Our Opinion

The Apple iPhone SE (128GB, 2020) is a significantly better phone, but the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (8GB RAM, 128GB) is significantly better value for money. Which phone should you buy? Depends on how much you want to spend! But if budget is not a constraint then we recommend the Apple iPhone SE (128GB, 2020)

Apple iPhone SE (128GB, 2020)  Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max (8GB RAM, 128GB) 
Apple iPhone SE (2020) Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 Pro Max
Buy Now Buy Buy
Excellence Score
72.2
50.1
Value for Money Score
63.3
70.7
Price ₹ 38,999 onwards ₹ 19,999 onwards
Launch Date (India) May, 2020 May, 2020
Expected Launch Date N/A N/A
Smartphone OS Apple iOS 13, Upgradeable to 14Expected update to next Apple iOS version Android 10, Upgradeable to Android 11Expected update to next Android version
Touchscreen Yes (Capacitive) Yes (Capacitive)
Screen Size 4.7 inches 6.67 inches
Screen Resolution 750x1334 pixels (~ 326 pixels per inch) 1080x2400 pixels (~ 395 pixels per inch)
Tall Aspect Ratio / Minimal Bezels Yes
Scratch Resistant Display Yes Yes, Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Display Type IPS LCD IPS LCD
Screen Refresh Rate 60 HzStandard 60 HzStandard
Display Features Retina HD Display, Wide colour display (P3), True Tone display, Fingerprint-resistant Oleophobic Coating, Support for Display of Multiple Languages and Characters Simultaneously, Display Zoom, Reachability Sunshine mode, Night mode, Colour temperature adjustment, Anti-oil and anti-fingerprint protective coating
Full Physical QWERTY Keypad
Processor 2.66 GHz 2.3 GHz
Processor Type Hexa Core Octa Core
Processor Name Apple A13 BionicRanked #2 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks Qualcomm Snapdragon 720GRanked #21 in Mobile Processor Benchmarks
GPU Apple GPU Adreno 618
RAM 3 GB 8 GB
3G Yes Yes
4G Yes Yes
5G
VoLTE Yes Yes
WiFi Yes Yes
VoWiFi/WiFi-Calling Yes Yes
GPS Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes
Connecting Port Lightning USB-C
Primary Camera 12MP 64MP + 8MP + 5MP + 2MP
Camera Auto-Focus Yes Yes
Camera Flash Yes Yes
HD Video Recording Yes (4K) Yes (4K)
Other Camera Features f/1.8 Aperture, Optical Image stabilisation, 6P Lens, Quad-LED True Tone Flash with Slow Sync, Panorama (up to 63 megapixels), Sapphire Crystal Lens Cover, Backside Illumination Sensor, Hybrid IR Filter, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, Tap to Focus with Focus Pixels, Live Photos with Stabilisation, Wide Colour Capture for Photos and Live Photos, Improved Local Tone Mapping, Body and Face Detection, Exposure Control, Noise Reduction, Auto HDR for Photos, Auto Image Stabilisation, Burst mode, Timer mode, Geo-tagging, Full HD Video Rec. at 30 fps or 60 fps, Slow-motion Video: 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps, Time-lapse Video with Stabilisation, Cinematic Video Stabilisation (1080p and 720p), Continuous Autofocus Video, Take 8MP Still Photos while Rec. 4K Video, Playback zoom 64MP: f/1.9 aperture; 1/1.72" Sensor Size; 0.8um Pixel Size; PDAF, 8MP: f/2.2 aperture; 119° Field-of-view; 13mm Focal Length; Ultra-wide; 1/4.0" Sensor Size; 1.12um Pixel Size, 5MP: f/2.4 aperture; Macro Lens; 1/5.0" Sensor Size; 1.75um Pixel Size, 2MP: f/2.4 aperture; Depth Sensor, HDR, Panorama, Video: [email protected]; [email protected]/60/120fps; [email protected], EIS, Ultra Nightscape mode, AI scene detection, Smart ultra-wide angle mode, Ultra wide-angle edge distortion correction, AI Beautify, Burst mode, Tilt-shift, Level display, Custom watermark, Pro mode, Portrait mode background blur adjustment, Studio Lighting, Panorama mode, AI high resolution photos
Secondary Camera 7MP 32MP
Secondary Camera Features F/2.2 Aperture, Full HD Video Recording, Retina Flash, Wide Colour Capture for Photos and Live Photos, Auto HDR, Backside Illumination Sensor, Body and Face Detection, Auto Image Stabilisation, Burst mode, Exposure Control, Timer mode Panorama selfie, Palm shutter, AI silhouette detection, Wide-angle distortion correction, HDR, Selfie timer, Face recognition, Age recognition, AI Beautify, AI feature adjustment, AI makeup, AI portrait mode, AI scene detection, AI studio lighting
Internal Memory 128 GB 128 GB
Expandable Memory Slot Yes, up to 512 GB
Contacts Storage Unlimited Unlimited
SMS Storage Unlimited Unlimited
Music Player Yes Yes
FM Radio Yes
Dual SIM GSM+GSM GSM+GSM
Thickness 7.3 mmSlim 8.8 mmMedium
Weight 148 gmLight 209 gmHeavy
Width 67.3 mmComfortable for one-handed use 76.6 mmInconvenient for one-handed use
Audio Output Lightning 3.5mm jack
Water Resistant Yes, IP67 Rated (up to 1m for 30 mins) Yes, Splash Resistant (P2i Coating)
Battery Capacity 1821 mAh 5020 mAh
Battery Standby N/A N/A
Battery Standby (3G) N/A N/A
Battery Talktime N/A N/A
