Display Measurement

The screen of the iPhone SE shouldn’t be much different to that of the iPhone 8. It’s still an LCD IPS display, but it’s also one of the best on the market, even though the resolution is quite low. 

We move on to the display calibration and fundamental display measurements of the iPhone SE screen. As always, we thank X-Rite and SpecraCal, as our measurements are performed with an X-Rite i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer, with the exception of black levels which are measured with an i1Display Pro colorimeter. Data is collected and examined using Portrait Display's CalMAN software.

Display Measurement - Maximum Brightness

In terms of brightness, the iPhone SE comes in at a maximum of 675 nits, which is in line with Apple’s previous generation LCD devices. It’s not quite as bright as the OLED iPhone 11’s and this can be noticeable in bright daylight, but it’s otherwise a very acceptable result.

Portrait Displays CalMAN

Portrait Displays CalMAN

In terms of greyscale calibration, minus a gamma that’s slightly too high and by a bit off with slightly darker tones, the color accuracy of the iPhone SE is dead-on. Whites come in at 6492K is almost perfect, and in general the color error is below a dEITP of 1.

Portrait Displays CalMAN

Saturation calibration is also extremely good, with only a quite larger overshoot towards the higher saturation reds.

Portrait Displays CalMAN

Portrait Displays CalMAN

In the GMB test, the display is incredibly accurate with a color error of only 0.99 dEITP, only slightly worsened by the very slightly off gamma and darker tones for a total of 2.12 dEITP.

Overall, the iPhone SE’s display is in line with what we’ve seen on the iPhone 8. It’s amongst the best LCD screens in the market, even though by now it’s been outpaced in terms of brightness output and evidently resolution.

Camera - Quick Evaluation (Outdated) Battery Life - Matching the iPhone 8


View All Comments

  • name99 - Saturday, April 25, 2020 - link

    "In JetStream, the phone even gets a boost here, which might be due to the newer iOS version."

    Not "might be", *is* a result of newer iOS. Apple's constantly improving Safari performance.
    Some of the tech behind the most recent improvements is detailed here:

  • LeftSide - Saturday, April 25, 2020 - link

    Could the oddly close battery life numbers be related to the oddly close name of a particular apple employee and the name of this site? Reply
  • yeeeeman - Sunday, April 26, 2020 - link

    With this article my suspicion of you guys being either paid my Apple or Apple fanboys has been confirmed.
    There are a ton of interesting, cheap Android devices in THE SAME price category as this old junk, but you never get the time to cover them. Some of them even have SD865 and the lot at close to same price as this phone, but neah, don't bother to write about them.
    No, you instead waste your time and our time to write a long article, to repeat basically all that was valid for iPhone 6 in 2015. Sure, you are free to do it, you are the writer.
    Sorry to be so harsh, but I feel like this site is going into a wrong direction.
  • toyeboy89 - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    The fact is that Apple is more popular. They are going to get more hits on an article for a new iPhone. Just because a design is old doesn't make it junk. It's a proven design that many people still prefer to the swiping gesture based controls of the newer full screen iPhones. Most people don't look into these off brand budget phones you speak of for the same price. I personally wouldn't risk spending $400 on a brand with no service center in my country, Apple is everywhere, and you can walk into a store and get service the same day on your device. Reply
  • trparky - Friday, May 1, 2020 - link

    A lot of those cheap Android phones are from China. That's a hard NOPE in my mind. Reply
  • shady28 - Sunday, April 26, 2020 - link

    Honestly my untrained eyes can't see much if any difference between the iPhone 8 and SE 2020 video. I do see a slight but noticeable difference vs the iPhone 11 Pro video though.

    There is at least one side by side speed comparison with the SE and 8 out there now. Basically, normal stuff it's a toss up. But in more demanding applications, longer loading apps and so on, there's a pretty large difference.

    My take on all this is that the SE 2020 is essentially a more future proof variant of the 8, but the 8 is still a very capable and fast phone to the point where the differences are undetectable except under the most demanding of apps (there is a significant difference in the comparison when the phones are pushed, but how many people push their phones SoC to the limit with any frequency?). This shouldn't be too surprising, any competing phone running less than a Snapdragon 845 is going to get thumped hard on performance by the iPhone 8 - which is to say anything short of a 2019+ flagship android.

    So, as an 8+ owner who disdains facial recognition, I'm not seeing this as much of an upgrade path. I don't want to go back to the smaller screen, my camera is already better than an normal 8 and probably better than this 2020 SE, and I'm not interested in losing my home button on the new iPhones.
  • Deicidium369 - Sunday, April 26, 2020 - link

    Yeah I remember when my Atari 800XL with disk drive was future proof. Reply
  • toyeboy89 - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    To be fair CPU and GPU in phones have plateaued in recent years so shady28 does have a good point. Reply
  • Drakkon801z - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    I don't understand about bezels, phones with thicker bezels have higher chace to survive after accidental drops, I lost cout of how many thin bezel phones that has latest version of protective screen, been smashed/cracked just because of 30 cms drop. For practical purposes, thicker bezels is like the only choice, unless you add good quality material like higher quality quartz/sapphire glass to entire front. Untill then, I will prefer thicker bezels on my phones. Reply
  • pav1 - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    As usual, Anandtech reviews dote on CPU, giving us an A13 review which we already know is fast and largely wasted on such a device. Reply

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