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iPhone SE 2020 or iPhone XR: what is the best entry model from Apple?

We compared the iPhone SE 2020 to the iPhone XR to find out which is the best smartphone from Apple

O iPhone SE 2020 was finally announced by Apple on April 15th and went on sale in the United States last Friday (17th).

The manufacturer has not yet released it when the new model starts to be sold in Brazil, but has already revealed prices and specifications, so we decided to put it face to face with the iPhone XR to find out which of the entry models of the Apple has the best cost-benefit ratio.

But before we start, a warning: this comparison takes into account the technical specifications of the iPhone SE (2nd generation) and information released by Apple about the device. This is enough to determine which model is superior in most of the categories analyzed, but only after review complete the new iPhone SE it will be possible to make a definitive comparison.


The most obvious difference between the iPhone SE 2020 it's the iPhone XR the size of display. While the second generation of the iPhone SE has a 4.7 inch panel with a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels, the XR has a 6.1 ″ inch screen and a resolution of 1792 x 828 pixels. In addition, the iPhone SE screen is surrounded by immense borders, in the “classic” style of iPhones, while little space is wasted on the front of the iPhone XR.

Image shows two XR iPhones in blue. One on the back, where the camera, flash and Apple logo are, the other with the screen and the cutout for sensors and cameras at the top of the display.The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch screen that occupies most of the front of the device

In terms of image quality, however, the panels are the same. Both are displays LCD (and not the modern OLED panels found on the most expensive iPhones), have 326 pixels per inch, 1400: 1 contrast ratio, maximum brightness of 625 nits and True Tone technology for automatic color adjustment according to the ambient brightness. In the absence of differentials, we opted for the larger one.

Winner: iPhone XR


This is easy: iPhone SE 2020 comes equipped with the chip A13 Bionic, the fastest mobile processor on the market, iPhone or Android, and the same used in iPhones 11/11 Pro. iPhone XR count on A12 Bionic, previous generation of the CPU which, although faster than most smartphones, in the to faster than the A13 Bionic.

Thanks to the processor, the iPhone SE must also guarantee at least one more year of updates to the iOS compared to XR.

Apple A13 Bionic - Processor - Chip - SOCApple designed each Tome of the A13 Bionic, giving you infinite control over the chip's capabilities

In terms of RAM, there was a tie: both models have 3 GB. For comparison, the iPhone 11/11 Pro has 4 GB of RAM and the iPhone 8 (which Apple took out of line with the launch of the new SE), had 2 GB.

Another performance advantage of the iPhone SE is support for 4G LTE Gigabit class networks and the new Wi-Fi 6 standard, but the first depends on the availability by the mobile operator and the second, the router used to emit the Wi-Fi signal. .

Winner: iPhone SE 2020


The main cameras of the iPhone SE 2020 It's from iPhone XR they are identical in terms of specifications. Let's list:

  • 12 megapixel wide-angle camera
  • Aperture /1.8
  • Optical image stabilization
  • Digital zoom at 5x
  • True Tone Flash
Photo of a smiling Asian woman taken with an iPhone SE 2020. She wears a light green knitted sweater and is sitting in a gray armchair.Picture taken with the new iPhone SE

For video recording, there are also no differences:

  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video
  • 1080p slow motion video at 120 fps or 240 fps
  • Recording in stereo

None of the models has more than one rear camera, so no ultra-angular or telephoto lens here. However, the rear camera of the iPhone SE has two advantages over the XR.

Image shows four SE 2020 iPhones in a row. The first is red and the screen is facing forward. The others show the rear, with the camera and the flash. The second red iPhone, the third white and the fourth black.iPhone SE (2020) has only one rear camera

The first is a greater amount of lighting effects for photos in Portrait Mode. There are only six (Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light, Mono Stage Light, Bright Mono Light) in the SE against the back of the iPhone XR (Natural Light, Studio Light, Contour Light).

The other, possibly more important advantage, that the iPhone SE supports the new generation of the algorithm Smart HDR from Apple. When taking a photo with the iPhone, this system captures a series of frames with different levels of exposure, uses artificial intelligence to identify people and objects, realizes them and generates an image with the greatest contrast and richness of details possible – all in the blink of an eye. eyes.