Battery Talktime (3G) N/A N/A
Fast Charging Support Yes, 18W Fast Charging (50% in 30 min) Yes, 33W Fast Charging
Included Fast Charger Yes, 33.0W Fast Charger
Other Battery Parameters N/A N/A
Fingerprint sensor Yes Yes
Other Features Apple Pay (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX certified); Wireless Charging (works with Qi chargers); Siri; NFC; TV Out; Stereo Speakers; Noise Filtration; Supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 Content; AirPlay Mirroring; Photos and Video out to Apple TV (2nd generation or later); Video Mirroring and Video Out Support; AirDrop; AirPlay; AirPrint; Control Centre; Handoff; HomeKit; iCloud; iCloud Keychain; Multitasking; Night Shift; Notification Centre; Siri; Spotlight Search; iMovie; Pages; Keynote; Numbers; iTunes U; GarageBand; Apple TV Remote; iTunes Remote; Music Memos UFS 2.1 Storage; Noise Filtration
2-minute Review [Positives]
  • Compact design - the iPhone SE (2020) has exactly the same form factor as the iPhone 8 from 2017 - if you like smaller, comfortable phones, you'll like this
  • Extremely light-weight - there's no other phone at this price as light as the iPhone SE (2020)
  • IP67 water and dust resistant
  • The Touch ID fingerprint sensor is very, very good
  • Apple knows how to do software well, and iOS continues to be an intuitive, and smooth experience - this as refined and polished a software experience on a smartphone as you can hope for
  • One of the best things about iPhones, of course, is that you are pretty much guaranteed updates for many years to come (even the best Android phones top out at about 3 years), so as long as you take care of your phone physically, the longevity factor here is really high!
  • Breathtaking, lightning-fast performance powered by Apple’s latest A13 Bionic processor - this makes it just as fast as the pricier iPhone 11 series and gives the SE access to features such as AI-enabled portrait mode
  • A very good single 12MP camera - iPhone SE (2020) features the same camera found on the iPhone 8
  • The iPhone SE (2020) shoots excellent daylight photos - the photos are very natural-looking, the dynamic range and the contrast are superb, the colours are simply spot-on, and the detail levels are very good
  • Decent low-light photos - the low-light performance has improved since the iPhone 8 by a lot even if the same camera takes the images (though, it's nowhere near the best at this price)
  • Portrait are decent too - the subject separation is far from flawless, but the faux bokeh is quite nice
  • Excellent selfie camera - the iPhone SE (2020)'s 7MP images come out with outstanding detail, contrast, and even dynamic range - overall this is one of the best selfie cameras at this price
  • The iPhone SE (2020) selfie shooter can also do excellent portraits - both subject separation and simulated bokeh are remarkable
  • Video recording one the iPhone SE (2020) is class-leading - plenty of detail, jaw-dropping dynamic range - these are among the best videos a smartphone can do
  • Overall, the single camera on the iPhone SE (2020) gives the multi-sensor camera phones a run for their money (though, the low-light images could have been better)
  • Decent battery life from the 1821 mAh battery - a well-optimised iOS and the new processor together help the SE get through a full day
  • Included wireless charging
  • If you are coming from an older iPhone or just want a compact phone, the iPhone SE (2020) has a lot to offer - it has fantastic build quality, great cameras, and one of the fastest processors currently available
  • Fresh, bright and vibrant design, with a very shiny, reflective rear panel - you'll see light play across the surface when using this phone, giving the feeling of depth
  • The distinctive new camera bump design plays into the theme of symmetry - this is a nice design touch that sets the Redmi Note 9 series apart and make this phone and its siblings recognisable
  • The front of the phone looks modern and definitely defies expectations for its price category
  • Fingerprint sensor is integrated into the power key and it is extremely fast at unlocking the phone
  • Xiaomi's trademark infrared emitter is on the top, and can be used to control several home appliances
  • There's also a notification and charging LED hidden in the earpiece, a rarity to find in modern smartphones
  • Bright, crisp and large 6.67-inch IPS display with a tall 20:9 aspect ratio - the panel delivers punchy and vibrant colours and the large screen work nicely for consuming videos and games
  • MIUI is one of the more refined and smooth Android skins around, and has a lot of customisation/theming options - there’s ample features for power users - from gestures to the ability to switch around button layouts as well as a robust home screen customisation experience, you can really make the phone your own
