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 Dennis Long on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I will purchase it. What is the battery life for talk time?

Submitted by LaBoheme on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

it sounds fine if you've been itching to buy, but there are two things to consider.

new phones will have 5 g, but more importantly, they are said to feature 3d sensing camera in the back.

3d sensing camera is actually a very good camera, unfortunately, apple only uses it for face id and memoji, what a waste, right?

3d sensing camera in the back will enable developers to do some very cool things. if i were you, i'll wait to make a decision. it's only a few months away, so what's the hurry...

Submitted by Luke on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I absolutely love my iPhone 8 and wasn’t thinking of parting with it just yet but this is extremely compelling! Frankly this would be my dream iPhone. I love the form factor of the iPhone 8 but would welcome the added processing power and those new features. I will probably pre-order one of these bad boys. Now important decisions, black or red? I have just enough vision to appreciate that kind of thing still LOL.

Submitted by WellF on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Great features. When I change my se, it will be for this new se. It will be expensive, but not as expensive as a xr or 11.

The depth-sensing camera on the back of the new iPad Pro and upcoming iPhones is a lidar sensor. Currently, Apple is only touting it as a benefit for enhancing AR. This feature is a bit useless for many Voiceover users. Still, some people have reported improved accuracy in the measure app. Fingers crossed it brings some other benefits.

I'm not excited for 5G. Sub-6 5G will be a nice upgrade, and I look forward to my data not getting bogged down in the summer when my city inevitably floods with tourists, but I couldn't give less of a toss when it comes to millimeter-wave 5G. I don't see much benefit in a protocol that needs literally dozens of antennas to cover a large building and gets interrupted by your hand or by rain or by a glass window. Perhaps if you need to download an entire season of a TV show in a few minutes, it would be useful to you. Frankly, all I need, and I suspect this is true for many people, is enough speed to load social media, streaming services, and a handful of other ancillary websites.

That said, I will wait as well. I want a big, chonky, brick of a phone for that multi-day battery life. I'm willing to put up with an overstuffed purse if it means I can Braille comfortably on the thing and not be running on fumes at the end of the day.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

From my understanding the battery is about the same as that of the iPhone 8 which is a huge disapoinent. that is the one factor that would have made me upgrade. Until they improve that, I'm happy with my iPhone 8. there is nothing that doesn't run on it. I don't see the SE as a useful phone for the blind who don't tend toward the graphic intensive apps such as gaming. Save your money, get an iPhone 8 or, as another poster says, wait until the end of the year with the small form factor edge to edge that will hopefully have a good battery as well as interesting applications for the depth sensor.

Submitted by PaulMartz on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Member of the AppleVis Blog Team

I feel the original iPhone SE design is superior to the iPhone 8. The original SE was smaller and lighter, I believe. I'll check these stats. Basing the new iPhone SE on the iPhone 8 design seems like a mistake.

And I'm again frustrated by Apple continuing to force a retina display on blind consumers. We know the retina display commands a higher price, and we can only imagine how much less expensive the new SE would be with the old-style display.

Nonetheless, I do want the new SE. The only thing holding me back is that I need to find a buyer for my enormous, clumsy, heavy iPhone XR first.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

In reply to by PaulMartz

Gotta agree about the old SE. I think the iPhone 5s was peak Apple design. The rounded amunium unibody and current glass sandwich designs are nice but nothing will ever top the 5 and 5s. I tried an SE for about a month. While it was way too small for my comfort, I can absolutely understand the appeal of a small phone. In regards to the retina display, that's sadly a victim of this phone's need for mass appeal. People like shiny, sharp pixels. Still, it's a nice phone.

I'm curious, is it just the size of the XR that makes you want to get rid of it, or is it something else?

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, April 16, 2020

The SE is good, but I'll wait till the 12 comes out. I have the iPhone X, and love the flagship products. For people who can't afford the flagship phones the SE is fine. $399 is compelling if ya wanna buy outright, fine... I personally dislike the 4.7 inch form factor devices. They're sooooooo small!!! I've adopted a slightly bigger device is better. Yes, I have small girly hands, however, the 5.8 inch iPhones that the X, XR, and 11 form factor uses are perfectly fine. Why people like small phones anymore, I'll never understand. We need to move on with the trendiness and not be left in the past! Just my thoughts. And, opinion, nothing more... Dont get in my grill!! lol! Anyway, If the SE appeals to you, good. If not, wait. Nuff said, move along...

