iPhone SE 2
Apple iPhone SE 2 (2020 model). Image credit: ADCStock via Bigstock.

Apple released the second generation of the iPhone SE for $399 in May and turned heads with the performance it offered for the price, and for bringing the lowest price point for new iPhones down to $399. That price point helps Apple to break into the mid-range smartphone market, as they have broadened their offerings in both directions (price-wise).

The iPhone SE 2 contains the same A13 bionic chip that the iPhone 11 models do, making it an outstandingly powerful phone for the price. The iPhone SE sacrifices little outside of having a significantly smaller screen than all the other models in Apple’s lineup. The iPhone SE also came at a good time because it has Touch ID — a convenient alternative for Face ID users who now have to wear masks.

The bezel-free design of the other iPhones has resulted in Face ID replacing Touch ID altogether. Face ID’s snappy response times and convenience (not having to place your finger on a sensor) had negated the need for a fingerprint sensor — until now. The presence of the bezel on the iPhone SE provides it with the Touch ID experience iPhone users had become acquainted with in the old days.

If you want to use biometric unlocking on the road when wearing a mask and can’t stand the thought of typing in a password, then you may prefer the iPhone SE to the iPhone 12 Mini, which uses Face ID. I don’t understand why, however iPhones generally have Face ID or Touch ID — not both. The iPhone 12 Mini has the faster (not dramatically) A14 Bionic chip and a larger 5.3″ OLED Super Retina display with a high resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels.

The fact that it is OLED is the least significant of the differences. The two main differences are that the iPhone SE 2 has a 4.7 inch LCD display while the iPhone 12 Mini has a 5.4 inch one, and that the iPhone SE 2 screen resolution is 1,334 x 750 pixels. The iPhone 12 Mini has impressively high specs overall, and its the screen size that is sacrificed to reduce the price. The iPhone SE sacrifices a little more than that.

This has resulted in the iPhone 12 Mini carrying a significantly higher price tag than the iPhone SE — $699. vs the $399 price tag of the iPhone SE. At the 12 Mini’s price point, many people would want a bigger phone. The $600, 6.1″ iPhone 11 may also steal attention from the more powerful 12 Mini due to the fact that it is $100 cheaper. It is also more than powerful enough for most people with benchmarks that exceed that of nearly every phone on the market.

However, it still comes in handy if you have a tight pocket in your jeans and don’t want to force a 6+ inch phone in there. The 12 Mini’s bezel-free design enables it to offer a larger screen than the iPhone SE 2 and a smaller body that is more portable — a win for people who keep their phones in their pockets. The 12 Mini also offers improved water resistance (up to 6 meters for 30 minutes), Magsafe, and supports 5G connectivity.

The iPhone 12 Mini offers an ultra-wide camera unlike the iPhone SE. If you really do want the most compact body and to be on the cutting edge with the fastest processor, a higher resolution screen and 5G capability — the iPhone 12 Mini may suit you better. If $700 is out of your budget, the iPhone SE has plenty of power to spare and Touch ID for easy unlocking when you’re wearing a mask.