Apple iPhone SE vs $400 Android Smartphone

by birtanpublished on August 25, 2020

I've made a couple videos so far on this device on the left hand side that is of course the new iPhone se iPhone se 2021 stating the pros won stating the cons just to showcase how polarizing this particular device has been within the tech community it's obviously much it's

Much different when compared to the approach that other manufacturers take to their budget model devices a common request that's been sent my way after those videos have been published people out there listening to some of the cons

With the device the antiquated design and so on and then saying well if I do have $400 or around 400 dollars to spend on a smartphone and if I am willing to consider the Android space then what am I looking at loo what should I be

Considering or what does a $400 Android equivalent device look like if I'm willing to cross shop and so that's where these two devices come in today today I have the Samsung a 51 and a 71 the a series from Samsung is their

Budget lineup while depending on where you are in the world could be considered mid-range but certainly in North America this is squarely in their budget offering and they've only recently made the a series more available in North

America now right away you're gonna notice a pretty massive difference and it's probably the biggest difference between these various offerings the a 51 a 71 they look a lot more like their flagship equivalent device in fact if I

Bring over this is a galaxy s 20 ultra and I just put it if I just add it to the pile here yeah so when you put these devices together I mean there's some to some cohesiveness and you don't really feel like a second-class citizen picking

Up the A Series compared to the S series now of course there are differences there are some improvements that you get stepping up to the S series including better processing a faster device bigger battery more camera modules higher

Resolution display and and so on but at least the main sort of compose that you stare at on your smartphone the display at least that's still an AMOLED display and you have the same hole punch and you sort of feel like you're part of

The your at least a little bit closer to flagship territory in the design and aesthetic of the device so it's important to note that the the price of these two devices on the right hand side it does fluctuate a little bit because

They are readily available in different places from on different sites in different markets they're available on Amazon you can purchase them outright but more carriers in North America have also began to sell them in stores and

Even subsidized them or sell them at a lower rate in certain circumstances so the a fifty one the one in the center here the smaller of the two supposedly retails for the same price as the iPhone se twenty twenty three ninety nine but

At the time of recording this video if you head over to Amazon it's listed at two eighty three so substantially less than 399 now granted there are different versions of this thing you can catch a deal on it whereas

The iPhones gonna is going to be right at that $400 for a long time for the foreseeable future unless you get some sort of refurbished deal 283 is the lowest you can find this one for on Amazon at the time of filming this and

Then the a 71 which the original retail was higher you can get that for 385 so yeah I guess you can use either of these as a direct comparison but both of them will likely come in cheaper then the iPhone se 20/20 at the time of your

Purchase and in some cases this guy in the middle could be substantially cheaper up to $100 cheaper again depending on the version that you get so let's do a quick display comparison you can see it for yourself these ones are

Much larger but they also happen to be AMOLED compared to IPS technology LCD technology on the iPhone now in this environment facing straight up I don't know how much you can tell the difference in the color saturation and

Contrast but it's been covered at length flagship devices all have AMOLED displays it's the preference it's obviously the top tier it's the most advanced tech in most cases Apple in their premium devices you use

LED displays so I think that's a clear win for the Samsung devices compared one-to-one they're bigger displays nicer displays obviously there's no bezels there they happen to be AMOLED they are higher resolution as well they have a

Higher ppi funny enough the device in the middle the a51 has the highest ppi this is a six point five inch display coming in at 2400 by 1080 which gives you 405 ppi the device on the right a little bit bigger but the same

Resolution so 393 PPI and then on the low end of the spectrum 326 PPI 1334 by 750 resolution on the iPhones LCD so it just makes sense to start the comparison with the displays considering this that's what you look at straight away

Now flipping the devices around the story gets a little bit different in the camera Department because obviously in the case of the iPhone you've only got a single camera module there's no camera versatility but you've got Apple's

Latest flagship level processing for those images which have improved the performance on top of the old hardware Samsung on the other hand they give you some versatility in the camera section including some various lens options

Which again is more similar to what they do on the flagship level so you sort of feel like they're in the same conversation even though you're spending substantially less on you probably gives a kind of a crazy comparison this phone

