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iPhone SE2 Review

Ferrari Engine Toyota Price: All You Need to Know About the New iPhone SE 2 (2020)

profileJoel Koh

On April 2020, Apple unveiled a new budget iPhone, the second-generation iPhone SE.

The phone is the successor to the 2016 iPhone SE of the same name.

Like its predecessor, the 2020 iPhone SE is Apple’s most affordable iPhone, with prices starting at $649. This is even slightly cheaper than the first generation iPhone SE when you account for inflation.

Unlike the original iPhone SE, which looked like an iPhone 5, the second-generation iPhone SE’s design is almost identical to the 2017 iPhone 8.

Source: Apple | iPhone SE 2 (left) iPhone 8 Plus (right)

To make a comparison, the phone has the engine of a Ferrari (A13 Bionic Chip from the iPhone 11) put in the body of a reasonably priced Toyota (iPhone 8).

At this price, the phone offers up considerable value. But should you be buying Apple’s budget phone?

Let’s find out!

TL;DR: The Second Generation iPhone SE 2 (2020) Offers up Most of the iPhone 11 Experience at Almost Half the Price.

What Great About it

  • A13 Bionic Chip, the fastest processor in a Smartphone used in the more expensive iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max.
  • Capable cameras with Portrait mode and Smart HDR for photos, and 4K/60fps video recording.
  • IP67 dust and water resistance for more durability.
  • Convenient wireless charging.
  • Offers considerable value for the money at $649 for the 64GB variant.

What’s Not Great

  • No face unlock.
  • Only 720p screen
  • No night mode for the camera.
  • Dated 3-year-old design (basically an updated iPhone 8)

Before we begin with what’s great and not too great about the phone. Let’s dive in to the specs and price of the iPhone SE 2. This will help you get an idea of what the phone is like.

*Although Apple calls it the second-generation iPhone, we shall be referring to as the iPhone SE 2 as shorthand for the new model.

Second Generation iPhone SE (2020) Specs

Specification Details
Screen 4.7-inch True Tone IPS LCD display
1334x750 pixels at 326 ppi
Rear Camera12-megapixel single camera with OIS
Focus pixels with HDR, and portrait mode for people
Video recording at 4K/60fps
Selfie camera7-megapixel camera
Dimensions138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
148 grams
ProcessorA13 Bionic
Memory3GB RAM
Battery1,821 mAh same as the iPhone 8
Storage64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
OSiOS 13
SIMDual SIM w(nano-Sim and eSIM)
Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit LTE
Biometric authenticationSecond-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor
ChargingComes with 5W Lightning connect charger but supports 18W fast charging
Wireless ChargingWireless charging (works with Qi chargers)
Dust and Water ResistanceIP 67 rating

What is the Release Date of iPhone SE 2?

The iPhone SE 2020 will be available on Friday, 24 April 2020. Pre-orders for the phone have already started.

Do note that there is a purchase limit of two sets of iPhone SE per customer.

The phone comes in White, Black and (PRODUCT)RED. When you buy the (PRODUCT)RED version, Apple will contribute to the Global Fund to combat COVID-19.

Second Generation iPhone SE 2 Price in Singapore

Here are the prices for the iPhone SE 2:

Colour OptionStorage OptionPrice (SGD)
Product Red256GB$889

You can also purchase AppleCare+ coverage for an additional $129. This will give you up to two years of technical support and coverage for hardware repair and accidental damage to your phone.

Apart from getting a refurbished or used iPhone, this iPhone SE (2020) is the cheapest new iPhone you can get today.

If you are buying the phone outright, you can consider contract-free SIM-only plans as they are more affordable and flexible than the traditional two-year contracts tied together with devices.

You can check out our easy-to-use SIM-Only Mobile Plans comparison tool to find the best SIM-only plan for you.

