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jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
1,723
2,010
UK
Now we're mid way though 2020 and on the short road to the 12 series of iPhones, what is the better buy right now:

Refurbished by Apple XR 128GB = £549
Or
SE 2020 128GB = £469



----------------------------------------------

I'm going to pair with either a refurbished ipad Mini 5 or ipad Pro 2018 11". This will help me use my mobile for mobile things only rather than using it like a small tablet as I do now with my 7 plus.

I've been hanging into my 7 plus for too long. It's glitchy and I'm tired of its size when using for all things.

I will consider a 12 series iphone when they launch, but with all the rumours pointing to them all being OLED which I can't use currently (due to PWM), whatever iphone I buy now needs to tide me over until SE Plus (unless PWM is greatly improved, then it will be 12 Pro Max).

The SE 2020 looked like a no brainer but Apple refurbished store now has the XR for similar money making the choice harder once again.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Westmere
Jul 12, 2016
37,342
41,678
So aside from the price difference/display size, do you prefer face ID or touch ID? For me, that’s what I would base my decision off. Because that’s what your interacting most with, is the ‘biometric security‘ for Apple Pay, unlocking your phone, additional password criteria, etc. It totally changes the experience of how you interact with the phone, with Face ID having some really nice advantages. But I do think touch ID can be more ‘convenient’ for certain scenarios. So I would ask yourself, is there a specific preference that you actually like better over the other? If so, maybe base your decision Partially on those two options.
 
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jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
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UK
So aside from the price difference/display size, do you prefer face ID or touch ID? For me, that’s what I would base my decision off. Because that’s what your interacting most with, is the ‘biometric security‘ for Apple Pay, unlocking your phone, additional password criteria, etc. It totally changes the experience of how you interact with the phone, with Face ID having some really nice advantages. But I do think touch ID can be more ‘convenient’ for certain scenarios. So I would ask yourself, is there a specific preference that you actually like better over the other? If so, maybe base your decision Partially on those two options.
Having used both I can't really say I have a preference. I'm used to touch id so happy to stick for now. Face id is the future though....

The idea I originally had was to get the SE 2020 😑 but that didn't happen. So I thought I'd reduce mobile size and usage so to get an SE 2020 and an ipad Mini. The ipad mini could do the heavy lifting for media consumption, emails etc and offer a better browsing experience than my 7 plus.

But I also really like the idea of the ipad pro 11" (having setup and used a IPP 12.9" this week) which, being face id, makes me think it would be better paired with a face id phone. Now the XR price has dropped in price because it's available on the refurbished store, as is the ipad pro 11", it's only a little more expensive then the SE 2020. It physically appears a smarter buy due to larger battery and all screen design for nearly the same money. That said the SE 2020 is newer and more future proof.

I've literally given myself too many options once again.


*Full disclosure, I have tried an iPhone 11 earlier in the year but didn't really think it was worth the price over my 7 plus for the experience it gave. I didn't like the lower resolution or narrower display. But I was trying to replace my 7 plus fully which I use like a mini tablet for all things (when not on my desktop) and the 11 didn't do that - the 7 plus felt better. Now I'm going to buy an ipad this isn't going to present the same issue, but the iphone 11 doesn't feel like a good purchase right now at full price.
 
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Lucas284

macrumors 6502
Oct 16, 2018
279
254
Netherlands
Having used both I can't really say I have a preference. I'm used to touch idea so happy to stick.

The idea I originally had was to reduce mobile size and usage so to get an SE 2020 and an ipad Mini could do the heavy lifting for media consumption, emails etc and offer a better browsing experience than my 7 plus.

But I also really like the idea of the ipad pro 11" which, being face id, makes me think it would be better paired with a face id phone. Now the XR price has dropped in price because it's available on the refurbished store, as is the ipad pro 11", it's only a little more expensive then the SE 2020. It physically appears a smarter buy due to larger battery and all screen design for nearly the same money. That said the SE 2020 is newer and more future proof.

I've literally given myself too many options once again.
Stick with that idea!
 

