It is time to touch this new iPhone SE.
On Wednesday Apple announced a new version of the iPhone SE. Rumored for months with different names, including iPhone 9 and SE 2, the budget phone essentially crams an iPhone 11 into an iPhone 8 body.
We haven't seen it in person yet -- Apple didn't hold a traditional event due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead announced the new iPhone through a press release -- so we'll need to wait until we can review it before we can say whether it's a good phone or not.
|iPhone SE 2020|
Price : The $399 iPhone SE is the most affordable Apple phone
At a time when the "value" iPhone 11 costs $699 and the flagship 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max cost $999 and $1,099 respectively, an option more people can afford is welcome. Like the original when it was introduced, the new iPhone SE is the cheapest iPhone you can buy. In fact, it starts at the exact same $399 price as the original SE.
It's a perfect time for an affordable phone. With shelter-in-place being a daily reality that won't let up any time soon, millions of us rely more than ever on a phone to stay in contact with friends, a loved one or work. At the same time, millions of people are in financial distress. If you're in the unfortunate situation where you need a new phone or can't fix a damaged phone, today's announcement offers some relief.
The iPhone SE will join Apple's other Product Red devices.
The $399 price of the SE places it alongside a growing crowd of budget-friendly Android phones, which includes like the upcoming Moto G Power and G Stylus ($249 and $300 respectively), the $400 Samsung Galaxy A51 and the heavily discounted Google Pixel 4, which currently sells for $500. There's also last year's Google Pixel 3A, which normally costs $399 and now sells for around $300.
Technically Small phone lovers unite
I, like many other people, was hoping Apple might bring back that petite design. Instead Apple took the body from the iPhone 6, 6S, 7 and 8, along with their 4.7-inch screen, and revamped it. Though that makes it much smaller than the 6.1-inch iPhone 11 and 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro, I wonder if it's small enough to sway tiny phone lovers to upgrade from their original iPhone SEs.
Apple made smart compromises on features
In 2016, when Apple put iPhone 6S's A9 processor and camera in the original SE, not every feature followed them over. It's a similar story for the new SE. It has a lot of what the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro has: A True Tone display, fast charging (though you'll need to buy a fast charger), wireless charging and it's rated IP67 for dust and water resistance meaning it can survive being submerged under 1-meter for 30 minutes.
The new phone has the A13 Bionic processor which is the same one used in the 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. The benefit here is that it is faster than the A11 processor found in the iPhone 8, and should be able to run new versions of iOS for years to come. Apple has a terrific record of supporting older devices through software upgrades.
The new iPhone SE comes in black, white or Product Red.
Apple: You won't find the double or triple rear cameras from Apple's current flagship devices. Instead, it has a single rear 12-megapixel camera (with a 28-millimeter f/1.8 lens) which is less wide than the main camera (with a 26-millimeter f/1.8 lens) on the 11 and 11 Pro. ( See Also: LTR Magazine -Tech Blog for Reviews)
The new camera can take portrait mode photos (both on the main and the selfie cameras). There's also Apple's excellent SmartHDR, which helps optimize every detail in your pictures. You can shoot 4K video up to 60fps or with extended dynamic range up to 30fps. There's even cinematic video stabilization for both the front and back cameras.
Apple hasn't confirmed whether the new camera supports Night Mode. And obviously there's not the popular ultrawide-angle camera either. But those are smart sacrifices to get a small version of an iPhone 11 for $399.
Preorder the iPhone SE or wait?
Apple has faithfully replicated the most important aspects of the original SE. But if you're wondering if you should preorder one, well, I can't tell you right now. I'll need to test the new iPhone SE first.
See Also: Reviews
That said, if you're still using an original SE, and are comfortable with a new phone that has a tiny increase in size, and enormous increase to features, functionality and future proofing then the new SE is definitely worth considering. And for those of you who want an iPhone 11 but at a lower price, the iPhone SE might be the compromise you're looking for.