There’s never been a better time for budget phones. For about $400, you can have some of the best features available.

Recently, I took the Samsung A53 5G and the Apple iPhone SE 5G to the Micheltorena Stairs in Silver Lake to see what you get for the price.

Both phones are brand new this year.

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The iPhone SE is notable since it has Apple’s latest and most powerful chip inside – the A15 Bionic. This means it can handle even the most demanding apps with ease.

The Samsung might be a bit slower since it’s not using a flagship processor but it’s fine for everyday use.

Both phones have a fingerprint sensor to unlock. Apple’s features the old school Touch ID sensor (which debuted on the iPhone 5s in 2013!), which might appeal to you if you like a classic experience.

Shot on iPhone
Shot on Samsung

Samsung’s is slicker since the fingerprint sensor lives under the screen.

As for screens, the iPhone SE is a tiny 4.7 inches. The design feels super dated since it’s reminiscent of the older model iPhones complete with giant boarders on the top and bottom of the screen.

Samsung’s screen is roomier and more modern. It’s 6.5 inches with plenty of room to watch videos, text and more.

One major difference between these two models is the camera setup. The iPhone SE has just one lens on the back. This means zoom is digital and it can’t take ultrawide shots.

The Samsung has multiple lenses on the back including an ultrawide lens and a macro lens. Oddly, there is no zoom lens, so, like the iPhone SE, all zoom is digital.

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Shot on Samsung

Most of the pictures I took on both cameras look great. Low light is a bit of a challenge for both phones but otherwise, your pictures are going to look excellent. You just don’t have a ton of options for taking various types of photos like you might on a true flagship.

Both phones work with 5G networks and have the same level of water resistance.

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Shot on iPhone

While the iPhone SE supports wireless charging (but not MagSafe), the Samsung does not.

However, the Samsung does have a memory card slot, which is nice because you can always add extra storage.

Overall, I was more impressed with what you get from Samsung for the money. However, the iPhone comes with a more robust App store, accessories, repair network and ecosystem of compatible Apple products.