New Apple iPhone SE finally unveiled: iPhone 11 internals in an iPhone 8 body, just what the doctor ordered

The 2020 iPhone SE is packing an A13 Bionic chip, a 12 MP wide-angle camera, and coronavirus-friendly TouchID.

We’ve been waiting for this a while, and it’s finally happened: Apple has refreshed the ageing iPhone SE, bringing cutting edge internals to my second-favourite form factor (I’ll fight anyone who complains about the design of the 4s).

Retailing at $399 in the US — and a disappointing Rs 42,000 in India — the base model iPhone SE packs in iPhone 11 hardware in an iPhone 8 body. That means you get an A13 Bionic chip (psst… it’s faster than the Snapdragon 865), 64 GB of storage, the iPhone 11’s wide-angle camera and associated features, an HD+ 4.7-inch IPS LCD display, coronavirus-friendly TouchID, IP67 water and dust resistance, and that measly 5 W charger that it looks like Apple will never give up on.

The iPhone SE is available in Black, White, and (PRODUCT)RED. Image: Apple

The iPhone SE is available in Black, White, and (PRODUCT)RED. Image: Apple

Apple claims that battery life is about the same as it was on the iPhone 8, which means that the new SE is most likely packing in the same 1,861 mAh battery as the 8. Thankfully, the phone does support Qi wireless charging and 18 W fast charging with the right hardware (50 percent in 30 minutes).

You also get dual SIM LTE, Bluetooth 5, and Wi-Fi 6 support.

There is a 128 GB option that retails at $449 (the best value, I’d say), and a 256 GB variant at $549.

The 12 MP camera supports Apple’s version of single-lens portrait mode — i.e. it only works on people, smart HDR, Portrait Lighting, 4K 60 fps video with cinematic stabilisation, and QuickTake (press and hold the camera button to record video).

The front camera appears to be an older generation 7 MP f/2.2 unit, which also means no Face ID and only 1080p 30 fps videos. And no slofies. #cringe

The HD+ resolution (1334x750) might seem low for a premium smartphone, but on this 4.7-inch display, that still translates to a more than adequate 326 ppi.

India pricing notwithstanding, this is an exciting release to be sure. The iPhone 11 (review), while the cheapest new phone in Apple’s lineup till this point, is a large, bloated phone that lacks the elegance of Apple’s older designs and the newer Pro models.

The iPhone SE, I think, skips on the bloat and offers just the essentials, and at a very reasonable price at that.

The phone is available in Black, White, and (PRODUCT)RED. Pre-orders will begin on 17 April in the US, and the SE will be available at retailers in the country from 24 April. Given the lockdown in India, there is, understandably, no date for the phone's release here.

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