As heavily rumoured, Apple has introduced its first iPhone product this year – the 4-inch iPhone SE. Inspired by the iPhone 5s, the new device gets beefy internals including the Apple A9 chip, 12MP main shooter, NFC, Apple Pay, and up to 64GB of storage. The iPhone SE goes on sale 31 March 2016, from US$399, with orders starting 24 March 2016.
Design and build
The 4-inch form factor may seem microscopic by today’s standards, but clearly there are people out there who don’t want a big phone. Apple revealed that 30 million of its customers are using 4-inch iPhones.
The iPhone SE is targeted at this market, as well as at people looking at their first smartphone. Priced in the ‘affordable’ range, at least by Apple standards, the addition of the iPhone SE makes the iPhone line-up, Apple’s strongest yet.
The design is reminiscent of the iPhone 5s, differentiating itself from the flagship iPhone 6s. The aluminum unibody will look and feel familiar, although the 4-inch Retina Display is slightly curved at the edges. Apple has also added matte chamfered edges.
It weighs a featherweight 113g and measures 7.6mm in thickness.
Powering the iPhone SE is the 64-bit Apple A9 processor, the same powerful chip that powers the iPhone 6. Storage options include 16GB and 64GB. The A9 chip, of course also includes the M9 co-processor, the little chip that powers Siri, as well as the iPhone’s plethora of sensors.
Apple says the A9 in the iPhone SE is 2x more powerful than the iPhone 5s, with graphics performance 3x faster.
It includes an NFC chip, coupled with Touch ID to support Apple Pay. It ticks other checkboxes including Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi 802.11ac (up to 433Mbps), 4G LTE (150Mbps) and VoLTE.
Unfortunately, there’s no 3D Touch included.
Apple has always impressed in the camera department, and while iPhones don’t compare to other smartphones in megapixels, iPhone cameras deliver colour accurate and balanced, optimally exposed images.
The iPhone SE will not disappoint with its 12MP f/2.2 main shooter with Focus Pixels and True Tone Flash. While no details were mentioned, the iPhone Se camera featurs a new image signal processor. It supports capturing of 63MP panoramas, 4K video and Live Photos.
The front selfie camera is a 5MP f/2.4 FaceTime HD camera with Retina Flash.
The iPhone SE runs iOS 9.3 that features updates like Night Shift, new Notes app and more. iOS 9.3 is available as a free update for supported iOS devices, starting today.
Pricing and availability
The iPhone SE is available in Silver, Space Gray, Gold and Rose Gold. The 16GB version retails at US$399/MYR1,612, while the 64GB version is priced at US$499/MYR2,016.
The device will be available on 31 March 2016, in 30 countries including the US, UK, China, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and more. Orders start 24 March 2016. 110 countries will follow by end of May 2016.