After four years of anticipation and speculation in recent months that the iPhone SE 2 would be a work of fiction, the original iPhone SE which was released back in 2016 has finally received an upgrade. Previously, the announcement date was penciled in for the 31st of March 2020, but due to the pandemic, the day has passed and no successor to the original iPhone SE was launched. The rumour mill went quiet until tech analyst Jon Prosser spilled the beans on his Twitter account, citing the Apple HQ meeting and sharing that the announcement date will be on the 14th of April. Not long after, the iPhone SE became official.
Apple chose to add the iPhone SE to its product offering via an update their official website and a press release instead of an online launch event. We’re not judging, as Apple likes to do things differently. Let’s discuss the improvements that the second-generation iPhone SE features, as well as pricing and release news.
A Familiar Design in a Pocket-Friendly Size
We’re living in the era of smartphone screens creeping over 6.5 inches, and the new iPhone SE proves that good phones don’t need to be big glass slabs. The second-generation iPhone features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display which Apple says offers incredible color accuracy, and supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback.
The design has a few refreshes, but ultimately mimics the iPhone 8 which has now been discontinued. The back of the phone looks clean and only features a repositioned Apple logo and a single rear camera. On the front, there are relatively thick bezels and the bottom bezel houses the Touch ID feature which is made using sapphire crystal for extra durability and protection. Yes, Apple brought back the home button in 2020 which many might argue is more convenient than the Face ID technology featured on iPhones starting from iPhone X. The iPhone SE has an IP67 certification, so as long as you dip it in water and pick it up quickly, it won’t get any water damage.
Processing Power of Apple-designed A13
Affordable doesn’t mean low performance. Apple decided to be generous and installed their most innovative chipset, the A13 Bionic, which powers the iPhone 11 series, which means that the iPhone SE will withstand anything you throw at it. The A13 chipset enables the iPhone SE to run efficiently, produce great photos, charge wirelessly and run AR experiences, games and the most demanding apps. The new iPhone SE also supports fast charging at 18W which can be enjoyed with a separately purchased adapter and will deliver up to 50 percent of charge in 30 minutes. Apple didn’t disclose the size of the battery, but the battery life is similar to the iPhone 8 which had a 1,821 mAh battery.
The Camera Won’t Let You Down
The 12MP six-element wide camera lens with f/1.8 aperture will be responsible for quality shots. The image signal processor and third generation Neural Engine of A13 Bionic will deliver computational photography benefits such as Smart HDR, Portrait mode with six lighting effects and Depth Control. However, the portrait mode has limitations and will work only if you’re taking a picture of a person.
The camera is equipped with 4K video recording at up to 60fps, autofocus with focus pixels and optical and auto image stabilisation. In addition to the Portrait mode, the camera app features popular modes including up to 63MP panorama and burst mode. On the front, the iPhone SE has a 12MP lens which is capable of shooting bokeh selfies and recording 1080p HD video at 30 fps. The QuickTake feature is also available on both cameras and allows quick video capture while in Photo mode.
How Much Is the iPhone SE 2020?
The original iPhone SE retailed at £379 for the 16GB variant in the UK. Apple have done something unusual and kept the price as low as possible while offering four times more internal storage for the base model. Available from Friday the 24th of April, the iPhone SE with 64GB will cost you £419, and the 128GB is only £50 more and will set you back £469. The 256GB variant is slightly more expensive, but compared to the iPhone 11 it is still very affordable at £569.
Apple iPhone SE comes in three colours: Black, White and PRODUCT (RED). Image: Apple.
With an Apple iPhone traded in, you can save even more. If you’re upgrading from the original iPhone SE, you can save up to £42 if it is in working condition. An iPhone 6S Plus will save you up to £98 toward your new iPhone SE. Our merchants are willing to pay up to £130 for an iPhone 7 in working condition and if you decided that the new iPhone SE is a better fit for you than your current iPhone 8, you can trade it in for up to £215.
Is the iPhone SE 2020 Worth It?
It absolutely is. The upgraded iPhone SE is a long-awaited device that packs affordability, quality and steps up to the level of Apple’s flagship iPhone 11 series. For as much as the iPhone 11 costs, you can get a brand new iPhone SE, Airpods and an Apple Watch Series 3. If this doesn’t translate into the most value for your money, we don’t know what will. The new iPhone SE which is basically an iPhone 11 inside an iPhone 8 has a few compromises in terms of camera and display technology, but it offers more than it lacks for the lowest price we’ve seen from Apple in years.
Cover image: Apple