iPhone SE 2020 — A $399 Smartphone With Few Compromises

iPhone SE 2020
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iPhone SE 2020
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Photo Credit: Apple

The iPhone SE 2020 model is now official, and it’s Apple’s attempt to capture the mid-range.

With flagship smartphones starting at over $1,000 for both Apple and Samsung, the refocus is nice. This new, lower-cost iPhone might seem pretty familiar – that’s because it reuses the iPhone 8 chassis.

It has the same 4.7-inch screen and large bezels across the top and bottom. But it also features the home button and TouchID that went away in favor of FaceID on newer iPhone devices.

The iPhone SE 2020 is available for pre-order starting April 17th and will ship on April 24th.

The $399 starting price for the iPhone SE 2020 essentially makes it an upgraded iPhone 8. It features the same A13 Bionic chip that powers the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. It also includes a single camera on the back, but the processor adds some new features.

Apple says its Smart HDR photography technology benefits from the new A13 chip. A new portrait mode utilizes tech that Apple calls “monocular depth sensing.”

Since the iPhone SE 2020 uses the same iPhone 8 chassis, old iPhone 8 cases will work on it. The baseline $399 model comes with 64 GB of storage, but 128 GB and 256 GB options are available. Unfortunately, there is no headphone jack since Apple did away with it on the iPhone 7.

The iPhone SE 2020 does come with a pair of Apple’s wired lightning headphones in the box.

The entry-level price gives amateurs access to a powerful camera and platform. That’s important when most amateur music creation is done on mobile devices. That’s also important amid the COVID-19 pandemic, where 18 million people have already lost their jobs.

People can no longer justify the luxury of buying a $1,000 smartphone. That’s doubly so when you can get the same processor and a similar camera for $600 less. This is the first time Apple has revived its iPhone SE branding since it stopped selling the original in 2018.