Apple announced a new iPhone SE – the most affordable smartphone in its lineup – during an event broadcast from its Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino, California. The event also saw the secret technology company announce a faster iPad Aira brand new color for iPhone 13 and 13 Proand a Mac Studio with the most powerful processor that Apple never did.
The new model, the third to launch under the iPhone SE (Special Edition) banner, arrives with faster performance, support for 5G downloads and an improved camera.
The iPhone SE is an outlier in the Apple Store because it’s one of the few devices still available with the trademark circular home button. While the other available iPhone models sport the same all-screen design, where the touchscreen bleeds to the edge of the chassis, and the Face ID facial recognition system to unlock and authenticate payments… the iPhone SE sticks with the Touch ID fingerprint reader built into the home button. You’ll need to hold your finger on the button to unlock the device, sign in to secure apps, like banking software, and authenticate contactless payments through Apple Pay.
Of course, that home button takes up valuable space on the design. So while the iPhone 13 mini – with a smaller footprint – manages to squeeze a 5.4-inch screen into its frame, the iPhone SE only includes a 4.7-inch screen. It’s still a Retina HD display, which means at normal viewing distance you won’t be able to make out the individual pixels. That screen is protected by Ceramic Shield – the same tempered glass that protects the £999 iPhone 13 Pro.
Speaking of similarities with the more expensive iPhone models, the third generation iPhone SE is powered by the same A15 Bionic chipset.
It’s the the fastest performance you can currently get from any handset in the Apple Store. Those upgrading from an older handset are sure to see faster loading times and smooth multitasking between apps. Fast-paced, graphics-intensive video games will feel smooth, and you’ll be able to switch between apps without seeing any lag.
Along with faster performance, the A15 Bionic also brings some photography improvements, including better separation between subject and background in Portrait mode. You’ll also be able to use Portrait Lighting and Photographic Styles, which lets you tweak the chemistry to tune all Camera app images to your liking – for example, whether you prefer warmer or cooler photos. It’s not a filter, but it makes permanent changes to how Apple treats your photos as soon as you press the shutter button.
Apple says the efficiency of the more modern A15 Bionic also improves battery life. Two hours of extra battery life for video playback has been added with the new chipset compared to the second generation iPhone SE. Apple has also added 5G, the latest mobile network technology that unlocks download speeds around 5 times faster than the average UK home broadband speed, to the third-generation iPhone SE.
The new iPhone SE is available in Midnight, Starlight and Product (Red).
“iPhone SE has been an incredibly popular choice with our existing users and new iPhone customers, thanks to its iconic design, exceptional performance and affordability. This year, we built the most iPhone SE powerful and longest lasting yet, with better battery life thanks to A15 Bionic, the same chip as our iPhone 13 range that also unlocks advanced camera features like Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles and Deep Fusion,” said Kaiann Drance, Apple vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing. “And with 5G, iPhone SE gives users faster downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, interactivity in real time in applications, and much more. Delivering the latest generation of technology and performance at this price point is something only Apple can do.
For those who prefer iOS to Android, the iPhone SE is a great way to enjoy this mobile operating system without paying the £779 it takes to buy an iPhone 13 or £999 for an iPhone 13 Pro. Although it may have an older industrial design – the chassis used for the second and third generation iPhone SE first appeared with the iPhone 8 line in September 2017 – it can still access the millions of apps and games in the App Store. It can also be used with Apple’s popular subscription services.
With iPhone SE, you’ll be able to listen to the millions of songs available in Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio with Apple Music, free magazines with Apple News+, home workout classes included with Apple Fitness+, free exclusive video games that come with Apple Arcade and box sets, documentaries and movies available with Apple TV+. Apple One is an Amazon Prime equivalent that bundles a number of these subscriptions into one monthly subscription, with a discount applied.
Out of the box, the iPhone SE comes pre-installed with iOS 15. This includes a number of improvements, including dedicated profiles for work, focus, and sleep that change which notifications will show on the screen. . These can be customized, with users able to add as many profiles as they want for different scenarios. Background blur can now be added behind the subject during FaceTime calls. SharePlay, which allows users to remotely watch movies and listen to songs together, is also available with iPhone SE.
Of course, the iPhone SE also offers an inexpensive way to unlock Apple’s ecosystem of accessories, including the critically acclaimed Apple Watch to track fitness and vital stats, Apple AirTags to track keys, bags and wallets, and AirPods. , AirPods Pro and AirPods Max.
Apple’s all-new iPhone SE will be available for pre-order on Friday, March 11, with the first handsets starting to ship on March 18. It will be available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models, starting at £419. Apple will launch a number of trade-in deals later this week, with customers returning an older device able to get the iPhone SE for as little as £17.45 a month.