A Cheap And Cheerful iPhone
HWM Singapore|May 2020
Apple iPhone SE
Kenny Yeo

At long last, Apple finally has a new entry-level iPhone. The original iPhone SE was introduced in March 2016 and was discontinued about 2.5 years later in September 2018. On paper, the new iPhone SE looks like the result of a parts bin raid. Physically, it’s identical to the iPhone 8; the two can even share phone casings. However, it features the same A13 Bionic processor in the current iPhone 11 series phones. And it has the same camera specs as the iPhone XR.

And then there’s price. Starting at $649, the new iPhone SE is considerably cheaper than the other iPhones in Apple’s stable. The second cheapest iPhone, the iPhone XR, starts at $979 – that’s $330 more. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro starts at $1,149 and $1,649 respectively. This new iPhone SE starts with 64GB, and if you want more storage, the 128GB version is $719 while the 256GB version is $889 – still well under $1,000.

The new iPhone SE comes in three finishes: black, white, and (PRODUCT) RED. Regardless of the finish you pick, they will come with black bezels. Even if you aren’t obsessed with screen-to-body ratios, those bezels are jarring on a phone released in 2020. At a time when even cutprice Android phones can have near bezelless displays, surely Apple can do better?

Fortunately, the build of the phone makes for it. The body is aerospace-grade 7000 series aluminium and the back of the phone is glass. According to Apple, it uses no less than a seven-layer ink process to achieve the final colours on the iPhone SE.

At 4.7-inches, the display is small by today’s standards. Apple calls it a Retina HD display and it has a resolution of 1,334 x 750 pixels. That sounds underwhelming, but with a pixel density of 326 pixels per inch, it’s actually the same as the iPhone XR and the new iPhone 11.

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