Apple's iPhone SE for 2020: Release Date, Price, Features & More

Four years ago, Apple released the iPhone SE; and now, in a virtual unveiling, Apple is introducing the second generation of this simple, streamlined phone. While the SE uses older technology such as a Home button with fingerprint authentication and a single-lens camera, this compact new iPhone also offers many features of a higher-priced model, including the A13 Bionic Chip, high-end iPhone photography and video features, water and dust resistance, wireless charging, and tons of battery life. And you get all of that for $399, a price lower than we've seen for years (the regular iPhone now starts at $699). Let's get into the release date, cost, and features of the latest iPhone, so you can decide if you're going to upgrade or stick with your current phone for another year. 

Related: The Evolution of the iPhone: Every Model from 2007–2020

2020 iPhone SE Release Date

The new second-generation iPhone SE, announced on April 15, is currently available for pre-order and will be in stores on Friday, April 24.

iPhone Life
Discover your iPhone's hidden features
Get a daily tip (with screenshots and clear instructions) so you can master your iPhone in just one minute a day.

New iPhone Price

iphone price

Apple is continuing its trade-in program, where you can turn in your gently used iPhone to lower the cost of your new iPhone. Check with Apple to see if your model of iPhone is accepted, and how much credit you'll receive. If you aren't trading in your old phone, you'll pay full price for your 2020 iPhone; see prices below.

iPhone SE (second generation)

new iphone
  • $399 or $16.62/month for 64 GB
  • $449 or $18.70/month for 128 GB
  • $549 or $22.87/month for 256 GB

iPhone SE (Second Generation) Features

  • Comes in black, white, and Product(Red) finishes
  • Home button with Touch ID
  • 4.7-inch Retina Display with Tru Tone
  • 1334-by-750 pixel resolution at 326 ppi
  • 64, 128, or 256 GB
  • A13 Bionic chip with third-generation Neural Engine
  • Wireless and USB charging with Fast Charge capability
  • Single camera with 12-megapixel and f/1.8 aperture Wide camera
  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps, or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
  • Optical image stabilization for video
  • Digital zoom up to 3x
  • Up to 13-hour battery life for video playback, up to 8 hours for streamed video playback
  • IP67 Water and Dust Resistance for up to one meters for as long as thirty minutes

2020 iPhone Features: Why Buy the New iPhone?

Now for the new iPhone features. What makes 2020's iPhone worth buying? This year marks Apple's most affordable iPhone ever, and the company has packed a lot of features into this lower-end phone.

New iPhone Screen Size

One aspect of Apple's new iPhone will be considered a gain for some and a loss for others; the small screen size. At just 4.7 inches, the second-generation SE is considerably smaller than last year's iPhones. For those who've been missing the compact iPhone, this is just what they've been hoping for. 

A13 Bionic Chip

Now, for processing power. Apple introduced the A13 Bionic Chip with the iPhone 11, its most powerful chip to date. The inclusion of the A13 means that second-gen SE owners will enjoy app launch, augmented reality experience, and gameplay just as smooth as on the iPhone 11, while saving a cool $300. 

New iPhone Camera & Video Features

The new iPhone SE is a great choice for those of us who don't want to sacrifice iPhone photography features, but also don't want to break the bank. While the SE comes with a single lens, it works with the A13 chip to offer Portrait mode, even for selfies, as well as Depth Control, Portrait Lighting options, and next-generation Smart HDR, which brings out the best in both human subjects and background details. 

4K video capability with extended Dynamic Range means that you'll catch incredibly detailed footage, even in highlights and shadows. Audio is captured with stereo recording, just like the iPhone 11! QuickTake adds convenience to your photo shoots; just hold the shutter button to switch from Photo to Video!

The Home Button Is Back!

For better and for worse, the Home button is back. For those of you who've been missing the old, familiar Home button, you're going to love this! Apple has reintroduced the Home button with Touch ID in the new iPhone SE.  

iPhone SE (Second Generation) Battery Life & Charging (Wireless & Fast Charging)

Once again, the latest iPhone doesn't disappoint; battery life approaches that of Apple's most expensive iPhone models. You'll be able to watch up to thirteen hours of video playback or eight hours of streaming video on a single charge (as compared to seventeen hours playback and ten hours streaming on the iPhone 11). When it's time to charge, you have two options, wireless or fast charge. If you choose the Fast Charge option using an 18W cable, your iPhone's battery can charge up to fifty percent in only a half hour. 

Are You Buying the New iPhone?

The latest iPhone comes at a great price with lots of high-end features, but lacks some amenities Apple enthusiasts have grown accustomed to. Those who want a large screen won't be pleased by the second-gen SE, and those who've gotten used to swipes and gestures instead of the Home button may not want to go back. iPhone photography enthusiasts will miss the Night Mode feature, too. As well, the new iPhone doesn't offer 5G connectivity, which some consumers have been holding out for. 

So, what do you think? Is this new iPhone the one for you, or will you wait for the iPhone 12 to make its debut?

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.


Author Details

Leanne Hays's picture

Author Details

Leanne Hays

Leanne Hays has over a dozen years of experience writing for online publications. As a Feature Writer for iPhone Life, she has authored hundreds of how-to, Apple news, and gear review articles, as well as a comprehensive Photos App guide. Leanne holds degrees in education and science and loves troubleshooting and repair. This combination makes her a perfect fit as manager of our Ask an Expert service, which helps iPhone Life Insiders with Apple hardware and software issues.
In off-work hours, Leanne is a mother of two, homesteader, audiobook fanatic, musician, and learning enthusiast.