So, the long-rumoured iPhone SE (SE stands for 'Special Edition') has arrived. While Apple did its best to keep the hardware at the centre of its recent Cupertino gathering under wraps, nothing in the lineup would have come as much of a surprise to anyone with an interest in tech. The new, smaller iPad Pro, iOS 9.3, Carekit and an Apple Watch price reduction were all welcome unveilings; however, each took its place on the undercard of the event, top billing of which was reserved for the SE.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple’s newest handset.
If we were going to be ultra-concise about the SE, it could be described in one sentence: an iPhone 6 inside the body of an iPhone 5s.
What you’re looking at here is the reincarnation of the 5s. Speaking of its release at the time, Apple CEO, Tim Cook, said of the iPhone 5: "We've put a lot of thinking into screen size and we think we've picked the right one."
A 4-inch display has always seemed the most comfortable fit for the iPhone – it suits this look. Going back to the design of 5s for this phone works. It also means a return for the angular aluminium-and-glass chassis and resulting chunky, yet light, feel that was replaced by the more streamlined curved glass of the iPhone 6 and 6s.
Hardware & Software
If you’ve been stubbornly holding on to your 5s for its size, while secretly envying the meaty performance of the 6, the SE is going to be the phone for you.
The device comes with an A9 processor, M9 motion co-processor and 2GB of RAM, making it three-times faster than the 5s. Storage options are 16GB and 64GB.
Touch ID is in place and an NFC chip equips the device for Apple Pay transactions. Sadly, there is no 3D Touch, but that won’t matter if you’re upgrading from an iPhone 5/5s.
The phone will be shipped with iOS 9.3, which includes new features like Night Shift, which makes the screen warmer as the night closes in. There are also new options for viewing health app data and the ability to use Touch ID to lock the Notes app.
A 12MP iSight sensor replaces the 8MP shooter in the 5s and comes with 4K video support. In day-to-day use, there really isn’t much difference between the camera here and the 5s, but new modes like Live Photos – which allows you to capture video and audio when taking a photo – make it more enjoyable to use. There is also True Tone Flash, ensuring selfies are snapped in a better light.
The iPhone SE is the cheapest iPhone ever, at £359 for a 16GB model – reasonable for what, on bare specs, is a flagship device. Of course, 16GB of internal storage is a bit naff, so you’d be better of going for the 64GB model, at £439.
Pre-orders start from March 24. The device hits stores on March 31. The phone will be available in the UK on Vodafone, EE and o2 in Gold, Silver, Rose Gold and Space Grey.
So, the long-rumoured iPhone SE (SE stands for 'Special Edition') has arrived. While Apple did its best to keep the hardware at the centre of its recent Cupertino gathering under wraps, nothing in the lineup would have come as much of a surprise to anyone with an interest in tech. The new, smaller iPad Pro, iOS 9.3, Carekit and an Apple