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Apple iPhone SE (2020) is Here, but is it Worth It?

Staff Writer / 28-05-2020 / Reviews

Apple’s main goal with the release of the new iPhone SE in 2020 is to break into the mid-tier market, which has been dominated by other tech giants like Samsung and Huawei in recent years. Except for the previous SE, all Apple iPhones to date have been targeted to the high-end market who want the latest, flagship devices with all the bells and whistles. The iPhone SE is basically an iPhone 8 on steroids, but are the trade-offs worth the lower price tag?

OPERATING SYSTEM

The iPhone SE will ship with Apple’s iOS 13 operating system and will be upgradeable to newer versions of the OS for at least the next four to five years, giving the phone a longer lifespan.

DISPLAY

The new internals are encased in a familiar design of the iPhone 8, with a few marginal differences. You get a 4.7-inch Retina IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen at a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. It’s pretty small by today’s standards, but for people who long for the good old days of a phone you can operate with one hand, this is definitely going to scratch that itch.

HARDWARE

The iPhone SE is dust and water-resistant with a rating of IP67, giving it a maximum exposure of one metre for up to 30 minutes.

Under the hood is an A13 Bionic Chip and 3GB RAM, making it a pretty powerful device for the price. In fact, it’s basically the internals of the iPhone 11 crammed into a slightly improved iPhone 8 case.

BATTERY AND CHARGING

The iPhone SE features QI wireless charging, with up to 50% charge in 30 minutes with an 18W adapter or higher. However, don’t expect the 1821 mAh battery to last a full day with heavy use. In general, the iPhone SE delivers up to 14 hours of talk time, 12 hours of internet use, 13 hours of video playback and 40 hours of audio playback.

CAMERAS

The iPhone SE features a single lens 12MP wide rear camera with digital zoom up to 5x and portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control. The front “selfie” camera is a 7MP shooter with retina flash.

You also get 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps, 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps, and 720p HD video recording at 30 fps.

The extended dynamic range for video is up to 30 fps. It also offers optical image stabilisation, 3x digital zoom and slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps.

STORAGE AND SPACE

The SE comes with three storage options: 64GB, 128GB and 256GB without, of course, the capability to add more memory.

COMPARISON

Apple manufactured the iPhone SE 2020 as a follow-up to its popular 2016 version. For years, Android phone manufacturers enjoyed the benefits of the mid-tier smartphone category, with Apple largely uninterested in competing until now.

VERDICT

The bottom line is that Apple created the 2020 version of the iPhone SE to grab some of the lucrative mid-tier smartphone market share and allow people to join the Apple ecosystem at a fairly reasonable price, which is awesome.

If you’ve been wanting to get an iPhone but couldn’t justify the high price, this is your chance. Just keep in mind that the device is much smaller than current competitors on the market, but if that’s not an issue for you, the SE offers a high-quality iPhone experience.

RELEASE DATE

This nifty device from Apple is already available for sale to South Africans.

TECH NEWS

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