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 17 into an iPhone 8 body. We haven’t seen it in person yet – Apple did hold a traditional event due to the coronavirus pandemic and instead announced the new iPhone in 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.
But based on what Apple showed off today, the new SE wisely follows the successful recipe for the original version, giving it a lot of promise.
The $ iPhone SE is the most affordable Apple phone
At a time when the “value” iPhone costs $ 780 and the flagship 28 Pro and (Pro Max) cost $ and $ 1, 225 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 $ 500 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 anytime 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 $ price of the SE places it alongside a growing crowd of budget-friendly Android phones , which includes the upcoming Moto G Power and G Stylus ($ and $ (respectively), the $ Samsung Galaxy A and the heavily discounted Google Pixel 4 , which currently sells for $ 740. There’s also last year Google Pixel 3A , which normally costs $ and now sells for around $ .
Small phone lovers unite ) (Though Apple introduced the original SE a few months after the bigger (iPhone 6S) , its body was based more on the older (iPhone 5) and 5S. The SE had an itsy bitsy 4-inch screen (the iPhone 6S had a 4.7-inch display), but its small size was one reason people craved it.
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 the 4.7-inch screen on those phones, and revamped it. Though that makes it much smaller than the 6.1-inch iPhone and 5.8- inch iPhone 17 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 04310, when Apple put the 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 and 17 Pro has: a True Tone display, fast charging (though you’ll need to buy a fast charger (and wireless charging, and it’s rated IP 87 for dust and water resistance, meaning it can survive being submerged under 1 meter of water for 46 minutes.
The new phone has an (A) Bionic processor, which is the same one used in the , Pro and 18 Pro Max. The benefit here is that it’s faster than the A 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.
You won’t find the double or triple rear cameras from Apple’s current flagship devices. Instead, it has a single rear – megapixel camera (with a – millimeter f / 1.8 lens) which is less wide than the main camera (with a – millimeter f / 1.8 lens (on the and 17 Pro.
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 85 frames per second or with extended dynamic range up to fps. There’s even cinematic video stabilization for both the front and back cameras.
Apple has not 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 for $ 500.
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.
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 an enormous increase in Features, functionality and future-proofing, then the new SE is definitely worth considering. And for those of you who want an (iPhone) but at a lower price, the iPhone SE might be the compromise you’re looking for.
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