After giving us a good tease for a long time, Apple finally released the iPhone SE 2 in 2020. Naturally, we couldn’t resist making comparisons between the two devices to see how far the iPhone SE line has developed. Even more importantly, we wanted to determine which was the better device to get as a refurbished device. I know it sounds automatic that the newer, more advanced iPhone SE 2 would win but will it beat the older iPhone SE for value and utility. The Apple iPhone SE 2 64GB from Phonebot offers great value for money and both iPhones were released as budget phones, but where do the comparisons end? Let’s dive in.
The iPhone 8 was the last iPhone to feature a home button, well, until the iPhone SE 2 arrived. The physical home button is a big deal among those who struggle with swiping navigations and FaceID. A lot has changed since Apple got rid of the home button, but it still has a wide fan base and hence the reason the manufacturer chose to bring it back. The iPhone SE 2 is the only new iPhone that has a physical key and dedicated fingerprint scanner. At the time the original iPhone SE was released, having a physical touch button was the order of the day—in fact, it dominated the front of the phone.
The iPhone SE, with its 4-inch screen, is the smallest iPhone in the range. The iPhone SE 2 takes it to a manageable4.7-inch display for those who like a small palm-able phone. If you have small hands, you will love the fact that Apple did not go for a bigger form factor phone but still managed to cram a usable screen. The smaller screen on the original iPhone SE may look like an advantage until it’s not. Display technology has advanced so much between the two phones. A smaller screen makes it harder to play games, comes with less detailed graphics, renders it difficult to read a text, and worse, very few things will fit the screen. Furthermore, the newer iPhone SE 2 is thinner than the first one.
Camera and battery
Taking over from where the iPhone 8 left, the iPhone SE 2 clearly demonstrates what four years means in tech years. To start with, instead of the iPhone SE’s 1.2MP front camera, it comes with a larger 7MP camera. The rear camera in both phones is 12MP, but the iPhone SE 2 has a better sensor which means more details and performance in low light and other conditions.
As for the battery, the iPhone SE 2 has a battery life of 13hours in regular use. The original iPhone SE also boasted a similar battery performance. Of course, you are not going to expect that battery performance will be the same on a 4-year-old phone compared to a new one, and the weakness in the iPhone SE may just come from the age of its battery. Thanks to a glass back, the iPhone SE 2 also has wireless charging over the cable-only iPhone SE.
We have come to expect that a newer iPhone is faster than the old one, and the story is very much the same on the iPhone SE vs. iPhone SE 2 comparison. Over the years, Apple has improved its chip architecture. When they decided to spruce up the iPhone 8 by removing the A11 bionic chip and replacing it with the A13 Bionic chip, you immediately knew it was going to be a massive hit. The differences in efficiency between the iPhone SE’s 14nm A9 chip and the iPhone SE 2’s 7nm A13 Bionic are clear. The processing and graphics performance has gone up, but it also means that the newer phone is also future-proofed.
RAM also goes up from 2GB on the iPhone SE to 3GB on the iPhone SE 2. Internal storage starts at 64GB to 256GB for the newer iPhone, while the older iPhone SE has a max internal storage of 128GB. Both phones can still be updated to the latest iOS 14.4.2 despite the iPhone SE launching with iOS 9.3.2 and the iPhone SE 2 coming with iOS 13. This just goes to show that if you were to buy any of the two, you are sure of support from Apple. That said, we cannot realistically expect that the support horizon for the iPhone SE will be as long as the iPhone SE 2. In fact, software support for the original iPhone SE is likely to end sometime in 2021.
Besides performance, the iPhone SE comes with newer internals to take advantage of the new chipset.
It comes as no surprise that the newer iPhone SE 2 is very different from its original. It is an advancement, and we embrace it as such. While the original iPhone SE nears the end of its lifetime, we can say with certainty that the iPhone SE 2 is the better option. With it, you get a punchy budget phone with good enough specs for daily use. That said, it is easy to understand why the newer phone has already become popular for people looking to get more value by buying refurbished devices.