Apple iPhone SE 2020 Launches with A13 Bionic Chip and $399 Price Tag: Specifications and Features

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Nearly seven months after the launch of the iPhone 11 series, Apple has added a new product to its repertoire in the form of the new iPhone SE 2020. The spiritual successor to Apple’s first-generation iPhone SE from 2016, the 2020 edition of Apple’s low-cost iPhone is an attempt on the part of the company to revive its fortunes in emerging markets across the globe. These are markets where Apple’s company’s traditional flagship models are simply too expensive to be sold in massive numbers. Apple has decided to continue with the same iPhone SE branding for the 2020 edition of the device. This also means that they decided against the much-rumored iPhone 9 moniker for this handset.

iPhone SE: An iPhone 8 with a newer processor?

For all practice purposes, the ‘new’ iPhone SE appears to be the good ol’ iPhone 8 from 2017. Everything from the design, to the weight and hardware specifications, remain identical to the near 3-year-old phone. There is a difference, though. The iPhone SE gets the Apple A13 Bionic processor — widely thought to be the most powerful mobile SoC in existence today. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, gets by with the two-generation old A11 Bionic chipset. The arrival of the iPhone SE also marks the return of Apple’s TouchID fingerprint scanning system. The iPhone SE retains the 4.7-inch IPS LCD display used on the iPhone 8. This display boasts of a resolution of 1334  x750 pixels and a 1400:1 contrast ratio. At 625 nits, it is also quite bright. The smaller display also makes the phone quite compact. Like the iPhone 8, this device is also IP67 rated for water and dust resistance.

The iPhone SE also appears to use the same camera hardware as the iPhone 8. The rear-facing camera on the phone uses a 12-megapixel sensor and uses an f/1.8 lens. This camera supports OIS as well as autofocus. Thanks to the A13 processor, the iPhone SE can record 4K videos at 60 fps. There is a single LED flash at the rear for low light situations. At the front, the iPhone SE gets by with a 7MP sensor with an f/2.2 lens. The front camera can record 1080p30 videos as well.

At launch, the iPhone SE will come with the latest stable version of iOS. As the case usually is with Apple, we expect Apple to support the iPhone SE users with regular software upgrades for the next few years. The phone will be made available in three storage and color options. The base variant of the phone comes with 64GB storage, while the mid-tier option gets 128GB of storage. The top-end iPhone SE 2020 comes with 256GB of storage. The three color options available for the iPhone SE are Black, White, and Product Red. The Indian pricing for the iPhone SE is as follows.

  • iPhone SE 64GB: Rs 42,500
  • iPhone SE 128GB: Rs 47,800
  • iPhone SE 256GB: Rs 58,300

iPhone SE 2020: What we think

What makes the iPhone SE a compelling package is the fact that it uses the same Apple A13 Bionic processor found doing duty on the rest of the iPhone 11 series. This is a significant upgrade over the iPhone 8’s A11 Bionic processor. The key takeaway from this? For its starting price of $42,500, you get the same performance as that of the iPhone 11, which is twice as expensive. While this approach at a ‘scaled down’ iPhone with fewer features may not find too many takers in markets like Europe and North America, this is a sure-shot way to lure the budget-conscious customer from emerging markets away from Android. While the iPhone SE 2020 does make for an interesting buy, the launch of the device comes at a time when most of the world continues to reel under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Having spent the better part of the last decade writing about technology, Rahul is among the most experienced tech journalists in India. His writing career began back to 2006 when he started off as a member of the Microsoft PYPC (Protect Your PC) team. At Microsoft, most of his time was spent on creating and updating Microsoft’s Knowledge Base articles. In 2008, thanks to his proclivity for consumer technology, he joined Techtree, then India’s most popular consumer tech website. In his decade-long career, Rahul has contributed to several Indian and International publications including GQ Magazine, Onlygizmos, iPhoneHacks, and The Inquisitr.