Home > Technology > Gadgets > iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone XR: Which affordable Apple phone should you buy

Sticking to its earlier name, Apple launched the first smartphone of the year, the iPhone SE on Wednesday in its Cupertino headquarters. The new iPhone SE is practically the most affordable Apple phone of the year and yes, this one does come with the much-missed Home button, rather with the Touch ID.

The iPhone SE was launched amid the novel coronavirus outbreak in the world when most of the countries, including India, are under lockdown in order to combat the spread of the virus.

Priced at $399 or 42,500, the new iPhone SE is definitely the cheapest and most affordable Apple model to launch this year. Previously, the cheaper model that the Cupertino-based smartphone maker launched was the iPhone XR, along with its iPhone X series in 2018. Both these models are starkly different apart from only their sizes and design.

Here's how Apple's latest offering differs from its earlier affordable iPhone XR.

iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone XR, price:

If price is the main factor of switching to either an iPhone SE 2020 or iPhone XR, the answer is pretty clear. Evidently, the yet-to-be available iPhone SE 2020 is the cheaper among the two with the price starting at 42,500 for its 64 GB variant, while the iPhone XR comes at a starting price of 52,500 for the same storage option. Moreover, the colour options for iPhone SE are Black, White and (Product) Red. On the other hand, the iPhone XR comes in more colours such as Black, Blue, Coral, (Product) Red, White, and Yellow.

iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone XR, design:

This is one of the biggest points of comparison. The iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone XR have stark differences, right from the size, shape and the design, too. Let's break it down, one by one.

The iPhone SE 2020 has been launched with a nostalgia of the past iPhone design, look and feel. Since 2018, when Apple launched its iPhone X series and later in 2019, the iPhone 11 series, it holistically changed the design of its smartphones, with a slightly bigger size and a revamped camera placement. However, with the iPhone 8 look-alike, the new iPhone SE returns with the 4.7 inch Retina display carrying thick bezels on top and bottom, as well as the Touch ID. The rear camera and flash are placed adjacent to each other, just like iPhone 6, 7 and 8 series.

On the other hand, the iPhone XR is one of the bigger phones, size-wise with its 6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD IPS display. It does not come with a Touch ID as Apple built the default Face ID on its iPhone models after iPhone 8. Of course, there are almost no bezels in the front and the rear camera's lens size is bigger while the flash is below the lens.

iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone XR features, specifications:

When it comes to the differences in the features and specifications, the new iPhone SE carries the latest and Apple's most powerful and fast processor yet, the A13 Bionic chipset. Yes, the same chipset that houses the iPhone 11 series. The iPhone XR on the other hand, carries the older A12 Bionic chipset.

Coming to the camera features, the iPhone SE comes with a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture Wide camera on the back, while the iPhone XR also comes with a 12-megapizel rear camera. Moreover, both the smartphones are capable of taking Portrait mode, all six Portrait Lighting effects and Depth Control.5 on the front and back camera. For videos, the iPhone SE supports video capture at 4K up to 60fps, and extended dynamic range comes to iPhone SE for more highlight details up to 30fps. The new iPhone model also comes with a Quick Take video feature on the front and rear cameras, allowing video recording without switching out of Photo mode. This feature is missing in the iPhone XR.

On the battery capacity, the newly launched iPhone up to 13 hours of video streaming and approximately 40 hours of audio in a single charge. However, the iPhone XR has a battery battery life as it offers 16 hours of video streaming and around 65 hours of audio playback. Moreover, the iPhone SE offers fast-charging, giving customers up to 50% charge in just 30 minutes, claims Apple. Both the smartphones have Lighting port for charging.


The compact iPhone SE is a powerhouse of features. To say the least, it has been designed to look like the older iPhones, but works as good as the latest Apple's offering, the iPhone 11 series. And with the price point, the newly launched Apple product can be a strong option for you to buy if you want the latest of the technology features in a more compact and yester-year design. However, it does come with some lacking, such as no Face ID like the iPhone XR, which can be a concern for many who feel the Touch ID alone is not the safest way to lock the phone. Additionally, since most of the smartphones manufactured these days have bigger screen, the iPhone SE can be portrayed as a smartphone too small for its present times. Overall, the latest features, coupled with an older look and design does make this 'budget' phone worth a try. Apple announced pre-order dates in the US, beginning from April 17, there’s no availability date for India at the moment.

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