Apple pulled the wraps off the long-rumored “smaller iPhone” today, with the unveiling of the new iPhone SE. After two generations of slowly-growing iPhones, Apple returned to the form (figuratively and literally) that they hand originally held onto when many other smartphone manufacturers first began to move towards large-screened phones and phablets. The new iPhone SE combines the best of both the iPhone 6/6S and the iPhone 5S, putting powerful guts inside the iconic 4-inch screened iPhone that many have come to love. The premium small-screen smartphone segment is all but dead these days, and the iPhone SE looks to capitalize on a user base that wants a cutting-edge device without hauling around something the size of a diner menu.
Physically and visually, the iPhone SE is nearly identical to the iPhone 5S, with the single exception appearing to be the presence of a matte finish on the phone sides instead of a polished surface. The big differences are on the inside, and are significant enough that Apple is calling the iPhone SE “the most powerful 4-inch phone ever.” Performance-wise, it should go toe-to-toe with the iPhone 6S, thanks to many internals from that phone.
Inside the SE you’ll find the 64 A9/M9 processor combo and 12-megapixel iSight camera of the family of the 6S and 6S Plus. Along with the hardware upgrades come many of the corresponding newer iPhone features, like Live Photos, 4K video recording, FaceTime HD with Retina Flash, full Siri support, and just about anything you can do with the larger iPhones. Users who upgrade from the iPhone 5S can expect double the CPU performance and three times faster GPU performance, all in a phone the same size. And the iPhone SE seems to be priced for the post-contract era we’ve recently entered, with unlocked 16GB and 64GB models priced at $399 and $499, respectively. The Apple iPhone SE will be available late next week.