Apple iPhone SE 2nd gen vs 1st gen: What changed after four years

Apple launched a new affordable four years after it launched the first one. Here’s how the two compare.

Apple iPhone SE 2nd gen comes with a host upgrades over its four-year-old predecessor
Apple iPhone SE 2nd gen comes with a host upgrades over its four-year-old predecessor (Apple)

Apple launched its second-generation iPhone SE last night. The new 'affordable' iPhone from Apple comes packed with strong internals but dated design and lack of premium features.

It's been four years since the original iPhone SE launched, and it's quite obvious that there will be major upgrades. But here's a comparison to find out how different the two iPhones are.


Apple has followed the same design strategy for the new iPhone which comes in an iPhone 8 body. There's also the Touch ID button which has the fingerprint sensor. The 2016 iPhone SE looked like the iPhone 5 series, and it also had the Touch ID button.

The colours also vary quite a lot as the iPhone SE 2nd gen comes in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED. Its predecessor was available in the iconic iPhone colours like space gray, silver, gold and rose gold.

The iPhone SE 2 has a better Retina HD display with a 4.7-inch screen but with an LCD panel. The resolution is bumped along with features like True Tone display and Haptic Touch. On the older iPhone SE, you'll get a smaller 4-inch Retina display.


Although the second in the series, the iPhone SE 2nd gen is actually four generations ahead. So expect a big bump in performance. The iPhone SE 2nd gen packs the A13 Bionic chipset with a third-generation neural engine. On the iPhone SE, you get the A9 chipset which was actually good during that time.

ALSO READ: 5 major trade-offs you'll make with the iPhone SE 2nd gen


The iPhone SE 2nd gen and 1st gen both sport a 12-megapixel wide camera at the rear. There are however better camera features on the new iPhone like portrait mode, portrait lighting and next-gen smart HDR. The front camera is a major upgrade from a 1.2-megapixel FaceTime HD camera to a 7-megapixel sensor.

New features

Some features have been newly introduced on the iPhone SE 2nd gen and are not available on the 1st gen. These include wireless charging, fast charging support for 18W and above, and IP67 rating for water resistance. There's also dual SIM support on the iPhone SE 2nd gen with the second one being an eSIM. It also supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 for video playback.


Apple launched the iPhone SE 2nd gen at the same price it launched the 1st gen, and that is $399 (42,500). But the base model of iPhone SE 2nd gen has 64GB storage as opposed to the 32GB variant. It also comes with 128GB and 256GB storage variants.

Apple doesn't sell the iPhone SE anymore but in India it retails between 16,000 and 19,000 wherever it's available.