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The new iPhone SE fits in your pocket, has a genuine push button and can do nearly everything an iPhone 11 can.
Call us nostalgic, but in times when fear of germs is not an aberration but a quality, pressing a physical button is reassuring. At last, here’s something to hold now that everything is touch-free. A(nother) visionary product by Apple? Who knows... The new iPhone SE certainly feels as if it were made especially for the unusual times we’re living through right now. ‘Back to basics’ you say? The iPhone SE 2020 certainly delivers on this promise. Moreover, it costs just half as much as its big brothers, with a performance that is only slightly less impressive.
Austere look, top-drawer performance
Not every iPhone enthusiast was jumping for joy three years ago when Apple retired the home button and opted for facial recognition. The ever-growing screen format was another feature that had its detractors. But lo and behold, the new iPhone SE restores the home button and limits screen size to 4.7”, giving the device an instantly familiar feel. Fully in line with the current trend for austerity and less consumption, the SE may seem like a step back but it’s certainly not old-fashioned. The familiar appearance of the iPhone 8 houses the state-of-the-art technology of the iPhone 11 thanks to the Apple A13 Bionic chip. In this case, ‘less is more’ is not a hollow phrase.
The cameras on the iPhone SE lack the bells and whistles to allow facial recognition. Nevertheless, the 12 megapixel wide-angle camera at the rear and the 7 megapixel selfie camera at the front go a long way towards satisfying more demanding customers, especially in combination with the bionic processor. Although the latter only has a single lens, we were able to make more than satisfactory portraits thanks to software that steers such aspects as lighting, stereoscopic vision and image stabilisation.
The battery of the new SE is not that large, but with a modest screen that’s not necessary. In fact, it’s enough to power this affordable Apple phone for up to 12 hours. Also, as it’s made of glass, the SE allows wireless charging, a feature that is not available on most budget phones.
Apple’s latest addition has also received IP67 certification. In other words, it’s both water- and dustproof. However, we do recommend some form of protection because it’s still made of glass, after all.
Perfect starter model or upgrade
Apple did not develop this starter to compete against its flagship models. The iPhone SE 2020 is no iPhone 11 but thanks to its home button and the 4.7” screen, it’s an excellent smartphone and the ideal upgrade for consumers who need a new phone but aren’t inclined to chase the latest hype. It’s a device for those not looking for a tablet masquerading as a smartphone and for whom – in terms of performance and user comfort – ‘excellent’ will do just fine. And finally, the SE will also appeal to price-conscious buyers.
In short, the iPhone SE 2020 has definitely won us over. That’s why we’ve added it to the range of our Hardware Bonus Programme. In exchange for two Shape contracts with HBP, you’ll get one for free.