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Apple iPhone SE 2 vs iPhone 12: Is The SE 2 Good Enough?

author Luis Silva (October 2020 Updated: May 2021 - 8 min. reading time)

You'll spend more on the iPhone 12, but it also has better specs.

It has better performance (+26%), better glass protection, a better display, better cameras, and better battery life.

Are there other things worth mentioning?

The iPhone 12 also features an AMOLED, larger (+1.4") display, faster wireless charging (15w vs. 5w), and more RAM (4GB vs. 3GB).

How much will the additional specs cost me?

If you're considering a new and unlocked smartphone, you'll have to invest an additional amount close to $430.

Is it still worth buying the iPhone SE 2 in 2021?

The iPhone SE 2 is holding up pretty well in 2021, as it still retains its value. That doesn't mean you should ignore other devices like the iPhone 11 since it has better cameras, better battery life, and more RAM.

Is the iPhone 12 still worth getting in 2021?

For a phone introduced in 2020, the iPhone 12 still has good performance, a good camera, and excellent glass protection. That's why I'll continue to recommend it in 2021, it doesn't mean you can't take a quick peek at the iPhone 12 Mini, though.

Keep reading for answers to all your questions about their differences, how they are any different from their competition, and how the tech experts evaluate their specs.

Check prices on Amazon Check prices on Amazon
Click here or scroll down to check prices on eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions.

Apple iPhone SE 2, Apple iPhone 12

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

CONTENTS

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Introduction

Alright, so should you save a few bucks, or should you go all the way and get the iPhone 12?

That actually depends on what you really value, but together, we can check all their main differences.

Let's go.

In October of 2020, Apple launched its iPhone 12. The iPhone SE 2, however, has seen the light of day in April of 2020.

With this article, you'll be able to compare every feature of the iPhone SE 2 and the iPhone 12. Then, you can decide what model better suits your needs. Let's start.

The price round is no contest. The iPhone SE 2 sounds like a bargain compared to the iPhone 12. Remember that when you're comparing the two models.

Down below, there's a "Tek-Score" in every analyzed section of these models. For a quicker analysis of how far they are from each other, we'll consider all their specifications. There's also a global score for you to compare them to other phones if you aren't sure about these two.

The weight of each section

This score is consumer-based from research done by Globalwebindex.com about what people want from their next smartphone. But you'll be able to define how the global score is composed based on whatever you like. Click here to skip everything, but I suggest you keep reading to know more about them.

For additional information regarding our smartphone comparisons, check this FAQ.

You'll also see a progress bar underlining some features. That's so you can see how they compare with other smartphones with similar prices.

You can click here: to view the ones we're comparing to, but essentially, we're ignoring smartphones that are more than 20% cheaper or expensive.

Feel free to click any feature title to check out the top 10 phones for that feature for every budget.

Price*
vs.
Device iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Release Date 2020, April 2020, October 0y.
OS Updates 6 years 6 years 0y.
Security Updates 6 years 6 years 0y.

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Which One Has The Best Performance?

On the multicore portion of Geekbench 5, which measures overall performance, the iPhone 12 was, on average, 26% quicker while finishing its tests. It's something to consider, but it shouldn't be a deal-breaker.

You can also count on these devices to have the best performances ever seen if you consider their rivals.

By the way, you can define both of them as high-end.

Regarding their chipset, while the Apple iPhone 12 comes with the Apple A14 SoC, the Apple iPhone SE 2 has the Apple A13 SoC.

Not surprisingly, they share the same GPU: a proprietary Apple GPU.

The iPhone SE 2 carries out iOS 13 OS, and the iPhone 12 runs on iOS 14.1.

Performance*
vs.
Features iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
SoC Apple A13 Apple A14
Graphics Apple GPU Apple GPU
Geekbench 5 Score 3237
4067
830
OS iOS 13 iOS 14.1
Tek-Score
7.4
8.8
1.4

*Reference: 100: Apple iPhone 12.

