Remember the iPhone SE from 2016? The smaller, lower-cost cousin of the iPhone 5 that could definitely fit in the back pocket of your jeans, no problem? Well, Apple just dropped a new version — and it has pretty much everything the iPhone 11 lineup has, at a way lower price. From its A13 Bionic Chip to its iPhone 11-grade camera and video features, here's everything you need to know about the latest model.
The iPhone 11 made a splash with its A13 Bionic chip, the fastest chip in a smartphone, and the new SE is no different. With this chip, the SE has the fast graphics and performance of the iPhone 11 lineup, a strong battery life, and machine learning capabilities that make it compatible with smart apps and AR experiences. And while it only has a single-rear camera, as compared to the iPhone 11's triple-camera system, it also has many of the same new camera features as the iPhone 11 — including slo-mo, time lapse, high-quality video capture at 4K up to 60fps, Quick Take, Portrait Mode on the front camera, Depth Control, and portrait lighting effects like stage light. The camera's Smart HDR uses shadow and light to better illuminate recognized subjects in the frame.
Like the iPhone 11 lineup, the new SE is made of glass and aluminum, has a Retina HD display, and is water- and dust-resistant. But it's a lot smaller — measuring at 4.7 inches across like the iPhone 8, compared to the 6.1-inch iPhone 11, 5.8-inch iPhone 11 Pro, and 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max. Still, it's bigger than its 4-inch SE predecessor. In terms of hardware, we lost the headphone jack on this one, as is the case for the other members of the iPhone 11 lineup. This new model comes in three colors: black, white and red, and can charge wirelessly with Qi-certified chargers (though it's worth mentioning that Apple itself hasn't yet released a wireless charger of its own).
Unlike the iPhone 11 lineup, the new SE has a home button and uses Touch ID rather than Face ID as its security measure for logging into apps, unlocking the phone, using Apple Pay, and filling in passwords. As such, Apple shared in a video conference this morning that moving forward, the iPhone 8 will be discontinued and replaced by the new SE in the iPhone lineup.
At $399, it's the most inexpensive offering on Apple's lineup, even compared to the iPhone 8's current $449 price tag. Not to mention — it's the same price as the original SE from 2016. You can also get the new SE on a monthly plan of $9.54/month or for $229 with a trade-in of an older model. And considering its starting price is nearly $300 less than the iPhone 11's despite the two models sharing many of the same features, it's a pretty good deal. If you're new to iPhone, or you've been holding out for a more compact device with fewer frills and camera lenses, this one's for you. (As long as you can part with Face ID, and therefore, your Memoji capabilities.) You can preorder it starting Friday, and orders will begin shipping on April 24. Apple is also throwing in a free year of Apple TV+ with the purchase of a new iPhone SE.