Apple announces iPhone SE: 12MP camera, A9 processor, Apple Pay

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On March 21st, Apple announced the next iPhone to join their lineup and to replace the two-year old iPhone 5s. The iPhone SE, as rumored, is a very upgraded iPhone 5s with technical specifications that match the iPhone 6s.

Design

iPhone SE design

The iPhone SE design, via Apple.com

The iPhone SE has the same external design as the iPhone 5s except for a couple of changes. With its 4-inch display, bottom speaker and microphone grill, circular volume buttons, aluminum and glass rear shell and flat camera with a pill-shaped dual-LED flash, this iPhone has the same design as the iPhone 5s. It even has the chamfered edges that Apple moved away from with the iPhone 6. The phone, however, now has the letters “SE” printed under “iPhone” on the rear shell and comes in a rose gold color. This joins the previous space gray, gold and silver colors.

 

Internal Specs

The iPhone SE has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and NFC chip for Apple Pay.

The iPhone SE has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and NFC chip for Apple Pay, via Apple.com

While Apple kept the same external design as the iPhone 5s, they upgraded the internal components to match the iPhone 6s. The phone is powered by the 64-bit A9 processor with embedded M9 coprocessor, which offers two times faster CPU and three times faster GPU as compared to the iPhone 5s’ processor. This processor also offers great battery life where it exceeds the iPhone 6s on some levels with two hours more Internet use on 3G and Wi-Fi and three hours on 4G LTE. The processor comes with always-on Siri so she can be activated without the iPhone being plugged in, which is needed on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

The iPhone SE has the Touch ID Home button and an NFC chip for Apple Pay payments without needing to first connect to the Apple Watch. The phone has faster Wi-Fi and 4G LTE so it can be up to three times faster on Wi-Fi and up to fifty times faster on LTE when compared to the iPhone 5s. It also has Bluetooth 4.2 and support for VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling.

The rear camera on the iPhone SE have been upgraded as well. It now has the 12MP sensor with the functionality to take Live Photos and Panoramas up to 63MP. The camera also has up to 4K video recording, HD slo-mo video recording and cinematic video stabilization. The front camera on the phone, however, is the same as on the iPhone 5s. It takes 1.2MP still photos with 720p HD video recording. It does have the Retina Flash, which is a feature unique to the iPhone 6s/6s Plus.

 

iPhone SE vs. iPhone 5s

iPhone 5s

The iPhone 5s, via YouTube

The iPhone 5s has the same design as the iPhone 5, which was the last iPhone that Steve Jobs helped design. Apple returned to this design for the iPhone SE for a few reasons, one being that it has been around for several years and is loved by its users. The iPhone SE saw many upgraded components that make it equal on many levels to the iPhone 6s. Apple now offers customers a way to upgrade to the latest technology without compromising on the 4-inch screen size.




 

Lineup

iPhone lineup spring 2016

The 2016 spring iPhone lineup

For the spring lineup of iPhone (as we near closer to the iPhone 7 rumored announcement in the fall), we have the iPhone SE, iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. The new SE replaced the iPhone 5s, which came out two years ago.

 

Pricing and Storage

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE, via Apple.com

The iPhone SE is available in two storage sizes: 16GB and 64GB. There are several different pricing options for the iPhone, but the most recognizable would be the unsubsidized price. This is exactly how much you would pay for the phone flat out. The 16GB is available for $399 and the 64GB is available for $499, which much less than the iPhone 6s 16GB price of $649. With a two-year contract, the iPhone SE is $0 for the 16GB model and $49 for the 64GB model. More carriers are stepping away from contracts and are offering carrier financing. With this set up, like you would see on Verizon and AT&T, the iPhone SE starts at $13.30/month or $10/month with the trade-in of an iPhone 5s at the Apple Store.

 

Release Date

Pre-orders for the iPhone SE start on Thursday, March 24th and the phone is released on Thursday, March 31st.