Apple have just announced the iPhone SE, which they claim to be the most powerful 4-inch phone ever.
Quite some time ago, we brought you what the rumour mill was churning out regarding this demi-flagship, but have Apple created what the demand seeks or are they simply using some left over parts?
iPhone SE design
The biggest talking point of the iPhone SE is the 4-inch screen. Prior to the device’s announcement, many, ourselves included, had dubbed the demi-flagship as the iPhone 5SE. This is forgiveable considering the remarkable resemblance between the two handsets, most notably the 4-inch screen size.
The new par for the course is an all aluminium body, but new to the Apple iPhone SE are chamfered edges. Indeed, chamfered edges could be the latest must have trend in handset design since the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge. Apple set themselves aside from Samsung with a wider colour range, now inluding Silver, Gold, Space Grey and Rose Gold.
While nothing in the design specifically sets the iPhone SE aside from the iPhone 5S, what you get on the inside is quite a step up.
iPhone SE camera
Most exciting for those who have an iPhone 5S but haven’t upgraded due to the latest flagships being too big, is likely to be the camera upgrades. Instead of the 8MP camera Apple refused to get rid of for so long in the smaller handsets, the iPhone SE boasts a 12MP camera capable of shooting 4K video. While the selfie camera (Apple call it the Facetime Camera) shoots in HD, it’s only 1.2MP. This might be a strategic move to keep the popularity of Facetime going with smoother streaming.
Some of the latest camera software upgrades which emerged alongside the iPhone 6s have also come along with the iPhone SE. The best known of these is Live Photos, where the device captures a moment before and after your shot giving you those Harry Potter-esque moving photos. However, they do take up quite a bit of memory, double a standard image, meaning with no expandable memory, you might be best opting for the biggest memory option.
iPhone SE memory
As always, there is no expandable memory option with the iPhone SE. Instead, Apple opted for 16GB and 64GB memory variants, with the later being substantially more expensive, costing €499 and €599 respectively.
iPhone SE power
A 1642 mAh battery powers the iPhone SE, which by comparison is a small battery in the grand world of flagships. It is important to note that Apple often to have lower capacity batteries which they get the most out of from their efficient processors. The iPhone SE should give you about 13 hours 4G usage.
While the processors add to improved battery life, they also provide ammunition for Apple to allay iPhone SE and iPhone 5S comparisons.
The iPhone SE boasts CPU performance akin to that of the iPhone 6S, considerably faster than the iPhone 5S. Similarly, the GPU also matches the lastest fully fledge Apple flagship, three times faster than the iPhone 5S. This is achieved through the utilisation of the A9 chip.
iPhone SE Ireland: Price
Initial pricing with Apple states the 16GB model will set you back €499 while the 64GB model will cost €599. Many had hoped the pricing would be even lower, but alas Apple are again out to make a buck.
You should expect to get the iPhone SE free on a €55 a month, 24 month contract with Three. Vodafone are likely to match this, with Meteor offering the same monthly option for €99 up front. While these are all estimates, Three are likely to offer the best overall package.
iPhone SE Ireland: Launch date
The Irish launch date for new handsets is always a guessing game. The Apple website currently stated you may order the iPhone SE from March 29th, which suggests a very early April general sale.
iPhone SE: Verdict
Ultimately, this isn’t as cheap as the iPhone 5C was when it was launched, nor does the iPhone SE have the colourful appeal set the iPhone 5C aside. The iPhone SE is a premium handset purely aimed at those who don’t want big phones. Is bigger always better? Time will tell.