The new iPhone SE is Apple’s “entry-level” iPhone at a mid-range price. Is it worth buying or is an equally expensive Android smartphone the better choice? We compare iPhone SE with the Galaxy A51 and A71.
iPhone SE against Galaxy A71 and the affordable A51
© pisitnamtasaeng / Shutterstock.com / Apple / Samsung
Four years after the first iPhone SE, Apple launched the next iPhone SE, which actually had the exact same name. And the concept is also identical: “New technology in an old housing”. And by “old” we mean really old. Because the SE is in the housing of the iPhone 8 released in 2017. On the other hand, if you take a look at the approximately equally expensive Galaxy A71 or the significantly cheaper Galaxy A51 from Samsung, you might think that you have two top-class smartphones in front of you.
The table below gives you an overview of the features of the three smartphones.
let’s compare iPhone SE, Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 in detail.
4.7 inches, 750 x 1334 pixels
6.7 inches, 1080 x 2400 pixels
6.5 inches, 1080 x 2400 pixels
12 MP main cam
64 MP main cam | 12 MP Ultra Wide | 5 MP Macro | 5 MP depth
48 MP main cam | 12 MP Ultra Wide | 5 MP Macro | 5 MP depth
2 x 2.66 + 4 x 1.73 GHz
2 x 2.2 + 6 x 1.8 GHz
4 x 2.3 + 4 x 1.7 GHz
random access memory
3 GB RAM
6 GB RAM
4 GB RAM
64, 128 and 256 GB
yes / micro SD
yes / micro SD
yes (3 slots)
yes (3 slots)
138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mAh
163.6 x 76.0 x 7.7mm
158.5 x 73.6 x 7.9mm
479, 529 or 649 euros
Design and display: Galaxy modern, iPhone stale
If the two inexpensive mid-range phones Galaxy A51 and Galaxy A71 are next to the flagship Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G, which costs up to 1349 euros, then no major differences can be seen at first. Visually, the mid-range phones are in no way inferior to a top model with their large AMOLED full-view displays with thin edges and the punch hole.
The 2020 iPhone SE gets jealous because it has to do with the 2017 design of the iPhone 8 with very thick bars above and below the display and the fingerprint sensor (Touch ID) in a classic button shape, whereas the Galaxy A51 and A71 use the sensor installed under the display glass – another flagship feature.
Display comparison: iPhone SE, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A71
© pisitnamtasaeng / Shutterstock.com / Apple / Samsungbg
While Samsung equips its middle class with AMOLED displays, the iPhone SE “only” has an LCD. In addition, the 4.7 inch screen is significantly smaller than the screens of the Galaxy models with 6.5 and 6.7 inches and the resolution is the lowest with 750 x 1334 pixels. The iPhone SE also comes in last with 326 ppi in terms of pixel density, the highest point density is found in the Galaxy A51 with 405 ppi. All in all, the displays of the Samsung mobile phones are of course much more fun with their size and Full HD + resolution. The iPhone SE has the great advantage that it is more compact due to its compact size.
If you take a look at the back, you will discover the next big difference. Samsung also misses the models of the affordable Galaxy A series multi-camera, which is suitable for multiple scenarios. The iPhone SE, on the other hand, is probably the only smartphone in this price range with only a single camera on the back. Even that
100 euro cell phone Nokia 2.3
has a dual cam.
More cameras equals more options
The camera in comparison: iPhone SE, Galaxy A51, Galaxy A71
© pisitnamtasaeng / Shutterstock.com / Apple / Samsungbg
Galaxy A51 and A71 each have four cameras on the back. In addition to the main camera, there is a depth camera for a better bokeh effect in portraits. In addition, Samsung installs an ultra-wide-angle cam and a macro lens for close-ups. The iPhone SE, on the other hand, only has the one standard camera that you already know from the iPhone 8. Sure, it takes very high quality photos, but it is not so versatile. For example, if you want to take a group photo, one of the Galaxy phones is more suitable than the iPhone. Or you want to take a macro photo of a flower or even an insect, then you can do it with the extra camera. You only have to do without an optical zoom.
The image quality is good for all models, but the Galaxy A71 offers the best mix of colors, contrast and detail. When it comes to video recording, however, the iPhone clearly has the edge, since it has the least focus pumps, here the focus changes very smoothly.
There is a super sports engine in the iPhone SE
The iPhone SE resembles an iPhone 8 from 2017 except for a few components. The CPU, for example, is new. And here Apple blocks right away and installs the A13 chip from the iPhone 11 series. The A13 is currently the most powerful smartphone processor on the market. Means: The iPhone SE is in place
in terms of performance, every Android phone in your pocket.
