• Apple’s brand new iPhone SE is so powerful and affordable that Android enthusiasts have taken notice.
  • The iPhone SE is only $399 but can outperform pricier Android handsets thanks to Apple’s powerful A13 Bionic.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

When Apple released the original iPhone SE in March of 2016, Apple executives were famously caught off-guard by how popular the device proved to be. In a smartphone market that was increasingly churning out larger devices, the iPhone SE proved that many people would rather have a powerful device in a compact form factor.

Apple certainly took its sweet time rolling out a new version of the SE, but the company finally answered our prayers and released a brand new iPhone SE earlier this month. And though the new iPhone SE isn’t as compact as the original, it still offers users up a lot of bang for the buck.

The iPhone SE, in effect, is an iPhone 11 packed into a device that looks like an iPhone 8. And at the heart of the iPhone SE is Apple’s most advanced processor, the A13 Bionic.

Apple’s A13 Bionic is an absolute screamer and has easily outperformed Android devices that boast Snapdragon 855 and even 865 chipsets. And the fact that the iPhone SE can be picked up for as little as $399 has even attracted the attention of Android enthusiasts.

Truth be told, it’s not terribly common to see Android users praise the iPhone. That said, to see so many folks from the Android camp openly yearn for an Android equivalent to the iPhone SE highlights just how compelling the device is.

In a piece titled I wish $400 Android phones were this good, Ryne Hager of Android Police writes:

Almost across the board, the iPhone SE beats the current Pixel 3a, which is our favorite mid-range phone. It has an IP rating, the Pixel 3a doesn’t. It has a flagship chipset, the Pixel 3a doesn’t. The SE has wireless charging, amazing haptics, and ambient color-adapting True Tone. The Pixel 3a might have a better camera, but that’s just one point in its favor. In almost every other metric the 2020 iPhone SE meets or exceeds not just the Pixel 3a, but every other mid-range Android phone at the $400 price — outside the question of software, anyway. And it looks like the SE will probably beat Google’s upcoming Pixel 4a, too.

Honestly, I’m upset that there isn’t a $400 Android phone that’s as all-around good as the new iPhone SE, but Apple is just able to compete with its economy of scale here in a way that Android manufacturers can’t.

An iPhone SE review over at Android Central yielded a similar conclusion:

Nerdy things like CPU threads aside, you’ll notice how well the new iPhone SE performs when you use it. Everything in a modern smartphone from web browsing to camera performance to less-used things like AR depends on the processor. You need to crunch numbers really fast if you want your phone to respond really fast. The $399 iPhone SE will be able to do these things faster than the new OnePlus 8 Pro or the Samsung Galaxy S20+.

Now, this isn’t to say that Android users will start flocking to the iPhone SE en masse. After all, folks accustomed to Android can certainly go on for days about all the things they can’t stand about iOS. Still, strictly from a performance perspective, the iPhone SE easily delivers more bang for the buck than any other smartphone we’ve seen hit the market in some time.

Though iPhones have become astoundingly pricey in recent years, Apple has done a solid job of providing options for more cost-conscious consumers. The iPhone SE at $399 simply can’t be beat, and we can only hope that we don’t have to wait another four years for a refresh.

A life long Mac user and Apple enthusiast, Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large for over 6 years. His writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and most recently, TUAW. When not writing about and analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions, the most recent examples being The Walking Dead and Broad City.