large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone SE: Is the new iPhone SE much of an improvement?

The new iPhone SE 2 is here, stealthily unveiled via a press release on Apple’s website. Is this the long-awaited update to the previous iPhone SE, or is it something quite different?

Without much fanfare, Apple has just unveiled a brand new iPhone. Now this isn’t the iPhone 12, or even the rumoured iPhone 9, but an updated take on an older iPhone.

iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone SE – Design and screen

Interestingly, the new iPhone SE 2 looks a lot more like the iPhone 8 than the original SE.

It has that distinctive iPhone of yesteryear look, with slightly curved sides, a flat glass back and chunky bezels surrounding the 4.7-inch Retina display. There’s also a Touch ID sensor below the screen, rather than Face ID.

It’s a traditional look, and one that Apple has used many times.

Related: Best iPhone

The new iPhone SE 2 might be small compared to the typical Android phone you’ll find these days, but it’s still larger than the original SE. That had a 4-inch panel and featured a lovely design with flat sides.

In many ways, the new phone resembles the latest edition of the iPad Pro.

The SE 2 weighs a mere 148g and comes in three colours: black, white and red. The original iPhone SE weighed in at 113g and came in gold, silver and black.

Something missing on the iPhone SE 2 that you will find on the original iPhone SE is a 3.5mm headphone jack. Apple ditched this port with the iPhone 7 and it hasn’t looked back. At least the iPhone SE 2 has an IP67 rating for splashes.

iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone SE – Performance and battery life

The first iPhone SE was released four years ago in 2016 and a lot has changed in the mobile industry since then. If you’re updating from old SE to new SE, then speed is likely one of the most obvious improvements you’ll notice.

The iPhone SE released in 2016 was powered by the Apple A9 chip, while the new SE packs the same A13 Bionic as the recent iPhone 11 series. The iPhone 11 remains the fastest phone out there, so there’s every reason to think the iPhone SE 2 will be the same.

It should also be able to run more intensive AR titles and all the games on Apple Arcade with ease.

Storage sizes for the iPhone SE 2 are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB. The previous iPhone SE actually started with just 16GB of storage, however you could up this to 32GB, 64GB or 128GB.

We were never too impressed with the battery life on the iPhone SE, but we’ll of course have to properly review the iPhone SE 2 to gauge how good the endurance is.

Apple is claiming 13 hours of video watching and it says you’ll be able to charge it to 50% in 30 minutes if you pay extra for the 18w charger. You’ll get Qi wireless charging with the SE 2, a feature missing on the SE.

iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone SE – Camera

The main 12-megapixel f/1.8 sensor on the back of the iPhone SE 2 boasts many of the same features you’ll find on the pricier iPhone 11. There is 4K video recording, Smart HDR and portrait lighting. None of these features were available on the first iPhone SE (which also had a 12-megapixel camera).

There are big upgrades to the front camera too, which has gone from 1.2-megapixels to 7-megapixels. That’s a massive increase that should result is far superior selfies.

We’ll have to properly test the iPhone SE 2 to see if it lives up to the standard set by Apple’s flagship iPhones, but it’s shaping up to offer great camera specs for the price.

Related: iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone 8

iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone SE – Price

You’ll be able to order the iPhone SE 2 from April 17, with shipments starting a week later on the 24. Pricing is as follows:

  • 64GB − £419/$399
  • 128GB − £469/$449
  • 256GB − £569/$549

Apple doesn’t sell the original iPhone SE anymore, but it originally retailed for £379 ($399).

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.