It is worth buying the iPhone SE

iPhone SE: for whom it is worthwhile

Peter Müller, Dennis Steimels

Apple revived the concept four years after the iPhone SE: current technology in a slightly older case. This is an attractive offer for many smartphone users - but not for everyone.

EnlargeiPhone SE, the 2020 model

Update: The iPhone SE can be ordered from Apple from 2 p.m. on Friday, and customers will receive the new smartphone from April 24th. Update end.

After months of speculation, Apple has actually brought a successor to the iPhone SE from 2016, which is just as simply called iPhone SE, without a serial number, without a year of manufacture. SE stands for "Special Edition": Apple is relaunching the concept from four years ago: at the time, components of the current iPhone 6S found their way into the housing of the iPhone 5 / 5S, while the iPhone SE brought Apple from 399 US dollars or 479 Euros in the trade - unrivaled cheap, in Apple categories. This is happening again, the new iPhone SE brings the latest technology from iPhone 11, such as the A13 bionic chip, the wide-angle camera of the 11 series (of course, ultra-wide angle and zoom are missing) in an iPhone 8 housing, including the home button (front ) and glass back for inductive charging. The price is - by Apple's standards - unrivaled low, again from 479 euros. For this you get 64 GB of storage, 128 GB cost 529 euros and 256 GB 649 euros.

For whom the purchase of the new Apple smartphone is worthwhile:

iPhone X to iPhone 11 Pro Max: Probably not

Anyone who uses an iPhone with Face ID facial recognition will hardly ever return to the home button or Touch ID - the new technology is too convenient and too secure. Of course, there have been and still are voices from the iPhone camp that has been doing poorly or not at all with the modified operating concepts of the iPhone era since 2017, but most of them are likely to have gotten used to it and do not want to go back. Owners of the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max models have little reason to pick up the 2020 iPhone SE anyway, unless they are one of those people who mourn the Touch ID. After all, after a good six months, you now have the opportunity to achieve a high resale price for your recently purchased modern iPhone, which could even exceed that of the new purchase. For everyone else, however, the following applies: The next iPhone should be due at the end of the year at the earliest, it will then be more of a 12. Especially if you use the iPhone 11 Pro Max: You will not want to go back to the much smaller screen, especially since a "descent" from OLED to LED would be associated with it.

Order iPhone SE from Apple from 479 euros

Order iPhone SE from Mediamarkt from 479 euros

Order iPhone SE from Saturn from 479 euros

This could also prevent most iPhone XS users from switching to the new one, after all, the regression in terms of screen size would not be so great, only the switch from Face ID back to Touch ID is relevant - with the XS Max, the screen size still plays a role.

Anyone who has been using an iPhone X for three years and has not yet replaced it with one with Touch ID will probably think about an upgrade these days, but rather to the number 11 or 11 Pro. The users of the iPhone XR are also not on the customer list for the new iPhone SE, after a year and a half, the performance does not decrease that much. The iPhone SE costs at least 320 euros less at Apple than the iPhone 11, which has been the most attractive upgrade option for owners of the iPhone XR so far, but - like the XR - only offers a camera on the back. The iPhone XR is still on offer, starting at 699 euros.

iPhone X in the Macwelt test
iPhone XR in the Macwelt test: Best iPhone battery life ever
iPhone XS in the Macwelt test: This performance is impressive
iPhone 11 in the Macwelt test: Unbeatable when it comes to price-performance ratio

iPhone 7 and 8: Good option

Now we come to a far more interesting target group: the users of iPhone 7 and iPhone 8. For them, purchasing a new SE - possibly with trade-in - could be a good idea. With the A13 Bionic processor, the iPhone SE is two or three years and generations ahead of the previous device, and the camera also brings massive improvements. The iPhone generations from 2016 and 2017 weren't bad either. However, users of the Plus models from those years have to take into account: The optical double zoom is no longer necessary - the iPhone SE does not have an ultra-wide-angle option, unlike the 11-series models. And of course the screen gets smaller. When it comes to authentication, there are no problems: the Touch ID remains. Perhaps an argument in favor of a new acquisition for those who find it difficult to imagine an iPhone without a home button.

