iPhone SE vs OnePlus 8: Which phone offers better value?

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Apple launched the new iPhone SE on the heels of the OnePlus 8 series. And interestingly enough, this might be the first time when an iPhone undercuts the pricing of all new OnePlus handsets. The iPhone SE starts at Rs. 42,500. Meanwhile, the standard OnePlus 8 variant comes at a price of Rs. 41,999. The pricing puts both these phones in the same territory.

Now comes the age-old iPhone vs Android argument, which in 2020 holds less water. Here, in particular, both the SE and OnePlus 8 have their strengths and weaknesses. And that’s ought to spark some confusion in your mind ie., which phone should you buy?

So to make things easier for you, we have laid out a detailed comparison of both the phones based on their specs and features.

iPhone SE vs OnePlus 8 Specs

ModelsiPhone SEOnePlus 8
Display4.7-inch, IPS LCD, 750 x 1334 pixels, ~326 PPI density, ~65.4% screen-to-body ratio, 60Hz refresh rate, Ion-strengthened glass6.55-inch, AMOLED, 1080 x 2400 pixels, HDR 10+, (~402 PPI density, ~88.7% screen-to-body ratio, 90Hz refresh rate, Gorilla Glass 6
Front Camera7MP, 1080p@30fps16MP, 1080p@30fps
Rear Camera12MP, up to 4K@60fps, Smart HDR48MP + 8MP Ultrawide + 2MP Macro, up to 4K@60fps
SoftwareiOS 13Android 10 based OxygenOS
ProcessorHexa-core A13 Bionic (7 nm+)Octa-core Snapdragon 865 (7nm+)
Memory3+64GB, 3+128GB, 3+256GB8+128GB, 12+256GB
Battery1821 mAh battery; up to 18W fast charging (sold separately) 4300mAh 30W fast charging (in the box)
MiscellaneousWiFi 6, 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, Fingerprint (front-mounted Touch ID), NFCWiFi 6, 2×2 MIMO, Bluetooth 5.1, aptX codec support, under-display fingerprint reader, NFC
Price in India
3+64GB: Rs. 42,500
3+128GB: TBA
3+256GB: TBA

6GB RAM + 128 GB storage: INR 41,999 ($549) (Glacial Green)
8GB RAM + 128GB storage: INR 44,999 ($588) (Onyx Black/Glacial Green)
12GB RAM + 256GB storage: INR 49,999 ($654) (Onyx Black/Glacial Green/Interstellar Glow)

Design and Display

In the iPhone SE promo video and pictures, one thing that stands out like a sore thumb is its dated design. Apple has repurposed the iPhone 8 chassis and as such the SE (2020) sports the same 4.7-inch LCD display engulfed by thick bezels. From the looks of it, the phone is so 2017.

On the other hand, you have the OnePlus 8 which flaunts the 2020 look. Everything from its big 6.55-inch AMOLED panel, 90Hz fluidness, HDR 10+ colors, large screen to body ratio, pixel density, and gorgeous build shouts new. It even projects dual stereo speakers.

The only draw for iPhone SE is gonna be its small size. Agreed, SE (2020) is not as small as the original, but still, it’s relatively smaller than the 8.

One other thing to note is ingress protection. Apple claims the SE is IP67 certified for dust and water resistance. OnePlus 8, on the other hand, hasn’t acquired a grading but is said to be equipped against dust and water. In the end, the IP rating is just about peace of mind. So, whatever floats your boat.

Cameras

Since we don’t have either of the phones with us, we won’t be able to comment on real-world performance difference.

iPhone SE vs OnePlus 8 comparison

That said, we are positive about Apple’s claim that iPhone SE’s 12MP and 7MP offering, is their best single-lens system. Even in videography, we share similar confidence.

You get facial recognition with the OnePlus front camera but not on the iPhone. No Face ID.

