First released in 2008, Apple’s venerable iPhone is now 12 years old at this point. One the one hand, I have no trouble believing this because of how fundamentally is has changed our lives. But on the other hand, I cannot believe it’s 12 years old because I remember when it first came out when I was in high school. It has grown from a niche, luxury item, to an ubiquity that many of us cannot image living without. We rely on our iPhones for so much more than making phone calls and sending text messages. Indeed, we rely on it for our news, social media, music, and movies. We rely on it to store our notes and thoughts, and some of our most personal financial information. And Apple has adapted accordingly, introducing more and more models to serve a larger and larger portion of the market.
Apple’s last few iPhone releases have focused primarily on premium handsets that priced out many consumers and even some dedicated Apple fans. The iPhone 10 and 11 also introduced a radical new design that eliminated the famous home button and instead replaced it with FaceID. This design has been met with mixed reviews. Most of us can agree that it’s a cool feature, but for those of use that enjoy the tactile sensations of the home button, it left us a bit underwhelmed.
Apple has of course has continued to offer lower-priced handsets in addition to its flagship models, but these often required consumers to sacrifice performance in exchange for a size they preferred or to avoid FaceID.
Well, Apple’s newest iPhone SE apparently seeks to solve this dilemma. The iPhone SE has been in Apple’s arsenal for a while now. First introduced in 2015, the iPhone SE began as a budget-friendly iPhone with a 4-inch display that resembled the iPhone 5. It was discontinued in 2018 but revived in April 2020 as an entirely new device.
The 2020 iPhone SE is still a budget smartphone, but it no longer sacrifices performance for price. Built around Apple’s A13 chip, the iPhone SE uses the same chip as the flagship iPhone 11. And the new iPhone SE takes full advantage of this processing power, boasting the ability to shoot 4K video at 60fps and Portrait Mode in both the front and rear-facing cameras.
And let’s talk about the cameras. The 2020 iPhone SE features a 12 megapixel camera on the back and a 7 megapixel camera on the front. The rear-facing camera features both Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting capabilities. And although the new SE does not support Night Mode, it nevertheless features Smart HDR and an LED True Tone flash.
Finally, the new SE is housed in the exactly the same casing as the iPhone 8, meaning it retains wireless charging capabilities and the iPhone 8’s water resistance. It’s also the only iPhone to retain the use of TouchID over FaceID. But for those of you who enjoy the tactile sensation of a physical home button, you can rest assured knowing you’re not sacrificing performance for this feature.
Apple recognized consumers’ demand for a budget iPhone and finally leveraged their means and capabilities to create a powerful device that offers the performance of a premium iPhone in a smaller package that some of us aren’t quite ready to give up.