Apple Launches New $399 iPhone SE With Speedy A13 Bionic SoC And Familiar Design

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Just as we expected, Apple has launched its second-generation iPhone SE, and like the previous reports suggested, the smartphone is based on the existing iPhone 8 design. This is a big step up from the previous generation iPhone SE, which was based on the elderly 4-inch iPhone 5S chassis.

The new 2020 edition of the iPhone SE, however, looks identical to the iPhone 8, but brings a big upgrade in performance. Instead of an A11 Bionic SoC, Apple has put in the current top-dog A13 Bionic SoC that is used in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models.

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Since it's based on the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE features hefty bezels above and below the 4.7-inch True Tone display along with Touch ID (instead of Face ID used on iPhone 11 models). There's a 7MP selfie camera, and a 12MP camera on the rear with optical image stabilization. Apple says that the rear camera features portrait mode along with support for 4K/60 video recording.

Other upgrades over its predecessor include support for Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit LTE, wireless charging and support for dual SIMs. Unlike the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple is skimping on the accessories by including a 5W charger instead of the more powerful (and faster) 18W charger. This puts the iPhone SE in “second-class citizen” territory with the regular iPhone 11, which also ships with a 5W wall charger.

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The mix of old and new hardware results in a device that costs just $399 for the 64GB SKU. Doubling the storage to 128GB will set you back $449, while doubling it again to 256GB costs $549. At $399, the new iPhone SE seems like a pretty good bargain. However, paying $549 at the high-end for such an old design with chunky bezels might be a tougher sell -- especially given the sleek designs that we're seeing out of the Android camp (a la the new $699 OnePlus 8).

But for those looking for a cheap entry into the iPhone family with top-notch performance and many years of iOS support from Apple, it’s hard to go wrong with the new iPhone SE.