Which Phone Has The Best Display?

Apple iPhone SE 2 front transparent png Apple iPhone 12 front transparent png

The iPhone 12 is the winner here, and the difference is considerable.

Would you prefer the 6.1" AMOLED display of the iPhone 12 or the smaller 4.7" LCD panel of the iPhone SE 2? To each, it's own.

If you're trying to keep your phone's display small, there aren't many devices to consider besides the iPhone SE 2. There are just not that many choices in its class.

If you're looking for the most high-resolution display, the iPhone 12 is a winner here.

The iPhone SE 2 has one disadvantage over almost all of its competitors: Its low DPI display.

No one likes to look at a shattered screen, so be aware: The iPhone 12 has a Corning Gorilla Glass Victus display. The iPhone SE 2, in its turn, has an Ion-strengthened glass.

There's no Always-On display feature here.

When it comes to outdoor visibility, you can count on the iPhone SE 2 to go up to 530 nits, and the iPhone 12 can top at 639 nits.

Most similarly priced devices max at 738 nits, but the iPhone SE 2 can only go 208 nits below that.

If your next device can't do at least 450 nits, it can't do true HDR, nor is that great on a sunny day. Relating to HDR: The iPhone 12 supports HDR10-compatible media.

Given the iPhone SE 2, all of its rivals can play HDR content, 96% have an AMOLED screen, and 81% have an Always-On display.

Concerning the iPhone 12, 94% of its rivals can play HDR content and have an Always-On display. Plus, all have an AMOLED screen, and 78% have Gorilla Glass 6 or better.

Display Density (DPIs)*
vs.
Features iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Size 4.7
6.1
1.4
Screen Type LCD AMOLED
Resolution (px) 750x1334
1170x2532
1961940
Refresh Rate 60hz 60hz 0
Dots per Inch 325.61
457.25
131.64
Always-On-Display No No
Notch - Wedge
Peak Brightness 530 nits
639 nits
109
HDR - HDR10
Sub Tek-Score
0.8
2.9
2.1
Protection Ion-strengthened glass Corning Gorilla Glass Victus
Tek-Score
2.7
7.5
4.8

*Reference: 100: Sony Xperia 1 II.

Which Phone Has The Best Cameras?

Apple iPhone SE 2 back transparent png Apple iPhone 12 back transparent png

You should note that the iPhone 12 is in the neighborhood of 23 points above other cameras for the same budget. And I'd willingly pick this over the iPhone SE 2.

What about its shooters? The iPhone SE 2's primary camera has a 12 Megapixels sensor, with an aperture of f/1.8, a 28mm wide-angle lens, four flash LEDs, HDR abilities, and Optical Image Stabilization. Videos on its shooter have a maximum resolution of 2160p.

There's also a 7 MP selfie camera with an aperture of f/2.2 and a standard lens.

DXOMARK tested this camera and gave it a score of 108. If you add its digital zoom abilities, it can go up to 112 points. For a thorough review, click here.

I hope this helps: keep in mind that all of its rivals can record videos in 4K or more and have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and 81% feature Optical Image Stabilization. However, only 19% of them feature a macro lens.

With its 12 Megapixels shooter, the iPhone 12's leading camera has an aperture of f/1.6 and a 26mm, wide-angle lens. You'll be getting four flash LEDs, HDR capabilities, and Optical Image Stabilization too. You can record videos at 2160p. It also has a secondary 12 Megapixels camera with an aperture of f/2.4 plus a 13mm ultra-wide-angle lens.

The selfie camera has 12 MP, an f/2.2 aperture, and a 23 mm wide-angle lens.

The guys over at the DXOMARK labs scored this camera with 132 points. And if we consider its wide-angle lens, we end up with a score of 139 points. You can click here to check it out.

Finally, all of its rivals can record videos in 4 or 8K, have an ultra-wide-angle lens, and feature Optical Image Stabilization. Additionally, only 6% of them feature a macro lens.