This s20 Ultra is like fourteen hundred bucks and then you have these two devices which are essentially $1000 cheaper or eleven hundred or twelve it's kind of crazy actually you start to look at flagships differently when you

Run these comparisons and you think to yourself man those improvements at the flagship level they're fairly incremental by comparison when you start to look at the displays on the a-series devices from Samsung now versatility is

Kind of gonna be the theme in addressing these two products on the right hand side Apple on the other hand with the tight-knit ecosystem and a five watt power brick in the box it's just this is not a versatile product in that sense

It's kind of exactly what you expect it's simpler giving you what you need and in some cases a superior version of what you need but not a lot of extra on top of it so it's the five watt power break that's

Not versatile it's the lightning connector obviously far less versatility compared to USB type-c it's a single camera module less versatility this doesn't have a headphone jack these to do less versatility these have

Expandable storage you got to pay Apple a fortune to expand your storage so you get where I'm coming from here I think this is the sort of simple powerful choice these two sort of check more boxes in the spec department now another

Thing to note when it comes to the construction here these devices look really nice but they are not made out of the same premium materials that the flagship level stuff is these are plastic backs now me feeling it here

It's not a huge deal breaker it feels like glass even though it's plastic it's obviously not ideal and not optimal it's one area one thing I would notice that is an advantage for the iPhone the iPhone se features wireless charging

These other two don't and you guys know how big of a fan of wireless charging I am on the bottom here you're gonna find USB type-c connectors headphone jacks and speakers over on the other side here volume up and down and your power switch

But the difference between these two devices is not just scale the device on the right has a Snapdragon chip in it from the 700 series so it's a mid-range Snapdragon chip whereas the middle unit has an X and O's chip they are kind of

Close when it comes to benchmarking on the daily they should be sort of in the same range but if anything the model on the right is gonna have a processing advantage with the Qualcomm hardware so if you do like to store a lot of data

Locally these have the expandable storage baked in and of course the benefit there with a budget device is you're trying to get that entry-level cost as low as possible and so you may only have the cash for the default or

Stock storage right out of the gate and then maybe gather up a little more cash for expandability later on whereas with the iPhone you have to pay it straight away the other big consideration and you probably figured this out or could

Imagine it looking at the scale of these two devices is battery life it kind of it can't it all came out after the iPhone se had a little time to settle but people have been tweeting at me and many videos have

Been published about the subpar battery life on the SE some people say not a big deal it's not really what the phone is for we understand it's slim and trim it's a tiny little thing but it's kind of a weird configuration in the sense

That you have this really powerful chip far more powerful than the chip in either of these two devices but then paired to a small battery and so the consequence is anytime you really put a heavy task on that chip like gaming or

Watching video that battery just flies off a cliff and dies really quickly so you can't really fully utilize it's like a well I guess it's like a super car with a small gas tank sort of and it sort of opens your eyes a little bit on

The remaining analysis because so much of the analysis on the SE has to do with the horsepower that's inside of it but if the horsepower is dead in other words if you have a dead phone in your pocket because you really want to tax that

Horsepower through the day then it's kind of no good to you in that moment so it's a bit of a trade-off it runs hot it runs steamy for a bit but you can't expect it to be some type of an endurance champion I say hot and steamy

I didn't mean to the touch I meant it's got a lot of firepower in it these two devices on the other hand 4,000 milliamp hours and 45 hundred mil amp hours that should be a really important part of your consideration

If battery life is a big deal to you you should probably cross the se off your list if battery life doesn't matter to you first of all we're not friends anymore you're lying to yourself nah but

Seriously if battery life doesn't really matter to you and you're near a wall outlet or you don't mind having the thing plugged in or or maybe you even put a battery case on it then you have to admit you're getting some amazing

Performance at that 399 price tag in a forum of the iPhone se Apple controlling so much of the ecosystem they can make use they can make good use of smaller RAM figures but the se still has the lowest RAM count of the bunch here on

The desk it's a three gigabyte RAM unit whereas the 51 is four gigs the seven one is six and I believe there's even an 8 gig configuration as well but it's hard to give a very strong advantage on the RAM side since there's so much

