Apple’s iPhone SE and iPhone 11 are the more affordable options among the company’s current generation of smartphones.
With a starting price tag of R9,999, the 2020 iPhone SE 64GB model ranks among the more expensive options in the mid-range smartphone market.
In comparison, the iPhone 11 is priced at R16,999, which makes it an option for those looking for a cheaper flagship iPhone.
We’ve compared the two smartphones to see what exactly buyers get for the R7,000 premium they would pay for the iPhone 11 over the iPhone SE.
Despite its cheaper price, the iPhone SE comes with the same impressive processor employed in the company’s flagship range.
The A13 Bionic is regarded as one of the most powerful smartphone chips around, often beating rivals from Qualcomm, Samsung, and Huawei in mobile chip benchmarks.
There is a difference between the amount of RAM in the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11, however.
While Apple does not officially disclose the amount of RAM on its phones, teardowns of the two smartphones have revealed the new iPhone SE has 2GB while the iPhone 11 has 4GB.
More RAM should translate to better performance, particularly when running multiple apps or in memory-intensive applications like games.
Design and display
Both smartphones bodies are made from aluminium and glass.
The iPhone SE sports the same body as the iPhone 8, which is smaller than most flagship and mid-range smartphones on the market today.
It also comes with the same 4.7-inch Retina LCD screen with a resolution of 750 x 1,334 and a pixel density of 326ppi.
Unlike most smartphones released today, it has prominent bezels at the top and bottom of its display, as well as a physical home button that doubles as a fingerprint sensor.
The iPhone 11 features a larger 6.1-inch 828 x 1,792 IPS LCD display, which translates to the same 326ppi.
The screen nearly fills the entire front part of the smartphone, however, with relatively thin bezels all around.
A notch at the top houses a range of components – including the front camera, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, speaker, and microphone.
The iPhone SE is available in three colours – black, white, and red – while the iPhone 11 comes in red, black, white, yellow, green, and purple.
In terms of photo and video shooting capability, the iPhone 11 has a significantly more powerful setup.
The SE sports a single 12MP lens on the back which comes with a Sony sensor featuring a 1.22µm pitch behind a 28mm f/1.8 lens.
It supports optical stabilisation and phase-detection autofocus, as well as a portrait mode with a faux bokeh effect.
On the front, it has a 7MP lens, but according to GSM Arena, selfie-lovers shouldn’t judge this low pixel count too quickly.
The publication claimed this selfie camera was the best it had reviewed seen in a while, beating most of the 20MP and 32MP Quad-Bayer lenses available on several Android phones today.
The iPhone 11 comes with dual 12MP cameras on the back, as well as a 12MP front camera with 3D depth sensor on the front.
Although it lacks the telephoto lens of the Pro variants, a DXOMark review has noted the camera is nevertheless a great performer at the price.
The additional 12MP sensor provides a 120-degree field of view for ultra-wide shots, and iPhone 11 owners can benefit from high picture quality in low-light environments, thanks to the camera’s Night Mode support.
Storage and battery
When it comes to functionality for everyday use, storage, battery capacity and security are important points to consider.
Both the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 come in storage options of 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB.
If you plan on storing most of your files locally, you should consider going for one of the higher-storage models, as these offer a better price per GB for both phones.
Heavy smartphone users may find the 1,821mAh battery in the iPhone SE to be slightly lacking when compared to most mid-range smartphones.
Casual users will likely find it is sufficient for a day of typical usage.
The iPhone 11 comes with a much bigger 3,110mAh battery, which Apple promises will deliver up to 17 hours of video playback, 10 hours of video streaming, or 65 hours of audio playback.
Both phones support Apple’s 18W fast charging technology, with a 30-minute charge filling the iPhone 11’s battery by 50%, and the SE’s by 55%.
It should be noted, however, that the fast charger does not come bundled with either phone and must be purchased separately.
While the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 feature the same processor, there are clearly several important differences between the smartphones.
The iPhone SE may be best-suited to casual smartphone users who prefer Apple’s iOS ecosystem, whereas the iPhone 11 is a much more capable smartphone, powerful enough to compete with the best options on the market.
The table below compares the specifications of the 2020 iPhone SE and iPhone 11.
|Specifications||New iPhone SE||iPhone 11|
|Display||4.7-inch 750 x 1,334 LCD||6.1-inch 828 x 1,792 IPS LCD|
|OS||iOS 13||iOS 13|
|Processor||A13 Bionic||A13 Bionic|
|RAM||2GB (unofficial)||4GB (unofficial)|
|Main Camera||12MP||12MP + 12MP|
|Front Camera||7MP||12MP + 3D sensor|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Lightning Port||Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, Lightning Port|
|SIM||Nano SIM + eSIM||Nano SIM + eSIM|
|Dimensions||138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm (148g)||150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm (194g)|
|Price||R9,999 / R12,499 / R14,999||R16,999 / R19,999 / R22,499|