iPhone SE vs iPhone 7: Upgrade Reviews

iPhone SE vs iPhone 7

The unique iPhone SE launched in 2016, the exact same year because the flagship iPhone 7. Four years on, the iPhone SE (2020) takes components of each and combines them with some punchy fashionable parts.

All of which raises an attention-grabbing (and distinctly first world) dilemma for iPhone 7 house owners seeking to improve. Whenever you purchased your last phone, it was the top canine. However do it is advisable splash the money on an iPhone 11 Pro and even an iPhone 11 when the iPhone SE (2020) exists?

There’s just one factor for it. It’s time to pitch the iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone 7 in opposition to each other to see the place the 2 phones intersect and the place they differ. Is Apple’s latest phone a worthwhile improve?

Several months on from its launch and our assessment, we’ve obtained a reasonably good deal with on the iPhone SE (2020) and what it has to supply. Right here’s the way it stacks as much as its creaky antecedent.

iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone 7 price and availability

The 64GB iPhone SE (2020) has been accessible for $399 / £419 / AU$749 from Apple and all good third-party retailers since April 24, 2020. That value edges up to $449 / £469 / AU$829 for 128GB and $549 / £569 / AU$999 for 256GB.

Apple now not provides the iPhone 7, which launched on September 16, 2016. Nonetheless, loads of third-party retailers proceed to supply the iPhone 7 model new. You simply want to buy around on-line a bit of.

This implies that you could decide up a brand new 32GB iPhone 7 for properly south of its $649 / £599 / AU$1,079 launch value. For instance, on the time of writing, Amazon UK is providing the 32GB iPhone 7 for £295 (around $376 / AU$531).

You’ll be able to go a lot decrease in the event you’re keen to just accept one of many many refurbished iPhone 7 models in circulation. Within the US, an Amazon Renewed iPhone 7 32GB prices simply $193 (about £150 / AU$270) at the time of writing.

The iPhone SE (2020)


The iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone 7 share the same design DNA. Both phones, along with the iPhone 6S and iPhone 8, are subtle evolutions on the iPhone 6 blueprint launched again in 2014.

They’ve the identical form as each other, the identical small 4.7-inch IPS LCD show flanked by the identical chunky brow and chin, and the identical Contact ID sensor hidden within the dwelling button.

For all that exterior sameness, although, they’re not equivalent. The iPhone SE (2020) is ever so barely larger by a few fractions of a millimeter in all instructions. The newer phone can be 10g heavier at 148g.

The iPhone 7 is the lighter phone

That weight disparity can largely be put all the way down to the truth that the iPhone SE (2020) has a glass again, whereas the iPhone 7 is all-metal. This really makes the iPhone SE (2020) really feel much more fashionable and high-end than the iPhone 7, to not point out a bit of simpler to grip. After all, it’s additionally extra vulnerable to beauty harm.

These modifications are reflective of the truth that the iPhone SE (2020) is definitely utilizing the iPhone Eight as its start line somewhat than the iPhone 7. So whereas they could look very comparable, iPhone 7 customers will be reassured that they’d really be getting a brisker, extra refined design in the event that they upgraded to an iPhone SE (2020).

Each phones are IP67 rated, and neither has a headphone jack. On this entrance, the iPhone 7 at the very least has the advantage of transport with a Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. The iPhone SE (2020) omits this helpful (although easy-to-lose) adapter, so hold maintain of it in the event you’re upgrading.

iPhone SE 2020


The launch of the iPhone X in 2017 launched a brand new part of front-filling OLED display screen know-how to the iPhone vary. However you wouldn’t know that by wanting on the iPhone SE (2020)’s show, which carefully resembles that of the iPhone 7.

Both are 4.7-inch IPS LCDs, with the very same 750 x 1334 decision, 625 nits most brightness, and extensive coloration gamut support. As LCD know-how goes, each are crisp and vibrant, although we discovered that the iPhone SE (and by extension the iPhone 7) doesn’t get as brilliant as we’d like in outdoor situations by fashionable flagship requirements.

The iPhone 7 has a similar screen

There are a few minor variations between the 2 displays, although. One is that the iPhone SE (2020) comes with Apple’s True Tone know-how, which adjusts the colour tone of the image in line with the ambient mild. You don’t get this optional eye-preserving function with the iPhone 7.

Conversely, the iPhone 7 packs Apple’s 3D Touch know-how, which implies that its display screen is delicate to strain. As with the iPhone 11 family, the iPhone SE (2020) ditches this function.

This isn’t really a lot of a bonus for the iPhone 7, although, as Apple has steadily rolled again its 3D Touch implementation inside iOS. Just a few previous apps and games actually take correct benefit of it these days.


Up to now we’ve been enjoying spot the distinction with the iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone 7. But the camera is the first space the place there’s a marked disparity between the 2.

