2020 iPhone SE vs. iPhone XR: Which iPhone should you buy?

Now that the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus are discontinued, all eyes are currently on the new iPhone SE and the iPhone XR, two of Apple’s most inexpensive iterations to date.

Are you thinking about upgrading your iPhone? If you happen to be on this route, you might have already come across Apple’s newest lower-cost offering, the new iPhone SE. But if the company’s latest iPhone bug seemed to have skipped you and your Google searches, the chances are likely that you’re eyeing the firm’s other lower-end iPhone, the iPhone XR.

Our comparison right below should help you decide.


In terms of display between the new iPhone SE and the iPhone XR, it’s about whether you’re after a smaller or a larger screen.

The iPhone XR features a larger 6.1-inch LCD display, which Apple calls Liquid Retina, while the new iPhone SE comes with a 4.7-inch Retina IPS LCD.

Both the iPhone XR and the 2020 iPhone SE sport True Tine, 625 nits of maximum brightness, and support for the P3 wide color gamut.


In the performance segment, there is without a doubt that the new iPhone SE trumps the iPhone XR. The former is powered by the latest A13 Bionic chip, while the previous-generation A12 Bionic SoC fuels the latter.

On paper, the A13 Bionic chipset offers a 20% faster performance and is up to 30% more power-efficient than the A12 SoC.


The iPhone XR employs Apple’s more modern take on design, which is the notch right above the display and Face ID headlining its front on biometrics. The new iPhone SE, on the other hand, boasts the company’s classic iPhone design, front-lined by thicker bezels, with the Touch ID home button placed on the lower section of the front panel.


While the iPhone XR and the new iPhone SE are both sporting a single 12MP wide camera on its rear, the former banks on a more modern sensor and larger Focus Pixels. The 2020 version of the iPhone SE features the same sensor as the iPhone 8. Nevertheless, the second-generation iPhone SE benefits from the A13 chip’s improved take on imaging.

Other Key Features

As a larger iPhone, the iPhone XR boasts a longer battery life than its 2020 counterpart. In the battery department, the clear winner is the iPhone XR.

The same can’t be said, though, when it comes to pricing. At the time of its launch, the iPhone XR comes with a starting price tag of $599, while the new iPhone SE has $399 on its name.

Concluding Thoughts

If your crucial buying factor lies on a limited budget, the new iPhone SE is specially dedicated in that regard. But it doesn’t end there. The current-generation iPhone SE is also a compelling device, relative to its performance and design that banks on nostalgia.

Meanwhile, the iPhone XR, despite its pricier tag, is decidedly larger than the new iPhone SE. It also comes with a modern design and Apple’s Face ID.

It’s all about preferences.

Image used courtesy of Brandon Butch/YouTube Screenshot


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