QCassidy352

macrumors G4
Mar 20, 2003
11,824
5,534
Bay Area
Don’t you have another thread about this? You’ve gotta stop agonizing, make a purchase, and get on with your life.

IMO, the SE and mini combo gives you everything you need, and it was your first instinct anyway, so just go with it.
 

happy orchard

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
465
638
I went to a XR from an 8+, and the XR always felt bigger in a bad way: it felt heavier and it felt thicker. The thicker was especially uncomfortable when holding and maneuvering the phone, so it was noticeable when I was actually using it.

So if you're already tired of the 7+ size, you'll likely not enjoy the narrower and thicker XR. As well, you tried the 11 and didn't love it, and while you were comparing it to your 7+, the fact that you didn't like it should help you in making a decision about the 11.

It sounds like you've considered these options long enough that you've found plenty of good and bad and lost touch with what you really want.

So, in trying to focus on what you're saying, rather than my own biases, I would say:

Possibly try something different for a while, try the smaller: you'll either like it or it might reinforce your love for the bigger. As well, the SE will probably be an easier phone to sell if you don't love it.
 
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mtneer

macrumors 68040
Sep 15, 2012
3,172
2,707
If you are the type who holds on to your phone until it dies - then the SE will most likely get an additional year of support from Apple compared to the A12 based XR. If your ownership horizon is less than 3 years, then make a choice based on the factors already discussed upthread.
 
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snipr125

macrumors 65816
Oct 17, 2015
1,281
1,832
UK
If it were my choice I would get iPhone SE and either iPad, but go for the Pro 11 if you can snag one of the refurbs from Apple for £519, but they always sell out quickly. iPad mini is excellent also, and you can them on on amazon for £380 ish brand new.
 
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JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
8,797
15,115
XR is a more well rounded device. The XR has much better battery life, display size, and front camera.

In terms of iOS support, both devices have 3GB of RAM. Apple in recent years seems to be using RAM instead of SoC to determine iOS support.
 

tonybarnaby

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2017
2,361
1,675
I would wait until this time next year and get an 11 for the same price an Xr is now. If it’s all about the cost, I’d much prefer night mode and that extra gb of ram.
 

jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
1,723
2,010
UK
I would wait until this time next year and get an 11 for the same price an Xr is now. If it’s all about the cost, I’d much prefer night mode and that extra gb of ram.
We've talked about it before where if I could use Apple OLED I'd have the Pro Max no question. Because I can't I'm all over the place thinking "value" because I'm being forced to compromise. No SE Plus, iphone 11 isn't 1080p, ipad pro 2020 wasn't different enough from 2018.

It's only about the cost in respect to it being too far into the year for the iphone 11 at full price to be worth it now in my opinion. This close to the twelve series, when launched will see a price reduction on the 11. I couldn't wait another year.

The XR and ipads being available refurbished make them feel better value right now. I wouldn't pay the price for a new 2020 ipad pro because they don't offer anything over the 2018 to make them worth the difference to me. The ipad mini 5 at £339 feels like the right price (£300 would be better Apple).

The XR is now basically SE 2020 money which is the only real reason I'm considering. For some reason I'm thinking the XR is better than the SE when priced so close - the SE is old design but new chip, the XR is new design and tech but old chip.

I'm swaying more to face ID and full screen in order to move forward with Apple. Ipad Mini Pro, SE Plus, Mini LED ipad pros. I'm thinking I could easily want to upgrade to any/all of these next year.
[automerge]1591302384[/automerge]
Don’t you have another thread about this? You’ve gotta stop agonizing, make a purchase, and get on with your life.

IMO, the SE and mini combo gives you everything you need, and it was your first instinct anyway, so just go with it.
Apologies, I've become one of those bores than goes around and around the houses repeating myself. I've spent too much time on the forums and youtube to know my own mind it seems. 😞
 
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Thoradin

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2020
655
917
Yorkshire, England
Considering the purchase of new devices is a very personal choice.
If you are buying an iPad to complement your iPhone then I guess the screen size isn’t a big factor.
That leads to the question of battery life and Face ID vs Touch ID.
For low usage the SE 2020 will happily last the day, the XR battery life is crazy good though. My XR regularly has 8+ hours of screen on time per day and is never below 48% by the time I charge it at night, it’s honestly crazy how long this phone lasts.
 