Submitted by Holger Fiallo on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Happy with 11 pro max.

Submitted by Marc on Thursday, April 16, 2020

I've read a lot about the fall 2020 line up for iPhone with perhaps 5G phones. It sounds as if all will be high end devices. Has anybody seen rumors about the sizes? Will any of the phones be smaller than 5 inches? The rumored phone that is supposed to be 5.,8" is that the "Pro" model? Is that likely to start around $1000 USD?

Submitted by Clare Page on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hi! As I have small hands and have been using an iPhone 6 since October 2014, this second generation iPhone SE sounds just right for me: I don't know when I will be buying it, but I look forward to getting this iPhone, rather than waiting for the iPhone 12, as I don't want a big phone, I rarely use the camera, and 5G doesn't fill me with excitement. I can understand why some people may feel the new SE is disappointing, but to me it seems like a good upgrade from an iPhone 6, as well as being less expensive than the high-end models. That's just my opinion: each to their own, of course!

Submitted by BlackCat on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Sounds like an excellent choice to upgrade from an 6 or 7 range iPhone. I have the 8Plus for almost 2 years and I don't want to part with it. I like the big phones and it has 2 speakers. I just read on Google News that Apple will discontinue the 8 and 8Plus. Just wonder if updates will still be available?

Submitted by kool_turk on Thursday, April 16, 2020

Updates should still be available, they're just not going to make that model phone anymore.

Submitted by Blackadder on Thursday, April 16, 2020

I have been waiting for this phone for months. I love it. I love the home button. I love the size. I wish the camera was better but other than that it’s the best phone I can get. Since the processor is top notch and the home button is there and the size is great no complaints here. I will pre-order it ASAP.

Submitted by gailisaiah on Thursday, April 16, 2020

I had the old SE. And I really liked the smaller phone especially since I don't use the camera accept in the Voice App to read with. I have the iPhone 8 now. I might upgrade if Verizon would give me a good deal.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Thursday, April 16, 2020

I currently have an iPhone 8, which is serving my needs just fine. i don’t feel the need to upgrade to an SE right now, as my phone is working well, but I hope I can get whatever phone Apple releases in September with 5g and an edge-to-edge display, possibly with an in-screen fingerprint sensor as well. i have difficultly holding iPhones bigger than the 8 but hopefully Apple will release a 5.4-inch edge-to-edge display iPhone which would not only give me more screen real-estate but would fit pockets better (I saw this phone rumored and really hope Apple puts it out.)

Good processor, nice internal space (my se has 32 gb) and the camera is enough for an occasional photo or video recording of a competition or whatever. I'm not making movies with my phone. :D

Submitted by Khushi on Friday, April 17, 2020

well um.. reading it sounds very exciting.. but surely I'm not going to upgrade now. this is because I just purchased my first ever IPhone.. well my dad did.. in may 2019.
I'm sad that 8 is discontinued, though. as i wanted it to be my next.. whenever I upgrade. that said, IPhone 6s is still continuing here in India, though it is no-longer there in other nations. I have 6s only.. but the new chip and the home button sounds amazing.
that said, I won't go for an upgrade now.. its too early for me :)

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Friday, April 17, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

In reply to by Khushi

The new SE is literally a beefed-up iPhone 8. I guess you'll be disappointed if you really like 3D touch though. It'll be a fantastic upgrade when you're ready, though if it's a success then Apple might update it more often than every 4 years.

Submitted by Oliver Kennett on Friday, April 17, 2020

I think there will be two pairs of iPhones at the end of the year, the pros, normal and max and the iPhone 11 and maybe something like and iPhone mini. I imagine a smaller lower cost 11 style device to bridge that gap of people who still want the smaller form factor but don't want the cutting edge cameras or maybe even 5g. You know that to get everything Apple will make you pay through the nose, which is an rumoured new version of Apple Pay.
What would have been amazing is an iPhone SE 1st gen with an edge to edge dispal. Maybe they're will be something little like this later this year in terms of feel as apple are going back to a square edge design, but sure won't have the low price tag.
I like my eight as a form factor, I can use it one handed and I have pretty big hands. The XR or 11 are just too top heavy and clumsy for one handed operation.