Up until now, Apple has sold the iPhone 8 (Plus), the 7 (Plus) went out of business last fall. So there are still a lot of relatively new iPhones of model years 2016 and 2017 in use that do not show any signs of aging in the battery. But this is exactly the type of user that Apple is addressing with the iPhone SE from 2020, at least in the medium term: If you didn't want to or couldn't afford the most expensive model six months or a year ago, you would just go back to the cheapest model when upgrading. This is now future-proof - at least for a few years.

iPhone 7 in the Macwelt test
iPhone 8 in the Macwelt test: fastest mobile phone

iPhone 6 (Plus), iPhone 6S (Plus), iPhone SE: Calls for an upgrade

Let's get to the users who would, so to speak, snatch the new iPhone SE out of Apple's hands: All those whose phones are still powered by an A9 (iPhone 6S, SE) or A8 (iPhone 6) and who are now looking for a new device . Because iOS 14, which should come in the fall, these devices may no longer be able to run. Apple has not sold the 2014, 2016 and 2016 models for some time either, and signs of aging are completely normal. Although the battery of the iPhone SE (2016) and the 6 series can be replaced with a bit of skill without any accidents, this only delays the inevitable end a little. Since Apple introduced the plus size iPhone 6, it has been particularly successful in Asia. Background: There, a smartphone is the only computer for many households, the larger the display, the better. The color gold is also said to be very popular there, in the 5-series cases the color was only applied discreetly, since the 6-series it has popped. That could also be part of Apple's calculations: the millions and millions who (for the first time) used the iPhone in Asia five or six years ago now finally want an upgrade. But: The iPhone SE (2020) only has a screen with a 4.7 inch diagonal and also no gold tone.

iPhone 6 in the Macwelt test
iPhone 6S in practice and laboratory test
iPhone SE in the Macwelt test

Without a smartphone: But now

Sure, it's just an Apple slogan: But if you don't have an iPhone, then you don't have an iPhone. With its price / performance ratio, the iPhone SE is also a convincing offer for this target group. When, if not now, buy a smartphone? Especially in the age of physical distancing, a device with a camera for video calls is worth its weight in gold, so away with the old feature phone and into the age of the smartphone! Of course there are also other manufacturers whose products would be of interest to this target group - but Android users are also looking at the iPhone SE with good reason.

Android users: time to switch

iPhone = very expensive! This is in the minds of many smartphone users, which is why some customers choose an Android smartphone on principle. Because Samsung, Huawei and Co. actually offer similarly good, and sometimes even superior, cell phones at lower prices. But there are also Android users who have been thinking about switching to the Apple warehouse for a long time, but do not want to spend 1000 euros or more for a current iPhone flagship. Anyone who currently uses a mid-range Android phone that has been around for a few years and is no longer getting any new Android versions could consider switching to the iPhone SE. Because Apple guarantees software updates for about 5 years, many manufacturers of Android smartphones grant the latest Android versions for a maximum of two to three years. Added to this is the always high-quality design of the iPhones and the strongest performance on the mobile market. And those who already use other Apple devices can expand their portfolio with the iPhone and can, for example, fall back on uncomplicated connections such as Airdrop.

But if you have a high-priced Android flagship with the latest software, modern design with full screen and high-end features such as fingerprint sensor in the display, quad cameras and reverse charging, it is not worth changing - that would be a worsening.

You can turn your previous smartphone into cash using a used exchange. Apple offers its so-called "Trade In" program for this purpose, which, however, offers rather poor conditions. Depending on the age and model, other services such as Flip4new, Rebuy or Zoxs pay significantly more attractive prices for a used device. WirKaufens and Rankauf also offer cash for used smartphones and many other electronic devices. When you buy a new iPhone, you can therefore save on the bottom line if you no longer need the smartphone you used to date and it is gathering dust in a drawer.