Disclaimer: 9to5gadgets.com is a participant of the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. Any valid purchases made through clicking on the links on this site (when directed to Amazon) will garner us a commission.

iPhone SE (2020) Pros and Cons That Need to Be Addressed

Apple recently launched to market the much speculated iPhone SE. We've been talking about this new iPhone for over a year and over the past few months we've been a witness to countless leaks that left little to the imagination once the phone was finally introduced at an extremely low price point.

That said, even though the iPhone SE 2020 marks a big moment for Apple, the new iPhone didn't come without its disadvantages. Today we're going to tackle head-on said disadvantages as we aim to explore the 2020 iPhone SE pros and cons just to help you be 100% sure it's the right fit for you or not. Many of them you might already be aware of but then again, many others might still be a mystery to you. Let's see what we've got...

iPhone SE 2020 Pros and Cons in all their glory

iPhone SE 2020 Cons

Disappointing battery life

Say hello to carrying around your portable battery again. We knew going in that the iPhone SE 2020 would arrive with the iPhone 8's design which also means using its battery. However, we would be lying if we said a little part of us wasn't hoping that Apple would add just half an inch to the thickness of the phone to introduce a battery life that at least went all the way to 2100 mAh - current capacity is 1821 mAh-.

Perhaps the biggest con to the new iPhone SE is precisely the fact that we need to charge it every day without fail. Sure enough, most of us are already used to doing this already but it would've been so nice if the phone didn't give us "battery anxiety" every time we go out.

Not Full HD 

Shame on Apple for launching a phone in 2020 without a Full HD display. It's simply appalling that, at a time when 100 dollar phones come with a Full HD display, Apple's affordable phone opts to stick to its "Retina display" which is a fancy way of saying it has 1334 by 750-pixel resolution.

That said if we're being totally fair with Apple and we're being totally honest with ourselves; we don't actually need - nor notice - a Full HD display on a 4.7-inch screen. 

Also, the display on the iPhone SE is pretty amazing with great colors and good luminosity to be able to use it outdoors comfortably and that's not something we can say for many mid-range phones - here's looking at you Google Pixel 4A!-.

It's actually hard to go back to a smaller screen

This con only affects those of us who've actually upgraded to a bigger sized phone, be it an iPhone or an Android device. 

Sure, one of the biggest selling points of the iPhone SE is precisely the smaller form factor which allows users to use the phone with a single hand. However, we would've really liked to see Apple meet us somewhere in the middle. 

4.7 inches is just too small in 2020 if you have big fingers so how about 5.2 inches? There are several rumors that Apple will launch a 5.4 inch iPhone this fall but everything points at it being a 700+ dollar iPhone so...there's that...

Anyways, the point is that if you come from an Android where you are currently getting 5.5 inches or more - with most current phones moving along the 6.3 inches - then it's going to be a learning curve and one you should be ready to take on. Ask yourself; are you ready to give up all those things you can do with your phone because of its size?

4K video that occupies too much on a non-4k device

Anyone else sees the irony over here? Sure, it's great that we can record in 4k but the fact remains that as the iPhone doesn't allow for external storage you're ability to shoot 4k video is pretty limited. Consider this; every minute of 4K video recorded on the iPhone takes up roughly 300 MB.

That said, there's also the fact that the iPhone SE 2020 can't actually show you your 4k video in 4k resolution as the phone itself doesn't even reach a Full HD resolution as we've pointed out. 

Again, you might watch the video on your newly released iPad or on your MacBook Pro with magic keyboard - yes, it happened! - but if this is your first step onto the apple ecosystem you better have something that can actually play 4K video if that's one of your main reasons for purchasing an updated iPhone SE.

iPhone SE 2020 Pros/Advantages

Two words: Portrait Mode

Simply put; one of the most appealing features that the new iPhone brings to the table is the inclusion of portrait mode. Thanks to the iPhone 11's chip the SE is capable of delivering very accurate portraits even without having a double camera. That, in itself, is a reason for many of us to buy the iPhone SE. A good phone with an excellent camera and a reasonable price point; that's the dream.

Aside from being able to produce portraits the 2020 iPhone SE's camera is remarkable in every way, being also capable of recording video in 4K resolution

Also, the fact that it comes with 64 GB in its base version and can very cheaply go up to 256 GB of capacity, storage won't really be an issue and we can let our trigger finger go crazy without having to constantly deal with messages about running out of storage.

Battery isn't great but they've made improvements

Though it's true that we've pointed out the limited battery life as a significant disadvantage of the iPhone SE, we should also point out the fact that it's hardly a black and white scenario. Yes, you might need to charge this phone every night but it also comes with quick charge technology which means we can charge the phone all the way up to 50% capacity in just 30 minutes. 

What's more; we've also got wireless charging which is great if you're prone to straining the charger.


Finally an affordable iPhone that's water-resistant. Specifically, this model can survive being underwater for 30 minutes in a maximum depth of 3.3 feet. This is a feature that many clients have called for in recent years and one that's long overdue by the company on all its devices.

It's one of the most powerful smartphones in the market

While the iPhone SE is priced like a mid-range phone its set of key components elevates its status to a high-end phone. Specifically, it comes with the iPhone 11's chipset which delivers one of the best experiences currently available in the market. Add to that CPU a powerful GPU for gaming and 3 GB of RAM to allow for intensive multitasking and we're looking at an experience that simply isn't comparable on any other phone within its price range. Period.

This means that no matter how demanding you are with your new iPhone SE, it definitely has the horsepower to take on most tasks and it won't lag behind like many other of its direct competitors.

Share the music!

Another thing that's quite cool about the new iPhone is that you can pair a couple of Airpods or Beats headphones to it. That means that you can share music or videos with a friend without having to share the same headset. 

Of course, this implies that your friend will also have his own pair of Airpods but considering the fact that now you can buy them quite cheaply, it's not a hard situation to encounter.

We actually prefer the fingerprint reader

This might be a controversial opinion on a tech blog but the truth is that we actually prefer Touch ID over Face ID. That's right! We said it! It's extremely rare to have issues with Touch ID, it unblocks your phone in an instant whilst with Face ID, though it works most of the time, sometimes when lighting isn't good we need to turn the light on or bring up the brightness or even change our posture so that the phone can recognize us. Touch ID simply works. Always. There's definitely value to that which we can't ignore.

So what's the right call?

After reading up on the pros and cons of the iPhone SE and thinking about the advantages you might still be unsure on what to do. Honestly, we love the device and if you're looking for a 4.7-inch smartphone then this is an excellent choice. On the other hand if you've gotten used to 6.5 inch models we warn you that it might take some time to adjust to the "new size".

Also if you've always wanted an iPhone but couldn't justify the expense of the most recent model then this is your chance to actually do so, buy the latest model at a moderate price.

The camera is spectacular, the connectivity is excellent, 3 GB of RAM is a lot for iOS and overall we're talking about a phone that will easily last you over three years if you want it to. It's hard not to recommend it if you're a fan of iOS and never really got a chance to get an iPhone till now. Ultimately, it's the perfect device to bring you over onto the iOS ecosystem with a balanced price point and amazing specs.