Need some help? Call 0203 869 4251 | Lines open until 6pm


iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone 11 | The Differences Explained

For those on the lookout for a lower price iPhone which features a range of new Apple technology, the new iPhone SE will certainly appeal.

If you are weighing up whether the new iPhone SE or the iPhone 11 suits your needs best, read on; because in this article, we are going to compare these two relatively new additions to the iPhone family.  The iPhone 11 is the pricier flagship, but the SE packs a lot of tech into a more affordable option.

iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone 11


The new iPhone SE shares its dimensions, and much of its overall appearance, with the iPhone 8. Its design is characterised by the large bezel above the screen and a glass back. Its measurements are 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm, and it weighs 148g. It has a single rear view camera.

That makes the iPhone SE smaller and lighter than the 50.9 x 75.7 x 8.3mm iPhone 11, which weighs in at 194g. It has a glass back and a metal frame. The iPhone 11’s design is characterised by a screen-filled front which has a large notch situated at the top. The iPhone 11 carries a square camera block at the rear in its top-left corner.

While the iPhone SE is IP67 rated for dust and water resistance, meaning you could submerge in water to a depth of 1m for up to half an hour, the iPhone 11 is IP68 rated for the same resistance, with it being able to withstand water immersion to a 2m depth. If you are particularly prone to dropping your phone in water – take careful note!

Display and screen size

The key info to note here is that the iPhone 11’s touch screen offers identical pixel density (326 pixels per inch) to the new iPhone SE’s, however the iPhone 11 possesses a higher resolution and is larger. The iPhone 11 offers a 828 x 1792 IPS LCD, 6.1″ display, while the iPhone SE’s display is 750 x 1334 IPS LCD and 4.7″. The True Tone feature, along with a 625 nits brightness level is offered by both of these handsets.


As you might expect, being the bigger hand set, the iPhone 11 edges the new iPhone SE when it comes to the respective phones’ photo snapping skills. While the iPhone SE offers a 12MP f/1.8 single lens camera at the rear and a 7MP f/2.2 camera at the front, the iPhone 11 trumps that with a 12MP f/1.8 main sensor and 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide sensor at the back, and 12MP f/2.2 ‘TrueDepth’ camera (which supports powers Face ID) to the front.

The iPhone SE benefits from an optical image stabilisation (OIS) feature which is designed to keep you in focus when taking pics. Despite the disparity in lenses, it must be noted that many of the same functions and features – from Portrait Mode to the portrait lighting, Smart HDR and QuickTake video – are possessed by both the SE and the 112, including 4k video quality.

Processor and software

So how much of a punch do these two leading Apple smartphones pack? Another thing that the new iPhone SE and the iPhone 11 have in common is Apple’s new high end A13 Bionic chip, which is also a feature of the iPhone 11 Pro and the superior iPhone 11 Pro Max.  That’s a real win for the iPhone SE given it’s price point when compared to the 11 series.

They both run on the iOS 13 operating system. These handsets also offer the same three storage choices; 4GB, 128GB and 256GB.  Apple have not yet revealed how much RAM the new iPhone SE provides, but the iPhone 11 is understood to offer 4GB of RAM.

While the iPhone SE gives you the Touch ID scanning security feature, the iPhone 11 offers the bonus of facial recognition – a time saving feature which is enabled by Apple’s Face ID technology.

Battery life

Apple has kept to its usual policy of not publicising the size of the battery in the iPhone SE. However, the iPhone 11 is reported to carry a 3,110mAh battery, which could theoretically give you 17 hours video, or ten hours of video streamed from the net. The SE can’t compete with that, but its battery (however large it is) can offer 13 hours video playback, with eight hours possible when streamed.

You can charge both phones wirelessly, and rapidly, as they support 18W charging.

The verdict

Both of these attractive handsets sit on the lower end of the price scale when compared to the top end 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max, but in the UK the iPhone SE sits below the iPhone 11 in terms of price, making it the go-to option for those looking to pick up an iPhone at a more affordable cost.  Especially those currently using an iPhone 8 or earlier that don’t feel the need to make a full jump to the iPhone 11 models.

With the iPhone SE, you get many of the same features – from software to its storage and chip – that you can find on the iPhone 11. Some might point to a design which is more in line with iPhone’s earlier models, but for others, the more compact, pocket-friendly design possessed by the iPhone SE is a plus point.

But the iPhone 11’s larger size does carry a superior touch screen and cameras. If selfies and snaps are your thing, it might make sense to opt for the iPhone 11 for its excellent picture taking ability from both the front and rear. But the cameras on the iPhone SE should certainly not be considered substandard by any stretch of the imagination, especially with Apple’s software powering it.

The iPhone 11 is undeniably more advanced, and this is also encapsulated by its face recognition technology, which makes the iPhone SE’s touch ID system seem positively retro!

Which of these handsets you choose will likely come down to your budget, and what your smartphone priorities are. If you like the compact, relatively sleek nature of the iPhone SE, and are not overly concerned about having the best camera technology, the SE might still have an enduring appeal, despite not being up to speed with the advancements of some top end Apple models.

And if you are mulling over the fact that the new iPhone SE might be a slight improvement on the old one – rest assured that the new model has all the upgrades you would expect from a handset released four years after the previous version.

Got a question about any phone or a deal? Tweet us.

Subscribe for mobile and broadband news, tips and exclusive offers straight in your inbox
Head to directmobiles.co.uk to compare the UK’s best smartphone and SIM only deals
Visit our YouTube channel Direct Mobiles TV for the latest smartphone reviews

Follow us and never miss an update…

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/directmobilesuk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/DirectMobilesUK
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/directmobiles/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/direct-mobiles-uk/
The DMob Podcast: https://open.spotify.com/show/7mTrNvRCXWWnkGilycRL7s
Amazon Alexa: Just say “Alexa, enable Direct Mobiles” or https://amzn.to/2HiksLD 

Do you want the latest smartphone news, reviews and exclusive offers straight in your inbox? Subscribe to the Direct Mobiles Newsletter.

More from Direct Mobiles

iPhone 11 green

iPhone 11 Review

A worthwhile iPhone upgrade It seems like every Apple iPhone launch is the tech event of the year, a chance to rip up the rulebook

Read More »