So you can say that Apple’s entry-level iPhone is faster than a flagship with Android. Apple has the great advantage that hardware and software are perfectly coordinated, since everything comes from one source. That’s why the iPhone SE also comes with 3 GB of RAM – the A71 from Samsung has twice as much RAM.
Only a mid-range CPU works in the Galaxy A71. It is still decent and multitasking works, but it is still no comparison to the A13 chip. Nevertheless, most users will probably get along well, but you shouldn’t expect speed records from the A71. And unfortunately the Galaxy A51 already shows its lame CPU after switching on for the first time, because the system falters when navigating through the start screens and the menu. It even jerky when you pull down the notification bar. And as Android users know from experience: Over time, cell phones do not become faster, but rather slow. And if the A51 is lame at the start, we don’t want to know what it will look like after a few months.
Small battery in the iPhone SE
Both manufacturers are therefore pursuing a different strategy – not only with the CPU, but also with the battery. The iPhone SE has an impressively strong CPU, but a comparatively very small battery, which means that the runtime is quite short. The battery has a capacity of just 1821 mAh – just like the iPhone 8. Actually, just like the iPhone 7, if you look more closely into the specs list – a cell phone from 2016! The A13 chip has become more efficient, but of course it is also significantly more powerful. Which ultimately amounts to the same runtime as the iPhone 8. For example, we watched videos in the YouTube app for about an hour with about 70 percent display brightness. The iPhone SE lost 8 percentage points. Galaxy A71 and A51 in the same period just 3 percentage points. And the longer we watch videos, the bigger the difference. After around 2 hours, the Galaxy phones still have over 90 percent battery charge, the iPhone SE only just under 80 percent.
That’s because Samsung takes a different approach than Apple. The CPU performance is only okay, but the 4000 and 4500 mAh battery on the A51 and A71 is huge and the runtime is much longer. With the Samsung cell phones you can get by for 2 days if you are not a heavy user and gamble a lot. You definitely have to recharge the iPhone SE in the evening.
Ultimately, you have to ask yourself what you prefer. Either high performance for a “short” moment or leisurely performance with significantly more endurance.
Let’s stay with the battery for a moment. It is a shame that Apple not only installs a small battery, but also includes a power supply with only 5 watts. The Galaxy A51 supports 15 watts, the Galaxy A71 even 25 watts. And that is exactly why the two devices are recharged much faster. Specifically, this means that after 35 minutes, the iPhone SE has just reached 33 percent. The Galaxy A51 at 37 percent and the Galaxy A71 in the same period even at 55 percent. You also have to remember that the batteries are more than twice as large.
But there is a big plus that speaks for the iPhone SE: wireless charging. Unfortunately, the A51 and A71 do not offer this.
Conclusion: Galaxy A51 & A71 are significantly more versatile than the iPhone SE
If you are looking for a mid-range smartphone that is versatile, looks modern and has some interesting features from the premium league, you are badly advised with the iPhone SE. Because it is kept simple and offers an iPhone operating system a simple operating system with simple operation and everything works exactly as it should and the user expects.
The iPhone SE doesn’t offer much beyond that. So the Lightning connector is not as versatile as USB-C. Galaxy A51 & A71 have a dedicated headphone jack, but the Apple phone doesn’t. The iPhone SE has only one camera module, with the Galaxy A51 and A71 you cover several photo scenarios. As always, the memory of the iPhone SE cannot be expanded; you can insert a memory card in the Samsung cell phones. If you want more memory in the iPhone, you have to resort to the next larger memory variant for expensive money. After all, the iPhone SE also has a dual SIM function, albeit somewhat restricted by the eSIM.
Apple focuses on a few points that are important to most users: very good performance, a good snapshot camera without frills, the proven iOS operating system with a long update guarantee and the very reasonable price for a new iPhone. If you are interested in an iPhone, but do not want to spend 1000 euros for the top model and maybe also prefer the compact form factor, then you are right with the iPhone SE.
iPhone SE vs. the most expensive Android phones: Apple has an ace up its sleeve
What you should also consider when making your purchase decision is the price. The iPhone SE starts at 479 euros RRP. It stays at this price point for quite a while and is only minimally cheaper because iPhones are generally very stable in value. It also means that after years of use, you can still sell Apple products at a good price. Of course, this is particularly the case with the high-priced flagships.
Samsung phones in particular drop in price very quickly, as can be seen from the example of the two mid-range models. The A71 now costs around 100 euros less than at the market launch earlier this year. And the A51 also costs significantly less at around 293 euros instead of 369 euros in the price comparison. Advantage: You can get the cell phones very cheap. Disadvantage: The resale value is not as high as when selling iPhone.