On April 15, Apple announced it would be releasing a new phone—but not just any phone. The company is upgrading the smaller, more affordable and mega-loved SE model, which is now available for pre-order and begins shipping later this week.
I got a chance to try out a loaner device for a few days and compare it to the iPhone 11, which I’d been using for just over six months. Here’s what I thought.
The new SE is a heck of a lot cheaper than the 11
With a starting price of $599 CAD for a 64 GB model, the latest SE is way more affordable than the 11, which ranges from $979 to $1,189 (or up to $1,999 for the Pro Max). Bonus: It comes with a free year-long subscription to Apple TV (normally $5.99 per month), which is especially helpful during these quaran-times. (I highly recommend binging The Morning Show as soon as you get signed up!)
It still has a wicked camera
Despite the lower price point and smaller size (the SE is 4.7 inches long, compared to the 11’s 6-inch case), the new SE still takes sick photos. While it’s a single-camera system (#TBT), it has a lot of the same capabilities I love in the dual-camera 11 thanks to a 12-megapixel wide lens. Portrait mode and image stabilization features make it nearly impossible to take a bad pic, even in low light. (An aside, it also makes photographing my black cat way easier—that whisker definition!!)
If video is your thing, you’ll be pumped to know that the rear camera can capture at 4K, and the SE includes a new “QuickTake” function that allows you to start recording video without having to switch out of Photo mode.
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Honestly, I kinda missed the Home button
Although I quickly got used to life without a Home button, I have to say: It’s nice to have it back! The return of Touch ID could not have come at a better time: After weeks of having to enter my password because FaceID couldn’t recognize me with my non-medical mask on, it’s a relief to be able to more easily access everything on my phone with a single tap.
I also really missed this compact size. Remember typing with one hand?? If I ever have use for my purses again, it’ll be so nice to be able to tuck this fella into my mini bags instead of having to clutch my phone under my elbow while balancing a cocktail and small talk. (Ugh, remember cocktail parties??)
All in all, I’m pretty impressed with this little guy! If you’re in the market for a new phone—whether you lost your work phone due to COVID-related employment changes—or you simply need an upgrade, the new iPhone SE is really excellent bang for your buck.