iPhone SE reminds us how much we missed the home button
This is the brand new iPhone SE from Apple.
It looks like an iPhone eight runs like an iPhone 1111 Pro.
The cost $399 .Yeah, there's a lot to like about this phone.
There are a lot of different ways you can look at the iPhone SE from Apple.
That is a more affordable option than the iPhone 11, which it is.
That is a sequel to the original iPhone SE in 2016, which it is.
That is the smallest iPhone you can currently buy, which it is.
Or that it is an iPhone eight with the brains of an iPhone 11 that offers literally better improvements to everything you do on the phone.
The new iPhone SE is all of these things, which is why I'm enamored with it.
Hey, this phone looks like a classic iPhone.
It's got the forehead snapped again the home button, but it's the inside.
It's that processor that got brought over from the iPhone 11,11 point 11 Pro max that not only makes it run faster now it brings over new features, but also future proof I mean this phone will be able to support iOS updates for years.
If anything the iPhone SC is powerful.
Now you don't get a $399 iPhone without their fields and compromise Providers and I really do believe that Apple makes smart compromises to get this to be a budget phone, but it only has a single rear camera.
It doesn't have face ID and a modelling, me modelling slopes.
It's missing camera fit Features like night mode and P fusion processing.
But you know what?
In 2017 while reviewing the iPhone eight, my colleague Scott Stein described it as the let's not spend $1,000 on an iPhone, iPhone.
And two and a half years later the same could apply to the iPhone SE with a tweak.
It's the let's not spend $700 on an iPhone 11 iPhone.
You know what's weird is now if you think about it, Apple now has an iPhone at 50 or $100 increments going from $399 all the way up to $1,449.
Let's talk about the design for all intents and purposes.
This is physically an iPhone 8. It has glass in the front and back has aluminum chassis insides, and the only way you can physically tell the difference between the two phones is where the Apple logo is located.
On the iPhone SE it's been moved right into the middle.
Probably the biggest thing that got sacrifice to get a $399 price on this iPhone Is the lack of cutting edge design.
It looks old.
I mean, it looks like an iPhone 6, 6S 7 or 8. It's not ugly.
It's just last year's design from a few years ago.
Okay after being on face ID models for the past few years.
It was a strange and satisfying sensation to set up Touch ID and I forgot how much I liked the whole book.
And it seems so much less fussy to navigate and do interactions with it.
Then swipes and holds on the screen, fast, it's satisfying to use a button.
Even if it's not a real button.
It's just haptic vibrations.
The new iPhone SE has a 4.7 inch screen.
Now for those of you hoping for the four inch screen and body the old iPhone SE, yeah, I'm sorry, okay, but aside from the iPhone SE s squared off corners, the quality of the screen seems equal to that of the iPhone 11 and the text is sharp Animations look good, colors seem accurate and you can sit out in the bright sunny day.
The new iPhone SE is rated IP67 for water and dust resistance, which means it can be submerged under one metre of water for 30 minutes.
Now, I was not able to test this [UNKNOWN] Now I did some magic in 1 litre of water for 30 minutes and everything worked fine.It is highly unusual for a phone that costs less than 200$ to have water and dust resistance.And it is particularly nobody that the iPhone se actually includes The iPhone SE comes in three colors black, white, and red, which is the one I've been using.
Now I realized the iPhone eight did have a product red version, but [LAUGH] seeing this in person, yeah, it looks so damn good, and red, and the black bezels on the front.
So this is one of the reasons why I'm a little iffy about the design because it's an old phone but it looks pretty good.
So let's talk about the thing.
The biggest thing that makes this not an iPhone eight too and that would be the processor.
It has a 13 bionic processor using the iPhone 11, 11 Pro.
Levin promax not only does it change what this phone is, it also future proves it.
So, I am likely to get years longer updates of IOS on the iPhone SE than had I bought an iPhone eight just a couple months ago.
And let's just acknowledge that the longevity with which Apple supports IOS and older devices Is quietly one of the most significant appeals of owning an iPhone.
So what does all this performance get you?
Well, in performance test, the new iPhone SE scored higher than the iPhone 8 and no surprise, the original iPhone SE.
It also scored right on par with the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.
In everyday use, it's meant apps were fast and launched quickly.
Gaining was a breeze FaceTime with friends and stickers was no problem editing photos was easy, and I even was able to do AR games on an iPhone SE.
Yeah, this little guy is no slouch.
That's actually pretty impressive.
When it comes to battery life well, things are a bit shocking.
So on Apple's website, they claim the new iPhone SE last about the same amount of time as the iPhone eight.
Well that's not true.
It lasts much longer.
We ran a video test where we play video loopback in aeroplane mode at 50% brightness and it lasted 15 hours and 45 minutes.
