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Apple releases new iPhone SE – its cheapest smartphone yet

The new iPhone SE packs the iPhone 11 processor into an iPhone 8 body, with a price tag that matches the iPhone SE from 2016.

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Apple has release the cheapest iPhone it has ever launched, at $399. For perspective, its previous budget device, the iPhone XR, released for $750.

The second-generation of the iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch LCD with Touch ID in a form factor that many would recognise today. Although the format is a bit dated, it gives more users a chance to participate in the secure, easy-to-use iOS environment.

Apart from the aesthetics, the insides match those of Apple flagships. It features the A13 Bionic chip, found in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro devices, which means it can handle the most intense apps and games on the App Store.

Built for efficiency, the A13 Bionic also enables great battery life on the device. The iPhone SE is wireless-charging capable with Qi-certified chargers, and also supports 18W fast-charging, giving a charge of up to 50 percent charge in 30 minutes.

This strong processor is complemented by a powerful camera, which unlocks the benefits of computational photography for great looking portrait mode photos – without the need for a secondary camera.

A woman photographed with the new iPhone SE.
Image taked with iPhone SE (2020)

The rear camera is a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture Wide lens, and uses the image signal processor to unlock even more benefits of computational photography, including Portrait mode and Depth Control. It supports high-quality video capture at 4K up to 60fps, and extended dynamic range comes to iPhone SE for more highlight details up to 30fps. Using machine learning and monocular depth estimation, the iPhone SE also takes portraits with the front camera.

Lightning-fast download speeds are promised with Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit-class LTE. Dual SIM with eSIM provides the flexibility for users to have two separate phone numbers on a single device while traveling abroad or for use as a business line.

The display supports Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback, while still including Apple’s True Tone technology, which adjusts the white balance to match the ambient light for a more natural, paper-like viewing experience. It’s also water- and dust-resistant with an IP67 rating for water resistance up to 1 meter for 30 minutes.

Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said: “The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price. The new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable.

“The iPhone SE features the industry-leading performance of A13 Bionic that enables great battery life, takes stunning Portrait mode and Smart HDR photos, shoots amazing videos with stereo audio, is great for games and super-fast web surfing, and is built with the same industry-leading security features our customers expect.”

iPhone SE in black, white and (PRODUCT)RED.

It comes in three colours: black, white and red; and will be available for pre-order in the US from Friday, 17 April.

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