Many have certainly been waiting for this: The iPhone SE (2020) had to prove itself in the DxOMark camera test. Does the cheap Apple phone take photos just as well as the iPhone 11? And how does it fare in its price range?
In many areas, the photo quality of the iPhone SE (2020) is on par with the iPhone 11, according to the testers. The main reason for this is the image processing technology that is used in both smartphones. The exposure is almost always excellent, the dynamic range is large, the colors are bright and the level of detail is good, especially outdoors. You can see examples of this and a comparison between the iPhone SE, the iPhone 11 and the Google Pixel 3 in the camera test video above this article.
iPhone SE vs. iPhone 11: These are the camera differences
But there are also areas in which the more expensive model has the edge. That’s why the new iPhone SE scores a few points less than its big brother (101 vs. 109 points) in the camera test. The iPhone SE (2020) cannot keep up with the low-light performance. That was certainly to be expected, after all, the iPhone 11 has a night mode ahead of the cheaper model.
The SE, on the other hand, relies solely on its LED flash. This mainly affects the dynamic range and sometimes makes night photos a bit “dreary” if no other light sources are within reach. On the other hand, if you take photos on a well-lit street at night, better results should be possible.
The iPhone SE (2020) also cost points in the camera test due to the missing ultra-wide-angle lens. The iPhone 11 comes with one and is therefore more suitable for group photos or landscape shots. Zoom photos are also not the strength of the iPhone SE, as it – like the iPhone 11 – lacks a telephoto lens. This is also why the bokeh effect of the iPhone SE (2020) did not convince in the camera test.
iPhone SE (2020): The best camera in the middle class?
The conclusion of the camera test is as follows: Occasional users should be satisfied with the iPhone SE (2020). However, if you place the highest demands on zoom, bokeh and night photos or if you insist on an ultra wide-angle lens, you should look elsewhere. However, iPhone 11 and 11 Pro are also significantly more expensive.
The new iPhone SE is actually doing very well in its price range: in the DxOMark ranking it is roughly on par with the Google Pixel 3a, which for a long time had the best camera in the middle class. The top dog in this segment is currently the Xiaomi Mi Note 10 Pro (aka Mi CC9 Pro Premium Edition), which according to DxO is still one of the ten best camera smartphones ever.
Apart from that, there are hardly any mid-range phones that take photos as good as the iPhone SE (2020). You can find out what else distinguishes Apple’s inexpensive smartphone in our detailed test.