Apple has officially unveiled its iPhone SE (2020), the long-rumoured budget handset update once called "iPhone 9" by leakers. Now we're in the era of the iPhone 11, the iPhone SE comes with all the bells and whistles that make modern-day Apple handsets great, in a pocket-sized package with a price to match.
Ideal for Apple fans with tighter wallets, the iPhone SE is going on pre-order tomorrow, Friday 17 April, starting from just £419. Considering the specs and state-of-the-art equipment going into the phone, it's set to pack a punch far beyond its little price point.
iPhone SE: Design and display
Let's start with the size. The iPhone SE packs a 4.7" display, larger than the original 4" iPhone SE but certainly smaller than any new iPhone released in years. The display is a Retina HD, which is a rough term wielded with abandonment by Apple, but we know it contains at least 326 pixels per inch.
True Tone automatically adjusts the screen's brightness settings and white balance to match the ambient light, picked up by the selfie camera sensor. It's not a patch on the biggest and best displays from premium handsets such as OnePlus 8 Pro and Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, but it's not competing in their weight class.
The case is comprised of aluminium, with curved corners and an IP68 water and dust-proof protection. The home button makes a reappearance, with Touch ID incorporated. If you've not noticed a common threat in the design yet, think of the iPhone 8 with updated specs, waterproofing and a better camera. That's the phone.
iPhone SE: Specs and Camera
Despite its small size, the iPhone SE is packing a powerful chipset. The A13 Bionic, the same chip used in the iPhone 11 series, is set to handle anything the SE can throw at it. Capable of five trillion operations per second, the A13 is said to extend battery life by improving the phone's efficiency during everyday tasks. The mAh battery count hasn't been released, but the phone supports 18W charging and wireless charging, although it's set to arrive with just a 5W charger.
A single-lens 12MP wide-angle camera is mounted on the phone, said to be "the best single-camera iPhone ever". It's not a patch on the iPhone 11 series, but again, such comparisons are unfair given this phone is aimed at a different slice of the market.
Combined with the A13 and IOS13, Apple's new camera can reproduce a lot of the modes available on Apple's more advanced handsets, such as six different portrait modes and depth control. The camera can even record in 4K, which is great news at this price point, along with OIS and "cinematic" stabilisation. A 7MP selfie camera completes the array.
The phone will arrive with 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage, and will support dual-SIMs (although the second one will have to be eSIM).
The bottom line is simply this: you'll be getting a cheap phone that incorporates some flagship-level modern iPhone features into the iPhone 8 chassis. It's a cool new addition to Apple's modern range, and it shows the company is dedicated to making phones for its entire range of customers rather than waiting for its handsets to filter down over time.
Interested in snapping up the iPhone SE at launch? Stay tuned: We'll post all the juicy pre-order details and links when they land in the UK tomorrow.