Apple’s new $399 iPhone SE offers great specs with a dated design

Laurent Giret

Apple unveiled today a successor to its iPhone SE, which was the company’s most affordable handset when it launched at $399 in Spring 2016. The new iPhone SE still starts at $399, but Apple abandoned the dated iPhone 5 design with its 4” screen in favor of the slightly less dated iPhone 8 design, but with much more modern specs.

Indeed, the new iPhone SE features the same A13 Bionic SoC with Apple’s third-get Neural engine found in the $699 iPhone 11 from last year. The new handset also features a 12MP Wide camera that supports 4K 60FPS video, a 4.7” Retina HD True Tone display, up to 256GB of storage, support for Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit LTE, and Wifi. Just like the iPhone 8, the new iPhone SE also keeps Apple’s Touch ID sensor which many iPhone users still find more convenient than company’s newer Face ID technology.

“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.

At just $399 for the model with just 64GB of storage, the new iPhone SE is very good value, especially since Apple is beating the freshly-announced $699 OnePlus 8 on price. Sure, the latter is a flagship device with a much better 6.55-inch borderless AMOLED display, but the iPhone SE should really appeal to consumers who prefer small phones with a convenient fingerprint sensor on the front.

The iPhone SE will be available for pre-order on Apple’s website on Friday, April 17, with shipments starting next week on April 24. In an era where flagship phones now cost more than $1000, it’s quite refreshing to see Apple stick with a low-cost iPhone that still comes with pretty great specs.