You will be able to compare the best SIM-Only plans from Circles.Life, redOne, Giga!, Singtel, M1, TPG Mobile and more…

Second Generation iPhone SE 2 Telco Price

Alternatively, you can consider the traditional two-year contracts that telcos tie together with their devices if you have corporate or special discounts/

*Information was taken on 22 Apr 2020.

Singtel Mobile Plans for Second Generation iPhone SE 2 (2 years contract)

Singtel XO Plan iPhone SE 2:

Phone ModelXO 48 Plan
$48 per Month
XO 78 Plan
$78 per Month
XO 108 Plan
$108 per Month
iPhone SE 64GB $158 $0$0
iPhone SE 128GB$228
iPhone SE 256GB$378$118

Singtel Combo Plan iPhone SE 2:

Phone ModelCombo 2

$42.90 per month
Combo 3

$72.90 per month
Combo 6

$99.90 per month
Combo 12

$239.90 per month
iPhone SE 64GB $208$0$0$0
iPhone SE 128GB $268$0
iPhone SE 256GB $428$158

Starhub Mobile Price Plans for Second Generation iPhone SE 2 (2 years contract)

Phone Model$55 Plan (Monthly Fee)$80 Plan (Monthly Fee)$110 Plan (Monthly Fee)$243 Plan (Monthly Fee)
iPhone SE 64GB$87$0$0$0
iPhone SE 128GB$152

M1 Mobile Plans for Second Generation iPhone SE 2 (2 years contract)

Phone Model$40 Base Plan (Monthly Fee)$50 Base Plan + Add on (Monthly Fee)$78 Base Plan + Add on (Monthly Fee)$110 Base Plan + Add on (Monthly Fee)$235 Base Plan + Add on (Monthly Fee)
iPhone SE 64GB $225 $125 $0$0$0
iPhone SE 128GB $290 $185
iPhone SE 256GB $445$340 $85

Second Generation iPhone SE 2 Review: What’s Great About it

Now you know the prices and specs of the iPhone SE 2, here are the top 5 reasons why Apple’s new entry-level phone is well worth the money.

1) A13 Bionic Processor

While budget Android phones will use cheaper less powerful processors, the iPhone SE 2 gets the top of the lineApple A13 Bionic processor.

The processor is simply the fastest processor in a smartphone which is also used in the expensive iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro series.

This is akin to putting a Ferrari engine into a Toyota car which will make the phone perform flawlessly.

Source: Giphy

What does this mean when it comes to actual use?

There will be little or no discernable lag for all your day to day tasks and you will be able to play all the latest graphic-intensive games without a hitch.

Another thing that bodes well for the phone is its longevity. Apple is known for its longtime support of its devices with the iPhone 6s a phone launched in 2015 getting the latest iOS 13 update in 2020!

The phone should not slow down much either down the road as it is using the latest and greatest CPU from Apple.

2) Capable iPhone SE 2 Cameras

For a budget phone, the iPhone SE 2 has capable cameras.

It has a simple 12-megapixel F/1.8 back camera sensor and a 7-megapixel selfie camera setup.

Specs-wise, this matches what you can find on the iPhone XR. I will not be surprised if they are using the same sensors.

The software side is where it gets interesting as the cameras benefit from the processing power of the A13 Bionic Chip.


The iPhone SE supports the fancy Portrait mode with depth control and 6 Portrait Lighting effects.

This means you can play around with the lighting and control the blurriness of the background.

The phone also has which Smart HDR helps you to intelligently re-light recognized subjects.

Source: Apple | Photo taken with the new iPhone SE using Smart HDR

This helps during challenging lighting conditions, where one part of the photo is very bright and the other part is very dark.

On the front, selfie camera can pull off Portrait mode effects as well but not do 4K video recording.

Video Recording

The phone supports 4K video recording at 60fps and shoots nice stabilised video. There is also an additional extended dynamic range mode when shooting mode with the rear camera.

This means that your phone will handle the above-mentioned challenging lighting conditions better. But, the framerate will drop to 30fps.

Add it all up and the iPhone SE could be one of the best camera phones for those on a budget.

