Today, Apple announced the return of the iPhone SE with a new (but old) design that resembles the iPhone 8. The phone has a 4.7-inch display and features Apple's A13 processor—the same found in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro introduced late last year.
The iPhone SE will start at $399 in the US, with preorders starting on April 17 and the first shipments going out April 24.
Like the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE has edges made of aluminum and both a glass front and back, and it supports wireless charging via Qi-certified chargers; Apple claims you can get up to 50-percent charge in about 30 minutes by this method. Unlike all the iPhones introduced last year, the SE features Touch ID via a home button as its authentication method rather than those devices' Face ID, as this phone does not have the front-facing TrueDepth sensor array.
The key difference from the iPhone 8 is the inclusion of Apple's A13 Bionic chip, which is the latest currently offered for the iPhone lineup (though that will almost certainly change later this year). It's one of the fastest CPU and GPU combinations available in smartphones right now, and it also has a significant emphasis on machine learning, with Apple's 8-core Neural Engine, which the company says is capable of 5 trillion operations per second. In tandem with other A13 components, the Neural Engine is used to power features like photo processing and search on the device.
As noted, the display measures at 4.7-inches, and there is plenty of bezel to go around. The screen's resolution is 1334×750, putting it at 326 pixels per inch, and Apple claims an impressive 1400:1 typical contrast ratio and 625 nits of brightness. This phone supports Apple's True Tone feature.
In terms of wireless connectivity, the iPhone SE offers "gigabit-class" LTE and Wi-Fi 6, as well as Bluetooth 5. Like other modern iPhones, it supports dual eSIM, which allows users to have multiple phone numbers on the same device.
The iPhone SE is rated IP67 for splash, water, and dust resistance. Battery life is rated at up to 13 hours for downloaded video playback (eight hours streamed) and up to 40 hours for audio playback. And no, there's no headphone jack—you're unlikely to see that again in an iPhone, even at the low end.
The dimensions are 5.45 inches (138.4mm) by 2.65 inches (67.3mm) by 0.29 inches (7.3mm), and the phone weighs 5.22 ounces (148 grams). It's worth noting that this iPhone 8-like size is still much larger than the iPhone SE that Apple stopped shipping a couple of years ago, so consumers who were hoping for a return to that compact design will be disappointed.
And then there's the rear camera; this is where higher-end iPhones have a significant advantage. The iPhone SE has a single 12-megapixel, f/1.8 aperture wide-angle camera. It is also capable of recording 4K video at 60 frames per second, or at 30fps with Apple's extended dynamic range feature, which is similar to HDR. It also supports QuickTake, a feature Apple introduced to iPhones just last year that allows you to hold your finger down on the shutter button to take a short video, then release it to end the video capture.
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