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iPhone SE or iPhone XR – Which Low-Cost Apple Phone Should You Buy?

The latest iPhone SE version and iPhone XR are both Apple‘s budget mobile phones. While the latter was first announced during the Apple September Event in 2018 and was released the same year, the iPhone SE launched just a while ago.

The iPhone SE 2nd generation is $200 cheaper than a new iPhone XR at, but their specs and features differ, so it might be rather challenging to choose between the two. So, which budget iPhone model should you buy?​ We compared the two smartphones below.

iPhone SE or iPhone XR? – Which Budget Phone Should You Buy?

Old Design vs. Modern Design

The new iPhone SE 2nd generation doesn’t have the modern bezel-less design but comes with the iPhone 8 body. Both iPhone XR and iPhone SE have glass and aluminum design with an LCD screen – while the XR model has a larger display of 6.1-inch, the iPhone SE is more pocketable with 4.7-inch display size.

In terms of display, there is not much to go into detail, except the sizes; the larger screen on the XR allows you to stream content and play mobile games with more enjoyment. Both budget phones sport True Tone and Wide Color displays with 625 nits max brightness.

A13 Bionic Chip vs. A12 Bionic Chip

One thing that gives the edge to the iPhone​ SE is the chipset. As the brand new device released by Apple, the iPhone​ SE has the latest A13 processor, the same chip that powers the iPhone​ 11 range. This makes the iPhone​ SE perform 20 percent faster than the iPhone​ XR, which sports an A12 chip.

Touch ID vs. Face ID

Although Face ID is not safer than Touch ID, it is a bit faster and a more efficient method to unlock your iPhone​. Still, some people may feel more comfortable using a physical home button on their device rather than be authenticated by face. 

Camera Modules

iPhone​ SE’s cameras are a bit better than those on the iPhone​ XR when it comes to the rear modules, but the difference is not major. The iPhone​ XR has three effects on the Portrait Lightning feature, while the iPhone​ SE packs five different effects. Moreover, the iPhone​ SE has the QuickTake function, but the iPhone​ XR doesn’t, which is actually no big deal.

The phones both feature single 12 MP wide cameras on the back, OIS, and Digital Zoom up to 5x. Both devices also have 7 MP selfie cameras, but the iPhone​ XR has Animojis and Memojis that cannot be found on the iPhone​ SE.

So, Which Budget iPhone Model Should You Buy?

Both smartphones are the low-cost models of the Apple iPhone​. The devices do not have major differences to confuse you when deciding which one to buy. 

If your budget is around $400, you’ve got two options. You can get a new iPhone​ SE with the latest A13 processor and the classic design without Face ID or purchase the iPhone​ XR with modern display design and Face ID, but secondhand and a bit more expensive.



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