhone SE – 4-inch Retina display, 1136 x 640 resolution, 326 ppi

The 2020 iPhone SE features a 0.7-inch bigger and higher resolution display than the original iPhone SE. Apart from the size and resolution bump, the new iPhone SE’s display has higher brightness levels (625 nits), noticeably better contrast and colors, and viewing angles. Overall, the display on the 2020 iPhone SE is a major step up in every department despite Apple still using an LCD panel which is on its way out in smartphones.

Many people might be bummed about the size increase though as this makes the 2020 iPhone SE less compact. However, despite the jump in screen size, one can still reach all corners of the display using their thumb — if that really matters to you.

Apple iPhone SE


  • 2020 iPhone SE – A13 Bionic, 2.4x faster CPU, 4x faster GPU than A9
  • iPhone SE – Dual-core A9 chip

The 2020 iPhone SE has the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 and the iPhone 11 Pro. This makes the device an absolute monster in terms of performance and the most powerful compact smartphone on the market right now. Just to give an idea, the 2020 iPhone SE is faster than every major flagship Android smartphone announced in 2020 including the Galaxy S20 series and the OnePlus 8.

The A9 chip inside the original iPhone SE was good for its time, but in 2020, it is well past its prime and its performance is not adequate for today’s apps and games. The raw horsepower of the A13 Bionic inside the 2020 iPhone SE will ensure that the phone runs smoothly for the next 3-5 years without any issues.

Another important thing to note is that the second-generation iPhone SE has a barometer that the original iPhone SE lacks. The addition of the barometer sensor would greatly help in enhancing the gaming experience on the new iPhone SE.

Apple iPhone SE 2020 Apple Arcade Gaming Storage and RAM

  • 2020 iPhone SE – 3GB RAM | 64GB, 128GB, 256GB storage variants
  • iPhone SE – 2GB RAM | 32GB, 128GB storage variants

This is another area where the 2020 iPhone SE brings a noticeable improvement over the original iPhone SE. When the iPhone SE had first launched, 32GB of base storage was just about enough. Fast forward to 2020, 64GB has become the standard base storage configuration for all smartphones. Apart from a higher base storage configuration, Apple is also offering the 2020 iPhone SE in more storage variants: 128GB and 256GB. If you carry around a lot of data, you can buy the 256GB variant of the iPhone SE and get rid of all your storage woes.


  • 2020 iPhone SE – Gigabit LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Dual-SIM, eSIM, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with Reader mode
  • iPhone SE – LTE, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.2, NFC

Sure, your original iPhone SE can connect to an LTE network and make/receive calls. However, the modem inside the device is now old and outdated. Once you upgrade to the second-generation iPhone SE, you are going to notice better download speeds over LTE, better network connectivity overall especially in places with poor network signal, and better and clearer voice call quality. You will also get faster Wi-Fi speeds and connectivity even if you don’t have a Wi-Fi 6 router since the 2020 iPhone SE has a better antenna design and modem. Additionally, the 2020 iPhone SE supports dual-SIM connectivity, features eSIM support, and has NFC with reader mode — all handy features to have as they will make your smartphone more useful in daily use.

iPhone SE oblique


  • 2020 iPhone SE – 12MP, f/1.8 aperture, OIS, Portrait Lightning, Stereo recording, 4K 60fps video recording, 7MP f/2.2 FaceTime HD camera
  • iPhone SE – 12MP f/2.2, 4K 30fps video recording, 1.2MP f/2.4 FaceTime camera

The 2020 iPhone SE and the original SE might have the same resolution for the rear camera, 12MP, but there is a massive difference in their performance. The second-generation iPhone SE uses a newer camera sensor, has a wider f/1.8 aperture, and features OIS. These factors will greatly help it in capturing better photos, be it in daylight or low-light. The phone can also record 4K videos at 60fps while the older iPhone SE was limited to recording 4K videos at 30fps.

The front FaceTime camera has also seen a massive upgrade between the two iPhone SE generations. The original iPhone SE had a 1.2MP selfie camera meaning your selfies were never going to be good enough to post on social media channels. In comparison, the 2020 iPhone SE has a 7MP f/2.2 selfie camera that can take sharper, clearer, and more detailed selfies. It can also record videos at Full HD resolution.

2020 iPhone SE

Battery Life and Charging

  • 2020 iPhone SE – Fast wired charging, 7.5W Qi wireless charging, 5W power adapter bundled
  • iPhone SE – 10W wired charging, 5W power adapter bundled

Apple’s battery stats don’t really make it clear but the A13 Bionic chip and other power efficient components should ensure that the second-generation iPhone SE is able to last a day of moderate to heavy use. You might not realize this, but your original iPhone SE’s battery has now worn out. It is only when you upgrade to the 2020 iPhone SE that you will realize the battery life improvements it brings to the table despite its battery life being nothing extraordinary.

The 2020 iPhone SE also supports 18W fast wired charging meaning it can charge from 0-50% in just 30 minutes. Apple still bundles a 5W charger with it though, so one will have to invest in a fast charger separately. The device also supports Qi wireless charging, a convenient feature to have in this day and age as wireless chargers are becoming commonplace.

The second-generation iPhone SE is a worthy upgrade for original iPhone SE owners because of the notable improvements it brings in the camera, performance, battery life, and connectivity department. If you have the money to spare, you should definitely go for it. The only thing you will need to consider is the jump in size which might be a bummer for some.

If you decide to buy the new iPhone SE, then check out our post for the best iPhone SE deals. We would also love to know why did you decide to buy or not buy iPhone SE, so please also share your thoughts in the comments below.