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JPack

macrumors G3
Mar 27, 2017
8,797
15,115
The idea I originally had was to get the SE 2020 😑 but that didn't happen. So I thought I'd reduce mobile size and usage so to get an SE 2020 and an ipad Mini. The ipad mini could do the heavy lifting for media consumption, emails etc and offer a better browsing experience than my 7 plus.

Most people prefer a larger smartphone because it's annoying to switch devices. Apple tried to promote this idea of small iPhone + big iPad between 2010 to 2013. It didn't work as consumers wanted 5" phablets.
 
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jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
1,723
2,010
UK
Most people prefer a larger smartphone because it's annoying to switch devices. Apple tried to promote this idea of small iPhone + big iPad between 2010 to 2013. It didn't work as consumers wanted 5" phablets.
I slightly agree. If I had a Pro Max then I wouldn't consider the ipad Mini 5. But I would still consider the ipad Pro with a keyboard. I wouldn't have said that a few years ago as I wanted to go iphone only but with iPadOS + mouse support and seeing those fantastic pro screens I've changed my mind.

That said I'd rather use an ipad mini 5 screen for most consumption over the XR and 11.
 

happy orchard

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
465
638
You mentioned that you're sensitive enough to have been bothered by OLED screens, I've had that experience, too. However, I also had issues with the XR and the 11--nowhere near as badly--but enough that when I go back to my work 8+ or my current SE 2020, my eyes notice a difference. I know all of those phones mentioned are non-OLED, but as you sound like you've done enough research to know: the screens on the XR and 11 are different from those on the 8+ and SE.

I love new tech, but I remind myself that I need the eyes and brain that new tech is hurting. If you have a similar experience, let me be another voice who encourages you to be kind to your eyes and brain so that you can keep enjoying more new tech.
 

jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
1,723
2,010
UK
You mentioned that you're sensitive enough to have been bothered by OLED screens, I've had that experience, too. However, I also had issues with the XR and the 11--nowhere near as badly--but enough that when I go back to my work 8+ or my current SE 2020, my eyes notice a difference. I know all of those phones mentioned are non-OLED, but as you sound like you've done enough research to know: the screens on the XR and 11 are different from those on the 8+ and SE.

I love new tech, but I remind myself that I need the eyes and brain that new tech is hurting. If you have a similar experience, let me be another voice who encourages you to be kind to your eyes and brain so that you can keep enjoying more new tech.
I had seen a few posts mentioning people having issues with the XR and 11. Reasons/theories seem to range from the lower than 1080p resolution, temporal dithering, pixel arrangement, face scanner. What's your theory? Did you ditch your XR?

With the OLED iPhones from X all the way to 11 Pro Max I could feel the back of my eyes ache which would result in a headache within 30 minutes. I could feel my eyes darting across the screen when scrolling or reading. Of course I couldn't see with awareness the PWM pixel flashing but the signal to my brain did. The screen did appear to shimmer, like there was a sort of bright shadow that moved around the screen as my eyes moved. Difficult to describe.
 
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happy orchard

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2020
465
638
Yes, I had a similar unpleasant and painful experience. I don't know why exactly it's happening: there are literally too many variables and we (at least you and I, I'm presuming) are unable to create a controlled experiment to accurately name the specific problem. But, I, too, am curious what it is. My curiosity keeps me reading about it, open to learning. But my eyes and brain tell me to not use the XR, 11, and OLED screens in the meantime.
 
