iPhone SE 2020 teardown reveals intriguing facts about battery and camera

iPhone SE battery
(Image credit: TechRadar)

We’ve been waiting to see what parts are in Apple’s new iPhone - our iPhone SE review left us with a few questions we wanted answering, and iFixit’s iPhone SE early teardown has begun to provide a few of them.

While there’s still more to come when the full teardown emerges in a few days, one key thing has been confirmed: the iPhone SE has the exact same battery size as the iPhone 8, at 1821mAh.

We did wonder if there might be a smaller power pack in there - as the iPhone SE battery life seems pretty comparable to what the iPhone 8 offered (and Apple confirmed it should be the same on its website), with the efficiency improvements that the A13 Bionic chipset should confer we’d have expected the new iPhone SE to last longer.

So it seems that when it comes to battery life, perhaps the size of the power unit inside is the thing that matters most for the Apple’s handsets. Otherwise, the iPhone SE 2020 would have easily lasted longer than 2017’s iPhone 8...but our testing continues to see what we can find.

An easier road ahead

There’s good news for those that want to keep the new iPhone SE for a few years though: there are a number of components used in the iPhone 8 that have been reused in the iPhone SE 2020.

Things like the Taptic Engine, SIM tray and elements of the display structure are apparently all the same as used on the iPhone 8, which means the inventory of those parts will be more plentiful and thus, hopefully, cheaper to repair should you need it in the coming years.

According to the intrepid unscrewers at iFixit, they’ve also found that the camera array in the iPhone SE is the same as used on the iPhone 8 - that shows that the improvements to the image signal processor inside the iPhone, brought by the new A13 Bionic processor, really have worked.

We were wondering if, despite the specs being identical, whether Apple had upgraded the iPhone SE’s camera hardware in some way over the iPhone 8. But the fact that the components are the same means that the big improvements in color reproduction and low-light performance are impressive reasons to buy the new iPhone SE.

We’re waiting for the full teardown to come in the next few days from iFixit, and hopefully more information on the phone will emerge to help us understand exactly what changes (and savings) Apple has made on the new iPhone SE.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.