  • Class-leading performance for the price backed by the snappy Snapdragon 720G - the Redmi Note 9 Pro is more than powerful enough to handle anything from basic calls and messaging all the way up to heavy 3D gaming, with no trouble whatsoever, multitasking is also smooth and trouble-free
  • Good quad camera at the back - a 64MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultra-wide angle lens, a 5MP macro camera and a 2MP depth sensor
  • Daylight shots from the Redmi Note 9 Pro Max turn out quite well - photos look sharp and the details are good - phone automatically enables HDR in appropriate situations
  • The Ultra-wide camera on the device offers a wider field of view with good quality images - wide-angle correction is implemented which prevents barrel distortion
  • Xiaomi has done a particularly good job at optimising the portrait mode and the phone does a fantastic job at edge-detection, creating a natural-looking blur
  • Macro camera is good for extreme close-ups - it captures very good details in good lighting conditions - the resolution is also higher at 5-megapixels than what you usually get from other smartphones
  • In low-light, the phone manages to keep noise under control and offer good images - with Night Mode enabled, the phone combines multiple exposures, the output is sharper, with much better detail, and objects in the shadows are more visible
  • The 32MP front camera is good - in daylight, you get sharp selfies - there is a portrait mode for the selfie camera as well, and it does manage to accurately separate the background from the subject
  • Video recording is decent as long as there's good light (though, in low-light the phone struggles to stabilise the footage and creates a shimmer effect)
  • Overall, it has one of the best camera performances in this price segment
  • Very good battery life with the 5020 mAh battery - with ordinary use, the Redmi Note 9 Pro easily lasts through a full day and nearly half of the second day before needing a recharge
  • Excellent fast charging with the 33W fast charger in the box, takes nearly an hours to fill the phone completely, which is one of the fastest for this price
  • The Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is almost identical to it's younger sibling the Redmi Note 9 Pro, the only exceptions being the better cameras and faster charging - and if you value these features, it's worth spending the extra bucks on the Max
2-minute Review [Negatives]
  • The front design is polarising - the chunky bezels above and below feels like it belongs to the past
  • Though the 4.7-inch LCD display on the iPhone SE (2020) is very good, it certainly doesn’t match the incredible contrast levels of modern OLED displays
  • Because of the low maximum brightness, it is fairly difficult to see the screen on a bright sunny day
  • The new Night Mode is missing from the iPhone SE (2020)
  • Though, the iPhone SE (2020) supports 18W fast charging, the fast charger isn't included in the box and you only get a 5W brick, which is even slower than the 10W charger you get from the basic Android phone at Rs 7000
  • However, if you want the latest and the greatest for the price, the iPhone SE (2020) isn't for you - if you want an iPhone at a similar price, the last year's iPhone XR is still a great phone with better display, even better camera and battery life - and the Android world has a lot of options too, the new OnePlus 8 offers a great display, multiple cameras and great battery life
  • At 8.8mm thick and 209g in weight, the Redmi Note 9 Pro is bulky and unwieldy
  • It is a standard 60Hz panel and doesn't have a high refresh rate - this is a missed opportunity that puts the Redmi Note 9 Pro on the back foot compared to its peers
  • It still continues to pack a lot of bloat though - you get many pre-installed applications with wide-ranging requirements for user permissions
  • However, if you are looking for a higher refresh display, you can consider the POCO X2 or the Realme 6, other specs are very similar
Expert Reviews
  1. The second SE is a small and powerful phone, water-resistant and beautiful, with a capable camera and great iOS support
    gsmarena.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. The iPhone SE (2020) is a compact phone with the same chip and performance that you get on flagship phones and one of the best cameras in this price range
    phonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  3. iPhone SE (2020) looks like an iPhone 8 but works like Apple's top-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro
    cnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. This cheap iPhone is as practical as it is powerful
    engadget.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. A brand-new iPhone, with Apple’s fastest smartphone chip
