[REVIEW] The iPhone SE Is The Little 'Cili Padi' We've All Been Waiting For From Apple

You won’t go wrong with Apple’s latest offering.

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[REVIEW] The iPhone SE Is The Little 'Cili Padi' We've All Been Waiting For From Apple
When you think of the iPhone, a couple of things come to mind: expensive, status symbol, an atas phone for atas people.

Granted, the iPhone might not have some of the features other smartphone makers have, but those who are currently using an iPhone don't seem to mind.

Apple is somewhat like a cult: those who've experienced the whole Apple ecosystem will probably not leave, and that's something non-Apple smartphone users won't be able to fully understand.

We know there are Android users out there who, if given a chance, would want to check out this whole Apple ecosystem, but the 'membership fee' is pretty steep: an iPhone typically costs more than twice of that a good Android smartphone.

That's where the new 2020 iPhone SE comes in.

This year's iPhone SE is the second generation of Apple's budget iPhone; the first gen was released back in 2016.

And unlike the first gen, the 2020 version has improved by leaps and bounds.

Granted, the iPhone SE might not be the best budget smartphone out there, but it is the best iPhone for you to get if you, a non-iPhone user, are curious about this whole Apple ecosystem that iPhone users can't seem to stop talking about.

After using it for two weeks, here are some of the things we like (and some we don't) about the iPhone SE:


#1 The premium build quality

Unlike the first generation iPhone SE, the new iPhone SE has a very premium feel to it. When you hold it in your hands, it doesn't feel cheap.

That's because the 2020 iPhone SE is made entirely out of glass, front and back (while the original iPhone SE, based on the design of the iPhone 5, has an aluminum back).

And yes, because it's made out of glass, the 2020 iPhone SE supports wireless charging, so that's definitely a plus. The only downside is that the phone is very, very slippery, so if you're one of those people who prefer to use your phone naked, you have to be extra careful.

On top of that, its 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display is also pretty sharp and vibrant. It also has TouchID, something that will make you Apple purists really happy.

#2 The decent camera

The iPhone 11 line boasts probably one of the best smartphones camera systems in the market right now, but you can't expect the iPhone SE to match the performance of the iPhone 11, because it is only equipped with a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera.

But the camera is not a potato though, because it boasts some pretty good high-end features such as an f/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilisation, and support for Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting.

Here are some sample photos taken with the iPhone SE:

Here are pictures taken in low-light conditions:

Despite its price tag and the single-lens camera, we have to say that the pictures taken with the 2020 iPhone SE are more than acceptable.

#3 The price tag

Speaking of the price tag, it's probably the most impressive feature of the 2020 iPhone SE. The 64GB iPhone SE starts from just RM1,999, all the way up to RM2,699 for the 256GB model.

Sure, there are cheaper budget phones out there, but if you've always wanted to experience what the whole Apple ecosystem is about, or if you've always wanted to own an iPhone, we would say that it's a pretty good deal, considering all the goodies that comes in the package. 


#1 The battery life

If you're always on your phone day in and night out, don't expect the 2020 iPhone SE to hang with you the entire day. Because of its small size, the iPhone SE only packs a 1,624mAH battery capacity, which is tiny in today's standards.

Apple claims that the iPhone SE can last 13 hours if you play a video continuously, but during our review, the phone barely lasted five hours. We often find ourselves reaching for our charger by around 2pm, after using it to scroll through Facebook, Instagram, Shopee or just general browsing in the morning.

If you're a heavy user, we recommend that you bring along a powerbank, because you would definitely need it.

#2 The size of the phone

OK, this is purely based on individual preference; if you love a phone that could easily fit into your pocket, the size of the 2020 iPhone SE will not be a problem for you.

But for this writer, who has been using medium to large smartphones since the iPhone 6 Plus to compensate for his small...bladder, the iPhone SE is a little bit too small for his liking. We found it hard to adjust to the small 4.7-inch screen, especially when typing on the keyboard because our chubby little fingers would cover almost 1/3 of the screen.

Here's the silver lining though: a smaller phone means a lighter phone, so it won't hurt as much when it drops onto your face during one of your late night, lying-on-bed scrolling sessions.


If you want a fuss-free smartphone that comes with some of Apple's best features and an affordable price tag, you really can't go wrong with the 2020 iPhone SE. 

It's the perfect phone to introduce you to the whole Apple ecosystem, and it's also the perfect phone to get your child if she scores straight As in UPSR or SPM. It's also the perfect 'try first' phone you can get if you're still undecided to make the leap to iOS (but we have a feeling that once you get a taste of the iPhone, you'll be upgrading in no time).

For that price tag, the 2020 iPhone SE is the perfect budget smartphone you can get.

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