iPhone SE or iPhone XR: Which one to buy?


Apple launched the second generation iPhone SE last year in the month of March. The device packs a very capable A13 Bionic chip – flagship chip at the time of the release. On the other hand, the iPhone XR packs the A12 Bionic chip which is two generations old; the A14 Bionic is the latest flagship chip now.

iPhone SE or iPhone XR

The amount of system memory (RAM) on both the devices is the same. The iPhone XR and the iPhone SE feature 3GB of RAM which is definitely starting to seem a little outdated now. But it is important to note that these two devices are old or made for budget conscious customers for casual use and not performance heavy tasks.

Same cameras, different battery capacities

The iPhone XR and the iPhone SE pack the same cameras on the front and the back. While there are some differences between the two, it’s not drastic. There are a lot of differences between the iPhone XR and the iPhone 11, and similarly between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11 but there are not many differences between the iPhone SE and the iPhone XR.

This was true back in 2018

The advantage iPhone XR has is in the battery department, it packs a much larger battery compared to the iPhone SE. While the iPhone SE also has a smaller screen which consumes less battery, the iPhone XR is a clear winner in terms of battery life. The iPhone XR and the iPhone SE feature a sub 1080p LCD display which is decent to look at, nothing wrong as such. The lower resolution display also means less battery consumption.

iPhone SE
iPhone SE (2020)

The iPhone SE retails at $399 (USD) for the 64GB variant whereas the iPhone XR retails at $499 for the base 64GB variant. For casual use, the iPhone SE is the perfect device but it has slightly worse battery backup. The iPhone XR has a much better battery for the extra $100 but then the iPhone 11 is a much better device at another additional $100.

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Abhay Ram

Abhay Ram is a News Editor at iLounge. He has been writing about the Apple ecosystem and accessories since 2010. Abhay's work has been featured in various publications. When he's not writing about all things Apple, you can find him playing video games or enjoying a good cup of coffee.