Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect

If you've ever been shopping for a super compact phone, you've certainly stumbled upon the extremely compact and powerful iPhone SE. After all, it's the spiritual successor to what many consider the highlight of Apple design - the iPhone 5s, and to some extent, the iPhone 4. Granted, the iPhone SE is quite possibly the only 4-inch phone you could consider using today, but admittedly, it's starting to feel a bit long in the tooth already. 

While it's not a device that Apple relies too much on bringing home the bacon, it's still a handset that has its own following and should probably be kept around, if only for that crowd of Apple fans that still nostalgically cherish the past when Apple actually made compact phones. Packing iPhone 6s internals, the small iPhone was a powerhouse only rivaled by top-shelf flagships at the time of its market release, but it's been two years since then and the handset's beginning to feel a bit long in the tooth and is due for a refresh. 

Talk about a second generation of the small but potent iPhone SE has been around for some time now, with the gossip windmill spewing more and more leaks and gossip as the developer-centric WWDC nears. The most substantial leak that we've got hold off is an alleged display panel for said iPhone SE 2 that features a notch, heavily hinting that the iPhone X design language could seep down to the smallest iPhone lineup.


Gone with the old... or not?

As far as design is concerned, we are uncertain if the iPhone SE 2 will look similar to its predecessor. With Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup reportedly landing an iPhone X-like design across all devices, the four-year design language that debuted alongside the iPhone 6 could be going vacant. That will be an opportunity for the iPhone SE 2 to continue the bloodline for a couple more years for all those nostalgics that will miss this design language. 

The iPhone SE 2 is rumored to have the same exact dimensions as the original iPhone SE. That is, 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm). It's supposed to weigh around the same as well -- 3.99 oz (113 g). The big change from the original, of course, is the much larger screen, as far as design goes, at least. Without the home button of its predecessor, the iPhone SE 2 is expected to adopt the same gesture-based user interface that the iPhone X debuted with last year.

However, the latest rumor calls in for an iPhone SE 2 with a glass back. An image originating from China claims to give us a sneak peek at a potential slew of iPhone SE 2 back panels as well as a document stating that said panels are Ion-X glass ones. Of course, aside from an aesthetic homage to Apple's past, these glass panels will allow for the inclusion of wireless charging. Introduced across Apple's 2017 iPhone lineup, the Qi wireless charging is likely about to become a new standard for the company's future products, and it makes great sense that a potential glass-back iPhone SE 2 would employ the functionality as well. 

This is merely a speculation at this point, but for the most part, Apple has proved to be highly predictable recently. As far as overall design, it's hard to draw conclusions based on one picture alone, but it looks like the iPhone SE 2 will be a serious refresh over its precursor.

Now, the leaked image hints that the glass panel has a slight curve near the edges, which probably means that the old-school industrial design with sharp edges is going away in favor of the more modern iPhone 6/7/8-like looks. For one, we expect the physical TouchID-enabled button and, ahem, the headphone jack to remain staples of the affordable compact iPhone.


If one thing is for certain, it's that the second version of the handset will definitely remain a compact phone. However, this doesn't actually mean the display up front wouldn't grow: the recent trends in smartphone design have proven that you can now really have the best of both worlds: a large display tucked in a compact body with small bezels all around. While an iPhone SE 2 with a 4.0-inch display would probably be a safe bet, word in the street is we'll get a 4.2-inch display on the upcoming compact device. 

Although it will be a small increase, it will definitely be welcome provided that the device itself doesn't grow much in size. Granted, the larger bezels on the device probably allows for some leeway as far as screen size goes. The rest of the display properties will probably remain the same: an LCD display with a 640 x 1136 resolution.


While the normal iPhone SE had the Apple A9 chipset inside, its successor is tipped to be boasting an Apple A10 chipset. That's the same one that made the rounds in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Long story short, it's still a perfectly viable chipset for today's standards, and while it isn't in the same ballpark as the latest Apple A11, we wouldn't think it would be an issue. The bottom-line is that if the iPhone SE 2 arrives with Apple's previous-gen chipset, it will introduce a distinguishable performance boost over the phone's predecessor. Provided that Apple keeps the price delightfully affordable as similar to the original iPhone SE, it doesn't take a genius to deduce that the phone will likely mow down the almost non-existent competition in the ultra-compact segment. Similarly to the iPhone 7, the device could be paired with 2GB of RAM. Storage-wise, rumors call in for either 32 or 128GB of native storage on deck.


According to the rumors, the iPhone SE 2 will sport a 12MP iSight camera at the rear and a 5MP FaceTime one up front. Nothing else is known about the shooters in particular, but we suppose that Apple could use the iPhone 7 iSight camera. That one had an aperture of f/2.2, 1.22 μm pixels, software image stabilization, and shot 4K video footage at 30fps - a viable feature set even per today's standards and more than enough for an upper mid-range iPhone as the iPhone SE 2 is supposed. As far as the FaceTime unit is considered, we suppose it could be lifted straigth from the iPhone 6s and perform in a similar manner to that one. We don't expect any advanced shenanigans like dual-camera setups and face-detecting sensors to be used, and neither should you.

Price, release date

Although Apple has the habit of separating its software announcements from its hardware-centric keynotes, it's not unheard of new iPhone or iPads making the rounds at developer-specific events like WWDC. Indeed, it doesn't seem like Apple will be hosting a spring event in 2018 like it used to the past few years, which leads us to believe that if an iPhone SE 2 is really in the pipeline and is slated to arrive soon, it could potentially get announced at the time.