3) IP67 Dust and Water Resistance for More Durability

Buying a cheap phone usually means you have to forgo dust and water resistance as these features are usually only found in more expensive phones like the iPhone 11 series.

This is not the case for the iPhone SE 2 as it is IP67 dust and water-resistant.

The IP rating is an international standard put in place by the (IEC) to determine how resistant an electrical device is to freshwater and common raw materials – like dirt, dust and sand.

The first digit after IP is the rating the IEC assigned a unit for its resistance to solids.

For this phone, it’s 6– which means no “harmful” dust or dirt seeped into the unit after being in direct contact.

Next, we have the water-resistance rating which in this case is 7 which means that this phone can be submerged in up to one meter of freshwater for 30 minutes.

Even though it is water-resistant, you should not be using it in the pool or the ocean as stuff like chlorine and salt may still seep through and damage your phone.

4) Wireless Charging

Similarly, wireless charging is a feature you’ll only see on the more expensive phones.

Source: Unsplash | Nathan Waters

The iPhone SE2 supports wireless charging and is compatible with most Qi wireless chargers.

This means you can throw your phone on a compatible wireless charger and it will start charging conveniently.

5) Affordable Price Starting at $649 for the 64GB Version

$649 is not exactly cheap, but hear me out. With many budget Android handsets costing half the price, you might want to look elsewhere.

But dollar for dollar, the iPhone SE 2 provides shockingly good value.

You get most of the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro experience at almost half the price with the same processor, capable camera, water and dust resistance, wireless charging and more.

Plus, Apple devices tend to hold their value longer and last longer too with around 5 years of software updates.

Aside from the need to change a worn-out battery, you can use this phone for a much longer time compared to other budget devices.

Second Generation iPhone SE 2: Review What’s Not Great About it

With its price, Apple’s budget phone will naturally have some cons. Here are four reasons why you might want to skip the phone.

Source: Apple

1) No Face ID (Face Unlock)

The iPhone misses out on the Face ID; the newer facial recognition system present in iPhones (X, XR, XS, XS Max, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max).

Instead, the iPhone has the older Touch ID fingerprint scanner that is used to unlock your device, make payments and access sensitive data.

2) No Night Mode for the Camera

When it comes to smartphone photography, most phones tend to struggle at night when there is little to no light.

You may want to turn on the flash on your iPhone SE as it does not have the Night mode feature found on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro series.

This is a shame as night mode on those phones can actually produce quite good photos even when it is almost pitch black.

3) Dated 3-Year-Old Design (basically an updated iPhone 8)

Apple is great at recycling.

The iPhone SE 2 looks just like the iPhone 8 from 2017.

Source: Apple

Granted you might be a fan of this ‘popular design’ but it just looks dated especially with its thick top and bottom bezels in the front.

4) Only 720p LCD Screen

This is one of the areas that Apple cut back on.

The phone still has a relatively low 1334 by 750 pixel or 720p LCD resolution screen.

Source: Xiaomi | Redmi K20 Pro which retails at $459

In a vacuum, you might not notice.

But when you compare it to other phones cheaper than the iPhone SE 2 have noticeably better higher resolution 1080p AMOLED full-screen displays – it is just a bit disappointing from Apple.

iPhone SE 2 – Should You Get it?

The iPhone SE 2 looks like it could be one of the best phones in its price range.

The phone’s performance, features, durability and cameras that all punch above its weight to deliver a great overall experience.

This phone also really puts the pressure on Android phone makers to deliver higher-quality for the lowest possible price.

If you can live with the older design, no night mode in the camera, lack of Face ID, and 720p LCD screen – this is a no-brainer for its price.

This phone will be great for those who are looking for:

  • A compact phones that don’t compromise on the performance
  • More of the same from Apple but with upgraded internals
  • A reliable, easy to use phone for those who are less tech-savvy
About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. I hope to help people make better financial decisions and not let money control them.
You can contribute your thoughts like Joel Koh here.

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