Apple Debuts the New $399 iPhone SE

The budget-friendly iPhone SE looks a lot like the iPhone 8, but with a better processor and cheaper price: $399.

Apple has a new budget-friendly iPhone. The iPhone SE looks and operates a lot like the iPhone 8, but with a better processor and camera. Plus, at $399, it costs fifty bucks less.

With a knocked down price and a ramped up spec, is the new iPhone SE a true contender for one of the best budget phones around? Or, is it too similar to the old iPhone 8 to truly compete with similarly-priced Android sets?

The iPhone SE will be available for preorder on April 17, and ships on April 24. Here’s what to know about its specs and value.

Which iPhone Should I Get? See our guide to Apple’s range

The iPhone SE 2020

The second generation iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch screen, marking the end of an era for the 4-inch screen on an iPhone. The new model also comes with large bezels along the top and bottom, with a Touch ID-ready home button.

The home button itself, and Touch ID rather than Face ID, mark our some fo the main differences between this model and the iPhone 11 / 11 Pro range. While those top-end models aim to be “all-screen”, with no button at all, the new SE retains a “button at the bottom” style that’s gone largely unchanged since the iPhone 6. Under the hood, though, things have had an upgrade.

The iPhone SE has an impressive A13 Bionic chip – that’s the same as you’ll get on an iPhone 11

The device comes with an impressive A13 Bionic chip – that’s the same as you’ll get on an iPhone 11. And, for $400, the camera is great, and should be an improvement on the iPhone 8’s. It could well be the best single-camera system Apple has shipped to date.

The phone is also water resistant for up to one meter for 30 minutes, includes built-in privacy features, and qualifies customers for one free year of Apple TV Plus regardless of whether they want it or not.

Like the sound of a splash-proof smartphone? See our guide to the Best Waterproof Phones

iPhone SE 2020 Specs

Here’s the full list of specs:

  • Display: 4.7-in LCD, 625 nits brightness
  • Size: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
  • Weight: 148g
  • Processor: A13 Bionic chip
  • Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB
  • Rear-facing camera: 12Mp, includes flash, portrait mode, and 4K video
  • Front-facing camera: 7Mp, includes portrait mode
  • Colors: Black, white, and red
  • Security: Touch ID

The 64GB phone will retail for a tidy $399, while the model with 128GB of storage will cost $449 and the 256GB one will cost $549.

Preorders start this Friday, and, again, it ships on April 24.

Should you get the iPhone SE?

There are plenty of great phones out in 2020. Does the iPhone SE rise to the top? As always, it depends on your needs.

For those who love having the latest and greatest features, the iPhone SE won’t be appealing. If your budget can stretch to it, then go for the iPhone 11 Pro if you want to stay bezel-free, have Night Mode, keep the OLED display, and get the best possible camera quality and flexibility.

But, there are two types of Apple-lovers in the world: those who get the most expensive iPhone available, and those who get the cheapest. For anyone in the latter group, the iPhone SE is a godsend.

It’ll deliver the same general feel of an iPhone 8, with a lot of the internal power of an iPhone 11, but for a lower price, making it the best possible value for budget-conscious smartphone shoppers who still want to stay within the sleek Apple ecosystem.

Apple knows that the price tag is iPhone SE’s big selling point, too. Tim Cook has already dubbed it their “most affordable” iPhone. If that’s what you’re after, you won’t do better than the iPhone SE.

Source: Apple
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Written by:
Adam is a writer at and has worked as a tech writer, blogger and copy editor for more than a decade. He was a Forbes Contributor on the publishing industry, for which he was named a Digital Book World 2018 award finalist. His work has appeared in publications including Popular Mechanics and IDG Connect, and his art history book on 1970s sci-fi, 'Worlds Beyond Time,' is out from Abrams Books in July 2023. In the meantime, he's hunting down the latest news on VPNs, POS systems, and the future of tech.
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