Best cheap phones 2021: 8 fantastic affordable handsets

iPhone SE 2

Is the affordable iPhone SE the true iPhone for everyone?


  • At $399/£419 this is an excellent buy
  • Flagship performance should keep this speedy for years
  • Great photos in daylight situations
  • Impressive video capabilities
  • Offers a strong proposition for those who don’t want big phones


  • Battery life is far from excellent
  • A new design would’ve been welcome

The iPhone SE 2 is Apple’s only non-flagship smartphone, designed for users who want an Apple phone and enjoy the iOS operating system, but perhaps aren’t so keen on the cost of the iPhone 12 series.

The SE 2 is the second phone in the SE series and offers a large number of flagship features at a very tempting price.

Rather than sharing a design with the original SE, the iPhone SE 2 shares a design with the no-longer sold iPhone 8. The SE 2 features curved sides, a glass back, chunky bezels and a circular Touch ID sensor that will feel either nostalgic or dated depending on your design preferences.

However, moving on from the design, this is a great phone. The 12-megapixel camera performs admirably in daylight and captures excellent 4K 60fps video, although we do wish its low-light performance was better.

You’ll find the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 Pro, a sharp 4.7-inch display with fantastic colour reproduction and handy extras such as Qi wireless charging and an IP67 rating for water- and dust-resistance. 

Reviewer: Max Parker
Full review: iPhone SE 2

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