By James Ormiston (@MacJim)

For some years now, I’ve become ever more critical of Apple with each iPhone launch, where the entry level pricing rose higher and higher. We’ve seen those who are on a limited budget left with the choice either to pay more than they had planned, or choose an alternative mobile from the Android marketplace. Personally, I finally had enough when Apple launched the iPhone X which took the price into the stratospheric region of over £1,000.

Back in 2016, Apple introduced the iPhone SE, a ‘new’ model based on the chassis of the iPhone 5s but with the internals of the iPhone 6s. It too, was sold at a similar price point to this new model and was aimed at those that who preferred the size of the iPhone 5s. Transporting ourselves forward in time to 2020 with the release of the new iPhone SE, those fans may be disappointed with the changes made by Apple with regards to the larger size of this device, but they’d be missing the point of this phone. What they will now find is a model based on the iPhone 8 body, an increase in size, but this is offset by the much-improved internals; very similar to the iPhone 11 but at a much more affordable price point. So, what will those iPhone 5s users get if they do decide to trade in their old phones? Well, they will find a much more capable device than the 5s, but with a similar sized display that is much better than they have currently.


The new iPhone SE has a durable glass and aluminium design, with a brilliant 4.7” Retina HD display.
It has an A13 processor giving it the power of the iPhone 11Pro models in a smaller form factor.
The A13 Bionic processor makes everything feel very fluid in use, whether it’s playing the latest games from Apple Arcade, exploring new ways to work, or for augmented reality. The A13 Bionic also helps to get the best out of the camera. Portrait mode allows you blur out the background, especially suited for those selfie images, with depth control adjusted with a simple slider to blur in or out the background – before and after the image is taken. There are too many more ways to control and edit your images for me to list here, so take a look on the Apple website for more information.
Video too is now lightyears ahead of the 5s; 4K and extended dynamic range adds greater detail in highlight and shadows… again, check out the iPhone SE website for more information.

There is no FaceID but with Touch ID your privacy is still secured, and you still get ease of use when purchasing from the web, in apps, or when out about with Apple Pay. If you’re already in the Apple ecosphere, or even if you’re not, you will get peace of mind knowing that your data, passwords and bank details are safe in everyday use.

Pre-order through the Apple Store online, or through the iOS app, and the iPhone SE (2020) is expected to be available from Friday 24 April; obviously this depends on supplies being available due to the current Covid-19 pandemic and level of demand (at time of posting delivery times have slipped into May).

Prices start at £419/$399 for the 64GB iPhone SE and rise to £569/$549 for the 256Gb model.
Available in Black, White or red finishes.
The good news if you are a current iPhone 8 owner who’s thinking about replacing that model with the SE, your cases will fit just fine.
Applecare+ is also worth investing in as it’s available at a very reasonable £79 too (a hefty reduction from the same cover for the now deprecated iPhone 8.

Specs (taken from Apple’s page)


  • Retina HD display
  • 4.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD Multi-Touch display with IPS technology
  • 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi
  • 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)
  • True Tone display
  • Wide colour display (P3)
  • Haptic Touch
  • 625 nits max brightness (typical)
  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating
  • Display Zoom
  • Reachability


  • A13 Bionic chip
  • Third‑generation Neural Engine

Splash, Water and Dust Resistant

  • Rated IP67 (maximum depth of 1 metre up to 30 minutes) under IEC standard 60529


  • 12MP Wide camera
  • ƒ/1.8 aperture
  • Digital zoom up to 5x
  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control
  • Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High-Key Light Mono)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • Six-element lens
  • LED True Tone flash with slow sync
  • Panorama (up to 63MP)
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels
  • Wide colour capture for photos and Live Photos
  • Next-generation Smart HDR for photos
  • Advanced red-eye correction
  • Auto image stabilisation
  • Burst mode
  • Photo geotagging
  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

Video Recording

  • 4K video recording at 24 fps, 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Extended dynamic range for video up to 30 fps
  • Optical image stabilisation for video
  • Digital zoom up to 3x
  • LED True Tone flash
  • QuickTake video
  • Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 240 fps
  • Time-lapse video with stabilisation
  • Cinematic video stabilisation (4K, 1080p and 720p)
  • Continuous autofocus video
  • Take 8MP still photos while recording 4K video
  • Playback zoom
  • Video formats recorded: HEVC and H.264
  • Stereo recording

Front Camera

  • 7MP camera
  • ƒ/2.2 aperture
  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control
  • Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High-Key Light Mono)
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Retina Flash
  • QuickTake video
  • Wide colour capture for photos and Live Photos
  • Auto HDR for photos
  • Auto image stabilisation
  • Burst mode
  • Cinematic video stabilisation (1080p and 720p)

Touch ID

  • Fingerprint sensor built into the Home button

Apple Pay

  • Pay with your iPhone using Touch ID in shops, within apps and on the web. Complete purchases made with Apple Pay on your Mac

In summary

I have to take my hat off to Apple with this new iPhone. It finally brings the option to buy an iPhone complete with all the security that comes with iOS back to “the rest of us”, rather than having to take an Android mobile phone simply because we can’t afford the more expensive options.

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