Apple has revealed the second-generation iPhone SE, a new and more affordable option that packages modern specs in a familiar design. Long-rumored, the replacement to the original iPhone SE picks up its strategy: combine an older – and in many cases much-loved – chassis, fill it with more current hardware and camera, and then slap on a relatively affordable price tag.
In this case, the new iPhone SE will start from $399, significantly undercutting the iPhone 11. Of course, you’ll also sacrifice some functionality and specs from the 2019 midrange phone.
Outwardly, the 2020 iPhone SE looks like the iPhone 8. That means a 4.7-inch Retina HD display and a separate Touch ID button that doubles as a home button. Inside, there’s the Apple A13 Bionic chipset, just as you get in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.
On the back, there’s a single camera. That has a 12-megapixel sensor and an f/1.8 aperture lens, and supports things like Portrait mode and the six Portrait Lighting effects. It’ll also support Depth Control, together with a new Smart HDR system for better balancing light and dark sections of the scene.
For video, there’s up to 4K 60fps recording from the rear camera. There’s also extended dynamic range support at up to 30fps. Quick Take video is offered as well, in addition to on the front selfie camera that also supports Portrait mode.
Apple will be offering three finishes for the new iPhone SE: black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED. All will be made from aluminum and glass, with an all-black front. The phone is water- and dust-resistant, with an IP67 rating. That means it can survive a dunk in up to 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.
The Retina HD display includes True Tone, for automatically balancing its white balance according to the ambient light conditions. There’s also Dolby Vision and HDR10 playback support. Haptic Touch for Quick Actions is included as well.
As you’d hope, there’s Qi wireless charging. With a wired charger, meanwhile, fast charging support means up to a 50-percent charge in 30 minutes, Apple claims. WiFi 6 is onboard, together with Gigabit LTE – though no 5G; we’re expecting that from Apple’s flagship iPhone 12 launch later in the year – and there’s Dual SIM with a physical slot and eSIM as well.
The iPhone SE will be offered with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of storage. It’s priced at $399 for the entry-level model, $449 for the 128GB, or $549 for the 256GB version. There’ll be versions for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon, as well as unlocked sales through Apple direct. Anyone who buys an iPhone SE will get a year of Apple TV+ too.
Preorders open from 5am PDT on Friday, April 17. Apple says that shipments of the new iPhone SE will kick off from Friday, April 24.