Should I Upgrade from iPhone X to iPhone SE (2020)?

Posted on Fri 17 April 2020 in Apple

Yesterday (2020-04-15), the cheap iPhone SE was introduced. Presale starts tomorrow (2020-04-17).

So what exactly are the differentiating features that make it better than the iPhone X?

The Tit for Tat List

The new SE is 1.1 inches smaller. The SE gets about the same battery life as the iPhone 8 does. Which makes since, given approximately the same battery size. What I failed to realize is that the iPhone X has a bigger battery (duh - the phone is bigger). And thus gets about 2 more hours. So the iPhone SE has battery death sooner than the iPhone X does.

For me, that’s almost a deal breaker. I’ve gotten used to the battery life on my X and enjoy not having to charge it as soon as I had to on my iPhone 8.

The Geeky Stuff

The iPhone X has the A11 Bionic chip with Neural Engine. The new iPhone SE has an A13 Bionic chip with third-generation Neural Engine.

As for capacity, they both offer 64 and 256 GB. However, the iPhone SE also has a 128 GB.

The iPhone SE has Touch ID. For, me, that’s a feature as I don’t really like the Face ID on my iPhone X. But my wife goes the other way. Having a MacBook Air with touch, an iPad Air with touch and now a 2nd generation iPhone SE also with touch makes my little geeky world go around.

I mean I can’t have two touch devices and one face. That could cause a disruption in time and space.

Obviously the display on the new iPhone SE is smaller - exactly the same size as the iPhone 8. For me, smaller is better. The display does get the Haptic Touch, like the iPhone 11 has.

Back Camera

When you take away the fact that the iPhone X has two cameras on the back, the specs are about the same. However, digital zoom is up to 10x on the iPhone X and only 5x on the iPhones 8 and SE.

The 2nd generation iPhone SE gets Portrait mode including advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The iPhone SE also gets a High-Key Mono effect for Portrait Lighting. Like the iPhone 11, the new iPhone SE gets the next-generation Smart HDR.


The specs for the awesome videos the iPhone SE can record are about the same as the iPhones X and 8. However, the iPhone 11 like features include:

  • Extended dynamic range up to 30 fps (the iPhone 11 gets up to 60 fps)
  • QuickTake video
  • Stereo recording

Surprisingly (to me anyway) is that the iPhone X’s digital zooming goes up to 6x while the iPhones 8, 11, and SE have only 3x.

Front Camera

Again, the front camera specifications are about the same. The new iPhone SE gets the same Portrait features as the back camera. Of course, the SE doesn’t get the Animoji and Memoji but, for me at least, that’s not a deal breaker.


The features of the new iPhone SE (2nd generation) are pretty big. The shorter battery life, less digital zoom, and lack of the mojis are about the only cons. The few iPhone 11 features are pretty sweet as well.

Will the shorter battery life prevent me from the switch? I’m still not sure yet. I do know that I will miss it if I do switch.

Knowing me, though, I’ll be getting it tomorrow. LOL!