You probably think of something like a good camera or long battery life, and yes, you definitely want those things.
But what you want out of an iPhone, what you really want, is all of the iPhone stuff that you don't usually think about.
You want the thing that works with iMessage.
That's going to be reliable for several years.
That has access to all of the best apps and that's easy and simple to use.
And this iPhone, the brand new iPhone SE, does all of those things for only 399 bucks for the base 64 gig model.
So this review is actually gonna be really simple.
Is this an iPhone?
Yes it is.
It does all of the iPhone things.
The only question we have to answer then is whether or not it does all those things well.
Basically, if paying just 400 bucks for an iPhone means that you're giving up way too much.
So if you've seen an iPhone 8 or an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6, you get the basic shape and feel of the new iPhone SE.
It has a 4.7 inch LCD display with true tone to make the colors change depending on the light, and it's a really good display.
It also has these huge bezels on the top and the bottom and there is a classic home button on the bottom with a fingerprint sensor.
It's compatible with iPhone 8 cases.
It's IP67 water proof, which is not the best, but it's pretty good. [I meant water resistant.]
Overall, this thing is just really solid, and it's really familiar from the glass back to the fingerprint sensor to the whole package.
And I gotta say, dear home button, I missed you.
I didn't realize how much, but you're great.
Anyway, there are still two small bummers to talk about with this overall design that we're so familiar with.
One, I'm just gonna say it again, these bezels, they're huge.
And I'm knocking it because a bunch of inexpensive Android phones have figured out how to reduce these bezels to fit a bigger screen and a smaller body.
But Apple is just keeping things the same that it's always been here.
Two is the size.
It's 4.7 inches, it's small, but it's not nearly as small as this guy, the original iPhone SE.
Whereas this thing is basically not that much smaller than my iPhone 11 Pro.
And sorry, that's just the way the phone world is now.
Actually, there is a third thing to gripe about, and that is that there's no headphone jack on this phone.
And that is also the way the phone world is now too.
But at this price point, a bunch of Android phones do manage to hang on to the headphone jack to be clear.
So it is a little bit of a bummer here.
At least Apple is including Wired Lightning headphones.
It's just not including a headphone 3.5 adapter.
Now the reason this phone is really impressive is that inside it has the exact same processor as the iPhone 11 Pro.
It's the A13 Bionic.
That means this phone is really fast, sure, but the real reason it matters is that it means this phone is sure to get OS updates from many years to come.
Now there may be other Android phones that cost the same, 399 USD, but it's not really about that cost, it's about how often you have to spend it.
And with this iPhone, you're not gonna have to spend it for a very long time.
I was hoping that that modern processor would mean that battery life would be about as good as on the iPhone 11 Pro, but it's not quite.
It's still very good, don't get me wrong.
I'm getting through a whole day, and it's somewhere in the neighborhood of four to five hours of screen time.
It's just not stellar.
I am glad it has wireless charging though, which makes the average-ish battery life a little bit easier to deal with.
So let's talk camera.
There's just one on the back.
It's 12 megapixels, and there is a seven megapixel selfie camera on the front.
And for a 400 USD phone, I have zero complaints.
In bright lighting conditions, it's kind of lovely. [iPhone SE 2020- Rear Camera]
Photos are well detailed, they're color accurate and they're sharp. [iPhone SE 2020- Rear Camera]
In good light, it is almost hard to tell the difference between this phone and a 1000 USD iPhone 11 Pro.
It does some other stuff with new portrait effects and so on because it has that A13 Bionic chip. [iPhone SE 2020- Rear Camera- Portrait Mode]
But, it's still hit and miss with portrait mode because you know, you lose something when you save this much money.
So for example, low light is, it's not great.
There's no night mode for one thing...
And for another, when it's really dim light, I feel like the software just kind of panics and over corrects and introduces a bunch of artifacts that didn't need to be there. [iPhone SE 2020- Rear Camera]
If you're coming from an OG iPhone SE or an iPhone 6 or even iPhone 7, you're still gonna see a huge improvement.
And I know that the Pixel 3a and the upcoming Pixel 4a are probably gonna be able to beat this thing in low light, but they will not beat it at video where the iPhone SE completely punches above it's weight class. [iPhone SE 2020- Rear Camera]
So look, if you took away my iPhone 11 Pro or because I'm a nerd I also have a Galaxy S20...
And you told me I couldn't have my multiple camera systems or my fancy face unlock or in screen fingerprint sensor and the big bezelless OLED screens and instead I had to use this iPhone SE, I'd be sad.
I'd miss those things, but not as much as you might think.
Because other than low light photography, I am able to do all the same things that I do on those thousand-dollar phones on this 400 USD phone.
Now if I were buying the SE, I would probably spend the extra 50 bucks to get a 128 gigs of storage instead of 64.
I think it's a good upgrade if you want this phone to last three or four or maybe even five years.
And that time span is why the iPhone SE is a big deal.
No other phone for less than 500 USD can promise that it's going to be this good or that it's going to last that long.
And beyond that, the iPhone SE, it isn't just a good deal.
It's a really good phone.
Hi, thank you so much for watching.
Let me know what you think of the iPhone SE down in the comments.
And if you missed it, I also reviewed the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and there'll be a link somewhere on your screen.