After months of rumors, Apple has released a new version of the iPhone SE, filling in the cheap spot in the iPhone lineup formerly occupied by the 2016 version. The starting price will be $399—that’s $300 less than the iPhone 11—and it’ll ship on April 24, with preorders starting this Friday.
While the original iPhone SE had a 4-inch screen that took after the iPhone 5S, the new model is more like an updated iPhone 8. It has the same A13 Bionic processor as the current iPhone 11 range, and its single-lens 12-megapixel camera matches the hardware on the iPhone XR from late 2018. (As The Verge points out, the newer processor will allow for some software-based camera features that the iPhone XR lacks, such as Smart HDR for better lighting.)
In other words, the new iPhone SE should be no less future-proof than Apple’s high-end iPhones despite being smaller and cheaper. The main trade-offs are that it doesn’t have an edge-to-edge display like the iPhone X and later, and it uses a TouchID fingerprint reader instead of FaceID face recognition to unlock the phone. But if all of us are going to wear masks for the next year or two, maybe that’s not such a bad thing.