Submitted by Big Ben on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Ordered my new SE via the Apple Store app right at launch time which was 10:00 PM AEST last night. The process was seamless and utilising a voucher I got for my birthday recently was incredibly easy. I'm currently a first gen SE user, have had my phone since October 2016 and it hasn't missed a beat (touch wood) but the battery is starting to fail so it's a good time to move on. It'll be somewhat emotional retiring my current little SE which has been with me everywhere and to some exotic places like Kiribati and has operated in tough conditions with unreliable electricity supply and extremely hot and humid weather. Can't wait to put the new phone through its paces and I'm confident it'll be as reliable as my current one. Just a quick question. What case is best suited to the new SE? I believe it's the same as the iPhone 7 or 8 but don't know for sure. I tend to avoid buying cases from the Apple Store itself.

Submitted by Khushi on Saturday, April 18, 2020

well, do let us know of the battery life and other features when you use it :)

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Saturday, April 18, 2020

The iPhone SE should fit iPhone 8 cases, as the chassis and thickness are exactly the same. Cases from the Apple store are very overpriced, so I suggest looking on Amazon for cases made by Speck or even thinner Otterbox ones (Otterbox cases are expensive and bulky for my experience). If you are on a budget cases from Silk will probably serve you well. Note that there are much more comprehensive lists of good cases online from websites like iMore and CNET.

I received my new SE earlier this afternoon, definitely worth the wait! It's very snappy and efficient, quite noticeably faster than my old SE. I've put it through its paces and the battery seems to be holding up well too. Setting up was super easy; just placed my old phone near the new one and within 10 minutes, every setting, every app was present on the new device, totally ready to go. I definitely recommend entering the access code in manually instead of using the camera, thanks to the AppleVis member who recommended that action. While my first iPhone will always be special, I'm really glad I took the plunge and upgraded.

Submitted by Blackadder on Friday, April 24, 2020

Very happy for you. Hope you enjoy it. Watt What version did the new phone come with? Thank you

Submitted by gailisaiah on Friday, April 24, 2020

Hi Big Ben, Would you explain the set-up process? Was it really as easy as putting the phones side-by-side? I am considering upgrading from my 8 to this new SE. And especially after your post, I might not wait until Verizon Store opens again. Thanks!

Submitted by Justin Philips on Friday, April 24, 2020

Turn on Bluetooth in both the devices, keep them next to each other, and off you go

Submitted by Kevan on Sunday, April 26, 2020

I haven't read all the comments yet, but I'm guessing the only thing you can do is order one of these new iPhones online, as most Apple stores are closed unless you live in China. LOL communist Apple.
Anyway I'd rather go into a Sprint store because what if I have problems with a delivered device? Repairs are also halted for iPhones as far as I know.
I think I'll just wait until the COVID pandemic is over before getting one.

Submitted by Bingo Little on Sunday, April 26, 2020

So, as an iPhone 8 user, why have I just purchased the new SE? I don't think I would have, all things being equal, but my iPhone 8 bottom mic has been broken for a couple of months now. that meant no hands free calling without airpods, no voice recording or voice messages - features I didn't think I used over much until I no longer had them. My new SE arrived on Friday.

I can confirm that the side by side setup is really straightforward - much more so than restoring from an iCloud backup. just place your iPhones side by side, follow the prompts on the new and old iPhones (note that you have to approve something on your old iPhone quite early in the process so be on the watch for that or you'll be sat waiting for ages wondering why nothing's happening), and it's a breeze. Doon't worry if your new iPhone has to go through the software update process before transferring your data. Mine did, and my old iPhone understood and told me that it was waiting for my new iPhone to update itself. I'd say it took a little longer than ten minutes but no more than twenty. Best to keep both iPhones plugged into power if you can as well. Once your data is transferred the new iPhone will restart and you're pretty much good to go. On mine there were still some apps to download for some reason, but that didn't take long and it did this automatically. the usual Voiceover eccentricity whereby I had to put up with Samantha until very nearly the end of this whole process is still present, but don't panic as your usual voices should appear eventually.

I personally find the SE snappier and more responsive than the 8, which is perhaps due to the faster processor which equally might be due to the depreciating health of my old iPhone. What getting the SE made me realise was that as well as the bottom mic's being broken, my 8 had lost a lot of audio output power through the speakers. I'd suspected this before but the SE confirmed it rather dramatically as I don't think its audio capabilities are better than the iPhone 8's, though I could be wrong about that.