This year's WWDC summit will kick off June 4, thus an Apple keynote is certainly a given. iOS 12 will definitely be the highlight, but we'd say it's quite likely that an iPhone SE 2 would also make the rounds then. Of course, nothing is ever certain when it comes to Apple, so don't grab your pitchforks if Cupertino doesn't abide with our predictions.

Now, the saucy part - the pricing. The original iPhone cost $399 for the 16GB model, while the 64GB one cost $499. Later on, storage got doubled but the prices remained the same, which was surprise as pleasant as they come. Supposedly, Apple would want to keep the second-gen SE 2 similarly affordable. At best, we'd expect up to a $50 hike over the prices that the iPhone SE launched at.

Related phones

iPhone XE
  • Display 4.8"
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Apple A12 Bionic, Hexa-core, 2490 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1700 mAh



1. p3t3peter

Posts: 10; Member since: Mar 06, 2018

I am actually somewhat interested in this, although i already have an IPhone 7

7. libra89

Posts: 2280; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

I just got the 7 as an upgrade to my SE. The size is ok but I miss the size of the SE. Just not enough to trade it for the other things I gain with the 7.

9. sgodsell

Posts: 7362; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

The screen by far and away is the most important component of any smartphone. It's the window into everything you see and do on any smartphone. That 4" sub HD display should be buried nowadays. Also if it's a 4.2" display with the same resolution, then definitely scrape it, but I think since the display size is growing, then I think we might see a resolution jump as well.

11. Vokilam

Posts: 1190; Member since: Mar 15, 2018

I'm new here, but I have to disagree. I dont want to argue with another iphone fan, but screen resolution (as long as it's over 300ppi) is the most I need out of device. I'd rather have better/smoother graphics, faster processing, and longer battery before I choose higher resolution. I used to have a 5S - incredible phone, sharp screen, great performance, and being first 64bit processor - was/is futureproof. Not once did I ever while using 5S or any other device after (apple or android) was I ever annoyed or disappointed by resolution - I have never met anyone who complained about resolution on any device after 2012 or so. but that's my opinion. I suggest, that if you dont like certain feature of a device - do not buy it. If resolution is the MOST important part for you - stay away from iPhones.

12. libra89

Posts: 2280; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Yep they are in the minority, I don't mind the resolution at all. Out of my few issues, that wasn't one of them.

15. JC557

Posts: 1919; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I was hoping it would be a 4.3 inch display with the same body shape of the current SE but 4.2 is a good trade-off I guess. I wanted it to go as high as 4.5 inches but then it would be too close to the regular iPhone, though I don't care for the regular iPhone's rounded body.

2. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2186; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Too small, but I say everything the same as the SE along with improved camera and A10 chipset for $399. Can we get leaks for the XI Plus..LOL!!!

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

Here's my little wish-list regarding the successor of The iPhone SE: 1. Bump the battery capacity to about 2,500mAh. 2. Widen the screen from 16:9 to 18:9. 3. Give it a slightly larger 5" display. 4. Get rid of the home button. 5. Give it iPhone X gestures. 6. Shave-off the bezels. 7. An FPS Scanner at the back or side. Since the upcoming iPhone 8 and iPhone X successor will allegedly have HUGE displays; it makes sense to add a 5" in the line-up. But of course, (A) it's never going to happen and (B) Even if Apple go that way; the price will be nearly $500. Oh well, G'Day!

5. NateDiaz

Posts: 1088; Member since: Mar 03, 2018

Original SE has 1624mAh, 7/8 got 1821mAh so your first point is not going to happen. I heard they're using A10 that's already efficient, we can expect something like 1700mAh. 5 inch 18:9 would be bigger than iPhone 7/8 so that's not going to happen. Apple would rather eliminate touch ID than using one on the back. Rumors say SE 2 would be an incremental update, also we can't expect it to be superior than iPhone 7/8 in any way.

16. Marcwand3l

Posts: 432; Member since: May 08, 2017

Actually the A10 is not that efficient, it's one of the reasons Apple had to throttle the iphone 7 after just 1 year. But with a small HD screen and a basic mobile OS like iOS that doesn't do much in the background it will probably be fine with a smaller battery.

4. kennybenny

Posts: 214; Member since: Apr 10, 2017

"Now, the saucy part - the pricing. The original iPhone cost $399 for the 16GB model, while the 64GB one cost $499. Later on, storage got doubled but the prices remained the same, which was surprise as pleasant as they come." I thought Apple doubled the storage, and dropped the price by $50 to $349 for the base model.......

6. libra89

Posts: 2280; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

For this, I'll have to see it to believe it. Right now, I have low faith that it is actually going to happen.

8. gamehead unregistered

The iPhone 5 SE with a new chip i bet

10. KingSam

Posts: 1448; Member since: Mar 13, 2016

Currently the price of a 7 is $550 and 6s is $450. Given the usual price drop in September it puts the se 2 in a corner.

13. rouyal

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

Those glass back images "leaked" about a year and half ago. Nothing happened.

14. japkoslav

Posts: 1505; Member since: Feb 19, 2017

If the battery would not collapse after 10 months I will be interested. + No notch obviously. + Fingerprint sensor.

17. MartyvH

Posts: 27; Member since: Apr 01, 2013

The date on the sheet of paper behind is April last year. Other models have been released since then and a lot of experimentation and avenues are pursued with design within companies for all models. Can this really be given credibility?

18. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

It's so weird to see that picture. You are so used to phones being big, that his hands come across like humongous. But the phone is just small.

19. rouyal

Posts: 1582; Member since: Jan 05, 2018

More compact phones need to be made. If true, this phone may be my next. There’s nothing compelling in android in the size range I want.

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