One of the best values in Apple’s portfolio just got better.
Tim Cook and co. took some time out of their “Peek Performance” announcement stream on Tuesday to show off an updated iPhone SE for 2022. A follow-up to 2020’s excellent budget iPhone, the new SE functions similarly to its predecessor. It essentially packs some iPhone 13 tech into an iPhone 8’s body, complete with a regular home button for folks like me who simply never want to learn new things. It launches on March 18 for $429, which is a bump up from the $399 price of the previous SE and comes in three colors: Midnight, Starlight, and Product Red.
Features! Credit: Apple
Like the previous SE, it’s got a 4.7-inch display, the same as the old iPhone 8. While the 2020 model had an A13 chip fueling its performance, the new iPhone SE has a more advanced A15 Bionic chip inside, the same one you’d find in an iPhone 13, which probably explains the $30 price jump. That should provide faster performance and access to some of the features you see on iPhone flagships, like better battery life and improved performance in mobile games. Unlike the 2020 SE, this new one also supports 5G networks.
Aside from size and shape, the main way the iPhone SE is a downgrade from more expensive iPhones is its camera. You won’t get three lenses with every fancy feature here, but what’s on offer should still take nice shots for social media. Its 12MP lens comes with software enhancements like Smart HDR that should make photos look snazzy without a billion lenses.
In short: It’s an iPhone 8 with an iPhone 13’s brains inside… for just $429. For folks who like the elegance of iPhones but don’t want to pay $1,200 for a premium phone, it doesn’t get much better than that.