Apple is still selling the iPhone XR, but the new iPhone SE means there's only one reason to buy the old one (AAPL)


iPhone XR

  • Apple announced the new iPhone SE on Wednesday, an updated version of the company’s smaller and cheaper iPhone originally released in 2016.
  • Apple also still sells the iPhone XR, one of the company’s more affordable iPhones.
  • The SE and XR are comparable, but the SE is cheaper and has an upgraded processor, though the XR has a bigger display.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

On Wednesday, Apple announced the second-generation of its cheaper iPhone SE, originally released in 2016.

The new iPhone SE will start at $399, using the same processor as 2019’s iPhone 11, but at a lower price point.

The new iPhone is available for preorder starting on Friday, and Apple says it will ship starting on April 24, replacing the current budget option of the $449 iPhone 8 in Apple’s lineup.

Customers looking to buy a new iPhone without spending a lot will likely be choosing between the new iPhone SE and the next cheapest, the older iPhone XR, which retails for $599

Here are the differences between the two:

SEE ALSO: The new iPhone SE comes in 3 colors — here’s how to decide which to buy

The iPhone SE is significantly less expensive than the XR.

The new iPhone SE starts at $399 for the 64 GB model, or $449 for more storage at 128 GB. The iPhone XR is $200 more expensive, at $599 for 64 GB or $649 for 128 GB. 

The iPhone SE also offers more storage capacity options than the XR currently does.

You can buy a 256 GB iPhone SE for $549, while the iPhone XR maxes out at 128 GB. 

Both phones have basically the same cameras.

Despite the price difference, both phones come with the same single 12 MP wide camera. For the front-facing camera, both have 7 MP cameras that can capture 1080 HP video.

However, the XR’s front-facing camera is slightly better and can record at 60 frames per second, while the SE’s is only good for 30.

The iPhone SE is nearly an ounce and a half lighter than the XR.

The iPhone SE weighs 5.22 ounces, compared to 6.84 ounces for the XR. The difference is minor, but holding up an even slightly heavier phone can be a pain. 

By dimensions, the iPhone SE is also shorter and slimmer — perfect for someone looking for a more petite phone.

The new iPhone SE is 5.45 inches tall and 2.65 inches wide. The iPhone XR is 5.94 inches tall and 2.98 inches wide. 

The iPhone SE has Apple’s newest and fastest smartphone chip, which Apple says is 20% faster than the previous generation.

The iPhone SE has the A13 Bionic chip, the same one used in the newest phones including the iPhone 11 Pro, while the XR still has the older A12 chip.


The iPhone SE has Touch ID, while the iPhone XR has Face ID.

Face ID is used on newer iPhones, starting with the iPhone X, but for anyone who prefers to unlock their phone with a finger instead, either out of security or convenience, an iPhone SE is the way to go. 

The iPhone SE has the phone button, which other new iPhones have done away with.

The iPhone SE is the only phone Apple sells with a home button.

Losing the button does have some advantages, like a bigger screen, but if you’re upgrading from an older model and don’t want to learn a new gesture, the SE is the way to go. 

The iPhone XR has Animoji and Memoji, but the iPhone SE doesn’t.

This might be a minor concession in the grand scheme of everything you’ll use your phone for, but it’s something to note so you’re not disappointed with your new phone. 

The iPhone XR has a slightly better screen resolution compared to the iPhone SE.

The iPhone XR has 1792-by-828-pixel resolution Liquid Retina display. The iPhone SE has 1334-by-750-pixel resolution Retina , both at 326 pixels per inch. 

The iPhone XR has a bit better battery life.

Apple estimates up to 16 hours of video playback and 65 hours of audio playback on the iPhone XR, compared to 13 hours of video playback and 40 hours of audio playback for the iPhone SE. 

The biggest difference between the two phones is their size, and the iPhone SE’s small size might actually be a plus.

The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch display, compared to the iPhone XR’s 6.1-inch display. Some people find large phones inconvenient, uncomfortable to hold, or just annoying because they don’t fit into average pockets. 

However, that difference could be the main reason to buy the iPhone XR over the SE.

While they may be inconvenient, bigger screens are undeniably better for gaming and watching videos.