Processing advantage on the SE side fast charging is another thing I should mention I brought it up in my convey do for the iPhone se it ships with a five watt power brick which to me is just as kind of an insult in in 2020 to be

Honest you're just gonna be waiting forever and like almost nothing ships with the fight I could look at phones that are under 200 bucks nothing is shipping with a five watt power brick I appreciate the fact that

Is this tiny little portable thing Apple whatever they have thousands of them and they want to keep shipping them out but but trust me even if you're an Apple customer it's an insult alright they should have just give it they should

Just give everybody the 18 Watts already they make it as well are they gonna juice you for another 30 for real I get it it's Apple but the thing can charge faster it has the capability these other two devices this is 15 watts in the box

I believe this is 25 watts in a box now when it comes to security we know how it goes on the iPhone it's a single unlock procedure through the touch ID it's straightforward you tap down the whole world is basically familiar with this at

This point it unlocks some people prefer it to face unlock to face ID I personally like having both enabled in most cases on my devices on the oneplus 8 Pro that I'm using right now I have the face unlock I have the fingerprint

Unlock and I just would use whichever is convenient in that particular moment these have both options as well so there's an in display fingerprint scanner which I'll show you right there they have options for the face unlock as

Well which I like I have the eye blink portion enabled as one of the extra security features but it's important to note that when it comes to camera based face unlock it's nowhere near as secure as the more advanced systems that are

Out there I like to go for both and I like to not have to swipe up but to go straight into the OS it's a much faster experience neither of these devices has the fastest face unlock that I've ever tried or the fastest fingerprint unlock

But again you're looking at a guy who's trying out devices that are $1500 on the regular and so it's not really a fair comparison I think it's suitable so I'm gonna go ahead and take a selfie first on the

IPhone of course the iPhone has all kinds of smart activity going on with the latest chip the latest processing it does weird stuff to me always have particularly in this lighting environment I must have

This photo and it does some pretty wild smart HDR stuff to me that makes me look far dreamier than I actually am it just softens me up and it flattens my complexion and and sort of takes the contrast out of the image by default I'm

Not the hugest fan of it I made an entire video about it once upon a time but some people like this look and that's what you end up with with the iPhone it's a lower megapixel count on the selfie camera but you have you give

The advantage on the processing side in the background with the computational photography it's a bit of a toss-up let's go ahead and do the same thing with the a 51 and we'll leave it in default as well I think it might be

Trying to do a magic trick as well three-two-one well to me that's a hands-down better image it's a tough comparison this is doing fancy smoothing also but the extra resolution really helps out in the beard hairs I've talked

About it not so much people are sick of it at this point the beard it really gives you an advantage because it's incredibly fine detail it's like when you're watching those rendering engines when the have really high-end graphics

It's always hair that causes the most problems because of the amount of detail within it the iPhone over here the individual hairs are far blurrier than they are on the front-facing camera and that likely has to do with the extra

Resolution over here now the 71 should perform similar to the 51 that one might be my favorite the color temperature is a bit different possibly a bit off but it has the most contrast of the group anyway that's your selfie camera I'm not

A huge selfie guy but there's just there's just some strong advantages to resolution in certain circumstances some people may prefer the smart activity Apple does with the complexion they may think they may think they look more

Beautiful that way now with the iPhone it's the single camera unit there's not a lot of versatility you've got one option you open it up and you click it some people might like that they might say that's all I need I need one good

Camera to live my life and it is a good camera it might be the best 399 camera on any smartphone but it's a little bit less fun in the sense that you lack some versatility you don't get the wide-angle you don't feel like you have something

Modern obviously even Apple finally came around to the idea of putting these massive camera modules and multiple camera modules they held off for a little bit Google's tried it they said no one

Camera and then they bailed so this does seem to be the direction at least on the flagship level multi cameras and it kind of comes back to the theme of this whole video where these two devices they just feel closer to the flagship level in the

Feature set maybe not in the processing side but in the feature set alright so here is our stock and here's our wide and of course the way that maps out for you as a photo taker what you essentially end up with is the ability

To get a totally different perspective get more people in the frame the reason I'm such a fan of wide-angle cameras is because there's they're so practical if you are out with a group of people you're at a dinner or something and you

