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Camera - Quick Evaluation (Outdated) Battery Life - Matching the iPhone 8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

  • Alistair - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    it's a long time trick to make screens longer and longer to inflate the specs, you need to look at the width of the screen which is fine, I don't care if it is technically 4.7 inches, you can build a 6 inch screen just as wide, but taller, and I wouldn't want that Reply
  • weevilone - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    I really felt this moving from the 6+ to the 11. The loss of screen width really meant that the display size was a net downgrade regardless of specs. Reply
  • Alistair - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    Yeap for me personally I felt the screen on the original SE was too small, but the iPhone 8 screen size is fine, I just wanted an all screen front (fingerprint on the back). I'll take the SE 2020 though, the screen is wide, but the phone is lightweight. Reply
  • heffeque - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    It's not a trick, it's having a phone that is mostly the size of the screen. I have a Mi 9T and couldn't be happier that it doesn't even have a camera in sight. I can read a lot more text without scrolling, which IMPOV is great. Reply
  • Alistair - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    Also you might have missed it, but the battery life was about the same screen on time as the S20 at 120hz, or more battery life on standby than that phone. Not amazing, but not bad either. Reply
  • sonny73n - Saturday, April 25, 2020 - link

    4 hours of general usage for a fully charged battery in 2020 is LAME. Reply
  • cha0z_ - Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - link

    Having iphone 6s as secondary phone - the screen size is fine tbh, tho I would not use anything smaller. Bezels are big, but you got a really good physical FP scanner (can't stress that enough, a top end recent android phones I have are with far inferior FP scanners to the 6s. Including those with physical like the note 9 I have) + in person it does look good and premium. Dunno, hard to explain. Friend of mine have iphone SE and the battery life is quite good actually for the size of the phone/battery. Easily 5-6 hours screen with heavy usage and no power saving features + mobile data a lot of the time, navigation, carplay, calls, music playing and so on... my point is that the battery is not bad at all for daily charging. Fun fact, exynos s20 ultra is not much better at 120Hz in the battery department with it's huge battery. :)

    I totally agree on your last sentence tho, media calling 400$ phones as budget ones is baffling, but yet again - phones now chase the 1500$ mark... so maybe they have a point.
  • Alexvrb - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    I know a couple of other holdouts that are probably going to make this their next upgrade. :P

    Good specs and decent price too.
  • YB1064 - Monday, April 27, 2020 - link

    I'm still rocking the old 4inch SE as well. One of the best phones ever made. Phones these days are tablets, that require a backpack to carry. Reply
  • yetanotherhuman - Friday, April 24, 2020 - link

    "outright diminutive stature."

    You spelled "reasonable, normal size for a smartphone" in a weird manner.

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