Apple makes an annual effort to upgrade their bestselling iPhone in a fresh bid for market domination. With money being currently tight for many and the competition at the top tougher than ever, Apple has started to shift its focus towards developing a cheaper and more affordable phone to give the masses an opportunity to know what it is like to use an iPhone and Apple’s ecosystem. This where Apple’s iPhone SE model comes in, and Apple has just announced what is in store for their cheaper model for 2020.
Apple’s new SE iPhone essentially takes the form of the iPhone 8, which means it has a 4.7-inch screen, large bezels on the top and bottom, and a home button with Touch ID. It’s an older looking design, but one that is actually still one of the best that Apple has made and doesn’t look dated at all. It’s a design philosophy that Apple followed for many years and one that they know how to make well, so you can also probably rest assured with the knowledge that the phone will be of the usual high standard that people have come to expect from the brand. Unless it bends in your back pocket.
The phone is expected to target the more budget-concerned consumer and as a result, it does come with lower-end specs. Thankfully though, Apple is placing an A13 Bionic chip in this iPhone, which is the same chip in the latest iPhone 11 models and well ahead of the A11 chips in the original iPhone 8’s. These chips are slower than the ones found in the high-end iPhones, but are powerful enough to last a few years without feeling too slow.
The phone’s camera has also been enhanced from the original iPhone 8 model with a single 12-megapixel camera lens on the back (along with a flash). Apple says that it is using the A13 Bionic chips to improve its Smart HDR photography, which combines multiple shots into a single photo to improve lighting and detail. It also has a portrait mode with technology Apple calls “monocular depth-sensing” that uses machine learning to detect depth and faces — which, unfortunately, means that it will only work on people, not pets or Darryn (Editors note: WOW RIGHT IN THE BACK CRAIG).
It also includes optical image stabilisation, and Apple says it can do “cinematic” stabilisation on video as well as support 4K video at 60fps. The front-facing selfie camera is 7-megapixels, and it can also do portrait mode effects. All details that should keep a budding mobile photographer happy.
Perhaps the iPhone’s biggest limitations are the smaller storage capacities that they will come with, with the cheapest $399 only coming with 64GB of storage, which is decent enough for the average user who likes to take pictures and listen to music. There will be a 128GB model offered for $449 and a 256GB model for $549, though if people are willing to spend more money on the phone, then the prices border on what you’d pay for new models from other companies. Sadly – like with all iPhones – the memory cannot be expanded with an additional SD card, so you’re stuck with what you buy unless you plan to make use of Apple’s expensive cloud storage services.
The new iPhone SE will be available for pre-order in the US from Friday. It’s not clear exactly when they will be available in South Africa and whether we will get all the variants or just the usual 64GB model that they tend to only bring out here.
It’s an alright phone, with Apple putting in enough effort to ensure that even this new cheaper model still has several modern features that will make it feel like a decent upgrade for many people.
Full specs listed below (as found on The Verge):
- Screen: 4.7-inch True Tone display
- Rear cameras: 12-megapixel single 6-element lens, features OIS, flicker sensor for white balance, focus pixels, HDR, and portrait mode for people, video recording at 4K/60fps
- Selfie camera: 7-megapixel camera
- Dimensions: 67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3mm, 148 grams
- Processor: A13 Bionic
- Memory: TBD
- Storage: 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB
- Battery: TBD
- OS: iOS 13
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit LTE, Dual SIM with eSIM
- Biometric authentication: second-generation Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- Wireless charging, Lightning connector, 5W charger included
- IP67 protection
Last Updated: April 16, 2020