OnePlus isn’t a lackey either. Although it might not blow the Pixels and iPhones out of the park, the triple camera setup is definitely more versatile. Alright, the 2MP macro might not be all-that-good but 8MP ultrawide bestows a different perspective to your composition. OnePlus is using the same 48MP Sony IMX586 as the 7T (review) and it’s not a bad sensor by any means.

Performance

First of all, let’s get done with the software. iOS 13 vs OxygenOS 10 (based on Android 10). Both of them are smooth and reliable without any major downsides. You must already have a preference. Still, if you ask me, stick to iOS 13, if you’re already invested in the Apple ecosystem and are paranoid about privacy. Else, you’ve got OxygenOS. It is arguably the best on the Android side with a lot to offer on the customization front, bolstered by a strong community.

Digging deep into the SE, you’ll get Apple A13 Bionic, which is found on the latest iPhone 11 series. It is hands-down the best when it comes to performance and efficiency. And that’s gotta be the real USP of this phone.

ALSO READ: OnePlus 8 vs Samsung Galaxy S20 vs OnePlus 7T comparison

The Snapdragon 865 is also a top-shelf processor that holds the ground despite what you throw at it. For a better idea of their difference, have a look at our A13 Bionic vs Snapdragon 865 article.

As for storage, the iPhone SE base variant carries 64GB only. OnePlus 8, on the other hand, starts at 128GB. Also, when the iPhone is part of the conversation, speaking of RAM is futile, I suppose.

Battery

Apple has said SE (2020) would eke the same battery life as iPhone 8. In 9to5mac‘s test, that’s about 13h of continuous video playback. So, with moderate usage, this iPhone should last a day.

OnePlus 8 bears a 4300mAh cell inside, which should endure for a whole day too. However, keep in mind that the 90Hz refresh rate will take a hit on battery life.

When it comes to charging, OnePlus is the clear winner with its 30W wired charger (bundled in the box). It’s stupid fast at topping the phone. But that’s not even the point.

The 18W fast charger isn’t bundled with the iPhone. Spend extra if you want to fast-charge your SE. To make things worse, Apple’s 18W charger is USB-C and not lightning. That means you will have to buy a USB-C to Lightning cable also if you don’t own one already.

An area where it mildly bests OnePlus is wireless charging. Unlike the Pro, OnePlus 8 doesn’t support Qi-compatible charging.

ALSO READ: OnePlus 8 Pro Review Roundup

Connectivity

Both of them share network features such as WiFi 6, NFC and other sensors.

But, OnePlus 8 has the upper hand in regards to 5G. It might not be relevant now but is future-ready. It also supports aptX codec for better audio experience over the air.

So, which one should you go for?

OnePlus 8 vs iPhone SE (2020)

We will have a real verdict once we use both phones side by side. Still, just from the specs comparison, here are the reasons to pick an

iPhone SE:

  • Compact size reminiscent of old times
  • Best chip Apple has to offer (a.t.m)
  • Claimed to be the best single-lens system Apple has ever shipped
  • Qi-wireless charging

OnePlus 8:

  • Appealing design and display
  • 30W fast charging out of the box
  • Versatile camera
  • Future-ready with 5G
  • aptX, dual-stereo speakers

We don’t have a complete picture of iPhone’s pricing. While we know the base variant of the iPhone is priced at Rs. 42,500 in India, pricing of other variants is yet to be revealed. OnePlus 8, on the other hand, hits the store starting at Rs. 41,999.

The competition might get even more interesting with the Pixel 4a, which is on the horizon. Going by the rumors, the 4a is expected to carry a 5.81-inch OLED (2340×1080) panel, Snapdragon 730, 64GB/128GB storage, 12.2MP rear camera, and an 8MP front snapper. If it brings the signature Pixel imaging and is priced right, it can be a strong competitor to these two. Ergo, when the Pixel debuts, we will have a three-way comparison.

Vasan G.S.Vasan G.S.
An inquisitive mind who spends a big chunk of the day keenly tracking every emerging detail and is responsible for quickly passing on important developments to Smartprix followers. He loves to stay in his bubble scripting his destiny involving amazing technology and people with good character, passion, and brilliance.

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