Apple announced a new version of its affordable iPhone: the iPhone SE 5G.
This is the third-generation version of the budget-friendly device. It’s the first of the lineup to feature a 5G antenna, plus the iPhone 13’s processor and a camera system.
The iPhone SE 5G has a 4.7-inch display and features a similar look and feel to the 2020 version of the SE. It runs the A15 Bionic, which powers up the iPhone 13. That chip also enables 5G support. Though it promises to be more energy-efficient, it’ll be interesting to see how it handles switching off between 5G towers, as the specification is known for sucking battery life.
The camera system on the iPhone SE 5G has been improved, too. It uses similar computational photography as the iPhone 13, including Deep Fusion, which helps optimize texture and detail in a final photo. That likely means Apple also brought over Night Mode from its full-featured iPhone, which wasn’t possible with the previous generations.
The iPhone SE 5G runs Apple’s iOS 15 operating system, packed with abilities like the new Focus mode and an improved Apple Maps experience. The company also brought over capabilities like on-device Siri and dictation. During its virtual presentation, Apple’s Francesa Sweet, product line manager for the iPhone, mentioned these are software features that “just weren’t possible on older phones.”
The iPhone SE is a popular model for new iPhone users. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, revealed that this model has helped convert folks “at a faster pace” than its other devices. In particular, it competes head-on with the Google Pixel 5a, another budget-friendly device. Both phones run with the same “bang for your buck” marketing angle, and they both grab the best abilities of their flagship counterparts and offer them at a discounted rate.
The iPhone SE 5G is competitively priced against the current crop of budget Android devices. It starts at $430 and will be available beginning March 18. But if you can’t wait to put down the cash, you can pre-order it now.
Correction, 03/08/2022, 3:20 PM: An earlier version of this article mentioned mmWave support. We regret the error.