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The iPhone SE Is Affordable And Well-Proportioned: Apple Presents a Golden Delicious

04/04/2016 12:55

The Apple launch is not, by now, a novelty beast. A new product seems to roll around with exhausting regularity, and yet our appetite for Apple gadgets remains unsated: as the latest tech treats are proffered, we duly whip ourselves into a frenzy of excitement.

This time around we're celebrating the arrival of the iPhone SE. Pre-launch secrets were ten a penny and customarily juicy, proving that this unveiling was no exception to the rule of Apple supremacy.

Company lips were tightly sealed in the run up to the announcement, so there was plenty of the usual buzz about what the latest addition to the iPhone family might offer.

Early rumours suggested there would be a hot pink option on the colour front, and speculation regarding possible names jumped from 'iPhone 6c' to '5SE', before settling on the now enshrined iPhone SE.

But the wait is finally over, so does the new kid on the block really bring anything significant to the table?

The four-inch screen display is an obvious selling point for the SE. It marks a bold step away from the ever-growing tablet style phones we've grown accustomed to.

The downsizing will likely be well received by those with more delicate digits, and those who aren't relying on their handset to double up as an e-reader or a TV - not everyone wants a smartphone the size of a small country anyway.

Cruising in at a very respectable £359 for the 16GB model, the iPhone SE is more competitively priced than recent iPhones, and makes an ostentatious bid for the attention of budget-conscious shoppers. This model might be the affordable option - but does it cut corners on quality as a compromise?

The new handset boasts the same A9 processor and 12 megapixel camera as the iPhone 6s, which means amateur photographers can snap happy with a powerful phone that fits comfortably in a pocket. A less powerful processor would have been perfectly acceptable in a cheaper model, but with the processor and graphics on par with the iPhone 6s, it's hard to spot where Apple is scrimping to keep the price down.

All in all, it's an impressive phone. Those who weren't bowled over by the 5c, Apple's previous lower-cost iPhone, should be willing to give the SE more serious consideration. It certainly looks grown up, and sports a metal body in subtler colours than those available with the 5c.

There are, inevitably, features missing from the SE. The handset won't be graced with the 3D Touch introduced with the 6S, but the omission is unlikely to be much of a deal breaker - the feature is so new most of us won't know we're missing.

Those who take their Snapchat and selfie game seriously might be disappointed to hear that unlike the 5-megapixel front-facing camera on the 6s, the SE's front-facing camera offers just 1.2 megapixels. But if those cutbacks can knock £180 off the price of the cheapest 6s, it's a sacrifice many will be willing to make.

The Apple turns on its axis, and another iPhone takes its place in the handset hall of fame.

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