New, Affordable iPhone SE Packs 11 Series Power Into 8's Loved Design

Apple’s budget-friendly iPhone SE gives you the features of an iPhone 11 inside the casing of an iPhone 8’s body -- and it could be on its way to you.


The Cupertino, California-based company began taking pre-orders on Friday, April 17. While Apple didn’t hold its traditional event due to the coronavirus pandemic, it did announce the news in a press release.


The second-generation iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display paired with Touch ID for industry-leading security, the press release mentions. The $399 iPhone SE is the most affordable Apple phone you can purchase.


And like the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, both phones feature A13 Bionic, “the fastest chip ever in a smartphone.” However, the other models are a bit on the pricey side, with the iPhone 11 starting at $699, and the flagship 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max beginning at $999 and $1,099, respectively.


“The first iPhone SE was a hit with many customers who loved its unique combination of small size, high-end performance and affordable price; the new second-generation iPhone SE builds on that great idea and improves on it in every way — including our best-ever single-camera system for great photos and videos — while still being very affordable,” said Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “iPhone SE features the industry-leading performance of A13 Bionic that enables great battery life, takes stunning Portrait mode and Smart HDR photos, shoots amazing videos with stereo audio, is great for games and super fast web surfing, and is built with the same industry-leading security features our customers expect. We can’t wait to get iPhone SE into customers’ hands.”


The SE, like the iPhone 11 and 11 Pros, has a True Tone display, fast and wireless charging, and an IP67 rating for dust and water resistance, so it can survive being submerged under 1 meter of water for 30 minutes.


However, there is a slight difference between the SE’s camera and that of the iPhone 11 series.


The iPhone 11 has a dual-camera system, which allows you to take wide to ultrawide photos. The 12-megapixel wide camera has 100 percent Focus Pixels for up to three times faster autofocus in low light, and the 12-megapixel ultrawide lets the user capture four times more space in frame, which is great for landscapes, travel, groups, large interiors, and when you need to take action shots.


Though it doesn’t have the dual action of the 11, the iPhone SE still packs a pretty punch in a single-camera system. It has a 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide camera, and it uses the image signal processor and Neural Engine of A13 Bionic. The SE’s single-lens, according to Apple, also features “computational photography, including Portrait mode, all six Portrait Lighting effects, and Depth Control. Using machine learning and monocular depth estimation, iPhone SE also takes stunning Portraits with the front camera.”


Next-generation Smart HDR comes to iPhone SE, intelligently re-lighting recognized subjects in a frame for more natural-looking images with stunning highlight and shadow details.


What’s even more impressive with the iPhone SE is the stereo audio recording and cinematic video stabilization on the front and rear cameras. The rear camera supports high-quality video capture at 4K up to 60fps, and extended dynamic range comes to iPhone SE for more highlight details up to 30fps. It can take advantage of QuickTake video on the front and rear cameras, allowing video recording without switching out of Photo mode.


(via CNET): Since both phones have the same processor, naturally I wanted to compare photos and videos. To date, the iPhone 11 phones have not only the best cameras on any iPhone, but one of the best all-around camera systems on any phone.


The iPhone SE has a lot to live up to, but as you will see, it can go toe-to-toe with its pricier Apple siblings. ...when it comes to photography and recording videos, the real consideration isn't the number of megapixels or number of cameras. Instead, it's all about the processor.


When comparing videos shot with the front cameras on iPhone SE vs the 11 series, you can see and hear the difference. The video from the iPhone 11 sounds better and has more clarity than the iPhone SE, CNET states.


Overall, the iPhone 11 has a better and more versatile camera system, plus the highest-quality video in a smartphone, shooting sharp 4k videos at 60 fps. But don’t hang up on the iPhone SE -- for smaller budgets, the iPhone SE still handles the most demanding tasks.