iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone SE 2020: which affordable iPhone should you buy?

Apple’s latest budget iPhone SE 3 has arrived with a more powerful processor, improved camera, slightly bigger battery, but the same old design. Although it looks identical to the outgoing iPhone SE 2020 model, the phone is different inside. In this comparison, we’re going to take a look at all the internal changes with the new iPhone SE 3. Apple has officially discontinued the older iPhone SE, but it’s still available for purchase online via e-commerce websites. Is it a better buy than the older 2020 iPhone SE? Let’s find out. 

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone SE 2020: price in India

ModelStoragePrice
iPhone SE 202064GBRs 29,999
128GBRs 34,999
256GBRs 44,999
iPhone SE 364GBRs 43,900
128GBRs 48,900
256GBRs 58,900


The iPhone SE 3 is technically the most affordable iPhone you can buy, however, the iPhone SE 2020 is still available online and is much cheaper. The 2020 model is available with 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage. The base model starts at Rs 29,999 on Flipkart, whereas the 128GB version is Rs 34,999, and the 256GB variant is Rs 44,999. 

iPhone SE 3 India price revealed

Meanwhile, the all-new iPhone SE 3 is more expensive with the base 64GB model starting at Rs 43,900. The 128GB version is Rs 48,900, and the 256GB variant is Rs 58,900. You could probably get the iPhone 12 mini at a lower price with exchange and other offers available online. As you can see, the iPhone SE 3 is more expensive, but to be honest, even the iPhone SE 2020 was launched in India at a price of around Rs 42,000. 

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone SE 2020: Design, specifications, and features

Design

There’s nothing new with the new iPhone SE 3 in the design department. It looks just like the older iPhone SE 2020 and is even available in the same color options. You get a glass sandwich, with an aluminum frame in between. The display is protected by tough and durable glass and there are thick bezels at the top and bottom. A TouchID sensor is available on the bottom bezel for biometrics. The volume buttons and the mute switch are on the left, whereas the power button is on the right. A very familiar design, especially for those who’ve used an iPhone 8 or the previous iPhone SE. 

iPhone SE 3 design colours

At the back, a single camera is available along with a quad-LED dual-tone flash. The Apple logo is present in the center of the glass back panel. You also get stereo speakers, and a lightning port. The iPhone SE 3 and iPhone SE 2020 share an identical design. Both devices are also carrying an IP67 dust and water resistance rating. 

Processor, RAM, and storage

Here lies the major difference between the iPhone SE 3 and the iPhone SE 2020. The older phone came with the Apple A13 Bionic chipset, which is still quite powerful, whereas the new iPhone SE features the latest A15 Bionic chipset. This means that the new phone is a lot more powerful, more power-efficient, and comes with 5G support. It now has the same chipset that’s found on the iPhone 13 series. 

Although Apple doesn’t really talk a lot about RAM, the iPhone SE 2020 came with 3GB RAM, while the iPhone SE 3 reportedly offers 4GB of RAM. Both devices are available with 64, 128, and 256GB storage options. 

Display

Apple iPhone SE 2020

The display remains the same on both the iPhone SE models. You get a 4.7-inch IPS LCD Retina display with HD+ resolution, 625 nits brightness, wide-color gamut support, HDR10, and True Tone. There’s no high-refresh-rate or even FHD+ resolution support. It’s the most basic display you’ll find on an iPhone. 

Cameras

The camera hardware on both smartphones remains the same, but thanks to the A15 Bionic chipset on the iPhone SE 3, there are several software improvements. Both devices feature a 12-megapixel rear camera with OIS and phase-detection auto-focus. The rear camera can shoot at a maximum 4K resolution at 60fps. On the front, a 7-megapixel selfie camera is available housed in the large bezel. No major difference in the hardware. 

However, the A15 Bionic SoC on the iPhone SE 3 enables new features such as Smart HDR 4, improved Deep Fusion, Photographic styles, and better portrait mode blur.

Battery and Connectivity

The connectivity options on both smartphones are identical. You get a Lightning port, dual-band Wi-Fi 6, GPS, Bluetooth 5.0 LE, and NFC. In the battery department, the iPhone SE 2020 came with a 1,821mAh battery, and the new iPhone SE 3 comes with a slightly larger cell. In true Apple fashion, the exact capacity hasn’t been revealed. Both phones support 18W fast charging and wireless charging.

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone SE 2020: Verdict

The answer to which phone is better is easy, it’s the newer iPhone SE 3. However, which is a better buy right now? We’d like to go with the iPhone SE 2020. The phone is still pretty powerful, has a great rear camera, and shares the rest of the features with the new phone. It’s also a lot less expensive. Keeping all that in mind, the iPhone SE 2020 is the better value smartphone between the two. However, if you want a compact yet powerful iPhone, you can take a look at the iPhone 12 mini, which costs around the same as the iPhone SE 3 with the right bank offer.