The new generation of this algorithm depends on the A13 Bionic, therefore the iPhone SE do a better job than the iPhone XR in that regard.

Winner: iPhone SE 2020

Front camera

At the front of the device, the comparison between the cameras changes completely, with several advantages for the iPhone XR. Both have video cameras 7 megapixels with aperture / 2.2 and six effects for Portrait Mode, but the similarities end up a.

Image shows a red iPhone XR showing a photo of a young black man with his head covered by the hood of a mustard yellow sweatshirt and red jacket superimposed. The photo was taken using Portrait Mode, so the background is blurred.Portrait mode using the front camera of the iPhone XR

Only the front camera of the iPhone XR has Intelligent HDR, makes recordings in 1080p at 60 fps (only 30fps on the SE) and has video stabilization. In addition, the camera sensors TrueDepth, used for facial recognition on the iPhone XR, enable iOS tricks, such as Memoji and Animoji, and third party apps like Snapchat’s advanced facial filters.

Winner: iPhone XR


At the launch of iPhone 11 / Pro / Pro Max in 2019, the iPhone XR held the title of iPhone with the best battery, thanks to a duration of around 15 hours, according to our review time of launch. On the official website, Apple displays the following information regarding the new SE:

  • Battery with similar duration iPhone8
  • Video playback up to 13 hours
  • Video playback (streaming) up to 8 hours
  • Audio playback up to 40 hours
Image shows a blue iPhone XR horizontally showing a dragon from the Elder Scrolls game.The iPhone XR battery lasts around 15 hours

To iPhone XR, Apple numbers are:

  • Up to an hour and a half longer battery life compared to the iPhone 8 Plus
  • Video playback up to 16 hours
  • Audio playback up to 65 hours

Both models are compatible with the wireless charging and fast charging function (which restores up to 50% of the charge in 30 minutes), but in none of them is the 18W charger required for this included in the device box and must be purchased separately.

Winner: iPhone XR


The iPhone SE 2020 comes equipped with digital print authentication technology Touch ID, launched by Apple with iPhone 5S in the year 2013.

This method is quite safe and Apple made it faster in 2015, but it still has certain limitations, such as not working when your fingers are a little dirty or wet. A benefit of Touch ID is that, if the phone is lying on a table, for example, it is not necessary to lift it to unlock the screen.

Woman standing in the rain wearing a raincoat while holding an iPhone XR.Wet fingers don't work on Touch ID, but it's not a problem for Face ID

O iPhone XR, in turn, has the Face ID, facial recognition biometrics system unveiled by Apple in 2017 with the iPhone X. This method is more secure than Touch ID, according to Apple itself, and is used on all of the company's high-end iPhones.

Face ID has also been improved since the first generation and clearly the form of authentication that Apple sees as the most promising, since Touch ID has been abandoned in the iPad Pro line and, according to rumors, in the future iMacs and MacBooks.

Winner: iPhone XR


O iPhone SE 2020 not yet sold in Brazil, but Apple has already revealed that the 64 GB storage model will cost R $ 3699. Considering the official price, the new SE is much more affordable than the iPhone XR with the same amount of memory, which costs R $ 4299.

64 GB 128 GB 256 GB
iPhone SE R $ 3699 R $ 3999 R $ 4499
iPhone XR R $ 4299 R $ 4599

Source: Apple Store (Brazil)

But, since it has been on the market for over a year, it is not difficult to find the iPhone XR 64 GB with prices good below the official, from R $ 3,254, depending on the payment terms. The 128 GB option is also offered at prices close to what Apple charges for the incoming iPhone SE, starting at R $ 3,440.

Winner: Depends on the discount


In our comparison, the new iPhone SE fared better in terms of performance and rear camera. This device is also lighter, more compact and has a classic design, something that is valued by certain users. J o iPhone XR it did better in terms of screen, battery, front camera and authentication method.

Three iPhones XR, two in coral color, front and back and a black model between them.iPhone XR our winner

Some of these features may be more important to you than others, which can lead to different conclusions, but so far we see the iPhone XR as having the best cost-benefit due to the amount of features that the device offers at the value at which it can be found on the market today.

He was interested in doing the upgrade yours iPhone? Tell us in the comments which of the models you are most interested in and what you value most on a smartphone.