iPhone SE vs. iPhone 8: What’s best for budget-minded Apple fans?

iPhone SE vs. iPhone 8: What’s best for budget-minded Apple fans?

With Apple conserving its digital WWDC 2020 conference on June 22, we search files from the firm to whisper updates to its mobile OS, iOS 14. The synthetic is continually on hand on Apple’s most modern iPhone, the iPhone SE for 2020. In a account for to entice budget-minded iPhone fans, this phone debuted for $399 (£419, AU$749). The iPhone SE’s specs and looks are comparable to the iPhone 8 from three years within the past, which is doubtless the explanation why the firm discontinued its 2017 when it announced the iPhone SE.

Study extra:  iPhone SE 2020 is proof that Apple will now no longer if truth be told bring aid the tiny phone

When it first launched, the iPhone 8 tag $699, nonetheless the tag lowered to $449 forward of Apple pulled the go on it. At the ticket time, you need to perchance well aloof procure the phone from third-birthday celebration outlets for even less (Walmart, as an illustration, is selling it fresh for $349 on Straight Discuss). However must you need to perchance well very successfully be thinking of procuring for the iPhone 8 over the iPhone SE 2020 at that tag, form now no longer. The iPhone SE would possibly perchance well well honest share numerous the iPhone 8’s specs, nonetheless for $50 extra you need to perchance well procure extra mileage out of a phone that’s now no longer going to be three years passe out-of-the-box. (And if $399 is de facto out of your budget, save in mind browsing for even more cost-effective phones.)



Even though it shares many key specs, the fresh iPhone SE aloof has a pair of upgrades that manufacture it better than the iPhone 8. That involves an A13 Bionic processor, dual-SIM capabilities and a handful of digicam upgrades. (Neither phone has a headphone jack, must you need to perchance well very successfully be questioning.) Once you need to perchance well very successfully be trying for an more cost-effective fresh iPhone from retailer with up-to-date enhance, the iPhone SE is your most effective bet.

iPhone SE 2020.


Sarah Tew/CNET

Once you bask in already got a successfully-functioning iPhone 8, there isn’t any longer any reason to substitute to a brand fresh iPhone SE must you need to perchance well support it. However must you need to perchance well very successfully be tempted to exercise a brand fresh one, form now no longer. As successfully as to the iPhone SE 2020 upgrades you need to perchance well be lacking out on (which I listed above), there would possibly perchance be the likelihood that instrument updates from Apple and buyer enhance from wherever you do away with your iPhone 8 would possibly perchance well well honest now no longer be as sturdy on a 3-one year-passe instrument than on a brand fresh one. Even though or now no longer it’s involving to set of abode a tangible monetary tag on issues esteem decent iOS updates, return coverage and a presumably increased substitute-in tag, or now no longer it’s value paying barely extra for these aspects. (Talking of substitute-ins, Apple is offering $170 off the iPhone SE must you flip to your iPhone 8.)

Study our Apple iPhone 8 review.

Once you need to perchance well esteem extra reasons, though, let’s stroll thru every gadgets and display conceal why the iPhone SE is the smarter do away with.

Perform: Both iPhones are almost an identical, nonetheless…

Now not like the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11, which perceive relatively a pair of even at a ogle, the iPhone SE and the iPhone 8 perceive relatively the same. Both bask in 4.7-slump Retina HD shows (a branding phrases that Apple makes exercise of to differentiate its whisper know-how) with the same resolution and pixel density. They additionally bask in a bodily dwelling button that homes a fingerprint reader for unlocking the phone and authorizing digital funds. Both are rated IP67 for water security too. 


The fresh iPhone SE looks loads esteem the iPhone 8.

Angela Lang/CNET

However there are two minor differences referring to the phones. One is that the iPhone 8 aloof has 3D Contact. The feature debuted in 2015 within the iPhone 6S, allowing you to procure entry to extra menu solutions and instructions by laborious-pressing your finger towards the display conceal. Apple started to segment out the feature in 2018 with the iPhone XR and or now no longer it’s now absent from fresh iPhones. As a substitute, the firm changed 3D Contact with Haptic Contact. Haptic Contact is on the iPhone SE and works relatively the same device, excluding in need to having to press down extra tough on the display conceal, you need to perchance well need to merely long-press on the merchandise.

