iPhone SE 2020, OnePlus 8, OnePlus 8 Pro, Smartphones

OnePlus 8 vs iPhone SE (2020): Which one to buy?

OnePlus 8 and iPhone SE (2020) start at the same price in India which is ₹42,000. This scenario has never occurred before, OnePlus and Apple launching a smartphone for the same price. 2020 has been really unexpected and I never thought I’ll see the day where OnePlus and Apple have exchanged roles.

Now because both these phones start at the same price, a question arises that Which phone to buy? Which one would be a better fit for you? Well, let’s try to find an answer to that question. Let’s compare the OnePlus 8 and iPhone SE (2020) and find out which one is a better buy for you.

iPhone SE being launched in 2020, still has a very old design. This design was first introduced in the iPhone 6 and it carried on to the 6S, 7, iPhone 8 and now finally its back with the iPhone SE (2020). By 2020 standards, this design is unacceptable (especially for the price of ₹42,500).

Apple saved up a lot of resources by re-using the iPhone 8’s body. They essentially took the iPhone 8, upgraded its internals and launched it at an attractive price (well at least in the USA). This is a smart move by Apple and one that is going to make them a lot of money. I’m pretty sure iPhone SE is going to sell like hot cakes in the US.

But when you compare the design of iPhone SE (2020) with OnePlus 8, it lacks behind. OnePlus 8’s design is as modern as it gets. With that beautiful 6.5″ edge to edge display and a hole punch cut out for the front camera, OnePlus 8 is clearly a better designed smartphone than iPhone SE.

  • Form Factor


Smartphones are getting bigger every year. Two to three years back a 6.5″ smartphone would be considered as a big phone. But today, 6.5″ is considered as a normal size for a smartphone. Over the years people have got used to bigger screen sizes and in turn bigger phones. But with that being said, there are still a lot of people out there who want and prefer a small form factor phone.

For people who prefer smaller phones, iPhone SE is actually a perfect fit. It is a small phone (by 2020 standards) and comes with the latest specifications. iPhone SE is the small factor flagship that a lot of people have been waiting for. In fact, Apple launched the original iPhone SE for people who wanted a small but powerful smartphone.

So, if you want a small factor smartphone with flagship level internals, then iPhone SE 2020 seems like a good deal for you.

  • Display

OnePlus 8 comes with a 6.5″ FHD+ 90Hz AMOLED Display. As opposed to that iPhone SE has a 4.7″ Retina HD Display which basically means that it is a 1334×750 pixels IPS LCD panel. There’s no comparison here. OnePlus 8 is superior to the iPhone SE in terms of the Display.

OnePlus 8’s 90Hz AMOLED panel is a treat to the eyes. Also, with that 90Hz refresh rate, the whole experience of interacting with the phone is extremely smooth. You will have to experience it in person to understand the smoothness of a higher refresh rate display.

  • Performance

OnePlus 8 and iPhone SE (2020) both come with flagship level hardware. Snapdragon 865 on the OP8 and Apple’s latest and greatest A13 Bionic on the iPhone SE (2020).  Performance-wise both these phones are going to be great. Flagship hardware plus clean software.

OnePlus and Apple are also two of the best brands in terms of the software on their devices. OxygenOS and iOS are both clean, fast and easy to use. If you want a clean and smooth software experience then OnePlus 8 and iPhone SE both are great for the same.

As far as software updates go, Apple gets the upper hand here. Apple supports its phones for up to 4-5 years which honestly is crazy. OnePlus isn’t that far behind though. OnePlus provides software updates for up to 3 years at least which is a good thing.

Anyway, the performance round is a tie. Both of these phones are great when it comes to raw performance.

  • Camera

Camera is probably gonna be the deciding factor between OnePlus 8 and iPhone SE (2020). iPhone SE has one a single rear camera which is 12MP sensor (the same one used on the iPhone 8). What’s new here is the A13 Bionic chipset and it’s image processing capabilities. Because of A13 bionic iPhone SE (2020) will be clicking some really good photos in terms of daylight conditions.

iPhone SE (2020) won’t be that good in terms of low lighting conditions because it doesn’t have a night mode. Yes, despite the A13 bionic, iPhone SE (2020) doesn’t have Night Mode.

On the other hand OnePlus 8 is not a bad phone in terms of camera. Its just that when you put it up against the iPhone SE (2020), it lacks a little bit. But with that being said, OnePlus 8 does have 3 rear cameras. A 48MP primary, 16MP Ultra-Wide and a 2MP Macro. Having 3 different focal lengths is a big advantage for OnePlus 8.

What about videos? iPhone SE (2020) is definitely better for shooting videos. iPhone’s have always been really good for shooting high quality and stable videos and I don’t expect less from iPhone SE (2020).

Overall, iPhone SE (2020) does have a better camera experience especially because of A13 Bionic and its image processing.

  • Battery & Charging

OnePlus 8 comes with a 4300mAh battery with 30W fast charging and the charger is provided in the box. As opposed to that, iPhone SE (2020) comes with a 1821 mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging but the charger has to be bought separately.

It is so typical of Apple to not include a fast charger inside the box. iPhone SE (2020) supports wireless charging which is absent on the OnePlus 8. When it comes to the actual battery life, OnePlus 8 is better than iPhone SE.

  • Final Verdict

If I had to chose a new phone to buy between the iPhone SE (2020) and OnePlus 8, I would any day go with the OnePlus 8. It provides better hardware and is more modern as well. The camera isn’t as good as iPhone SE, but it isn’t bad by any means. Besides, OnePlus 8’s camera can be easily made better by installing google camera.

iPhone SE (2020) would be recommend to 2 types of people:

  1. Who want an iOS device and their budget is around ₹42,000 ($399)
  2. Who want a compact flagship phone

Hopefully this article helped you out to make a decision between OnePlus 8 and iPhone SE (2020).



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