Apple has released the long-awaited iPhone SE 2020 at a breakthrough price: $ 399 or 489 euros, but less price means a second-class device? Far from being it, it is one of the smartphones with the best quality/price ratio that we have seen in a long time.
The iPhone SE 2020 is destined for two things: to become one of the best-selling devices in 2020 and to be the most misunderstood smartphone of the year. Some Apple devices seem to live in an infinite loop where pigeonholes and prejudices make it difficult for some sectors to see the effect they can have.
That the iPhone SE is an iPhone is the most important thing. As obvious as it may seem, I am saying it in the sense that it is a device with one of the most desired and aspirational brands on the market – in general. That has a very considerable weight if we consider its price: $ 399 or 489 euros.
A next-generation iPhone for less than $ 500 / euros? Those ten words will make Apple sell millions of these devices. They would not have to do marketing, they would not have to lift a finger, the work is done alone.
Still, the other side of the coin immediately pops up: “But it’s a phone made of old parts,” “It’s a reworked iPhone 8.” It is the root of the prejudice of those who live typecast in the world of “either you buy the latest or nothing.” IPhone SE is not intended for them. It seeks to fill a segment that Apple did not previously enter: the mid-range.
And under that dimension, it simply has no rival .
Although the iPhone SE on the outside has the same design as the iPhone 8, on the inside it is completely different. It has an A13 processor, the same as the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. In terms of performance, they give the same results in the usual tests as Geekbench: there is no difference.
A13 processors are extremely efficient and extremely fast, so much so that they are usually faster than some models of some many MacBook Air , some MacBook Pro and certainly many PCs currently on the market.
This guarantees that the device will receive updates and improvements to the operating system for many years, you can run any of the apps and games that can be downloaded or purchased in the App Store, without making a single commitment and that it can execute many functions much better than processors. of the past they did with the same hardware.
The photo camera is one of the best examples of the above. Apple does not officially confirm it, some say the iPhone SE 2020 camera module is the same as iPhone 8 , others say it is the same as iPhone XR, and others say it is new. iFixit is also not completely clear after doing the usual exploded view,
That’s not important. What really matters is that thanks to computational photography powered by the A13 processor’s neural engine , the photos are much better than they were on the iPhone 8 or iPhone XR .
But where there really is magic is in portrait mode. Apple has managed to simulate with surprising accuracy the depth calculation system in which two cameras or sensors such as the TrueDepth were needed on the front of the iPhone X, XR, XS, 11 and 11 Pro with simply impressive results.
That is why the front camera is capable of activating portrait mode as well without the need for the sensors required for Face ID. What is very striking is that the calculation and separation between subject and background is extremely impressive and significantly better than what we saw on the iPhone XR . I’d say it’s pretty much as good as the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro . At times it seemed even better.
In Silicon Valley right now there is a very intense race to calculate the depth of an image as quickly and accurately as possible without the need for hardware sensors , which are usually expensive. It is being achieved through artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Why? Because that way you can improve the capabilities of a camera without having to change hardware components . Doing everything with the software is not only practical because a system update could completely transform a camera into a smartphone, but because depth sensors are usually very expensive, from those used for portable devices such as vehicles to achieve total autonomy.
Tesla , for example, is following the exact same model, bypassing LIDAR sensors and calculating the depth of what its vehicle cameras see, in real time, through machine learning and artificial intelligence.
For Apple, it is also a fundamentally important race because of the importance they are giving to augmented reality where the calculation of depth is basic to make it work. Achieving it without resorting to expensive components and thus offering it in increasingly cheaper devices – or extremely small such as a smartwatch or glasses – is key to the massive adoption of technology.
That’s why – for the moment – the portrait mode of the iPhone SE 2020 only works on faces and not on non-animated objects. Because artificial intelligence training has been done based on millions of faces and their little details.
Even so, third-party applications such as Halide or Focus allow portrait photos to be taken of other objects that are not people’s faces, although the result is not as good for the aforementioned reasons.
4K at 60 frames per second with optical stabilization on a device under $ 500 / euro
4K at 60 frames per second with optical stabilization on a device under 500 $/euro, 4K at 60 frames per second with optical stabilization on a device under 500 $/euro.
I keep repeating it and it never ceases to amaze me. It is not only the resolution, the frames per second, or the optical stabilization, thanks to the A13 chip, the video processing is surprisingly good, especially considering the price of the iPhone SE 2020.
If the most important camera is the one you have in your pocket, then all those who buy this smartphone can rest easy: there is no device in this price range capable of recording video at this quality, with such a level of stabilization at this price.
It is exciting to think that millions of people will have access to a device capable of recording video at a quality that was only reserved for high-end smartphones that are at or above $ 1,000 / euro.
The battery is the same as the iPhone 8 and its autonomy is the same. It lasts during the day but at night you have to charge it because it will already be 10% or less.
Enough for most who are more than used to charging their smartphone every night, but it does not equal the autonomy of the iPhone XR or especially the iPhone 11 Pro Max. An absolutely normal question considering the size and price.
- There is no Face ID, it is a very expensive component and impossible to put in a smartphone that costs what the iPhone SE is worth, but Touch ID with the A13 processor is extremely fast.
- Sometimes we forget how lightweight these slightly smaller phones were without compromising on material quality.
- The front has edges, yes. I’m sure 99% of potential iPhone SE customers care about zero.
- In the white model, the front is also black. Finally.
- Let’s not forget that Product Red is allocating funds to the fight against the coronavirus, it seems to me that it is a sufficient argument to buy the model in red.
- The apple in the back has been located in the center, to be homogeneous with the rest of the iPhones that are sold today.
IPhone SE is the iPhone for everyone . It is an extremely capable device in a very small size for all those who want a very good device, but who are not interested in being at the forefront of the innovation curve. In fact, it is for all those who are not interested in technology a bit, in general and therefore do not want to invest in phones for a thousand dollars or euros.
That is why the iPhone SE is so important and that is why it will be one of the best sellers of the year and Apple’s best seller. Even those who are not interested in technology know that iPhone, as a brand, is extremely valuable and very attractive.
Among a mid-range Android or a last-generation iPhone the choice is obvious. And for the moment only Apple can achieve something like this. If this is accompanied by a good camera, a good design and the guarantee that any of the apps and games available in the App Store can be used, the fish is more than sold.
- Breakthrough price
- Latest generation A13 processor
- The best camera in its price range
- 4K video stabilized at 60 frames per second
- Screen brightness is a little insufficient outdoors in bright sunlight
- 64 GB is insufficient if you record a lot of video in 4K