New iPhone SE – Is It Worth the Price Tag?

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In 2016, Apple released the first generation iPhone SE as a way to offer a smaller form factor than the iPhone 6, while still offering consumers an upgrade from the iPhone 5S. It was also marketed as a more affordable option for people that wanted an iPhone without paying the price asked for the standard models. 

With the subsequent launches of the iPhone 7, 8, X, XR, and XS, Apple has not launched a new budget version of its handset since. In fact, it was still selling the original iPhone SE on its website into 2019, with the device getting a price cut to $249 in February 2019 to clear the last of the company’s stock. 

This all changed though in 2020 when Tim Cook announced a second generation to be released on 24th April. 

iPhone SE (2nd Generation) Tech Specs

Apple hasn’t reinvented the wheel with the new iPhone SE; the new handset contains much of the same hardware as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. It uses the same Apple A13 Bionic Processor with six cores which Apple has named “Thunder” and “Lightning”.

The Lightning cores run faster than the Thunder cores, running at 2.66 GHz and 1.82 GHz respectively. This gives the iPhone SE the ability to use the lower-powered cores for mundane tasks, but it also has the ability to use the high performance when it’s necessary. 

The SE will reportedly have less memory though, with 3GB instead of the 4GB found in the iPhone 11 models. However, it’s likely this will still be plenty for anyone looking for a budget iPhone.

The CPU can also outsource some of its work to the M13 motion coprocessor, a separate chip used to crunch the numbers that come from the compass, accelerometers and gyroscopes in the device. Graphis is also offloaded to a separate quad-core GPU. 

Screen Size

At 4.7 inches, the iPhone SE 2nd generation has one of the smallest screens on the market today. It’s significantly smaller than the 6.5-inch screen of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, but it’s still bigger than the original iPhone SE.

Will iPhone SE Be Good for Gaming?

While there are some better Android devices for gamers, the SE will compare well with the iPhone 11 since they both share the same Apple A13 Bionic processor. This means the iPhone SE will be a great option for playing everything from card games at PokerStars to graphics-intense games like Modern Combat 5

The major drawback for gaming on the iPhone SE will be the smaller screen. While this may not be an issue for some, it will have its biggest effect in battle royale and shoot’em up type games where having more screen real estate can make the difference between life and death.

iPhone SE Camera

The new iPhone SE will have just one camera on the back, similar to the cameras in the iPhone 8 and XR. It will be capable of recording 1080p HD video at up to 60 fps, but won’t be capable of recording in 4K. 

The front camera will also be able to record in 1080p, but only at 30 fps. Neither camera will support Night Mode which improves taking photos and video in the dark. 

The Price

In the US, the new iPhone SE will retail from $399. The largest model that has 256GB of storage will be sold for $549. These are significant discounts on the $699 starting price of the iPhone 11 and the top price of $1,449 for the iPhone 11 Pro Max with 512GB of storage. 

Is it Worth the Price?

The new iPhone SE is priced as an entry-level device and is designed to appeal to those that aren’t interested in having the most cutting edge hardware in their pocket.

You can get more powerful Android devices for the same money. For example, the brand new OnePlus 8 has a starting price of $699. For that, you get a larger screen and a much more powerful camera, as well as more processing power. 

It’s also important to remember that the new iPhone SE will not have an edge-to-edge display, Face ID, or gesture navigation. If you’re not bothered and you want an iPhone but for less money, then the SE could be a good option.