2nd, the iPhone 8 comes in shaded, white and gold — nonetheless inventory is proscribed looking on the retailer so that you just need to perchance well honest gather even fewer solutions. The iPhone SE, meanwhile, is on hand now and comes in shaded, white and red.

Camera: iPhone SE has some hidden extras

The iPhone SE and iPhone 8 every bask in a 12-megapixel rear digicam and a 7-megapixel front-dealing with shooter, with the same apertures on every (f/1.8 and f/2.2, respectively). On the bottom, it looks as if there isn’t any longer any contrast between the 2 phones’ cameras, nonetheless Apple added some worthwhile digicam upgrades beneath the hood. These contain:

  • Portrait Mode and Depth Control for taking and adjusting bokeh pictures
  • Tidy HDR, to enhance highlights and shadows
  • Crimson-perceive correction
  • Quicktake, which enables you to fleet document video with out tapping out of Photo mode
  • Video improvements: Extended dynamic vary for 30fps; 3x digital zoom (the iPhone 8 has 2x); cinematic video stabilization for 4K video (the iPhone 8 has it only up to 1080p) and stereo recording
  • Front-dealing with digicam: Portrait mode and cinematic video stabilization up to 1080p (the iPhone 8 has none)

Altogether, iPhone SE captures better quality pictures and video than the iPhone 8, and at times takes pictures equally linked to the iPhone 11. For additional on digicam quality, manufacture certain that to study CNET’s iPhone SE review.

Processor, battery, dual-SIM and reminiscence

The iPhone SE is provided with Apple’s most modern proprietary A13 Bionic chip, the same one which’s internal the iPhone 11 flagship. After we ran processing efficiency speeds on 3DMark and Geekbench 5, the iPhone SE clocked in an identical outcomes with the iPhone 11, which is to deliver that the iPhone SE additionally done comparably — and at times better than — the Galaxy S20, Pixel 4 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. And when put next to the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE’s result for 3DMark’s Ice Storm Limitless test changed into once miles above the iPhone 8’s (97,415 when put next to the iPhone 8’s 62,206 gather).

Apple's A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max

Apple’s A13 processor.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple by no device discloses its iPhones’ battery capacities, so when it announced the iPhone SE, all it acknowledged changed into once that it changed into once the same because the iPhone 8. It additionally listed an identical wireless video and audio playback hours (13 hours and 40 hours, respectively) for every phones. On the other hand, once we ran our battery assessments for video playback on Airplane mode, the iPhone SE lasted longer than the iPhone 8 by almost two hours. (To be extra negate, the iPhone SE lasted about 15.5 hours, whereas the iPhone 8 lasted 13.5 hours.)

As successfully as, the iPhone SE has solutions for a nano-SIM and an e-SIM, which device you need to perchance well arrange two phone numbers on the same phone. Having dual-SIM capabilities is handy must you chase back and forth loads and wish a phone in a single other nation, or you need to perchance well well bask in two phones for inner most and industry exercise and would take care of to combine it in a single instrument. Lastly, whereas every phones bask in a 64GB and 256GB reminiscence option, the fresh iPhone SE has a third, 128GB model. That ability is ceaselessly belief of as to be the “sweet articulate” as a long way as storage goes. That is in consequence of 64GB would possibly perchance well well honest now no longer be ample to take care of all your pictures and 4K movies, 256GB shall be too extravagant. 

iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 8

Apple iPhone SE (2020) iPhone 8
Point to dimension, resolution 4.7-slump Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels 4.7-slump Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels
Pixel density 326ppi 326ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 5.45×2.65×0.29 in 5.45×2.65×0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 138.4×67.3×7.3 mm 138.4×67.3×7.3 mm
Weight (Oz, Grams) 5.22 oz; 148g 5.22 oz; 148g
Mobile instrument iOS 13 iOS 11 (can substitute to iOS 13)
Camera 12-megapixel 12-megapixel
Front-dealing with digicam 7-megapixel 7-megapixel
Video score 4K 4K
Processor Apple A13 Bionic Apple A11 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 256GB
RAM No longer disclosed No longer disclosed
Expandable storage No No
Battery No longer disclosed No longer disclosed
Fingerprint sensor Home button Home button
Connector Lightning Lightning
Headphone jack No No
Special aspects Waterproof (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless charging Waterproof (IP67); wireless charging