Apple announces the third-generation iPhone SE with 5G & A15 Bionic

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The third-generation iPhone SE is here, and costs only $429 for the A15 Bionic, 12MP cameras, 5G, and Touch ID in a familiar package.

Apple didn't change much about the new iPhone SE, but that is the point of the product. This budget-friendly iPhone is aimed at consumers looking for the least expenditure possible iPhone while still purchasing a new device.

Nothing changed about the external design. The third-generation iPhone SE uses the same aluminum-glass design with curved edges and a large chin. It now has the stronger glass used for the rear iPhone 13 panel and maintains an IP67 water resistance rating. Notably, this glass isn't the Ceramic Shield used for the iPhone 13 display panel.

The single rear 12MP camera uses the same components as before but gains better performance thanks to a faster image signal processor found in the A15 Bionic. The selfie camera is still 7MP, but gains image quality improvements from the new ISP. Portrait Mode, Photographic Styles, and Deep Fusion all benefit from this new processor.

Despite being a new smartphone, it retains the same external design used since the iPhone 8 that was released in 2017. That design is a selling point for some because it includes the classic Touch ID Home Button.

5G, A15 Bionic, stronger glass
5G, A15 Bionic, stronger glass

The A15 Bionic also ensures years of support for the new iPhone SE. Users will continue to get the latest iOS updates as long as the latest flagship iPhone 13 will, which is around six to eight years. The battery will give out before software support ends.

"iPhone SE has been an incredibly popular choice with our existing users and for new iPhone customers, thanks to its iconic design, exceptional performance, and affordable price. This year we've built the most powerful and durable iPhone SE yet, with better battery life thanks to A15 Bionic, the same chip as our iPhone 13 lineup that also unlocks advanced camera features like Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles, and Deep Fusion," said Kaiann Drance, Apple's vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing. "And with 5G, iPhone SE gives users faster downloads and uploads, higher quality video streaming, real-time interactivity in apps, and much more. Delivering the latest generation of technology and performance at this price is something only Apple can do."

Apple also included a 5G modem in the iPhone SE. This means every iPhone Apple sells is a 5G device.

The storage options available are 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. Apple claims battery life lasts up to two hours more during regular use.

Customers can pre-order the new iPhone SE on March 11, starting at $429, with initial shipments and in-store availability beginning March 18. There are three colors available: Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)RED.