The 2nd-gen iPhone SE brings back the smaller, more affordable iPhone

Say hello to the 2nd-gen iPhone SE for 2020, arriving more than four years after the original but with the same thinking behind it: to add a smaller, more affordable model to the iPhone line.

Like the 2016 iPhone SE, the new edition wraps a top-of-the-range Apple chip – in this case the A13 Bionic processor found inside the latest iPhone 11 models – in a design that’s rather retro. The Home button is retained, so there’s no Face ID here, and the iPhone SE 2020 looks very much like an iPhone 8.

The screen is a compact 4.7 inches in size, so it’s straight away one of the smallest phones on the market at the moment, and around the back of the handset is a single lens 12-megapixel camera.

Apple says the optics inside the single-lens rear camera are good enough to provide support for Portrait mode and various other depth effects, but it’s clear that the camera is one area where you lose out compared to the higher-end iPhone models – there’s no optical zoom here, for example.

“The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price,” Apple senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller said in a press statement. “The new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way – including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos – while still being very affordable.”

The iPhone SE uses the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 models
The iPhone SE uses the same A13 Bionic chip as the iPhone 11 models


It’s worth emphasizing that the new iPhone SE will run the same iOS 13 software as the iPhone 11 models, so it’ll be able to do just about everything that the more expensive iPhones will be able to – just in a smaller, cheaper package.

Wireless charging has been added to the new iPhone SE too, and it’s IP67 rated for water and dust resistance (enough to last for 30 minutes under a meter or a little over 3 feet of water). Battery life is good for 13 hours of local video playback, Apple says.

With the smartphone market as competitive as ever, it makes sense for Apple to relaunch one of its most popular and affordable handsets. Even if the profit margins are lower, it should be able to tempt more users into the Apple ecosystem who would have otherwise been priced out of an iPhone purchase.

Pre-orders open on April 17 with shipping scheduled for April 24, and pricing starts at US$399 for the 64 GB model, with more storage available if you’re willing to pay for it. Black, white and red are your color choices.

Product page: iPhone SE

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