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iPhone SE or iPhone XR ~ The best Apple budget device?

Back in April, Apple announced the iPhone SE 2020 edition via a press release, it was quite the big deal due to the pricing of $399/£419 which signalled a return to the budget arena for Apple.

But what if we had another choice already?

iPhone SE 2020

The SE is a great choice for people coming from an older iPhone but if you’re looking at moving over from Android, then you might also be tempted to try iOS rather than move to another mid range Android device.

So the iPhone SE on paper looks like a great device for it’s price range, the SE is the iPhone 8 repackaged from 2018 and the design is from the 2014 iPhone 6.

What this means is a very dated design with large bezels and honestly if this was anyone else making this design choice in 2020 they’d be mocked on every tech site available.

iPhone SE 2020 large bezels and Touch ID.

Ok, so what if you don’t care about the fat bezels? the SE has an A13 SoC (System On a Chip) powering it normally found in the premium iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models from 6 months ago. This means it packs the best SoC on mobiles right now but is it really needed on a device with a 4.7" screen? again this is down to personal preference but your productivity is limited on a screen that size.

Other specs include wireless charging, A single 12mp Wide camera, touch ID, 4K video recording up to 60 fps and an IP67 rating, it comes in black, white and Product Red.

These are great specs for the price but what if you don’t want a dated looking phone and more screen? of course Android has many to choose from including the Samsung A71 and the Google Pixel 3a (Pixel 4a releasing any day now) but of course some people want to stay with iOS, it’s the ecosystem and you can’t get out! you need iMessage! etc etc.

Well then you have one other “budget” iPhone available from Apple, the 2018 iPhone XR which comes in at $200/£210 more than the SE at $599/£629.

iPhone XR in Red, Yellow, White, Coral, black and Blue.

Of course thats quite an increase but we’re dealing with Apple here and you want choices right? Now some specs ~ The XR come in black, white, blue, yellow, coral and Product Red, Powered by the A12 SoC, Larger 6.1" screen, face ID, larger battery, the same Single 12MP Wide camera on the back, wireless charging and IP67 rating.

Now compared to the iPhone SE, for $200/£210 more you’ll be getting a larger screen and bigger battery, more modern design and face ID if you class that as a bonus but neither camera has the night mode found on the iPhone 11 or 11 Pro models which is a shame but otherwise the cameras are pretty much identical including portrait mode. Both models have LCD screens with 326ppi and true tone, not as nice as OLED and not full HD but still decent displays, neither has a headphone jack but they both can fast charge if you purchase an extra 18w charger.

iPhone SE and iPhone XR side by side comparison.

The downside of the XR is a larger, heavier device, higher price and some people still love the smaller size of the iPhone 6 to iPhone 8 era so it might be a heavy beast in comparison.

You won’t notice the speed differences between these phones due to iOS being smooth and updated regularly anyway so the A12 v A13 SoC isn’t necessary in this comparison, they both also look the same from the back and most slap a case on.

Is the XR worth the extra cash? In my opinion, yes it’s worth it for the design, battery and screen alone, If you don’t work by a plug socket and can’t access a charger regularly then that extra battery capacity is great along with more screen for productivity.

I also think you should ask yourself these following questions if you’re in the market for a $400–600 mid range device and coming from an older iPhone.

Would I prefer a bigger screen and battery?

Can I live with the dated design of the SE?

Could I hold off another 3 months for new iPhone options?

Could I move to Android if it means saving $$$?

So thats it really, if you look around I’m sure you’ll find the XR on deal at certain stores but in the SE will always beat it at price.

The iPhone XR is a solid device for those already on iOS and will suit many who want a bigger screen, modern look, new UI features and Face ID.

But if you want to try iOS and not break the bank then the SE is for you and will give you a great taster of what Apple has to offer.

Either way, price war on phones are finally going the other way.

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