Apple announced in mid-April its new low-cost smartphone, the 2020 version of the iPhone SE.
A few days after the announcement, the specialized international press, which already had the model in hand, began to release the first analyzes with the pros and cons of the model. And, in general, they prove that the company remained true to its proposal: as The Verge says, the iPhone SE (2020) “is not just a good deal. It is a really good phone”.
Screen and design
This point, in fact, is where the main criticisms lie. After all, the choice was for a look used on the iPhone 8, launched in 2017. And these few years have made a difference: according to Engadget, the design seems dated, especially since, since then, “we have seen intermediate Android phones adopt displays with leaked edges and having multiple rear cameras “, while the design here actually seems to stand still in time and not very bold.
The Verge makes the same comparison with the competition, complaining mainly about the too thick edges and the physical button Home, which occupies a good space of what could be the display. The lack of Face ID is also noted, but it is not a major criticism. Still, the analysis praises the company’s care for materials and the manufacturing process, as the finish looks flawless.
The screen also did not escape criticism in the analyzes, but it also received praise according to the point of view. “The display is not as sharp or colorful as the iPhone 11 Pro, but it uses the same LCD technology as the iPhone 11 and iPhone XR,” says CNBC. That is, the panel will have the TrueTone function and the Retina HD quality already known by Apple fans. The size issue, finally, is quite personal: consumers who miss smaller panels, such as this one, which has 4.7 “, will have the best possible size.
The decision to upgrade the components to some that were used in the latest Apple models seems to have appealed to the general public. “Even if you’re used to the lightning bolt on the iPhone 11 Pro, this one is just as fast, with everything working sublime,” says Forbes.
Wired considers the A13 Bionic processor to be a big plus, even if the device doesn’t have 5G networks. The set, with six cores on the CPU, four on the GPU and eight on the neural processing unit, can handle the job in any situation. “Switching between apps was fluid in my tests. Videos started and streamed smoothly over a stable Wi-Fi connection. Download, install and launch heavy apps too,” he writes.
Engadget was impressed to the point of comparing with a foldable smartphone, which is the current opposite of cost-benefit. “This is a $ 1,000 performance on a $ 400 body – it’s basically the extreme opposite of something like the Motorola Razr. The iPhone SE is without style, but full substance.” Another compliment on this issue came from the point of view of updates, that since having the latest Apple component still means the guarantee of receiving many versions of iOS in the future.
The cameras were generally praised, assuming you only have a 12 MP rear sensor and that many of the more advanced lens and software functions found on previous iPhones are missing – including a dedicated zoom sensor and an advanced Night Mode, for example. The Verge, for example, is heavier on this point: “for a $ 399 cell phone, the cameras are absolutely good, and any complaints must be removed because of the price,” says the analysis, noting that, despite this, “they have some disconcerting limitations that Apple could have overcome, even in that price range.”
Still, the set is considered “surprisingly good” by Engadget, especially for software post-processing, which makes photos as good as those on a top-of-the-line iPhone. Another single-lens device, like the Pixel line, however, performs better in the end. The recording of videos in 4K also received praise in general, not being something spectacular, but fulfilling the role well.
The same goes for the front camera, with 7 MP: without the TrueDepth technology, which improves the photos and allows Face ID, many users may feel the lack of higher quality in their portraits. However, as Wired notes, she still “does a respectable job”.
Low for several generations of the iPhone, the battery life does not seem to have improved much in this version. “I would like it to have a better battery. I have been using the SE as my primary cell phone for the past few days and, with fairly consistent use, it tends to last between 11 hours and 12 hours on a single charge,” says Engadget.
This is probably a reflection of the smaller body of the device, with a battery very similar to that of the iPhone 8. This is what Wired notes, which even praises the daily duration of the charge, but cites the context as something that can change the evaluations: in we have a new coronavirus pandemic, the applications used are different, as well as the routine, and it may be that energy consumption is higher.
“It is good for most people and I really have no complaints,” says the CNBC analyst, who only felt a greater drain of cargo with heavy games and a long time of video transmission. The Verge makes the same point, calling energy performance “correct, but not stellar”. The concern is with the useful life after a few years of use, which may compel you to go after a case with an extra built-in battery.
In general, the analysis follows a similar tone in the verdict: for the price and what is delivered, the iPhone SE is perhaps the best alternative on the market. However, the device has its flaws and it is completely natural that you are not attracted to buying it. In addition, you must keep in mind that there are much more powerful models. “Yes, these phones are better than the iPhone SE thanks to more advanced cameras, better screens and, in the case of the iPhone 11 Pro line, better materials. However, you will also pay a lot more for them”, concludes CNBC.
Engadget recognizes that this model will not “make sense” for many consumers already accustomed to more premium devices and larger screens, but the iPhone SE “is the best cost-effective smartphone out there. And that is really something, considering how strong the competition stayed “. A similar path took Forbes, which also gave it that title, commenting that the device will be a resounding success, being “proof that, even with non-cutting-edge hardware, machine learning, processor and language still do the job “.
The Verge was more objective in its praise and also uses the question of personal taste in the conclusions: “It is fast, capable, reliable and familiar. I would miss those advanced functions and more expansive screens, but not as much as you can imagine” says the website.
Finally, Wired ends by comparing the ecosystems of Apple and Google, stating that hardly anyone already used to years of competing smartphones can make the switch, unless they wanted to before. “If you happen to need a new iPhone and think that spending $ 1,000 on one is ridiculous, well, iPhone SE may be a little layer of good news for you at the moment,” it says.