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Apple launches the compact but powerful iPhone SE

by Mark Tyson on 21 March 2016, 18:44

Tags: Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), iPhone

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As many expected, Apple has launched a new iPhone which basically employs the chassis of the iPhone 5(S) but uses the core hardware specs from the newest iPhone 6S models. The Apple iPhone SE is the name of the new device rocking the compact 4-inch form factor, which many find so hand-and-pocket-friendly. Apple snappily subheadlines the new phone as "a big step for small".

The slide above provides almost all you need to know about the iPhone SE, the only gap in that spec list concerns screen specifications such as pixel resolution and screen type. Luckily Apple has now published the official product page and we can see the official specs page too; the screen offers 326ppi and a pixels resolution of 1136 x 640 with 800:1 contrast ratio and 500 cd/m2 max brightness, plus support for the full sRGB standard.

This smartphone will launch with iOS 9.3, also announced just today and available straight away, so it is good that it will use Apple's latest and greatest mobile phone processor. It employs the 64-bit Apple A9 SoC with M9 motion coprocessor and is said to offer twice the CPU performance and triple the GPU performance of the iPhone 5S. The new SoC also supports always on Siri command availability.

Other key improvements over the existing 4-inch option are the improved battery life, improved microphones, and faster connectivity – the LTE can connect at up to 150Mbps. Apple Pay works with the new smartphone with its Touch ID fingerprint reader and NFC required.

As well as the extra speed on offer, in processing and connectivity terms, the new 113g iPhone SE offers a great boost for the many who enjoy taking photos with their iDevice. Apple boasts that, having the same iSight camera unit as the iPhone 6S models, this smartphone is equipped with "the only camera you'll ever need". It's main camera is a 12MP f/2.2 image stabilised snapper, with True Tone flash, capable of shooting 4K video and works with Apple's Live Photo software. Round the front the iPhone SE offers a FaceTime HD camera (1.2MP) with Retina flash.

Those interested can pre-order from 24th March, with the device available from 31st March. Availability will span 100 countries by the end of May, Apple said. This new smartphone will be priced at $399 for a 16GB device, or $499 for a version with 64GB of storage - useful if you are going to take quite a lot of photos and any amount of videos. The $399 entry level iPhone SE is the cheapest ever iPhone at launch. Apple's latest 4-incher comes in the four iPhone 6S aluminium finishes; silver, black, gold and rose gold, as pictured directly above.

HEXUS Forums :: 26 Comments

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Yeah! I was hoping a big player would make a decent 4" device and I'm actually glad it's Apple, because other manufactures are likely to follow.
^ You mean like when Apple followed everyone else and started making big phones?
Good that they didn't give up on the smaller format phones though, I liked when Apple's phone were smaller.
Although I'm an android user (I rock a Xiaomi phone), this is actually pretty impressive. The iPhone 6S has really good specs, especially their NVMe storage and for them to actually charge a lower price is new.

Won't stop me from buying Android though but for someone like my mum who uses Apple things this is pretty good as she's on the 5S and likes the size of it. Don't have to worry for the next gew years or so then as when that gets slow I'll just get her this and it'll last her another few years. :)
^ You mean like when Apple followed everyone else and started making big phones?
Good that they didn't give up on the smaller format phones though, I liked when Apple's phone were smaller.

Exactly, every manufacturer, including Apple moved to +4.5“ because it seemed to be where the market was going. I think Apple didn't want to be left behind in the smartphone market with a smaller device and in hindsight it seems to have been a wise business decision, but a sad one because I loath large smartphones. Since, the phones at 4” or smaller from any manufacturer has been more or less entry level specification.

Now that Apple have jumped back in to the 4“ zone, I'm hopeful that the market for well spec'ed 4” devices would spring back in to life.

If not, I'd buy the Apple SE, despite all the qualms I have about the Apple system.
hopefully it'll fit in all the iphone 5 cases too and not be a couple mm out so people have to buy new ones.