How long will I keep it? Well I'll see what comes out later in the year. I'm one of those chaps who loves touch ID and who will only make the switch to face ID when my hand is forced. It could be forced if the iPhone 12 is considerably better than what I have now in ways that are important to me. On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised if this time next year the new SE were still my iPhone.

Submitted by ezcleghorn on Monday, April 27, 2020

SO! I always thought people were silly to upgrade for no good reason. Though I could afford it each and every year, I usually wanted to ride out the total use of a phone. So why then did I go from an 8 to an se this week? Well, I love touch id, and the general form factor of my old 8, and though it was in literally perfect condition (I keep them in cases, and they are only taken out to be cleaned which I have a friend do I don't even do that myself, so there was not even a single fingerprint on it) I figured if I got a new one now, it'd last a few more years. I've never replaced a battery either. When they go, I just buy a new one. I'll hopefully keep this for quite a while. To clear up some confusion. When you update your new phone by placing it near your older one, you are infact restoring from icloud back ups which is the smartest thing you can do! It uses bluetooth to restore your wifi network and all passwords and is a much much faster process. You then have the option to restore from your last backups. It is crazy to me that anyone with an ios product ever once loses data or contacts. Within 10 minutes, I had an exact copy of my old phone on my new one even down to my volume settings. The process can not be any easier!

Submitted by Orko on Friday, May 1, 2020

I'll pass on this one because I prefer the original classic design that was last seen in the iPhone 5 and SE phones, not this Android wanna be designs of these newer phones. And I especially don't want anything physically bigger than the original classic design.

Submitted by Luke on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

@ Orko, wait a minute. I evidently missed something if what you say is true that the SE is the same size as the iPhone 8 but the screen is smaller than that of the iPhone 8. If that’s true, I’m going to be pretty upset, as I just placed my order for the SE yesterday. Are we sure about this? That wouldn’t make any sense. Why make the phone so large if it still has a small screen? The only reason for a phone to be large in the first place is to accommodate a larger screen, I would think. Some clarification on this would be appreciated

Submitted by Luke on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Ok, despite somebody having mentioned above that the screen on the iPhone SE is smaller than the screen on the iPhone 8, that does not appear to be the case. They both measure 4.7 inches, from what I was able to find. Here’s a good article covering that as well as some other points of comparison on the two phones:

Submitted by Sinica on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Hi, I just want to say my fiancé bought the phone. Everything but the watch app works. VO not reading anything at all, only the bar on top, the watch app does work with the iPhone XR and an old SE, wanting to pair with the watch so that is all good. We have been in touch with Apple and their accessibility team, they will call us back as it seems it is a hardware issue. I will keep you updated, but we are very disappointed. They even said we seem to be the first to report the error, we wouldn't expect that of Apple, really. I know it is a cheaper phone, but that shouldn't mean we can't us eour titanium watch with it.

Submitted by Jenna Pepper on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Club AppleVis Member

After watching the reviews, I'm a little torn. I currently use a Galaxy s9+. After being disappointed by Talkback and frustrated by Google, I've been looking forward to switching to an iPhone. I'm apprehensive about switching from fingerprint to facial authentication, since I don't even bring my phone up to my face most of the time. I was warming up to its smaller size, and the reviews say the camera is great. It takes care of all my previous worries except for battery life. I don't like charging my phone. The s9+ is the first handset I've used that feels like it has adequate battery life, and the numbers just don't match up when looking at the new SE. I would buy the rumored SE+ in a heartbeat, but it's not a thing yet. I'm hoping FaceID isn't as much of a pain as I think it is, and that the base model iphone 12 has better battery life.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Thursday, April 30, 2020


Battery life on the SE should be decent at least. I am an iPhone 8 user currently, and the battery life is alright (not incredible, not awful). If you keep your screen curtain on the battery should fare a lot better than it did on reviews, as those who reviewed the phone likely used graphically-intense apps, took lots of photos, and used the phone with an emphasis on visuals more in general. I recommend if you get the SE you buy a wireless charger or wired fast-charging brick if you don’t have them already. Although the wireless charging is slow (trust me, I use it), it is really convenient, to the point that I think plugging my phone in is an unnecessary struggle. The SE supports wired fast charging too, so you could easily keep your phone fully charged in a pinch. I personally don’t use this, but if you are really worried about battery life, a battery case (Apple and Mophie create great ones) would be helpful as they double your phone’s battery capacity.

Hope this helps!


