Apple Unveils a New 4.7-inch iPhone SE (2nd Generation)

Apple revives the low-end of its iPhone line (2nd Generation)

The rumors turned out to be true. It's an all new iPhone SE that offers premium performance and some nifty camera tricks at an affordable price. If you're an iPhone fan, you should be cheering.

Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation)
The new Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation). Apple

Apple is resuscitating its low-end, affordable iPhone SE line in the form of a 4.7-inch handset that looks a lot like the iPhone 8. Its new name: Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation). And no, this is not a 5G phone.

The Details: Apple unveiled the new iPhone SE (2nd Generation) on Wednesday, a device that marries the increasingly classic look of the iPhone 8 with cutting edge hardware and software (iOS 13) found in Apple's iPhone 11 line. Apple is discontinuing the iPhone 8.

The new iPhone lineup
Apple's new iPhone lineup includes, at far left, the new iPhone SE (2nd Generation), the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro Max and the iPhone 11 Pro.  Apple

The Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation) jettisons the small screen and sharp edges of the the two-generation back iPhone 5 line in favor of the iPhone 8's 4.7 Retina HD display with a Haptic Touch Engine underneath. There's a new 12 MP Wide camera on the back and, on the front Touch ID and a 7 MP FaceTime camera. Essentially, the phone will be virtually indistinguishable, looks-wise, from the iPhone 8.

More power inside: Inside the iPhone SE (2nd Generation) is the same A13 Bionic CPU Apple uses in its top-of-the-line iPhone 11 Pro. That CPU includes Apple's Neural Engine to support on-board Machine Learning and the Image Processor.

A better camera: Unlike the original iPhone SE, the 2nd Generation model marries its cameras with some of Apple's best photographic tricks, including Portrait Mode on both the single rear 12 MP (f1.8) and front cameras. It's the first time that kind of bokeh photography has appeared on an Apple 4.7-inch screen device.

Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation)
Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation) has just a single, 12 MP wide camera on the back.  Apple

Single plane bokeh: While Apple traditionally uses two pieces of info (dual cameras or focus pixels, both of which provide left and right channels), the front facing camera introduces a technology called Monocular Depth Estimation. It takes the single sensor plane and then applies Machine Learning to estimate a depth map and build a segmentation mask. Combined they build the bokeh effect.

Three colors: The iPhone SE (2nd Generation) comes in Black, White, and Product (RED).

All the stuff: The 12 MP camera and sub-system support most of the camera features you'd find on a pricier iPhone, including, adjustable bokeh and lighting effects, optical image stabilization, 4K 60 fps video, slow motion, and Time Lapse. While the iPhone SE (2nd Generation) has better low light performance than the previous SE, it does not support Night Mode photography, which means no amazing starry night photos.

Just like the 8: As you might expect, the iPhone SE (2nd Generation) has the same Qi wireless charging and IP67 rating as the iPhone 8. On the charging, it also supports fast charging with an 18W charger.

Starting with more: While the original iPhone SE started with just 16 GB of storage. The $399 base model now includes 64 GB of storage. There are now 128 GB and 256 GB options, as well.

How do I get it? The Apple iPhone SE (2nd Generation) goes on pre-order on April 17 and should arrive in consumers hands on April 24.

Bottom Line: Apple sold a lot of iPhone SEs and it sold even more 4.7-inch display iPhones (500M), which means this is an extremely popular iPhone form factor that now has best-in-class components at a still very attractive price. Can that marriage help the iPhone SE (2nd Generation) repeat its predecessor's success?

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