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iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone 11

The iPhone SE (2020) is an unusual phone for Apple – it’s the company’s cheapest in years and the long-awaited successor to the original iPhone SE, as well as being one of very few Apple phones without a number in the name.

But it’s in some ways a rival for a much more conventional phone – the iPhone 11, which is one of Apple’s latest numbered iPhones and the most basic model in the iPhone 11 range.

As it sits at the bottom of that range it’s one of Apple’s cheaper phones, but with a starting price of £729 SIM-free it still costs a lot more than the new iPhone SE (which starts at £419), as well as having a lot of other differences, as you’ll see below.


 iPhone SE 2020iPhone 11
Dimensions138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm
MaterialsGlass and metalGlass and metal

Even at first glance the iPhone SE (2020) and iPhone 11 are very different phones. The former has big bezels above and below the screen, with the bottom one housing a large physical home button and fingerprint scanner, while the latter has tiny bezels with a notch instead and no home button.

Flip the phones over and the differences are less marked. Both have a metal frame and a glass back, but the camera layouts differ, with the iPhone SE (2020) having a single lens in the top left corner of the rear, while the iPhone 11 has a large camera block in that position, housing two lenses.

Dimensions and weight also differ, as you can see above, with the iPhone SE (2020) being smaller in every dimension and lighter than the iPhone 11 – the former is a true compact handset, while the latter most certainly isn’t.

The iPhone 11 arguably has a more modern design though, and it’s marginally more water resistant, with an IP68 rating, while the iPhone SE (2020) is IP67 rated – that means you can submerge the iPhone 11 up to 2 metres deep for up to 30 minutes, while the iPhone SE (2020) can only safely be submerged 1 metre.


 iPhone SE 2020iPhone 11
Display size4.7-inch6.1-inch
Display resolution750 x 1334828 x 1792
Pixels per inch (ppi)326326

These two phones have very different screens in some ways and very similar ones in others. First, the main differences: the iPhone SE (2020)’s is tiny at 4.7 inches and has a 750 x 1334 resolution, while the iPhone 11 is much larger and higher resolution at 6.1 inches and 828 x 1792.

However, those resolutions leave them both with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch (PPI) – which is one of the main similarities. Both phones also have an IPS LCD display, 625 nits of brightness, and True Tone, which means they can automatically adjust the white balance to suite your surroundings.


 iPhone SE 2020iPhone 11
ProcessorA13 Bionic hexa-coreA13 Bionic hexa-core

There’s not much to choose in the power of these two phones, as they both use Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset. This is a hexa-core chipset and the same one as you’ll find in the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, so it’s enormously powerful.

The iPhone 11 should have a slight edge though, as – while Apple never reveals RAM amounts – teardowns have shown this to have 4GB of the stuff, while the iPhone SE (2020) is believed to have just 3GB.

That probably won’t make much difference – and both phones run iOS 13 – but if you want the most power possible then, out of these two anyway, the iPhone 11 is the one to opt for.


 iPhone SE 2020iPhone 11
Rear Camera12MP12MP + 12MP
Front-Facing Camera7MP7MP

The iPhone 11 has a clear advantage when it comes to camera, as it has a 12MP f/1.8 main lens and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide one, while the iPhone SE (2020) has just a single-lens 12MP f/1.8 snapper.

The iPhone 11 also has the edge for front-facing photography, with its 12MP f/2.2 camera there being higher spec than the 7MP f/2.2 one on the new iPhone SE. The iPhone 11’s front camera also powers Face ID, a feature which you don’t get on the iPhone SE (2020) – though you get a fingerprint scanner instead, which the iPhone 11 doesn’t have.

However, while the iPhone 11 is definitely the winner here, many of the camera modes are the same on both phones, most notably portrait mode, which is offered on both.

Battery life, memory, and connectivity

 iPhone SE 2020iPhone 11
Battery Size1,821mAh3.110mAh
Onboard Storage64, 128 or 256GB64, 128 or 256GB

As with RAM, Apple never reveals battery sizes in its phones, but teardowns show the iPhone 11 as having a 3,110mAh one, while reports point to 1,821mAh in the iPhone SE (2020). So the iPhone 11’s is a lot bigger, but it has also got a bigger screen to power, so that doesn’t necessarily mean it will last longer.

In practice though, it probably will – Apple claims you’ll get up to 13 hours of video playback from a single charge on the new iPhone SE, whereas the iPhone 11 will supposedly keep going for up to 17 hours. However, both phones support 18W fast charging and wireless charging.

Memory meanwhile is identical – you can get either phone with a choice of 64GB, 128GB or 256GB of storage, and this being Apple there’s no microSD card slot. There’s also no 5G support in either (or any iPhone at the time of writing) – so mobile data tops out at 4G. The two phones do however both have Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC.


The iPhone 11 is clearly the better phone out of these two – it has a more modern design, more camera lenses, better water resistance, better battery life, and more RAM.

However, the iPhone 11 being the better phone was never really in doubt. After all, it costs a lot more. And with the iPhone SE (2020) you get the same chipset and storage, a similar main snapper, and the same pixel density, at a much lower price. You also get something the iPhone 11 doesn’t offer – a compact build.

So if you’re after a small phone or an affordable phone, then the iPhone SE (2020) is a great choice – both in comparison to the iPhone 11 and compared to many other handsets. But if you want a truly modern, flagship-adjacent iPhone, then it’s got to be the iPhone 11.

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