Submitted by Khushi on Thursday, April 30, 2020

well, I never knew apple had such an easy way to setup new devices!
:) thanks, it'll come in handy whenever I upgrade.. not now as my first IPhone was just purchased 11 months ago :)
and I still love it :)
something's special about the first IPhone :)

Submitted by Big Ben on Thursday, April 30, 2020

I know this question was asked but couldn't see if it was answered, my apologies if it was! I had IOS 13.4.1 on my old SE at the time of set-up but was not prompted to update the new phone at that time, given the likely similarity between both updates. One thing I found interesting was picking up the new phone, the SE Second Generation and then the old one, First gen. It really struck me just how much smaller the first phone was and how much lighter. Also, I got used to the larger screen very quickly. I also agree with people's perceptions of the battery life. It's not absolutely fantastic but good enough for most things. I do a fair bit of Zoom, Messenger and regular mobile talk and texting each day and it's holding up well.

Submitted by ezcleghorn on Thursday, April 30, 2020

In reply to by Luke

I have the new se sitting next to me. It is literally the same size as the 8 in every way including the screen! If you don't have one, (to the original poster) please don't spread misinformation. People liked the size of the 8, and in recent years it very widely out sold the original se. So the majority of folks do not want a small size like that anymore. You guys need to remember for those who complain, that apple is not an assistive tech company. They are not making products just for the blind. As a result, when most people do not want a certain form factor, they stop making it.

Submitted by Justin on Thursday, April 30, 2020

Right. The world is going to larger phones. Look at what samsung and others are doing. I believe that the smaller form factor devices are a thing of the past. But, if ya like the SE, then that's cool. If it works, fine. Whatever. In my book, more battery life is better. I'll wait till the new devices are released later on in the year, and go from there. The SE never peaked my interest. I'm sticking with OLED displays for the future!

Submitted by Voracious P. Brain on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

I had mine preordered 10 minutes after preorders opened, because my old SE was dying, dying, dead, even in a battery case.
I've been using it for several weeks now, and just wanted to say that the battery life is sub-paar, barely making it through a day or day and a half with typical usage. The old SE was the same, as can be verified on here: the guts just drew too much power for the little IPhone 5-style battery. But the decision for me is entirely economic, so it is what it is. And I got me a home button!

Submitted by Dennis Long on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

To the person who says their phone only last a day to a day and a half what are you doing with your phone? Do you have things like GPS on? Wi-fi? What is the screen set to? Are you streaming or constantly checking mail? How long do others get out of the battery?

Wi-fi always on, email always running, New York Times app often running (usually accounting for about 29% of battery drain, with mail a close second), Bard Mobile usually in the background. No video streaming. Display at 0% brightness. Everything like location services doing what it defaults to. Not using GPS. With all that in the background, battery level drops about 3% per hour with no usage to 5 minutes usage, according to battery settings. By contrast, with much the same line-up of apps and same IOS version, my latest-gen IPad Mini battery goes for well over a week. With 1 and a half hours screen on, the phone is down 60% in the last 16 hours. It's fine, but certainly this is what you're "not paying" for. For an Iphone 11 chip and a home button and small form factor, all of which I like, I'd do it again. Web pages load instantly, but the Amazon app hangs just as bad as it did on my old SE. Charges just crazy fast with a rapid charger, relative to what I'm used to. HTH

Submitted by Luke on Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Kind of a bummer to hear reports of the poor battery life but I suspect mileage will vary greatly depending on individual users and how they are using their phones. My SE will be arriving in 10 days or so so I will be sure to share my first impressions of the phone when I have some time to give it a test drive. Overall very excited about having the better camera and increased processing power.

Submitted by Clare Page on Wednesday, May 20, 2020

I ordered my new iPhone SE on 24 April and it arrived here on 29 April: I must say that I'm very pleased with it. Having upgraded from an iPhone 6 whose battery may well have been on its last legs, I'm very satisfied with my new iPhone's battery life, and of course the SE is a lot faster than the 6, with several of the apps I use regularly working better with IOS 13 than they did with IOS 12. I think the only thing about the 6 I miss is the headphone jack, as I'm not a big fan of earbuds, but I bought one of Apple's little Lightning to 3.5 mm adaptors, and now I can use my favourite over-the-ear headphones with my SE instead of the earpods, although I have kept those just in case I need them in the future. I have no regrets about buying the new SE, and I look forward to using it for several years to come.