Apple just launched its new ‘budget’ iPhone, the iPhone SE 2nd Gen. It replaces the iPhone XR to become the cheapest ‘new’ iPhone in the market right now. Price perks aside, initial reviews all point towards the fact that the new iPhone SE is a “really good deal” and the folks at iFixit do not disagree. They are just here to take the device apart to tell you about what parts you can swap between the iPhone 8 and the new iPhone SE. The more parts you can swap, the cheaper it is to repair a device.
The iFixit teardown shows that the new iPhone can be repaired with a lot of the “same readily available parts from the iPhone 8”. Also, the 2nd gen iPhone SE gets a huge bump thanks to the A13 Bionic chip under the hood, the same one that the iPhone 11 series uses. This feature makes the new iPhone SE punch way above its “budget-phone weight class” and at a price that is a little over half of what you’d pay for the iPhone 11.
iFixit mentions that the original iPhone SE worked for them because it borrowed parts from older iPhone models thereby “reducing manufacturing waste from new designs and making replacement parts easier (and more affordable) to come by”. Apple saw value in repeating that same make-logic this year.
iFixit’s teardown reveals how many iPhone 8 parts you can use in the new iPhone SE and vice versa.
The new iPhone’s cameras, SIM tray, Taptic Engine and display assembly (that includes the microphone and proximity sensor) can all be swapped with iPhone 8 parts. iFixit points out that the screen should be cheaper to replace than any iPhone in years. However, with a screen swap, you will lose True Tone between an older model and a newer model unless you have access to a screen programmer.
The Home buttons on the iPhone 8 and the 2nd Gen iPhone SE are not interchangeable. You will need to hold on to your original Home button in case of a repair or substitute an “aftermarket home button with no Touch ID, or else pay Apple whatever they ask to fix it for you”.
What’s incompatible between the iPhone 8 and the new phone is the battery. Though the batteries look identical, the logic board connectors are different and thus they do not fit together if swapped. The iPhone SE will connect to an iPhone 11 battery, which uses the same connector, but it will not turn on.
iFixit calls this a modern Apple roadblock in the new “throwback” phone and adds that you cannot swap a genuine iPhone SE 2020 battery for another without triggering a “not a genuine Apple battery” warning.
Since most new iPhones come with zero backward compatibility, iFixit says that they are “reasonably pleased” with how nicely the iPhone SE “plays with so many parts that repair shops and fixers already have in their inventory”.
For a $400 phone, the new iPhone SE does not have fancy features like the iPhone 11 series, but it has a powerful processor and “plentiful repair parts”.