We can classify the iPhone SE 2 as an upper mid-range and the iPhone 12 in the high-end ballpark.

If you take optical zoom seriously, none of these will help you. Just pick something like the iPhone 11 Pro instead.

Picture Quality*
vs.
Primary Camera iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Megapixels 12
12
0
Aperture 1.8
1.6
-0.2
Lens 28mm
26mm
-2
Lens Type Regular Wide-Angle
Flash 4 4 0
HDR Yes Yes
OIS Yes Yes
Video 2160 2160 0
Score 112
139
27

*Reference: 100: Huawei Mate 40 Pro.

Extra Camera(s) iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels - 12
Aperture - 2.4
Lens - 13mm
Lens Type - Ultra-wide-Angle
Score 4 7 3
Selfie Camera iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12 vs.
Megapixels 7
12
5
Aperture 2.2
2.2
0.0
Lens - 23mm
iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12 vs.
Tek-Score
6.6
8.2
1.6

Who has the best frame?

I'd go for the iPhone 12 for its number of color options, water resistance, and looks.

The iPhone SE 2 has a height of 5.44 inches (138 mm) and a width of 2.64 inches (67 mm). The iPhone 12 came out 0.32 inches (8 mm) taller and 0.16 inches (4 mm) wider.

These two have about the same thickness: 7 mm (0.28 inches). Be aware that the iPhone SE 2 is approximately 17% smaller than most phones from this price range.

Both have a premium feeling thanks to their glass body. The iPhone 12 is 16 g. (0.63 oz) heavier than its sibling, which sits at 148 g. (5.22 oz). If you're looking for a lightweight device, I've created an adapted score for a "weight to display size" ratio. The iPhone SE 2 got 3.5, which means it's kind of weighty for a 4.7 inches screen. In the meantime, the iPhone 12 has 6.9, which is pretty nice.

You can purchase the Apple iPhone SE 2 in Black, Red, and White. And you can pick the Apple iPhone 12 in Black, Red, White, Green, and Blue.

If you like to keep your phones small, consider getting the Apple iPhone SE 2. Otherwise, the other is the one.

Would you like to have a fingerprint scanner? The iPhone SE 2 included one on the front. Unfortunately, the iPhone 12 doesn't have any.

You'll still have Face ID on the iPhone 12. At least Apple opted for the Face ID sensor instead.

The iPhone SE 2 is water-resistant in up to 1 meter, while the iPhone 12 can be immersed in 1 to 3 meters. But remember: it's for a maximum period of half an hour, and it's standby mode only. So don't take photos underwater.

Looks*
vs.
Body iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Size 138 x 67 x 7 mm
(4.87 x 2.36 x 0.25 in)
146 x 71 x 7 mm
(5.15 x 2.50 x 0.25 in)
7840
Weight 148 g. (5.22 oz)
164 g. (5.78 oz)
16
Build Front and back glass Front and back glass
Colors Black, Red, and White Black, Red, White, Green, and Blue
Screen To Body Ratio 65.85%
88.18%
22.34
Disp.Size To Weight Score 3.5 6.9 3.3
Looks 4.2/10
10.0/10
5.7
Waterproof IP67 IP68
Biometrics Front Fingerprint Face ID
Tek-Score
6.7
8.6
1.8

*100% = 4+ colors + front and back glass + S2BR: 86+%.

Which has the best battery?

The iPhone SE 2 features a 1821 mAh battery, while the iPhone 12 has 2815 mAh. And as claimed by GSMArena, the latter is the winner here.

If you charge it up, this is what you'll find out about the iPhone SE 2:

  • By talking for 1 hour, browsing the web for 1 hour, and playing videos for 1 hour, you'll have 72% of the battery remaining.
  • By talking for 1 hour, browsing the web for 3 hours, and playing videos for 1 hour, the battery charge will be about 57%.
  • If you do 1 hour of talking, 1 hour of web browsing, and 3 hours of video playback, you'll still get 50% to spend doing other things.