    wired.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. A good deal
    techcrunch.com in-depth Read Review »
  7. Fast, capable, reliable, and familiar
    theverge.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. The 2020 iPhone SE is lightweight, and future-proofed
    techradar.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. Not for gadget geeks, but the mainstream user
    forbes.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. The iPhone SE (2020) features Apple's latest processor, an excellent camera, Touch ID, plus all-day battery life... but it's not for everyone
    mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  11. The iPhone SE offers the power of Apple's latest and greatest, at cheaper
    androidauthority.com in-depth Read Review »
  12. Everything you need at lightning speed
    digitaltrends.com in-depth Read Review »
  13. The best value iPhone
    expertreviews.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  14. The iPhone SE 2020 is an outstanding phone, delivering fast performance and very good cameras in a compact design
    tomsguide.com in-depth Read Review »
  15. An iPhone for people who don’t like new iPhones
    livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  16. The 2020 iPhone SE packs in a top-spec processor and flagship features at a bargain price, but dated design and bad battery hold it back
    techadvisor.co.uk in-depth Read Review »
  17. Great power with a limited battery
    finder.com.au in-depth Read Review »
  18. The 2020 Apple iPhone SE is a petite powerhouse with no-compromise performance for thousands of rupees less than other recent iPhones
    in.pcmag.com in-depth Read Review »
  19. Incredibly appealing to all those iPhone 6, 6S, 7, 7S, and iPhone 8 users who want to upgrade
    pocket-lint.com in-depth Read Review »
  20. The new SE is a great phone with only a few drawbacks
    androidpolice.com in-depth Read Review »
  21. The new iPhone SE nails the important stuff and gives you the build quality of an iPhone Pro for lesser price
    t3.com in-depth Read Review »
  22. This Is the iPhone to Buy Right Now
    gizmodo.com in-depth Read Review »
  23. gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  24. digit.in in-depth Read Review »
  25. indianexpress.com in-depth Read Review »
  26. economictimes.indiatimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  27. news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  28. androidcentral.com in-depth Read Review »
  29. stuff.tv in-depth Read Review »
  30. zdnet.com in-depth Read Review »
  31. slashgear.com in-depth Read Review »
  32. pcmag.com in-depth Read Review »
  33. tech.hindustantimes.com in-depth Read Review »
  34. gadgetsnow.com in-depth Read Review »
  35. firstpost.com in-depth Read Review »
  36. thenewsminute.com in-depth Read Review »
  37. in.mashable.com in-depth Read Review »
  38. indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  39. techpp.com in-depth Read Review »
  40. notebookcheck.net in-depth Read Review »
  41. 9to5google.com in-depth Read Review »
  42. arstechnica.com in-depth Read Review »
  43. newatlas.com in-depth Read Review »
  1. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max is powerful, offers great battery life and packs in good cameras
    gadgets.ndtv.com in-depth Read Review »
  2. If you are confused between Redmi Note 9 Pro and Redmi Note 9 Pro Max, the decision boils down to how important that 33W fast charging is to you
    bgr.in in-depth Read Review »
  3. Max Performance, Max Value
    news18.com in-depth Read Review »
  4. Better than sibling, but not an outright choice
    livemint.com in-depth Read Review »
  5. Redmi Note 9 Pro Max excels in battery life, camera and build quality, but the competition from other brands especially Realme is quite fierce
    themobileindian.com in-depth Read Review »
  6. The Note 9 Pro Max is highly impressive... but the competition is tough
    indiatoday.in in-depth Read Review »
  7. Incredible camera, satisfactory performance
    zeebiz.com in-depth Read Review »
  8. fonearena.com in-depth Read Review »
  9. techpp.com in-depth Read Review »
  10. timesnownews.com in-depth Read Review »
User Reviews
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Official Website Official Website » Official Website »
Unofficial specs? N/A N/A
Individual Review 2
  • Individual Review 2
Individual Review

iPhone SE (2020) Review: It All Adds Up!...

Marques Brownlee

Top Pick

Individual Review

Pay More for Realme 6 Pro or Buy Redmi Note 9 Pro Max?...

C4ETech

Top Pick

Full Review

iPhone SE (2020) Review: It All Adds Up!

Marques Brownlee

Full Review

Pay More for Realme 6 Pro or Buy Redmi Note 9 Pro Max?

C4ETech

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