Apple Launches New $399 iPhone SE With 4.7-Inch LCD Display, A13 Chip, and Touch ID

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Apple has today announced the launch of a second-generation iPhone SE featuring a 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display, A13 Bionic chip, Touch ID and a single 12-megapixel camera.

Although visually similar to the iPhone 8 and sharing the same physical dimensions, the new iPhone SE features some upgraded internals to the iPhone 8 (which has been discontinued today). Probably the most notable of the upgrades is the A13 Bionic chip introduced with iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

According to Six Colors, the camera is also an upgrade to that seen in the iPhone 8:

that single-camera system does boast new features, including both Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting effects. Previously, that functionality has been limited to devices that feature more than one camera. Reading between the lines of Apple’s release, it suggests that it relies even more on the computational photography features, suggesting the A13 chip is doing a lot of heavy lifting here.

The iPhone SE also has extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps, a feature not offered by the iPhone 8 and earlier (though still less than the iPhone 11 series, which can handle that range for up to 60 fps), and offers stereo recording for video.

Another change from the iPhone 8, is that the SE drops 3D Touch in favor of the newer Haptic Touch found on the iPhone 11 series.

The new iPhone SE offers wireless-charging with Qi-certified chargers and also supports fast-charging (making it capable of up to 50 percent charge in just 30 minutes).

The iPhone SE supports Wi-Fi 6 and Gigabit-class LTE. It also offers Dual SIM via eSIM, which enables you to have two separate phone numbers on a single device.

Another change that the new iPhone SE has that brings it in line with other newer iPhone models, is that it drops the headphone jack found on the previous generation iPhone SE. This may be a regression for some, although Apple does include Lightning equipped headphones in the box.

The new iPhone SE will be available for pre-order on Friday, April 17. At launch it is available in three colors - black, white and (PRODUCT)RED.

Pricing starts at $399 in the United States for the 64GB model.

Let us know in the comments what you think of the new iPhone SE. Will you be ordering one? Will you miss the smaller form factor of the previous iPhone SE? Or is it all about getting many of the latest iPhone features at a $399 price point?

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Submitted by Luke on Saturday, May 23, 2020

My new iPhone SE 2020 just showed up and sadly I'm experiencing the same battery performance as some others have mentioned. However, this may be because I had Hey Siri activated, a feature known to drain battery life and something I had disabled on my iPhone 8. I've turned that off and the battery drainage already seems to have slowed. We'll see how it goes tomorrow, the first full day with Hey Siri disabled. I hope this resolves it.
If there are performance improvements from the better processor of the SE as compared to my iPhone 8, I haven'te noticed anything earth shattering yet. So far, I fear I've spent several hundred dollars just for a repeat of a phone I already had, including lousy battery life. I'm still within my return period so I'll decide if I'm keeping it or not after seeing how the battery life fairs over the next couple days.
Having a bit of buyer's remorse here. Would like to hear from other SE owners what makes it so much more special than the iPhone 8. Maybe I just haven't encountered its real advantage yet in the couple days I've owned it.

The first battery cycle is worse than it will become. The phone has a lot of work to do setting up things in the background. Also, letting it run down to calibrate it is not a bad idea, either. The reason to get a SE over an iPhone 8 is that it’s still being sold, and for $50 less than the eight was. Otherwise, every new processor claims to be lightning fast. I think it’s been a while since we’ve noticed a difference for daily tasks. what mainly happens is the new iOS versions stop taking the older processors into account, and they become more and more sluggish with newer versions. buy a phone when you need a new phone. I’ve stopped waiting for them to be more than what the last one was. what concerns me most about the battery is that with the old SE it was barely enough power to actually run the phone. So, when the battery fell below brand new status, it started shutting down randomly. You can find several threads about that on here. If that’s the case with the new SC, that’s what will limit its longevity. Otherwise, it’s obviously not going to be stellar like the 11 or the XR, both of which are larger batteries.

Submitted by Luke on Friday, June 12, 2020

First, I'm just gonna say it -- the battery life is extremely disappointing for a brand new phone. This thing dies about as quickly as my iPhone 8 which I've had since those were released. That's not good. Granted, it's not the end of the world and I'm seldom without access to an outlet for charging, especially in these quarantine times, but it's still a real ding against the SE 2020.
On the other hand, I do at least appreciate the doubled storage. I went from 64gb on the 8 to 128gb on the SE so that alone was probably worth it.
I haven't tried any CPU intensive tasks on the SE yet so still can't comment on what difference, if any, the better processor is making.
I needed a new phone, and this was inexpensive, so overall I don't regret the purchase, but the battery life is a major weak point that I urge others to consider before deciding to pull the trigger.