And these are iPhone 12's patterns:

  • From 1 hour of talking, 1 hour of web browsing, and 1 hour of video playback, you'll be at 79% of the battery charge.
  • If you do 1 hour of talking, 3 hours of web browsing, and 1 hour of video playback, you'll still have 64% left for the rest of the day.
  • By talking for 1 hour, browsing the web for 1 hour, and playing videos for 3 hours, the phone will have 64% left for the rest of the day.

The battery life on the iPhone SE 2 is worse than the typical values of its competitors. These numbers show that it is 17% below the rest.

The iPhone SE 2 features quick charging at up to 18w, but the iPhone 12 does it too, at 20w.

There's also wireless charging (5w vs. 15w) in both of them. Cool. On any of the new iPhone 12 siblings, wireless charging is also magnetic. It's nice but not as good as USB-C charging.

Battery*
vs.
Features iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Capacity (mAh) 1821 2815 994
1h Talk + 1h Web + 1h Video 72% left
79% left
7
1h Talk + 3h Web + 1h Video 57% left
64% left
7
1h Talk + 1h Web + 3h Video 50% left
64% left
14
Bat. To Phone Size Score 6.9 6.4 -0.5
Sub Tek-Score
6.0
6.9
0.9
Fast Charging 18w
20w
2
Wireless Charging 5w
15w
10
Tek-Score
5.7
6.6
0.9

*Reference: 90: Samsung Galaxy A31.

Which has more storage?

None of them.

In terms of RAM, the iPhone SE 2 brings 3GB. In terms of storage, it has 64GB. There's no extra storage here. If 4k videos and games are your things, it could be an issue sooner than later. Be aware that at this price segment, others have more storage and more RAM. They're closer to 128Gb of storage and 7GB of RAM.

In its turn, the iPhone 12 features 64GB of storage and 4GB of RAM. You'll also have a problem if you want to add storage later. You may need to regularly move your video files out of your phone. Again, you can get more RAM and more storage from most of its opponents. They usually get close to 9Gb of RAM and 146Gb of storage.

Both phones have more than enough storage and RAM for the average consumer. However, if videos or big games are your thing, 64 GB will be a problem sooner than later.

Storage*
vs.
Features iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
RAM (GB) 3GB
4GB
1
Internal (GB) 64GB
64GB
0
Micro SD No No
Tek-Score
2.8
2.8
0.0

*Internal Storage + 256GB Memory Card (Max: 512GB).

Which is the most connectivity-friendly?

The iPhone 12 for sure, as it has 5G.

When it comes to connectivity, you can count on the traditional Bluetooth 5.0 chip. Both phones also have NFC.

If you love good-old wired headphones, you're out of luck because none of them included a 3.5mm headphone jack. Want a piece of advice? Forget about adapters and go for the wireless buds.

The iPhone 12 is (LTE and) 5G compatible.

Connectivity
vs.
Features iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Network LTE 5G
Bluetooth 5.0
5.0
NFC Yes Yes
3.5mm jack No No
Tek-Score
3.6
4.6
1.0

Which is more affordable?

You're likely not considering the iPhone SE 2 to make all your pennies count. But that depends on the deals that you can find. Promotions aside, the iPhone 12 is more expensive, but that's probably something you already knew.

Let's see if it really worths it or not.

Here's what we've found out:

Apple iPhone SE 2

Reference: $450

Apple iPhone SE 2

Apple iPhone 12

Reference: $880

Apple iPhone 12

I earn a small fee from qualifying purchases. It doesn't affect the price you pay nor my opinions, but it will mean a lot if you click on one of these buttons before purchasing your next phone (or whatever else you end up buying). You'll be helping to take this to the next level.

Prices on eBay are in $US but Europe-based. You can click to check the prices in your country.

Prices marked with ! are from renewed/refurbished/carrier-locked phones (except eBay prices that, as a last resort, can be from bids or used devices).

How much of a "phone" can your money buy?
That's how much "score" you can get with $100 based on the global score that you'll see in the next section (higher is better).