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freeagent

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2020
534
337
My 5 month old xs max is the first oled screen I have ever seen lol. It’s the highest resolution screen in a house with many screens. Neither myself nor anyone else in our house can see these problems people speak of. Someone here explained to me how to see it and how I can never unsee it after. I think it must be a hardware fault or something. Or maybe certain groups are more sensitive than others. Maybe it’s a near sighted/far sighted thing. I don’t know. Purely speculation in my part.
 

jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
1,723
2,010
UK
My 5 month old xs max is the first oled screen I have ever seen lol. It’s the highest resolution screen in a house with many screens. Neither myself nor anyone else in our house can see these problems people speak of. Someone here explained to me how to see it and how I can never unsee it after. I think it must be a hardware fault or something. Or maybe certain groups are more sensitive than others. Maybe it’s a near sighted/far sighted thing. I don’t know. Purely speculation in my part.
If your not affected by it, your not affected by it. Apparently its potentially 1 in 10 people who are affected/sensitive. PWM is the technology and there's alot of talk on these forums about it, also articles on Google. It's not a hardware fault, all OLED screens use PWM. It can't be seen so your aware of it visually (you won't see with awareness that the screen is flashing rapidly) but if you are affected your eyes are registering it with your brain and quick on/off flicker of the pixels can cause eye strain and headaches. People who are sensitive have varying levels of reaction.

So your good, enjoy your XS Max (I'm jealous). 👍
 
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freeagent

macrumors 6502a
Mar 9, 2020
534
337
Thanks man. Pardon my ignorance, I only recently learned about the problem. I wonder if it’s the same for oled TVs? As for my phone I would still be using my 7 but we need the mics for FaceTime, and my phone wasn’t working properly. I envy your low monthly bill as I have two lines for the two of us. Now her 7 needs to be replaced and she likes the SE so I’ll get her one in red👌🏻

Because everyone enjoys 250 dollar phone bills 👍🏻
 
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jimmy_uk

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Oct 19, 2015
1,723
2,010
UK
Well, I held out for the 12 Series and it was a total bust. The PWM is still present in a bad way and I ended up with a 2 day headache after using a 12 and 12 Pro Max! I literally couldn't focus on my iMac for a day as my eyes felt totally screwed up. Totally gutted as the 12 Series is fantastic. I just had to keep hoping for the last 3 yrs that one day Apple would address the PWM but it's not changed and I don't think it ever will.

So what am I left with?
I've had enough time using an 11 and SE 2020 to know neither of these replaces my 7 Plus in a satisfactory way.

The 11 is too thick and uncomfortable in the hand, especially with all of the gestures. The lower resolution is very noticeable to me as I do a lot of reading. The phone finish feels cheap (for some reason they changed the aluminium feel from the Plus series) and the bezels are thick so because the screen is narrow it makes it feel too enclosed. I choose a black phone which I feel makes the border bezel look even thicker. I always use my phones naked but hate the glass back with a passion on the 11 so would have to get a case which would make the phone even thicker! And no leather case options from Apple 🤷‍♂️.

The SE 2020 feels as premium as my 7 plus and is very quick. Its novel to have a small phone in the hand again but again the negatives are the low resolution, very small screen and tiny battery. I can literally see the battery drop 1% every few minutes while in use. No way this gets through a day when connected to an Apple watch and earphones even if on wifi.

The positives for these two phones are they are lightning-fast, screen pops a little more (although too yellow), speakers are better, the 11 battery is insane. But none of these things counters the negatives. I actually would rather keep my old, old, hella old phone than compromise using the hand cramping 11 or the not good enough battery of the SE. Sadly having used both of these phones really makes me realise my phone is showing its age. And having used the 12 Pro Max really shows me how the 7 Plus, 11 and SE 2020 are not even close in quality. I still want the best Apple makes.....


So I'm stuck, no not stuck, in a state of "decision paralysis"........now facing year 5 with my 7 Plus! Ugh.....
It also needs its third battery replacement as health is down to 86% which means it doesn't get through the day.

Knowing the iPad Mini will likely get an upgrade mid 2021 makes me not want to buy the Mini 5 now. And the pairing of an SE 2020 isn't happening as its not up to task as a modern mobile device. Sure you could slap on a battery case but Apple silicon doesn't last long and you're making the phone thicker for a £100 premium. That price makes it iPhone 11 money.

So disappointed. I have to hold out again (and again and again) for the Apple genie and see if SE Plus comes. Seeing how bloated the iPhone range is now I don't see this happening in 2021. 4 years lost chasing an upgrade that doesn't exist. 🤦‍♂️
 
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