That is hours longer than what the iPhone eight and the original iPhone SE did when we ran that same test on them when they were brought Brand new.
Now look in everyday use.
I got easily a day and a half between charges on the iPhone SE a couple times it went to whole days without charging.
I should note that I have more battery tests to run on the iPhone SE and that you can check out my review on cnet.com I'll update not only the results but also the battery score for the review.
I should mention that the iPhone SE has wireless charging, and this is another feature that you don't see often on budget phones.
It also has fast charging where they could charge the battery 50% in just 30 minutes.
However, it doesn't come with a necessary 18 watt charger instead, the SC comes with the old five watt charger Hey look, I get it, smart compromises, speaking of which, let's talk about the cameras.
So I thought the best way to look at the cameras on the iPhone SE is to actually compare them to those on the iPhone 11.
So let's do a little mini shootout and compare photos and videos from the iPhone 11.
Versus the iPhone SE.
Both the front and rear cameras on the iPhone SE are pretty much the same hardware wise as they were on the iPhone eight, but they get a huge improvement in image quality as well as functionality because of that a 13 processor.
Now you get things like smart HDR for photography, you get the quick take filming button makes you hold the shutter down and the camera app.
You also get portrait mode photos both on the rear camera and on the selfie camera.
And that is truly a first on any 4.7 inch iPhone.
Hey, I should also apologize you're going to see a lot of me and these photos and videos and that
That's just reflective of the times you're in and trying to test a camera that comes out while you're sheltering in place.
So, let's talk about the cameras on the phone, on the iPhone SE.
The rear camera has a 28 millimeter lens with an F/1.8 aperture.
Compare that to the two cameras in the back of the iPhone 11.
Its main camera which has a 26 millimeter lens with an F 1.8 aperture and the ultra wide angle camera which has a 13 millimeter lens with an F 2.4 aperture look I really like the ultra wide angle camera on the 11 but I gotta say I didn't really miss not having it on the iPhone SE In good light photos from each phone are very similar in terms of image quality.
I mean look at these pictures of a tree I took out my backyard.
You tell which phone took which picture?
Yeah, now you see my point.
Yeah, the iPhone SE photo is framed ever so slightly tighter because of that 28 millimeter lens.
Compared to the iPhone 11 with a 26 millimeter lens, but here are a few other photos where things again are pretty much identical.
Both phones have portrait mode and produce excellent results.
The iPhone 11 can do portrait mode photos of people and pets, while the iPhone SE can only do people.
The photos look very close, but the iPhone 11's portrait mode captures just a bit more detail.
Sorry about this but if you zoom in and look at my skin, the iPhone 11 photo has a dusting more detail and less noise than the iPhone SE photo.
Let's look closely at my shoulder and these photos and you'll notice that the fall off between in focus and out of focus areas in the photo Is a little more naturally rendered in the iPhone 11 than it is in the iPhone SE.
And here's a shot of my bike trainer taken indoors and medium light.
The most obvious difference is the framing again is tighter on the iPhone SE Than the iPhone 11.
But in terms of image quality, the photo from the iPhone 11, again it just has a pinch more detail like look at the wall outlet here.
And then, one from the iPhone SE suffers from some noise in the shadow.
That said, This isn't a huge difference in image quality in doors but the iPhone 11 does have an edge, albeit a very thin edge.
The same applies for video, it's nearly impossible to see the difference in terms of image quality.
Both phones could shoot 4k 60 frames per second.
Both phones have extended dynamic range.
However, the SE only goes up to 4k 30 frames per second whereas the iPhone 11 can get that extended dynamic range at 4k 60 frames per second.
Perhaps the place where there is the biggest difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone SE is the selfie camera The iPhone 11 has a wider front facing camera and it's capable of 4k video and slow fees.
The iPhone SE it only shoots 10 ADP video and no slow fees.
Both phones have portrait selfie mode and again the image quality is just a tad bit better on the iPhone 11 There's just a little bit more detail in those photos.
Look, I guess the biggest take away from this mini camera shootout is that the iPhone SE can go toe to toe with the main cameras on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro.
So to put a bow on this entire review, the iPhone SE has an attractive price It gets fantastic battery life.
It has a great rear camera.
It has that bonkers powerful 813 processor.
It has water resistance, and wireless charging.
The iPhone SE is not only a wonderful iPhone, but it is one of the best budget phones that you can buy.
Yes that's my review for the iPhone SE.
If you want to look at more take a look at CNET.
com My full in depth review is there.
But if you have questions for me throw them in the comments.
I'd love to answer them.
But also, I'd love to know are you getting an SC?
Are you considering it?
And if so, what are you upgrading from
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