Have you found better prices elsewhere? The formula is simple: score/price*100.

Value for money iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12 VS
Amazon - ! - ! -
eBay 1.19 0.83 -0.36
Best Buy - 0.85 -
Walmart 1.28 - -

Also, don't forget to check the latest deals from these four stores, and the state of the art on mobile technology, if you don't want to overpay on your next smartphone.


Related articles:


Best smartphone deals


The Best Unbiased Smartphones For All Budgets


Smartphone Specs Statistics: The State Of The Art (Q1 2021)

Are you curious to know what their global score is? But first, let's see where its rivals are. The iPhone SE 2 class is at 6.5, and the iPhone 12 7.2.

Verdict: What Makes the Apple iPhone 12 Stand Out?

So, is the new iPhone SE good enough?

If you only care about performance, then by all means, yes!

But if you value battery life, decent glass protection, exceptional outdoor visibility, faster wireless charging, and a very decent camera, do consider spending a bit more.

Also, don't forget to add those things that I wasn't able to evaluate, like screen size and looks.

Pros iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
#1 Performance Performance
#2 Cameras AMOLED
#3 Fast Charging Cameras
#4 Wireless Charging Fast Charging
#5 Wireless Charging
#6 Glass Protection
Cons iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
#1 Screen Resolution Always-On-Display
#2 AMOLED MicroSD Slot
#3 Always-On-Display 3.5mm Jack
#4 Battery Life Price
#5 MicroSD Slot
#6 3.5mm Jack
#7 Price
Relative Score*
vs.
Global Score iPhone SE 2 iPhone 12
Gaming Score
3.8
6.3
2.5
Tek-Score
5.11
6.76
1.65
Your Score

Scroll the sliders down below to get your own personalized score. Let's suppose you value performance and battery life, and you don't really care about anything else. Then, just set the "Performance" and the "Battery" sliders up to 5 (5+5=10), and then the other sliders down to 0. You'll know what's the best phone for you.

Performance 1.9
Display 1.7
Cameras 1.4
Frame 0.9
Battery 1.9
Storage 2.0
Connectivity 0.4
Total Should be 10 or as close as possible: 9.6

*Reference: 100: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

For suggestions and bug reports, click here. Your help is appreciated. Thank you.

If you want to know more about them, click here:

About me

Hello!

My name is Luis Silva, and I have a degree in computer management. Ever since I was a teenager, I've loved everything to do with tech. Music, pictures, video editing, I've done it all! This site is a place for me to share some of the knowledge I have, as well as keep up-to-date with current trends. This is a wonderful place for tech-geeks and everyone else that just want to learn more about tech and smartphones in general.


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Apple iPhone SE 2 Related Comparisons


Apple iPhone 12 Related Comparisons

×

Tek-Score explained

Every spec has it's own weigh on the global score.

Feature: Value
Battery Life: 1.28
Fast Charging: 0.31
Wireless Charging: 0.19
Reverse Charging: 0.08
Storage: 1.97
Performance: 1.86
Camera: 1.35
Glass protection: 1.08
Weight: 0.35
Waterproof: 0.35
AMOLED: 0.04
Always-On-Display: 0.31
DPI: 0.12
Refresh Rate: 0.04
Nits: 0.04
Notch: 0.04
Bluetooth: 0.08
NFC: 0.12
3.5mm jack: 0.19
Looks: 0.23
Total: 10

But there are a few things that I don't consider, like price, brand value, size, resell value, OS (iOS or Android), user experience, updates, RAM (included on performance), battery to phone size, display size to weight, network (LTE/5G), and biometrics.

×

Progress bars explained

#1: A big red progress bar means that this value is way below the average. In this case, it's 28.85MP, and the iPhone XR is 16.85MP below the average.

#2: In this example, the XR is just 0.36mm below the average, that's why the red bar is almost unnoticeable.

#3: On the other hand, the SE 2 is 1.8mm above (hence, the green bar) the 26.2mm of average.

