After months of release rumours — and years of waiting — Apple just dropped its brand new budget iPhone SE. A global pandemic may seem like a really weird time to release a new phone, but considering the recent pricey competition, it might actually be a stroke of genius from Apple. In the very least, this pre-planned release time may still work in its favour.
Not only does it offer three models with quite cool inclusions for under $1000, it is adding quite a lot to the mid-range market, which the Google Pixel 3a so beautifully disrupted last year. Here's how much the baby iPhone SE will cost in Australia.
Despite being a 'budget' device (at least for Apple), there's quite a bit going on here. The iPhone SE just became a strong addition to the increasingly interesting mid-range market that gives customers specs and inclusions that you generally see in flagship devices.
This started last year when Google came in swinging with its $650 Google Pixel 3a. Oppo quickly followed suit with its $500 Oppo Reno Z. Now Apple is joining the party with a $750 iPhone. While it's a little pricier than its Android counterparts, this isn't exactly surprising.
What is a bit of a shock is that all three storage options for the new SE come in at under $1000. It's a smart move by Apple, and one that will probably pay off for them in the current climate.
While the last SE only started at $679 back in 2016, I would argue that a $70 bump four years later isn't bad - especially when you take into account the tech that has been injected into this thing.
Sure, at the end of the day the 2020 iPhone SE isn't going to be as cheap as a mid-range Android. But the $750 price tag comes with some decent specs as well as everything that the Apple ecosystem has to offer for a whole lot less than any of its recent generations. If you're an Apple fan who doesn't want to spend $1,500 and over, it's not a bad deal.
Let's take a closer look at what this will get you.
iPhone SE Specs
Despite being a second generation SE device, it's a bit more reminiscent of the iPhone 8. At 4.7-inches it is smaller than its older siblings, but perhaps not as tiny as some were hoping for.
Its materials have been upgraded to aluminium and glass for 2020, and nestled beneath the surface you'll find a Touch ID button. If this hadn't come out during a pandemic, some might perhaps criticise the lack of Face ID. But in a world where many of us are wearing masks to the supermarket and would still like to use contactless payments, this may actually work in Apple's favour.
While you won't find the hardcore camera array of the iPhone 11 Pro Max, the SE isn't too bad. At the rear there's a 12MP camera, which we saw in the iPhone XR, but it's still been upgraded. According to Apple says it's "the best single-camera system ever."
This is because the hardware is accompanied by Apple's A13 bionic chip. The signal processor and Neural Engine is able to boost computational photography. For instance, portrait mode can offer six lighting effects and depth control adjustment without the need of a second lens.
Other fun camera extras include Smart HDR, which offers optical image stabilisation, the ability to present clearer faces and subject recognition. Sadly there's no night mode, but it does apparently have decent low light capabilities.
In terms of video, the rear camera can record 4K at 30 fps and contains cinematic stabilisation.
The 7MP selfie camera has also gotten a boost with the inclusion of monocular depth estimation, which allows for the portrait mode bokeh effect everyone loves.
Some other inclusions that really make the iPhone SE worth considering its water resitance and wireless charging capabilities. It has an IP67 rating, which means it can handle being submerged for up to 30 minutes. While that isn't as impressive at IP68, it's still impressive for a mid-range phone.
The addition of Qi wireless charging, as well as 18W fast-charging when plugged in, also makes this feel a little closer to a flagship phone without having to shell out quite as much as usual for the Apple branding.
Here's a full list of the key specs:
- Display: 4.7 inches (1334 x 750)
- CPU: A13 Bionic Chip
- Storage: 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
- Battery: Up to 13 hours video playback, Qi wireless charging, fast charge
- Rear camera: 12MP (f/1.8)
- Front camera: 7MP (f/2.2)
- Video recording: 4K video up to 60 fps
- Water resistance: IP67
- Size: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches
- Weight: 148g
- Colour: Black, White, PROJECT(RED)
iPhones SE Price Australia
iPhone SE Availability Australia
Pre-orders from the iPhone SE will begin at 10pm AEST on Friday April 17. The phones will then go on sale from Friday April 24. It will also be available on plans from select carriers. You can still check out the pages now though. Or keep them open for frantic refreshing.
It's worth noting that part of the proceeds from the PROJECT (RED) variant will be given to Global Fund's COVID-19 Responde Fund. This provides money to countries who are in need of equipment such as PPE, diagnostics treatment, lab equipment and more.
Now is a strange time to release a smartphone. Millions have lost their jobs, and those of us who are able to work from home are encouraged to stay inside for the foreseeable future where a smartphone isn’t quite as necessary. Companies like Samsung and OnePlus have recently launched pricey flagships that are very, very good, but also very, very expensive. That’s a tough sell anytime, but especially during a pandemic. Yet a smartphone is still a necessity, and now buyers have another option: A new, top-of-the-line—and yet somewhat affordable—iPhone.