Compared: iPhone 8 versus iPhone SE

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2020
Now that it's finally here, you can make a practical decision about whether to buy the new iPhone SE -- or seek out the old iPhone 8 while it still exists. They are very similar, yet each has benefits over the other.

Left: the new iPhone SE. Right: the iPhone 8
Left: the new iPhone SE. Right: the iPhone 8


If you've been waiting for a new iPhone SE for years, then you're now in luck. The long-awaited new phone has been so long awaited for two key reasons, and while it really only satisfies one of those, it offers new benefits that make it a particularly good iPhone.

It's been waited for because this was hoped to be the cheaper iPhone and of course it is that. It is more economical, and starting at $399, it's more so than you might have expected Apple to do.

The other hope that many people held onto was that a new iPhone SE would retain the size of the original one. The world may have moved to ever larger screens, but they already had back in 2016 when the first iPhone SE was launched. Then as now, if that smaller size appeals to you, it appeals to you a lot.






With that gone, then, there's little physical difference between the new iPhone SE or the old iPhone 8. If you're in the market for the most economical iPhone, then these are now your choices -- or they are for the moment. We've been expecting Apple to remove the iPhone 8, but even so it will remain available for some time and the price is likely to drop wherever you buy it.

What will tempt them or you to upgrade, is down to what the iPhone SE provides for your money. It's about what you gain or lose by buying it over the iPhone 8.
2020 iPhone SEiPhone 8
Year20202017
Base price$399$449
Colors
White, Black, PRODUCT(RED)Space Gray, Silver, Gold (also PRODUCT(RED) at times)
Capacity64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
Screen4.7-inch Retina HD 1334x740 at 326ppi4.7-inch Retina HD 1334x740 at 326ppi
Wireless chargingYesYes
Wi-Fi 6YesNo
Brightness625 nits625 nits
Dimensions5.45 inches (138.4mm) by 2.65 inches (67.4mm) by 0.29 inch (7.3mm)5.45 inches (138.4mm) by 2.65 inches (67.4mm) by 0.29 inch (7.3mm)
Rear camerasSingle 12MP WideSingle 12MP Wide
Front camera7MP FaceTime HD with 1080p video at 30fps7MP FaceTime HD with 1080p video at 30fps
BiometricsTouch IDTouch ID
ProcessorA13 BionicA11 Bionic with Neural Engine
Battery lifeVideo playback up to 13 hoursVideo playback up to 14 hours
Water resistanceTo a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutesTo a depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes

What the 2020 iPhone SE delivers

The physical dimensions of the new iPhone SE are the same as the iPhone 8, so there is no benefit in size, or weight. The screens are the same too, with both having a 4.7-inch Retina HD screen, which means a resolution of 1334x740 at 326ppi. One unexpected feature of the new SE is that it comes with the same EarPods with Lightning Connector.

Otherwise, if they look the same, though, these two phones do not act the same. The new iPhone SE has dual-SIM support -- and it also has Wi-Fi 6. The latter means that the new iPhone 6 SE will work faster, if you have the right internet connection.

It will run faster anyway, because the iPhone SE has an A13 Bionic processor instead of the iPhone 8's A11 Bionic one. This means that the SE has the same processor as the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max.

As expected, the iPhone SE has 3GB RAM compared to the iPhone 8's 2GB RAM. The amount of RAM is less important in iPhones than in, say, Android, because iOS is so well optimized.

Even so, more RAM should mean better performance, and it will mean that the iPhone SE will last for many years. That's a consideration both because of the wanting what you buy today to last you, but also because of what will be supported by Apple for longer.

Right now the iPhone 8 runs iOS 13 and it is likely to be able to run iOS 14, but at some point, all iPhones reach their maximum version of iOS. And simply by virtue of having been released three years later than the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE will be supported for longer.

What the iPhone 8 delivers






This may not sound like a serious benefit, yet it is -- you can buy the iPhone 8 right now. The iPhone SE's shipping date isn't exactly far off, but the iPhone 8 can be had right now, and maybe even today.

We are talking days in the difference, ultimately, and if you wait those same days for the iPhone 8, you're likely to see it for ever lower prices at resellers.

Now at long last, however, you can make an informed decision about exactly what these different phones provide. And now you can order the one that's most useful to you.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    The iPhone 8 is no longer available on the Apple Store App. Discontinued now that the new iPhone SE has been released. Told you...
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,858administrator
    hoodjd73 said:
    The iPhone 8 is no longer available on the Apple Store App. Discontinued now that the new iPhone SE has been released. Told you...
    I don't believe there was any real debate or wonder about it?
    StrangeDaysCloudTalkinwatto_cobraronnchasm
  • Reply 3 of 27
    fede777fede777 Posts: 13member
    They are very similar, yet each has benefits over the other.

    Such as? The new one is just better in every way.
    edited April 2020 chiarazorpitbonobobjony0watto_cobraStrangeDaysronnretrogustokingofsomewherehotMisterKit
  • Reply 4 of 27
    It’s identical to the iPhone 8 in most ways. Upgraded with A13, WiFi 6, dual SIM, and a 256GB option. And starts $50 cheaper. 

    The only advantage that the iPhone 8 has is availability in more colors.  So, why would you buy an iPhone 8?

    -rb
    watto_cobraronnkingofsomewherehot
  • Reply 5 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,858administrator
    fede777 said:
    They are very similar, yet each has benefits over the other.

    Such as? The new one is just better in every way.
    The iPhone 8 has already seen dramatic price cuts today to well less than the 2020 iPhone SE - we'll be talking about this soon enough.