By way of {hardware}, the 2 phones are at the very least a era aside. Regardless that each use 12MP f/1.Eight single sensors with optical picture stabilization (OIS), the iPhone SE (2020) makes use of the iPhone 8’s newer {hardware} somewhat than the iPhone 7’s.

However the distinction is much more pronounced if you issue within the iPhone SE (2020)’s use of the A13 Bionic chipset, and the vastly improved picture processing capabilities that this chipset brings.

iPhone SE review

With these iPhone 11-level smarts on board, the iPhone SE (2020) takes faster, sharper, extra correct photographs in all situations, together with low mild (though there’s no Night mode in both).

We even discovered the outcomes to be corresponding to the iPhone 11 Pro Max basically brilliant situations. Or actually far nearer to Apple’s present flagship than to the iPhone 7, at any charge.

The iPhone SE (2020) may also take Portrait photographs. Certain, they’re not so good as on iPhones with devoted second lenses. However they’re nonetheless first rate, and are actually higher than no Portrait mode in any respect, which is what the iPhone 7 provides.

Specs and performance

As we’ve already alluded to, the largest {hardware} distinction between the iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone 7 is an inner one. The newer machine may look loads like its 2016 ancestor, but it surely’s powered by the identical silicon as its 2019 brothers.

The A13 Bionic chipset that runs the iPhone SE (2020) is similar as that of the iPhone 11 household, which remains to be simply in regards to the quickest cellular chipset available on the market virtually a year on from launch. By comparability, the iPhone 7’s A10 Fusion merely doesn’t compete.

The iPhone SE (2020) has 3GB of RAM subsequent to the iPhone 7’s 2GB, too. This makes the whole lot tick alongside that little bit smoother on the newer phone, and permits extra apps to stay suspended within the background.

You'll get better performance from the iPhone SE (2020)

The results from the iPhone SE (2020)’s supercharged internals are exceptional. Opening and switching between apps is way faster on the iPhone SE (2020) than on the iPhone 7, whereas superior duties like exporting an iMovie and compressing a 1080p four-and-a-half minute video are extra corresponding to the iPhone 11 Pro Max. Severely, the iPhone 7 doesn’t even get shut.

Evidently, in the event you’re an avid gamer, the iPhone SE (2020) is a much better guess. It’ll run the entire newest 3D games with out compromise, whereas the identical games on the iPhone 7 can be much less fluid and should run at a decrease degree of complexity.

The opposite hidden good thing about the iPhone SE (2020)’s superior {hardware} is that it’s way more future-proof than the iPhone 7. The older phone is close to the underside of the list for ongoing iOS and app help, which suggests you’ll be able to count on it to drop off altogether over the subsequent couple of years. The iPhone SE (2020), in the meantime, will obtain ongoing software program help for a few years to return.


Right here’s an attention-grabbing quirk of the iPhone SE (2020). It could be ever so barely larger and heavier than the iPhone 7, however its battery is definitely smaller.

The newer phone has a 1,821mAh battery, whereas the iPhone 7 makes use of a 1,960mAh unit. So, that’s a win for the iPhone 7 in the case of battery life, proper?

Not so quick. The iPhone SE (2020) makes use of its smaller battery extra neatly than the iPhone 7, courtesy of the extra efficient A13 Bionic chipset. The result’s a phone that, in line with Apple, “Lasts about the identical as iPhone 8”.

That equates to a quoted 40 hours of audio playback or 13 hours of video playback. Which, because it occurs, is the same estimate to the iPhone 7.

Nonetheless, neither phone has something to boast about right here, and we discovered battery life to be a key criticism in each of our opinions. They’ll every last by a full day of sunshine to regular utilization, however solely simply, they usually fall a number of hours wanting the iPhone XR and iPhone 11 household.

When it comes time to recharge, the iPhone SE (2020) offers you extra choices. Its glass again is greater than a mere aesthetic selection, because it permits Qi wireless charging. With the iPhone 7, it’s a bodily Lightning charger or nothing.


The iPhone SE (2020) might take quite a lot of its model from the iPhone 7, and both 4.7-inch displays hark again to a previous era of Apple phones. However don’t let these exterior similarities idiot you – the iPhone SE (2020) is a way more modern handset.

Its efficiency degree is a number of generations forward of the iPhone 7’s, courtesy of Apple’s newest processor. In the meantime, the superficially comparable camera {hardware} is nothing of the kind if you break it down. The iPhone SE (2020)’s camera takes a lot better and extra diverse snaps.

Add in the truth that the iPhone SE (2020)’s iPhone 11-level underpinnings guarantee a a lot increased diploma of future-proofing, and we’d recommend that buying a brand new iPhone 7 can be a considerably shortsighted determination.

In case your funds is strictly restricted, and a brand new iPhone 7 falls inside that value vary, then it stays a stable phone. However the iPhone SE (2020) supplies a lot better worth in the long term, and a way more fluid expertise within the right here and now.