#4: Performance-wise, the SE 2 is well above the average (of 2512) for its price range. That's the reason the green bar is that long.

×

"Display size to phone weight" ratio explained

This indeed is a "display size to phone weight" ratio, but because every phone ended up somewhere between 0.0272 and 0.0421, I've amplified (adapted) those values so they would fit in a 0-10 scale. As of now, the best smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy A40, with 140g. (4.94 oz) for a 5.9 inch display. It got a score of 9.92. While the worse device is the iPhone 8 Plus, which weighs 202 g. (7.13 oz) and has a 5.5-inch display. It ended up with a score of 0.75.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

"Battery to device size" ratio explained

This score should give you an idea about the energy footprint of the devices you're considering. It reflects not only the hardware and the energy that it requires but also the amount of energy that the battery can deliver.

The major spenders on any device should be the display and the SoC. But everything from a notification led to its modems need to be optimized, or else, the OEM should simply include a bigger battery as a compensation. Unfortunately, it isn't always possible due to size limitations. But in the end, if a particular OEM can do a good job and give you excellent battery life on a small device, so should everyone else. That's why I've added a "battery to device size" ratio. But since the real scale went from 119 (for the Galaxy S10e, Snapdragon variant) and up to 164 (for the iPhone 7 Plus), I've decided to convert them so they would fit in a 0-10 scale, being 0 the worst device, (the iPhone 7 Plus) and 10 the one every OEM should look up to.

As an example, Apple did an excellent job on the iPhone 7. It has a score of 8. Despite having a small capacity, the hardware is well optimized, and it still gives you decent battery life considering its size. The iPhone 7 Plus, on the other hand, with those bezels shrinking its display size, clearly could've been the #1 in our top 10 list of best battery devices if Apple simply filled all that empty space with a bigger battery.

As a side note: I haven't included the dept of the devices in this formula because even if a device ended up being 1mm/0.03 inches thicker, it wouldn't matter that much to those who really value battery life.

Please, be aware that this score is subject to change if and when a new smartphone comes along that ends up being outside of this scale.

×

Rivals

As of now, these are the rivals that were considered for each of them. They may change every time its prices are updated.

These are the lowest prices found on Amazon, eBay, BestBuy, and Walmart.


 Apple iPhone SE 2 
  • OnePlusrival7
    $388
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 8
    $388
  • ApplerivaliPhone 8 Plus
    $390
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11
    $449
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e
    $399
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10
    $407
  • ApplerivaliPhone XS
    $410
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10
    $479
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Plus
    $434
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e EX
    $428
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10e SD
    $399
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ EX
    $434
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10+ SD
    $478
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 EX
    $407
  • OnePlusrival7T
    $399
  • OnePlusrival7 Pro
    $429
  • HuaweirivalP30
    $400
  • GooglerivalPixel 4
    $478
  • XiaomirivalMi 9
    $400
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S10 Lite
    $365
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy Note 10 Lite
    $369
  • OnePlusrivalNord
    $410
  • GooglerivalPixel 4a
    $350
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 4G
    $509
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 FE 5G
    $514
  • GooglerivalPixel 5
    $479
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21
    $500
  • XiaomirivalMi 10T Pro
    $480
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Lite
    $399
  • XiaomirivalMi 11 Lite
    $349

 Apple iPhone 12 
  • SonyrivalXperia 1
    $688
  • SonyrivalXperia 5
    $699
  • ApplerivaliPhone 11 Pro Max
    $900
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 EX
    $669
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20+ EX
    $704
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 U.EX
    $849
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20
    $669
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Plus
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S20 Ultra
    $919
  • HuaweirivalMate 30 Pro
    $650
  • HuaweirivalP40 Pro
    $793
  • HuaweirivalP40
    $666
  • OnePlusrival8 Pro
    $799
  • XiaomirivalMi 10 Ultra
    $846
  • OpporivalFind X2 Pro
    $950
  • ApplerivaliPhone 12 Mini
    $739
  • SamsungrivalGalaxy S21 Plus
    $729
  • SonyrivalXperia 1 II
    $899
  • XiaomirivalMi 11
    $698
×

Battery results

The battery score is based on Gsmarena's endurance rating and is taken with a screen brightness of 200 nits and a refresh rate of 60hz.

