iPhone XR vs iPhone SE 2: Which Should You Buy?

iPhone SE 2 has come to market with the idea to replace the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus. Besides the launch, the iPhone XR is also an option with similar technical specifications, although it was launched in 2018. The price is a big difference between the two, since the second generation of SE landed for $399, while the iPhone XR can be bought starting from $599.

Regarding colors, while SE 2 can be found in black, white, and red, the iPhone XR offers more options, such as yellow, white, black, blue, red, and even coral. Check out the following comparison to understand in detail the similarities and differences between Apple’s phones.

Phone SE 2 vs. iPhone XR Features

iPhone SE 2iPhone XR
LaunchApril 2020November 2018
Current price (Apple)$399$599
Screen4.7 inches6.1 inches
Screen resolutionHD Retina (1334×750)Liquid Retina HD (1792×828)
ProcessorA13 BionicA12 Bionic
RAM3 GB3 GB
Storage64, 128, and 256 GB64 and 128 GB
Memory cardno supportno support
Main camera12 megapixels12 megapixels
Front Camera7 megapixels7 megapixels
Battery1,821 mAh2,942 mAh
Operating systemiOS 13iOS 12
Dimension and weight138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm and 148g150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm and 194g
Colorsblack, white, and redyellow, white, black, blue, red, and coral
Source: Apple and GSM Arena

Screen and Design

iPhone SE 2

The screen is an area where there is a big difference between mobile phones. The iPhone XR has a 6.1-inch screen, which besides being bigger, brings a resolution of 1792 x 828 pixels. The iPhone SE 2 has a small screen size of 4.7 inches and a resolution of Retina HD 1334 x 750, both lower than Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels).

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The design of the iPhone XR is similar to that of the iPhone X, with the LCD screen featuring a notch that houses the front camera, the sensors responsible for recognizing the Face ID, and also one of the two audio outputs on the phone.

On the other hand, the iPhone SE 2 has an older appearance, recalling the physical button to unlock the smartphone, in addition to the Home button, responsible for the recognition of the Touch ID using crystal as protection.

Camera

iPhone XR

In this regard, mobile phones are almost tied, but the recently released should take advantage of some changes made. In both smartphones, both the main and selfie cameras have 12 and 7 MP sensors, respectively. The rear camera has an f/1.8 aperture, a more open angle, bringing the experience of a wide lens. Among the common features, they also feature Portrait Mode. The front camera has an f/2.2 aperture and video stabilization.

The difference between them is that SE 2 features QuickTake technology, a feature on iPhone 11 that lets you record video without having to exit photo mode. Also, it features an enhanced version of the intelligent HDR and six (6) Portrait Illumination effects. The iPhone XR, in turn, has the device for facial recognition –True Depth, Animojis, and Memojis, kinematic stabilization for video on the front camera, but only three effects of Portrait Lighting.

Performance and Storage

The processor used in iPhone SE 2 is the A13 Bionic chip, the same used in the latest Apple models, as seen in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, for example. This computing power is placed on the same level as some laptops. Apple also informed us that the chip is 2.4 times more powerful than the original SE processor.

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Because it is more advanced, the A13 is expected to perform better. However, even though it was on the previous model, some benchmark tests indicated that the iPhone XR beat most existing processors at the time of the test, losing only to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 855. Compared to the more expensive ones at that time, such as the iPhone XS and XS Max, the phone scored higher.

The memory specifications are almost the same for both. Both have versions of 64 and 128 GB of data space and also lack memory card support. The difference is that SE 2 features a 256GB version of storage. Apple does not disclose information on RAM capacity, but specialized portals report that both have 3GB.

Battery

The iPhone XR tends to do better on battery, since, according to Apple, it develops some tasks for longer than the iPhone SE 2. The battery of the iPhone SE 2 has a duration similar to the iPhone 8. As an example, we have video playback, in which the first cell phone can play for 16 hours, while the second does it for 13 hours.

As for the iPhone XR, Apple reports that the battery lasts up to an hour and a half longer compared to the iPhone 8 Plus. Besides, we tested the phone in January 2019 and found that it can stay 16 hours away from the plug even with heavy use. What can be the same for both, is recharging up to 50% in 30 minutes with an 18 W charger. Although the company chaired by Tim Cook does not disclose information on the components, specialized sites report that the iPhone SE has a 1,821 mAh battery and the iPhone XR has 2,942 mAh.

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iOS version

ios version

The factory operating system of the iPhone XR is iOS 12, but it could be upgraded to iOS 13, the same present in the initial configuration of SE 2. iOS 13 brings the dark mode, and lighting adjustment, which can generate greater comfort to the users’ vision in low-light environments. Initially, the update indicated that the application installation files could be up to 50% smaller and upgrade by 60%.

Additional Features

Starting with other features, both have Bluetooth 5.0, IP67 (which is water, drip, and dust resistance), and a Lightning connector for the headphones. iPhone SE 2 features specifications like Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit-class LTE, while iPhone XR also features Wi-Fi 6 and 4G LTE Advanced. A notable difference is that the latest model has brought out Touch ID, while the iPhone XR uses Face ID technology.

Price

The prices are different between the two mobile phones because the iPhone XR reaches can be found for $599 on Apple’s website and the price ranges in online stores, depending on the offer of the day.

The second generation of SE arrives for a smaller value, $399 in the Apple store. Another relevant aspect is that the product cannot be found yet in markets, but the promise is that it will arrive soon.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using these links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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