Better camera system
The iPhone 11 has some significant advances over the iPhone SE (2020). However, for this, you'll need to pay at least $300 more.
- More colors
- dual-lens camera
- Lots of camera features
- Longer battery life
- Dolby Atmos support
- Larger display
- Older device
- More expensive
The iPhone SE (2020) is now the least expensive iPhone you can get and still has plenty of premium features, but the iPhone 11's dual-lens and camera features are very enticing.
- Great price
- Same chip as iPhone 11
- Similar storage choices
- Limited color choices
- Smaller screen
- No Face ID
The iPhone SE (2020) might be a newer phone than the iPhone 11. However, that doesn't mean it's better in terms of hardware and features. Still, the former is Apple's latest budget phone, and it's worth checking out regardless. When it comes to your choice, it mostly comes down to whether you feel the extra features on the iPhone 11 are worth the additional cost. Much but not all of the differences between the two come down to the camera options. So which one should you get (or should you upgrade)? Let's find out.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 11: let's break it down
With the significant improvements to the camera system on the iPhone 11, you might think the choice is clear, but not everyone needs the advanced camera for the $300 price increase. To see what's the same and what's different between the two, let's break down the specs.
|Header Cell - Column 0||iPhone 11||iPhone SE (2020)|
|Battery performance||- Video playback: Up to 17 hours|
- Video playback (streamed): Up to 10 hours
- Audio playback: Up to 65 hours
|- Video playback: Up to 13 hours|
- Video playback (streamed): Up to 8 hours
- Audio playback (wireless): Up to 40 hours
|Display||- Liquid Retina HD display|
- 1792‑by‑828‑pixel resolution at 326 ppi
- 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)
|- Retina HD display|
- 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
- 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)
|Processor||A13 Bionic||A13 Bionic|
|Camera features||Dual 12MP|
Ultra Wide and Wide cameras
|Slo-mo front camera||Yes||No|
|Zoom options||2x optical zoom out; digital zoom up to 5x||Digital zoom up to 5x|
|TrueDepth Camera features||- 12MP|
- Animoji and Memoji
- 4K video
|Portrait Lighting effects||Natural|
|Water-resistance||IP68: 2 meters/30 minutes||IP67: 1 meter/30 minutes|
Camera 1 vs. Camera 2
The iPhone 11 features dual 12MP Ultra Wide and Wide cameras. By contrast, the iPhone SE (2020) only offers a wide-angle camera. This difference means the former includes optical zoom out, night mode, and auto adjustments. The larger device is also the one that features a TrueDepth camera, alongside Animoji and Memoji. By contrast, the iPhone SE (2020) only offers a FaceTime HD 7MP camera.
Despite this, the two iPhones also have similar camera features. For example, they both offer portrait Lighting with six effects and optical image stabilization. You'll also find True Tone flash with Slow Sync on both models and 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, and 60 fps.
Price over features
As noted, the iPhone SE (2020) is now Apple's budget handset, while the iPhone 11 is the mid-priced model. For the extra $300 on the iPhone 11, you'll receive dual rear cameras, a front-facing TrueDepth camera, and Face ID (versus Touch ID). The more expensive model also includes a better display, more battery life, and increased water resistance.
The iPhone 11 is available in five colors, while the iPhone SE (2020) only comes in three. Both are available in black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.
iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 11: Who should buy each?
If you're in the market for a budget iPhone, by all means, get an iPhone SE (2020). It features the same chipset as the more expensive model, the same amount of storage, and a fantastic 12MP wide-angle camera.
If you're looking for extras such as Face ID, a larger, better display, and more camera features, the iPhone 11 is the one for you. Yes, it's more expensive than the iPhone SE (2020), but it's also cheaper than the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max.
This year's mid-priced iPhone model is a hybrid of the low-cost model and the more advanced Pro models.
Folks, for $399, you can get a fantastic iPhone for less. It's not only the least expensive one on the market, but it's also the newest.
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Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.