Assumptions: The display is off during a call, there's a web page refresh every 10 seconds, and the video playback is in Airplane mode.

You can click here for more information about those tests.

×

Formula deviation

Since the guys at DxoMark don't review every camera out there, I've come up with a formula based on the ones that they do rate, so I could get an equivalent score for the ones they don't review. After testing it against these cameras, I got the deviation between that and their DxO score.

Device: DxOScore Deviation
Samsung Galaxy A50: 88 -1
Apple iPhone XR: 104 1
Xiaomi Mi 9T Pro: 108 -7
Xiaomi Redmi Note 8 Pro: 87 1
Sony Xperia 1: 99 -1
Sony Xperia 5: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: 126 2
Apple iPhone 8 Plus: 96 -3
Xiaomi Pocophone F1: 92 -1
Apple iPhone 7 Plus: 90 -1
Apple iPhone X: 101 3
Apple iPhone 11: 112 -1
Samsung Galaxy Note 8: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy Note 9: 107 1
Apple iPhone XS Max: 110 -2
Apple iPhone 11 Pro Max: 124 1
Samsung Galaxy S10: 124 2
Apple iPhone XS: 110 -1
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus: 120 -2
OnePlus 7 Pro: 122 0
OnePlus 7T Pro: 122 0
Huawei P30 Pro: 125 -1
Google Pixel 4: 117 0
Google Pixel 3: 103 0
Google Pixel 2: 100 0
Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: 127 -2
Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra: 132 2
OnePlus 6: 100 0
OnePlus 6T: 101 1
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus: 105 -1
Huawei Mate 20 Pro: 120 0
Xiaomi Mi 9: 115 0
Huawei Mate 30 Pro: 132 0
Huawei P40 Pro: 140 -1
Apple iPhone SE 2: 101 0
OnePlus 8 Pro: 126 0
Xiaomi Mi 8: 105 1
Samsung Galaxy A71: 89 1
Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro: 134 0

As you can see, most cameras sit between 1 and -1, while a few of them go up to 2 or -2. That means it's reasonable to assume other similar cameras that they don't review to, in the worst-case scenario, be anywhere from -2 to 2 points from the score that the formula gets.

For example: Given that the Pixel 4 got 117 points and that the Pixel 4 XL share the same year and camera specs, it's reasonable to expect a score of 117 too. But in reality, if they do review that camera, it may end up anywhere between 115 and 119.

Be aware that at DxO, they give a score based on their opinion, not based on any formula. That's why I think there's an odd difference of 6 points between the iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X. In theory, they should have the same camera.

I'm guessing that the Mi 9T Pro got a deviation of 7 points because they tested its Chinese variant (the K20 Pro).

Update: They just changed their protocol to include preview image evaluation and trustability. I'm keeping the old table (for now) for reference purposes, and I'll be adding a new one as soon as they review at least a couple of new mclass-range cameras.

You can expect the same (or a bit bigger) deviation for high-end cameras, but anything with a score below 100-110 should be taken with a grain of salt.

This is valclass for all cameras tested with the previous protocol. For those that they dclassn't test, the deviation may be up to twice as much.

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Nits

With regards to AMOLED screens, sometimes OEMs claim higher maximum brightness. That's because an AMOLED screen can push its brightness progressively higher as its white area gets smaller.

These values are from the lab tests made by GSMArena, and their white test pattern takes up 75% of the physical size of the screen.

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About GeekBench 5

This is just a quick note to let you know that, if, by any chance, the smartphone you're looking for isn't on the GeekBench site yet, you can check on GsmArena.com, as they also usually test smartphones with that benchmark tool.



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