At a starting price of $399, the new iPhone SE is uncharacteristically light on the wallet for an Apple product. But does its ‘low-price’ come at the expense of imaginativeness and does Android virtually offer the same for less?
Apple fans have got something to enthuse over during lockdown, with the looming release of the second-generation iPhone SE – known as the SE 2020. The latter turned out to be quite a hit for the guys in Cupertino, when the first generation came out four years ago.
The latest model replaces the iPhone 8, which was discontinued on April 15. With a 4.7-inch screen, the SE 2020’s design is unremarkably consistent with the iPhone 8, which was a continuance of the iPhone 6, paving the way for a somewhat tedious look.
The new handset even sees a return of the home button with touch ID, which was considered defunct when the iPhone X was released in 2017 and the trademark round button was replaced for a touch-sensitive, haptic-powered version.
Apple users may have been quick to voice their dismay at the removal of this former iPhone staple, but its elimination was soon celebrated as a more elegant, seamless way to navigate the phone. So much so that the tech press was quick to speculate that the iconic “home button isn’t coming back.”
Boasting a well-worn design that includes reverting back to former design staples, could this have something to do with Apple giving its new SE a comparatively low price-tag? That said, exactly how cheap the new iPhone is, is questionable. When the iPhone 8 was launched in 2017 at an eye-wateringly expensive starting price of $699, the handset was dubbed as “setting a new bar” in costs for a mainstream handset.
Seemingly turning the tide on its penchant to raise the cost of iPhones, almost three years later, Apple’s latest product is a staggering $300 cheaper than the iPhone 8, despite boasting a chassis that is virtually identical.
The nosedive in cost has led to criticism that the latest device from Apple shows just how overpriced other iPhones are.
Granted, the SE 2020 is markedly cheaper than its high-priced siblings but there are Androids that rival the look, features and cost of what is now circulating as Apple’s “cheapest phone of all time.”
The Pixel 3a, for example, whose 5.6-inch screen is bigger than the SE 2020’s, has similar camera credentials and is priced at a more reasonable $299.
The verdict? For Apple, the SE 2020 brandishes a considerably lower price-tag. But offering little in terms of design innovation and even regression to former ‘defunct’ features, only time will tell if the new iPhone offers real value for money.
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