- Apple’s new iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen and starts at $US400, making it the company’s smallest and least expensive smartphone.
- It lacks some modern features like facial recognition and a triple-lens camera, but could appeal to those looking for a small, budget-friendly phone.
- Those who prefer Face ID over Touch ID and don’t want to sacrifice the home button may also be interested in the iPhone SE.
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Apple just announced a brand-new iPhone, called the iPhone SE, a $US400 device that looks almost exactly like the iPhone 8, but with the guts of the iPhone 11.
It’s a rare move for Apple; the last time the company released a $US400 iPhone was back in 2016 with the original SE, which retained the iPhone 5’s design and had the processing power of the iPhone 6S.
You may be wondering why Apple is launching a new iPhone in 2020 that looks like one of its phones from 2018. But launching a cheap device like the iPhone SE – now the company’s most affordable smartphone – is a necessary move for Apple, as rivals like Samsung, Google, and others continue to release compelling, low-cost options. It could also help Apple expand its footprint in emerging markets where less expensive models are more popular.
If a low price and portability are your highest priorities, the new iPhone SE is certainly worth considering. It may lack several of the features found on Apple’s iPhone 11 and even the $US600 iPhone XR, but if you don’t mind making some technical sacrifices, the iPhone SE may be the right choice.
Here’s a closer look at who this $US400 iPhone is for.
People who don’t want to spend a lot of money
The most obvious reason to opt for the iPhone SE over Apple’s other models is its price. At $US400, it’s $US200 cheaper than the $US600 iPhone XR, $US300 cheaper than the $US700 iPhone 11, and $US600 cheaper than the $US1,000 iPhone 11 Pro.
Data suggests there’s demand for less expensive smartphones. The iPhone XR was the most popular smartphone in the world in the third quarter of 2019, according to Counterpoint Research. A study from NPD Group found in 2019 that only 10% of consumers were paying more than $US1,000 for their smartphones.
The iPhone SE could also be an ideal option for parents looking for an inexpensive iPhone to purchase for their child for the first time.
People upgrading from older iPhone models
If you love your iPhone 6S but are struggling with slow performance after nearly five years of use, the iPhone SE might be a good choice for you.
The iPhone SE is about the same size as the iPhone 6S. But it comes with a range of improvements compared to that phone, including:
- A higher resolution front-facing camera
- Apple’s newest chip, the A13 Bionic
- A more durable glass and aluminium design that’s water resistant
- More storage capacity at the base level
- Wireless charging
- The Portrait Mode camera feature
Of course, you’ll have to sacrifice your headphone jack and instead opt for wireless earbuds or the Lightning EarPods that come in the box.
If you have anything newer than an iPhone 7, the iPhone SE probably isn’t for you. It’s too similar to the iPhone 8 to justify a $US400 upgrade.
The bottom line is: If you’re comfortable with your iPhone 6 or 6S but are in need of an upgrade, the iPhone SE could be the right fit.
People who don’t want a large phone
Finding a smartphone with a screen smaller than five inches is a difficult, if not impossible, task. But if you’re looking for something that’s more compact than most of the iPhones and Android phones available today, the iPhone SE is worth checking out.
At 5.22 ounces and 0.29 inches thin, it’s lighter and slimmer than the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
And of course, it’s shorter and less wide, too: the iPhone SE measures 5.45″ by 2.65″, while the iPhone 11’s dimensions are 5.94” by 2.98” and the iPhone 11 Pro’s are 5.67” by 2.81”. That may not sound like a huge discrepancy, but it’s noticeable when holding the phones.
People who don’t want to give up the home button
The iPhone SE is the only iPhone Apple currently sells that still has a home button. If keeping the home button is a priority, the SE is the model you’d want to consider.
Apple’s newest iPhones no longer have a button and instead require you to navigate back to the home screen by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. It’s a simple gesture, but one that does take some getting used to if you’re switching to a home button-less iPhone for the first time.
Eliminating the home button has brought some benefits, however. Apple has been able to eliminate the bezels on more recent iPhone models and expand the size of the screen without making the phone too much larger. The first iPhone to have this new design was the iPhone X in 2017.
People who prefer Touch ID over Face ID
If you don’t like the idea of unlocking your iPhone with your face and would prefer to stick with Touch ID, the iPhone SE is your only option.
Face ID allows you to unlock your iPhone and authenticate Apple Pay purchases by scanning your face. It’s available on the iPhone X and later, and it works by projecting and analysing more than 30,000 invisible dots to create a depth map of your face. Apple has also touted Face ID’s security, saying that the chances of a random person unlocking your iPhone by looking at it are about one in 1 million.
But if you still prefer Touch ID – perhaps you find it more convenient than having to lift up your phone to look at it each time you want to unlock it – you may be pleased with the iPhone SE.