Cheap iPhone you should actually buy

On Wednesday morning, very early on when it was largely shunned, Apple introduced a brand new babyphone, the iPhone 12 Mini. This is an entry-level iPhone this season, so it’s no wonder anyone who wants a cheaper device should choose it. But should it be?

Just a few months ago, Apple dropped the 2020 iPhone SE. It’s a really cheap midrange device (at least for Apple), rethinking what to expect from the iPhone and how much money Tim Cook should actually spend.

Then there is the iPhone 11. Last year’s entry-level device was pretty good. And that’s not yet.

So, before you make your wallet cry, let’s see how these three devices stack on top of each other.

Comparison of specifications of iPhone 12, iPhone 11, iPhone SE

Image: Caitlin McGarry,

There are some crossovers regarding the specs of these three iPhones, but depending on what you value most, the difference may be the clincher.

For example, if you’re curious about the following connections, the iPhone 12 Mini is the only phone with 5G. It’s also the only product with Apple’s latest A14 Bionic chip and a sturdy ceramic exterior.

By comparison, the iPhone 11 has a longer battery life and a larger display.

The iPhone SE, on the other hand, may have the most modest specs, but it’s the smallest (a big plus for some) and most reminiscent of the beloved iPhone 8. And for midrange phones, it’s very impressive.

This is a direct comparison of all major specifications. Please note that Apple does not disclose mobile phone RAM or battery mAH.

iPhone 12 Mini iPhone 11 iPhone SE
display 5.4 inch OLED display 6.1 inch LCD display 4.7 inch liquid crystal display
processor A14 Bionic A13 Bionic A13 Bionic
water resistant IP68 IP68 IP67
storage 64GB, 128GB or 256GB 64GB, 128GB or 256GB 64GB, 128GB or 256GB
Rear camera 12.2MP 12.2MP 12MP
Front camera 8MP 8MP 7MP
battery Up to 15 hours of video playback, Qi and MagSafe wireless charging, fast charging Up to 17 hours of video playback, Qi wireless charging, fast charging Up to 13 hours of video playback, Qi wireless charging, fast charging
LTE 5G 4G 4G
color Black, white, project red, blue, green White, black, green, yellow, purple, project red Black, white, project red


Thanks to all three devices with the same storage options, you can compare them directly.

The cheapest is the iPhone SE, which starts at $ 679 for the 64GB version. The iPhone 11 then starts at $ 999 with the same storage, and the iPhone 12 Mini starts at $ 1,199.

Here is a comparison of all prices:

iPhone 12 Mini iPhone 11 iPhone SE
64GB $ 1,199 $ 999 $ 679
128GB $ 1,279 $ 1,079 $ 759
256GB $ 1,449 $ 1,249 $ 929

Which iPhone is the best value?

It’s immediately noteworthy that I haven’t tried the iPhone 12 Mini yet. That’s why I’m based on my experience with the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 and what the Mini looks like on paper.

If you’re looking for the cheapest device possible, the iPhone SE is clearly the way to go. And that’s not a bad thing. It’s a really good phone for the price. In my opinion, cheaper and better midrange phones (like the Google Pixel 4a) are on the market, but they’re still iPhones. This means that you will pay a premium for the product, as well as familiarity and ease of use.

However, if you want more robust specs without paying for it, choose the iPhone 11.

It’s about $ 300 more expensive than the SE, which greatly improves specs. Better camera, longer battery life, and more robust water resistance rating. Also, if the iPhone SE is too small, you’ll see a larger screen (although I personally delve into the smaller options).

The baseline iPhone 11 is a year old, but the resale value of Apple products remains high. It also had a more impressive camera and battery than I saw a few years ago, so it will be available for the foreseeable future. Sure, it doesn’t have all the features of a Pro and Pro Max phone, but if you need them, they’re not here.

Disclosure: The author owns 12 shares of Apple.

Cheap iPhone you should actually buy

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