iPhone SE 2022 launching on March 8th: Should you buy iPhone SE 2020 (or should you wait)

We explain whether you should buy the iPhone SE 2020 right now or wait for the iPhone SE 5G launch next week.

Apple has scheduled a ‘Peek Performance’ special event for March 8th where the Cupertino giant is expected to introduce the new iPhone SE 5G model, iPad Air 5th gen, and (probably) a refreshed MacBook. The new iPhone SE is arguably the most anticipated launch from Apple. It is rumoured to be the first SE model to have 5G network connectivity with the help of the A14/A15 Bionic SoC. However, the design is said to be largely similar to the iPhone SE 2020 model. In this article, we explain whether you should buy iPhone SE 2020 right away or wait for the new model to arrive.

iPhone SE 5G vs iPhone SE 2022: specifications

iPhone SE 5G: According to rumours, the iPhone SE 5G is said to have a similar design, with top and bottom bezels. This means it is said to sport a 4.7-inch display with a Touch ID sensor. The handset is expected to be powered by the latest A15 Bionic chipset that should offer flagship-level performance and 5G support. It is likely to boot the latest iOS 15 out of the box and have a single rear and front camera. The battery capacity and fast charging details are under wraps, for now.

iPhone SE 2020: iPhone SE 2020 sports a 4.7-inch Retina HD display with 750 x 1334 pixels resolution, HDR10 support, thick bezels above and below the screen, and a TouchID sensor for security. The handset arrives in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storage variants. Connectivity options include 4G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, GPS, NFC, dual-SIM, and Lightning port. Reports suggest the device packs a 1,821mAh battery (Apple never reveals the actual battery size) and supports 18W fast charging. There is support for Qi wireless charging as well. The handset measures 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm in size and weighs 148 grams.

In terms of optics, the iPhone SE 2020 ships with a single 12MP rear camera, dual-pixel PDAF, OIS, and dual-tone, dual-LED flash. There is a 7MP sensor on the front with portrait mode and 1080p video recording. The iPhone SE 2020 has a water-resistance rating for up to 1 metre, stereo speakers, Dolby Vision, HDR 10, and Wi-Fi calling. 

iPhone SE 2022 is expected to be a 5G iPhone

The iPhone SE 2022 aka iPhone SE 3 will be the first SE model to come with 5G network support. This means we can probably expect it to ship with the A14 or A15 Bionic chipset, which should make it an incredibly powerful phone in the segment it will be placed in. The phone should also appeal to those looking for a future-ready iPhone at an affordable price point. Considering 5G launch is around the corner, the iPhone SE 2020 may no longer be as attractive.

iPhone SE 2020 price drop expected after iPhone SE 5G launch

The biggest reason to wait before you purchase the iPhone SE 2020 is the likelihood of the device receiving a price cut after the iPhone SE 5G launch. There are strong rumours which suggest the 2020 model will see a huge price cut in India. We’re hearing the starting price might drop below Rs 20,000. This should make the iPhone SE 2020 a hell of a deal and a huge value for money offering that no other phone in the segment stands a chance in terms of performance, update cycle, and a seamless user experience.

For those unversed, the iPhone SE 2020 is currently selling at Rs 30,299 for the 64GB model, Rs 35,099 for the 128GB version, and Rs 45,099 for the high-end 256GB variant on Flipkart. The prices listed on the Apple website are slightly higher though at Rs 39,900 and Rs 44,900 for the 64GB and 128GB models, respectively.

iPhone SE 2020 specs are outdated now

Now for the trade-offs, the iPhone SE 2020 specs are outdated going by today’s standards. If rumours turn out true and the price comes down to under Rs 20,000, the iPhone SE 2020 will be a one-of-a-kind offering, with an A13 Bionic chipset and TouchID. The performance should be in line if not better than most phones in the price segment.

But one major drawback is that it will miss on 5G network support that most phones these days carry. Yes, India doesn’t have 5G support yet but there are reports it will arrive by early next year. This means if you buy the iPhone SE 2020 now and hope to keep it for a long time, you won’t be there in the line when 5G comes out. Furthermore, the cameras on the iPhone SE 5G are expected to see improvement, which in turn means the 2020 model will be outdated in terms of optics as well.

iPhone SE 5G launch price is expected to be high

If you don’t mind missing out on 5G, then purchasing the iPhone SE 2020 at a reduced price is a sensible decision considering the iPhone SE 5G price will be higher, probably similar to the SE 2020 launch price. To recall, the iPhone SE 2020’s launch price in India was Rs 42,500 for the 64GB base model, Rs 47,800 for the 128GB version, and Rs 58,300 for the 256GB variant.

These are exorbitant prices for the iPhone SE considering it has a dated design and no modern features like high-refresh-rate, multiple cameras, and others, which are commonly found on most sub-Rs 30,000 phones these days.

Conclusion: To conclude, it’s quite clear that waiting for the iPhone SE 5G launch next week is a better choice if you want to buy the iPhone SE 2020. You can expect a price drop on the older model, which would be attractive for those looking to enter the Apple ecosystem on a budget. And if you want an affordable iPhone with newer hardware and 5G, you should definitely wait for the iPhone SE 5G next week.