Should You Buy the New iPhone SE?

Four iPhone SE phones. Text reads, the 2020 iPhone SE: the value king?

On April 15, 2020, Apple introduced the second generation iPhone SE. This long-rumored iPhone was unveiled without much ceremony via a press release, and it’s now the cheapest iPhone that you can buy. On paper, it has some compelling features that demand a second look from anyone who is looking to upgrade their device, but it this the iPhone you have been waiting for? Is this the new value king in the smartphone market? Let’s find out.

Design

The original iPhone SE was launched in 2016. It was essentially an iPhone 6S in the body of the smaller iPhone 5S. It had a 4-inch screen and, by all accounts, it was more popular than even Apple anticipated. However, it never saw any meaningful updates until this month. The 2020 iPhone SE is based on the body of an iPhone 8. This was another very popular design for Apple, and it means it now comes with a bigger screen.

The 2020 iPhone SE is still the smallest iPhone you can buy, but it has grown to include a 4.7-inch screen. It has a familiar look, and will work with cases that were designed for the iPhone 8, so there are plenty to choose from. The new iPhone SE is available in red, white or black.

Technology

The A13 processor in the 2020 iPhone SE is the same processor that Apple put in their newest devices, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. That means that this phone is fast, but it also means it will likely continue to get iOS updates for at least the next four or five years.

However, in order to keep the unit price low, the second generation iPhone SE has Touch ID instead of Face ID. If you already use a Touch ID phone, this will be very familiar, but for those using Face ID, it is probably going to be a step backwards, if only because of those chunkier bezels around the screen.

The 2020 iPhone SE comes with 64GB of storage, but is available with 128GB or 256GB if needed. It is water resistant to a depth of one meter for 30 minutes, and has a battery that is on par with the iPhone 8. The new iPhone SE supports wireless charging as well as fast charging with an 18W adapter.

iPhone SE with a character from a game holding a sword on the screen
Source: Apple

Camera

The camera configuration in the new iPhone SE is similar to what you will find in the 2018 iPhone XR. There is only one lens on the back of the phone, but it does include Apple’s Portrait mode (for human subjects) and Portrait Lighting with six effects, (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High‑Key Mono). There rear camera is a 12MP sensor, and a 7MP sensor is used on the front. The iPhone SE can record 4K video at up to 60fps, it supports the new QuickTake video mode, and includes optical stabilization for both photo and video.

Price

The new iPhone SE is available for pre-order now, and will be in stores on April 24, 2020. It clearly offers a lot of value for $399, and carriers are already offering tempting incentives to upgrade to the new iPhone. It’s a great entry-level device that competes with Apple’s flagship models for technology and speed. It also comes with a free 12-month subscription to Apple’s TV streaming service, Apple TV Plus. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles you might want in a brand new iPhone, but for the price, there is a lot of value here for those that want it.

Who is the 2020 iPhone SE for?

If a smartphone is not your primary device, you don’t have a lot of money to spend, or you are upgrading from an iPhone 6, 7, or 8 and don’t want to learn the new gestures for Face ID, then the second generation iPhone SE could be just what you need. It could also be a great first iPhone for tweens and teens. For everyone else, there is a little more thinking to do, and it’s probably primarily around the size of the display. Smartphones have grown exponentially over the last few years and for many, myself included, it would be hard to go back to a 4.7-inch screen. What about you?

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