iPhone SE 3: All the Improvements We Want to See in Apple’s Next Affordable iPhone

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The new iPhone SE looks striking in red. At $ 399, it’s the most affordable iPhone you can buy right now.

John Kim / CNET

At $ 399 (£ 389, AU $ 679), the budget-conscious iPhone SE is the cheapest Apple smartphone you can buy. We praised the 2020 model for its affordability and fast performance thanks to the same chip from the iPhone 11, which launched a few months before the iPhone SE.

But there’s still a lot we expect from Apple’s next cheap smartphone, especially as competitors like Samsung and Google have improved theirs. economical devices. The New iPhone 11 price is $ 499 (£ 489, AU $ 849) could also make the $ 399 iPhone SE more difficult to sell for those who want a more affordable Apple device, given that it has longer battery life and a better camera system for just $ 100. $ more.

Apple is rumor has it that she is developing a new iPhone SE, called iPhone SE Plus or iPhone SE 3, which could launch in early 2022 with a design similar to the iPhone XR. If Apple’s next budget iPhone becomes a reality, here are the improvements we’d like to see.

A sharper selfie camera

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The 2020 iPhon SE has a 7-megapixel front camera and we’d love to see an upgrade in the next model.

John Kim / CNET

The affordable price of the iPhone SE means that it comes with some tradeoffs, especially when it comes to the camera. And if Apple keeps the price of the next iPhone SE as competitive as the 2020 version, that’s probably not going to change much.

But we’d at least like to see a higher-resolution front-facing camera for clearer video calls and selfies. The current iPhone SE has a 7 megapixel front camera like the iPhone XS. The iPhone 11 and newer devices have a 12-megapixel front camera with a wider field of view, as my colleague Patrick Holland pointed out in his review.

While the iPhone SE’s rear camera lacks the dual-lens configuration that has become common on most phones – even budget devices – its wide single-lens camera is still capable enough to produce impressive images. . But now that the COVID-19 pandemic has made video calling on our mobile devices the norm, it would be great to see the front camera get an upgrade that brings it closer to more expensive Apple phones.

Read more: Is Buying an iPhone 13 Worth It? Let’s compare the last five years of Apple iPhones

A newer Apple processor

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The Apple A15 processor in the iPhone 13 has 15 billion transistors.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland / CNET

One of the best things about the iPhone SE is that it comes with the same processor as the iPhone 11, ensuring that it won’t feel slow anytime soon and will be well equipped to handle the new features. While the A13 Bionic chip Inside the iPhone SE is packed with power for everyday tasks, Apple could give its budget phone an edge by equipping it with an even newer processor.

The IPhone 13 A15 Bionic processor would be ideal, but even winning last year’s A14 Bionic chip would be a step forward in the longevity of the iPhone SE for years to come. Again, the older A13 Bionic chip is more than sufficient for most of the tasks you typically do on your phone, whether that’s checking email, reading news, playing games. or take pictures.

But the improved neural engine in Apple’s new chips will likely improve your iPhone in a lot of machine learning-based software that iPhone has acquired in recent years. These include app recommendations, text predictions, language translation, and the ability to recognize people in photos. It’s these types of features that largely boost the iPhone’s appeal rather than raw computing power, and the more powerful neural engine in Apple’s new chips should help.

There is a chance that we could see Apple’s latest mobile processor arriving in the next iPhone SE, as the Nikkei report says it will run on the same A15 Bionic chip in. iPhone 13.

Support for 5G

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T-Mobile 5G national network advertisement seen in Midtown Manhattan.

Alex Tai / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

You maybe not need 5G today whereas speeds are generally comparable to those of 4G LTE networks. But 5G is now standard in most smartphones, which means they’re generally not more expensive than non-5G phones, as they were in 2019. Along with a processor upgrade, bring the 5G to the iPhone SE would be another way to ensure that the next Apple-generation budget phone doesn’t feel out of fashion in two to three years. The Nikkei report also suggests that the next iPhone SE will be 5G compatible, meaning that Apple’s entire 2022 lineup will be able to support the next-gen network.

Read more: iPhone SE 3: release date, price, 5G and all the other rumors we hear

Longer battery life

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The iPhone SE is one of Apple’s smaller iPhones, along with the iPhone 12 Mini and iPhone 13 Mini.

John Kim / CNET

The iPhone SE isn’t just the cheapest phone Apple sells; it is also one of the smallest. It also means that it has a smaller battery than other iPhones like the iPhone 11, 12 and 13. Apple estimates that the iPhone SE should last up to 13 hours when playing local videos, while the iPhone 13 should last 19 hours and the iPhone 11 and 12 should last 17 hours. Apple too improved battery life in his other smaller iPhone, the iPhone 13 Mini, which he says can last 17 hours during video playback, just like the iPhone 12.

In our opinion iPhone SE, my colleague Patrick Holland wrote that he was able to easily get through a day and a half on a single charge. However, battery life will always vary depending on how you use your device. In my own experience, I only got through a full working day in the late afternoon on days when I make a lot of calls or record audio for work. But I usually get more mileage on weekends when I just check my emails, read the news, and browse social media.

Still, the battery life can never be too long, and since Apple has improved the battery life of the iPhone 13 Mini, hopefully the same will be true for the next one. iPhone SE.

Touch ID

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IPhone SE is the only current iPhone with Touch ID.

Angela Lang / CNET

The iPhone SE is the only model Apple currently sells that still has the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the home button. I imagine that’s a big draw for some people, especially over the past year and a half, because a lot of us are wearing masks. Some might also find Touch ID to be more convenient than Face ID because you don’t have to worry about positioning your phone correctly in front of your face for it to work.

Many modern Android phones include both facial recognition and fingerprint scanning as biometric options to unlock your phone or authenticate payments. Reports suggest Apple is working on a screen fingerprint scanner for future flagship iPhone models, but hopefully Apple will at least keep Touch ID on the iPhone SE until then.

More base model storage

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The iPhone SE starts off with 64GB of storage, but we’d like to see 128GB.

Angela Lang / CNET

Apple has increased the entry-level storage capacity of the iPhone from 64GB to 128GB with iPhone 13 – a welcome update that would be greatly appreciated on the next iPhone SE. More storage usually leads to higher prices, but 128GB is widely considered the norm on smartphones, including budget models like the $ 350 Samsung Galaxy A42 5G and $ 450 Google Pixel 5A 5G. Hopefully, by removing the 64GB configuration from the iPhone 13 line, Apple recognizes this change rather than introducing it as a premium feature that is only available on its flagship phones.


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