Need to take a group shot the number of times I popped into the wide and I just I wouldn't have enough room in the space that I'm in to get everybody in the group shot let me grab these keys over here these are some tiny little keys

From a recent video let's let's try to get in on that I mean we can get closer for sure here we go this is cool so yeah look there is the opportunity with macro to still create some shots that you couldn't really do a digital

Zoom after because I couldn't get that angle right I'd be like it would be hard the zoom looks like zoom digital zoom looks like digital zoom macro looks like macro and it probably would be even better if I was out in sunlight and it's

Like a flower or a bug or something and you have a of light to work with then the sensor is less important or it's less taxed so it's on there the night mode is in there you have the pro mode built in there

With a tremendous versatility on the various settings this is a video test on a Samsung a 51 and it is 4k at 30fps and this is our favorite plant obviously and let's see if we can get focus on the little sheet as well yeah it looks like

We can and of course you can hear the audio through the microphone as well now we'll go ahead and compare that to the video mode on the iPhone Apple does video mode very well they do video autofocus very well the iPhone 11 and 11

Pro have some of the best video performance on a smartphone up to 4k 60 this one is not far off beyond the fact that it has the poor battery life which can really get rekt in video mode so this is 4k 30fps on the iPhone and we'll

See how this one responds it's the plant again and we'll reach over and grab the text the tiny little text and bring that into frame and it'll grab focus on that as well the focus transition on the iPhone in video is very smooth in other

Words you don't get a lot of hunting where you see the autofocus looking around then it can kind of be a bit frustrating that doesn't happen on the iPhone so I think in video mode the iPhone does have an advantage so I think

I've presented a pretty valid comparison here something to consider I know a lot of people watching this video are gonna be saying Lou you should have compared this Xiaomi device or redmi device or real me device the thing is Samsung is a

Recognizable name available in almost every market and with the a-series becoming more available in North America it's going to be something that people all over the world consider comparative to the iPhone se some people are just

Heavy locked into the Apple ecosystem they're not even can making this consideration they're just saying I need an iPhone Pierre and I don't want to spend flagship money well for them the decisions already made

But for those that have more of an open mind here's an example from another big brand who you're probably familiar with and what they're doing in the sub $400 space so in the case of the 71 snapdragon bigger display higher

Resolution OLED 4500 milliamp hour battery more RAM expandable storage more cameras headphone jack if you're speck chasing that's kind of the whole story the 51 well the story there is the price you

Can find it on Amazon for under 300 making it even that much more approachable if you're okay not having a Snapdragon chip and going with the Exynos and a slightly smaller battery this thing can save you even more cash

But otherwise these are very comparable if you want the fastest unit available of the bunch you're gonna be on the iPhone but you will be at the whim of that tiny battery and I hope this answers the question

That people have been asking me who are saying hey what is what a samsung look like at the iPhone se price point the Samsung devices at this price point and plenty of other Android devices at this price point look a lot more like

Flagships I think the decision for you should probably center around display I mean that's how you interact with your smartphone it's your display when you're outside it's your display when you're watching a video it's your display when

You're gaming it's your display if on the other hand your top requirement is processing power reliability plenty of updates for the next bunch of years or you're locked into Apple and it's got to be that way then you're probably going

To gravitate towards the iPhone actually it's not a clear answer as funny as it looks stacking these against each other it looks like future phone versus past phone but it's not as clear-cut as it might seem on the surface it may be

Clear-cut to you but it's certainly not clear-cut to every single buyer that's out there but that's okay that's good selection is good options are good though if you're in another market and it costs a lot more somewhere else in

The world I feel your pain because that's also important the mapping of the price these Samsung devices and most Android devices is pretty similar globally whereas these phones it's kind of

Shocking people were sending me from their region 700 bucks in their region which is a totally different conversation if this thing is 700 bucks where you're at and you can pick one of these up for 400 USD

Equivalent well then I think it's a pretty straightforward choice nonetheless there you have it it's a comparison you guys have been asking for Samsung a 71 a 51 and iPhone se for 2020 which one would you choose for your

Money let me know down in the comments

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