Affordable model offers great camera features and 5G capabilities
iPhone SE 529 €
Last week saw the launch of a new version of the iPhone SE, Apple’s most affordable iPhone, at the tech giant’s first event of the year.
There was plenty to be excited about. Although the iPhone SE is not much different from its 2020 version, retaining the aesthetics of the iPhone 8 and its 4.7-inch screen, there are some important changes that Apple has made inside. , updates that make it more powerful, and a better long-term bet for consumers.
The first is the inclusion of 5G. The iPhone 12, which went on sale in October 2020, was the first of Apple’s smartphones to include support for next-generation mobile network technology, but the SE launched in April of the same year – in the middle of the pandemic, without the usual fanfare – and with its slightly longer update cycle, hadn’t been updated since.
The 2022 version of the iPhone SE now supports new networks, which will future-proof your phone for a few years, and given Apple’s long support cycle for its phones in terms of software updates – the iPhone 6s six-year-old was still getting software updates from iOS 15 – that’s welcome.
The new SE also packs the A15 Bionic chip, a six-core chipset and the same chip that powers the iPhone 13. That means faster processing power for the phone and longer battery life and support for iPhone 13s. future versions of Apple software.
It also helps with camera functions. While the camera specs might look the same on paper, at 12-megapixels for the rear and 7-megapixels for the front camera, there have been a few changes. You still only get one camera, so no telephoto or ultra-wide lenses, but there are more advanced computational photography features. This includes Smart HDR 4, which improves contrast and skin tones in your photos; “Deep Fusion”, which reduces noise and improves details and textures in your shots; and Photographic Styles, which let you apply a look to your images in-camera as you shoot them. With that in mind, the loss of the ultra-wide lens on the iPhone SE doesn’t seem as significant.
There’s also no night mode, which may be a deal breaker for some. However, that also means the camera doesn’t automatically step into the long exposure which can be spoiled by inadvertent movement, so there are some advantages to excluding it.
For biometrics, Apple opted for Touch ID, relying on your fingerprint, rather than your face, to unlock your phone. It could be a cost issue, but likewise, there are people who just don’t like the idea of facial recognition of any form, even for their own personal devices. And given the past couple of years, there are times when a face scan just isn’t as convenient as you might think.
The SE also gets improved battery life, adding a few hours of talk time over the 2020 version. It comfortably lasted all day in early testing, though the more you charge the phone, the longer battery life will be under pressure.
If you’re not a fan of Face ID or just prefer the look of the iPhone 8, you’re in luck; while the 13 Mini offers a bigger screen in a smaller handset, the iPhone SE is thinner and lighter.
A better chip, 5G, and more advanced photography features make iPhone SE a solid entry into the iPhone ecosystem.
Price is the winning factor here; Apple may have increased it by $30 over the 2020 version, but it’s still reasonable and the upgraded chip and 5G capabilities are worth paying the extra.
The worst :
Going for the more affordable iPhone means you miss out on a few extras, especially on the camera. The single lens works great, but you might miss the dual camera setup of the more expensive iPhones.
The SE also lacks night mode, which means low-light photos won’t be as good as you’d get with the iPhone 13 Mini, although the Deep Fusion technology will help in low light.
You can opt for the iPhone 11, which is just $80 more and has the dual camera and ultra-wideband that provides turn-by-turn directions for things like your AirTags, but the lack of 5G support may ultimately limit the phone’s usefulness in the future.
The 2022 iPhone SE comes in three colors: midnight, starlight, and Product Red (black, white, and red, for the rest of us). The iPhone SE also supports wireless charging, but doesn’t integrate as well with MagSafe accessories; you can use the charger but it doesn’t have a built-in magnetic mount.
A solid iPhone that won’t break the bank.