At a time when Android smartphones keep getting bigger and pricier, Apple has just launched a new phone for folks looking for something smaller and cheaper.

The new iPhone SE is a smartphone with a 4.7 inch display, an Apple A13 Bionic processor (the same one used in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro), and a starting price of just $399.

The iPhone SE goes up for pre-order on April 17th and begins shipping April 24th.

Despite having one of the fastest smartphone processors on the market, the iPhone SE is clearly a budget offering — it lacks some of the features you’d expect from a 2020 flagship such as multiple cameras or a high screen-to-body ratio.

In fact, if the iPhone SE looks familiar, that’s because it borrows heavily from the design of 3-year-old iPhone 8, big bezels and all.

But that $399 price tag could make this a pretty attractive option at a time when a lot of people are probably squeezing their belts. And it’s not like Apple is the only company expected to release a $399 phone with a single rear camera this spring.

Apple also claims that the iPhone SE has “the best single-camera system ever in an iPhone,” with support for portrait mode, portrait lighting effects, and depth control features thanks to computational photography enabled by the A13 Bionic processor. The phone can also shoot 4K video at up to 60 frames per second and supports Apple’s “cinematic video stabilization” technology.

One camera feature you don’t get though, is a dedicated night mode for low-light photography.

The new iPhone SE will be available in black, white, and red color options and there are three storage/pricing configuration options. Here are the prices for unlocked models:

  • iPhone SE with 64GB for $399
  • iPhone SE with 128GB for $449
  • iPhone SE with 256GB for $549

And here’s a run-down of some of the phone’s key specs:

Display4.7 inch 1334 x 750 pixel IPS LCD
ProcessorApple A13 Bionic
Rear camera12MP F/1.8 w/LED flash
Front camera7MP F/2.2
Water resistanceIP67
Touch IDFingerprint sensor in home button
Fast chargingOptional 18W (sold separately)
Wireless chargingCompatible with Qi chargers
Dual SIMNano SIM and eSIM
Dimensions138.4mm x 67.3mm x 7.3mm
Weight148 grams

Apple says the optional 18W fast charger lets you get a 50-percent charge by plugging in the phone for 30 minutes.

Update: PlayfulDroid reports that according to a China Telecom listing, the new iPhone SE has 3GB of RAM and an 1821 mAh battery. 

The phone also comes with a pair of Apple EarPods earbuds that connect to the phone’s Lightning adapter. But you’ll need a dongle (or wireless headphones) if you want to listen and charge the iPhone SE at the same time.

Sadly, if you were hoping to jailbreak this phone and install Android or another OS on it, you’re probably out of luck (for now at least). The checkm8 exploit that folks have been using to jailbreak recent iPhones only supports models with Apple A5 through A11 chips.


press release

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12 replies on “Apple iPhone SE coming this week for $399 and up”

  1. Too bad this isn’t the SE for me. At least for me, I got the iPhone SE because
    – It’s physically small.
    – Has a 3.5mm headphone jack.

    Good thing my current iPhone SE still has some years to go before losing software and security updates. It’s also as snappy as when I first got it. At that point, I hope there’s something I’m willing to replace it with.

    1. Yeah, this is a disappointing Apple announcement. Let’s see how long I’ll use my current nice and small iPhone SE.

      1. Let’s stay optimistic, and say this is the last kufuffle from Jony Ive’s influence in Apple.

        Hopefully 2021 and on, Apple might clean up the design properly and move to a more logical product line. For instance: no camera hump, flat sides, flat display, no notch, 21:9 aspect ratio.

        Then have a proper iPhone T-12, iPhone X-12, and iPhone Z-12 product lineup. The “T” medium can have a medium +1080p screen, dual cameras, medium battery capacity. The “X” large can have a large +1440p screen, triple cameras, large battery size. The “Z” largest can have a very large +2160p screen, quad cameras, and the largest battery.

        Each year they bump up the name by one number, and improve the specs slightly (cameras, screen, processor, battery).

        …and every 2-years or so they could introduce a new “S” model. For instance, the iPhone S-12. And it could have a small 720p screen, single camera, and small battery capacity. And now they’re in every market at the luxury end, and have a good strategy to continue to dominate the profit share of the mobile industry.

    1. +1
      Longevity of their hardware is very good. It makes their devices a good value to people who use them often. iOS is a deal breaker for me.

  2. The iPhone SE is a really odd device. It has a very powerful SOC, but lacks almost everything else.

    Aside from the very different screensize, it’s hard to not compare it to the Samsung A51, which is $349, has more than double the screen resolution, has 4 cameras (one of them 48mp), a 4000 mAh battery, IP68 (instead of IP67). Nearly every spec is more than 2x better, except for SOC performance.

    I think in this price range, I’d rather have the more “livable” phone, and not the phone with the highest benchmark.

    1. There’s a lot wrong with what you’ve said.

      The Galaxy A51’s cameras produce mediocre results. The SE’s sensor is the same as the iPhone 11’s, so results should be similarly good as the iPhone 11.

      The Galaxy A51 does not have an IP rating.

      The larger battery on the Galaxy A51 may not translate to a better battery life, given the larger, higher resolution screen. Battery size is a means to an end, not a spec to be viewed in a vacuum.

      1. To add, you can verify the lack of water resistance by looking at water tests for the Galaxy A51 on Youtube, as well as look at disassembly videos. There is no gasket around the USB port or the SIM tray. It’s definitely not designed to be water resistant.

      2. I definitely don’t care about peak performance of the camera in this price range. I just mean that there is more flexibility. If you want to take amazing pictures, the iPhone is certainly the better buy.

        The IP68 rating is confirmed here: Samsung really goes out of their way to make sure they don’t advertise it on their own documentation of any A-series phones, but it appears the literature they provide to carriers says that it is ip68

        And I’m very confident in a mid-range phone with a 4000mAh battery having better battery life than the iPhone SE. The battery life is always the sore-spot of Apple’s 4.7″ phones.

    2. I partly agree. I would much rather have a better camera than the faster processor.
      On the other hand camera quality is measured by the size of sensor not the MP count. What I think we are seeing here is that the price of a A13 is similar to older processors.
      What I would have preferred is a smaller thicker iPhone 11 without any compromise even if it cost more.

  3. if i get a working fedora i belive. Sorry but jeyilbreak are not this same to PinePhone for 150$

  4. Honestly this is a fantastic deal. I might switch to Apple due to their amazing SoC, updates of more than 4 years and all the specs of the phone are more than i need

Comments are closed.