Apple

Speed, 5G, just $429, but looks old

Speed, 5G, just $429, but looks old

Apple iPhone SE 2022

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple’s new $429 iPhone SE will launch on Friday.

I’ve been testing it for several days, and it’s a good option for people who just need an iPhone without all the fancy stuff you’ll pay for on the iPhone 13, like a nicer screen and better cameras.

The iPhone SE costs $30 more than the model of the same name launched in 2020 for $399. It offers more than that model, including support for faster 5G cellular, tougher glass, and the same high-speed processor that appears in the more expensive iPhone 13 (which starts at $699 for the Mini model). But it looks like inflation and supply chain constraints could also play a role. I think Apple could have really increased the appeal by lowering the price a bit, given that consumers are in a rush everywhere else right now, from the grocery store to the gas pump.

The iPhone SE is not as popular as other phones from Apple. According to Counterpoint Research, the 2020 version of the iPhone SE accounted for 12% of all iPhone sales from launch through Q4 2021. The addition of 5G, however, could make it a compelling option in international markets such as than Europe and China where Apple didn’t yet have a low-cost 5G phone to compete with budget Android devices.

Here’s what you need to know about it.

what is good

Apple iPhone SE 2022

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Apple’s strategy for the iPhone SE is to use the same body and screen as older phone models to keep costs down, while adding the latest processor and cellular chip to keep it up to date. That means it can still run all the latest games and apps you’d expect from any new iPhone — I played Disney’s Melee Mania, for example — without any lag you might otherwise see in a phone that has a few years.

It has the same design as the iPhone 8 from 2017, which seems a bit outdated, but also means it’s the only iPhone you can still buy with a fingerprint-reading home button instead of the Apple’s Face ID unlocking system, which is only now. get help with face masks.

I like the size. I normally wear Apple’s much larger iPhone 13 Pro Max, which looks a bit like a brick next to the iPhone SE. I turned to the iPhone SE to toss it in my pocket for running, and it was much easier to use for one-handed movie watching while lying down without worrying about it falling on my face. The stereo speakers are good too. But if you have the budget, the iPhone 13 Mini is the same size with a much better screen, slightly longer battery life and nicer cameras.

Apple iPhone SE 2022

Todd Haselton | CNBC

5G works well too. It doesn’t support some of the faster mmWave networks that other iPhone and Android devices can support, but those networks aren’t widely available anyway. More importantly, it supports the new C-band networks deployed by Verizon and AT&T, as well as T-Mobile’s strong nationwide 5G network. So while 5G still isn’t essential for most people, it’s great if you need to download a big playlist or a few TV shows before catching a flight. In my testing, T-Mobile’s 5G network hit around 300 Mbps at home, which was faster than my Wi-Fi in parts of my house.

The camera captures rich colors.

Todd Haselton | CNBC

The camera is good, but that’s definitely one area where you can feel the cost savings. It has the same lens as the 2020 model but still takes slightly better photos thanks to the image signal processor that comes with the latest A15 chip. Portrait photos, which blur your subject’s background well, can be taken of people, but it does not detect pets for these images. There’s no night mode, which means photos taken in the dark aren’t as clear as on Apple’s more expensive phones. But it took nice, sharp photos and did a good job of capturing the deep reds of some tulips. The front camera is solid for selfies with a nice balance of colors and tones.

My dog ​​Mabel

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Finally, while it’s not as water resistant as other Apple iPhones, it can still survive a dip in the bath or a spill without any worries, and has the same strong glass as the others. iPhones to prevent it from breaking if you drop it. It doesn’t feel cheap like some low-cost Android phones, which often use plastic instead of glass and metal.

what’s wrong

Apple iPhone SE 2022

Todd Haselton | CNBC

Should I buy it?

Apple iPhone SE 2022

Todd Haselton | CNBC

People always ask me which iPhone they should buy. My answer is usually to ask another question: what do you want to do with it?

If you just need an iPhone that can run all the apps and the latest software, the iPhone SE is a great buy for the price. It’s a huge upgrade for people coming from similar devices, like the old iPhone 8. It’s also a great first phone for teenagers – a lot of kids get their first phone these days when they are in college.

But if you have a bigger budget, I still think the best phones for most people are the $799 iPhone 13, or the smaller $699 iPhone 13 Mini if ​​you like that size. You can unlock these phones with your face, they have better screens, they take better photos, and they have better battery life.

If you want to do it all with the smoothest, brightest screen and nicer stainless steel materials, then the iPhone 13 Pro models are your best bet.