    And, it has a headphone jack. Brain-lock!
    edited April 2020 watto_cobrachasm
  • Reply 6 of 27
    AI_liasAI_lias Posts: 434member
    fede777 said:
    They are very similar, yet each has benefits over the other.

    Such as? The new one is just better in every way.
    The iPhone 8 has already seen dramatic price cuts today to well less than the 2020 iPhone SE - we'll be talking about this soon enough.

    And, it has a headphone jack.
    I wish it had a headphone jack. 
    razorpitCloudTalkinwatto_cobraretrogusto
  • Reply 7 of 27
    BeatsBeats Posts: 3,073member
    iPhone SE

    "It's the same but different..."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Is this iPhone SE or iPhone 8 2020? I mean calling it iPhone SE may seem as a new product where in fact it's just iPhone 8 with up to date internals. Same refresh cycle as we've seen with MBA or iPads.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,858administrator
    AI_lias said:
    fede777 said:
    They are very similar, yet each has benefits over the other.

    Such as? The new one is just better in every way.
    The iPhone 8 has already seen dramatic price cuts today to well less than the 2020 iPhone SE - we'll be talking about this soon enough.

    And, it has a headphone jack.
    I wish it had a headphone jack. 
    Yeah, I'm not sure what I was thinking, there. Busy day.
    razorpitwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 27
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 6,858administrator

    Is this iPhone SE or iPhone 8 2020? I mean calling it iPhone SE may seem as a new product where in fact it's just iPhone 8 with up to date internals. Same refresh cycle as we've seen with MBA or iPads.
    Given that Apple is calling it the iPhone SE, we're calling it the iPhone SE.
    chiabeowulfschmidtwatto_cobraredgeminipadewmeronnpscooter63chasm
  • Reply 11 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    Is this iPhone SE or iPhone 8 2020? I mean calling it iPhone SE may seem as a new product where in fact it's just iPhone 8 with up to date internals. Same refresh cycle as we've seen with MBA or iPads.
    The original iPhone SE was an iPhone 5S with updated internals.  The SE stands for Style Exit.
    edited April 2020
  • Reply 12 of 27
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    Even if the 8 can be had for cheaper now, I wouldn't get one.

    It's a far smarter move to get the 2020 SE, because of the CPU. It will have a far longer life span and be supported with the latest OS. The 8 will be cut off a few years before the 2020 SE most likely.
    razorpitwatto_cobraredgeminipaStrangeDayspscooter63MisterKit
  • Reply 13 of 27
    There will not be a plus version of the iPhone SE.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 27
    apple ][ said:
    Even if the 8 can be had for cheaper now, I wouldn't get one.

    It's a far smarter move to get the 2020 SE, because of the CPU. It will have a far longer life span and be supported with the latest OS. The 8 will be cut off a few years before the 2020 SE most likely.
    Unless someone has a CPU intensive use case, the 8 is a damn good value, and will continue to be a good value for some time to come.  Generally speaking, what most people do on their phones wouldn't even tax an iPhone 6 too much.  Consumption, communication, a bit of mobile gaming.  The 8 can handle that without even breaking a sweat.  Pretty soon the 8 is going to be available for less than $300.  So if it's supported for 3-4 more years instead of 5-6... big deal.  One of the biggest benefits of the introduction of the new SE is it will drive down the pricing on the 8/8+.  There's tons of inventory floating around out there from carriers, MVNOs and retail stores like Walmart, Best Buy, and Target.  The 8 is going to be a beast of a bargin.
    muthuk_vanalingamMisterKit
  • Reply 15 of 27
    Don't forget that the iPhone SE does NOT have 3D touch like the iPhone 8 has.
    watto_cobraretrogusto
  • Reply 16 of 27
    M68000M68000 Posts: 723member
    hoodjd73 said:
    There will not be a plus version of the iPhone SE.
    How do you know that?
  • Reply 17 of 27
    crowleycrowley Posts: 10,453member
    dominoes said:
    Don't forget that the iPhone SE does NOT have 3D touch like the iPhone 8 has.
    As someone who has an iPhone with 3D Touch, I forget about it all the time.  No big loss.
    redgeminipadewmeronnMisterKit
  • Reply 18 of 27
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 24,207member
    M68000 said:
    hoodjd73 said:
    There will not be a plus version of the iPhone SE.
    How do you know that?
    Pretty sure there will be. 
  • Reply 19 of 27
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 9,233member
    crowley said:
    dominoes said:
    Don't forget that the iPhone SE does NOT have 3D touch like the iPhone 8 has.
    As someone who has an iPhone with 3D Touch, I forget about it all the time.  No big loss.
    Indeed. 

    I can totally understand why Apple decided to abandon it completely. 3D touch is now obsolete and dead. It will never be included on any Apple product ever again I believe.

    edited April 2020 redgeminipajust cruisin
  • Reply 20 of 27
    kpomkpom Posts: 660member
    apple ][ said:
    crowley said:
    dominoes said:
    Don't forget that the iPhone SE does NOT have 3D touch like the iPhone 8 has.
    As someone who has an iPhone with 3D Touch, I forget about it all the time.  No big loss.
    Indeed. 

    I can totally understand why Apple decided to abandon it completely. 3D touch is now obsolete and dead. It will never be included on any Apple product ever again I believe.

    MacBook Airs and Pros essentially have 3D Touch. It has more benefits on a mouse-centric OS like macOS than on iOS. 
    watto_cobra
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