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iPhone

The new iPhone SE vs. the original iPhone SE – should you upgrade?

After a long time waiting, Apple officially announced the new iPhone SE (2nd Generation) today. So, is it time for all the current first-generation iPhone SE users to consider upgrading?

DISPLAY & DESIGN

Starting with the display, the new iPhone SE comes with a 4.7” display, which is 0.7” bigger than the original iPhone SE’s 4” display. Both use a Retina display. The pixels per inch in both phones is 326.

The new iPhone SE has a 1400:1 contrast ratio as opposed to a 800:1 contrast ratio found in the original iPhone SE. The new iPhone SE also has a True Depth Display (a display which changes colours based on the surrounding area) and a P3 Colour Gamut, both of which are not in the original iPhone SE.

In terms of the iPhone design, the new iPhone SE looks identical to the iPhone 6/7/8 series, and looks quite a bit different to the first generation iPhone SE, which utilised the iPhone 5S’ design.

A comparison of the new iPhone SE (left) and the original iPhone SE (right)

The back of the new iPhone SE is entirely glass, with the sides of the new iPhone SE being made of aluminium. The original iPhone SE utilised aluminium borders and an aluminium back, with a strip of glass on the top and bottom of the rear aluminium chassis.

The new iPhone SE is 138.4mm tall vs. 123.8mm on the iPhone SE 1st-generation, 67.3mm wide vs. 58.6mm, and is 7.3mm thick vs. 7.6mm. However, the biggest difference occurs with the weight of both phones, with the new iPhone SE weighing 5.22 ounces vs. the 3.99 ounces that the original iPhone SE weighs. 

WATER, SPLASH, AND DUST RESISTANCE

The new iPhone SE features water resistance of 1 metre for 30 minutes, and is dust and splash proof.

The original iPhone SE doesn’t have water, splash, or dust resistance. 

CAMERAS

Both versions of the iPhone SE feature a single lens rear camera, but both are quite different each other.

Both iPhones use a 12MP single rear camera, but the aperture on the new iPhone SE is ƒ/1.8, as opposed to the aperture found in the old iPhone SE, which was ƒ/2.2. Both have flash and have a 5x digital zoom. Both have HDR, although Apple claims that new iPhone SE uses “Next-generation” Smart HDR.

However, the new iPhone SE has Portrait Mode, Optical Image Stabilisation, and Portrait Mode Depth and Bokeh control – all of which are not available on the first-generation iPhone SE. If you love taking pictures, then the new iPhone SE is definitely for you.

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Both phones can take video, but the new iPhone SE can record 4K video at 24, 30, or 60 FPS, unlike the original iPhone SE which could only record 4K video at 30FPS. HD Video Recording is the same in both phones, and both phones have a digital zoom of 3x. Both phones can take time-lapse videos, and both can record Slo-mo videos, although the iPhone SE 2nd-generation records slo-mo video at 1080p HD in either 120FPS or 240FPS, unlike the original iPhone SE which only records 1080p HD at 240FPS.

The new iPhone SE has optical image stabilisation for video, extended dynamic range for video, QuickTake video (which allows you record a video super quickly), and Stereo Audio recording – all of which are not on the original iPhone SE.

The front-facing camera also got an overhaul in the new iPhone SE. Both phones use the same camera, however, the new iPhone SE has got some new upgrades.

The front-facing camera is now 7MP over 1.2MP, which allows for much better pictures. Both feature a front facing flash and HDR.

Front facing camera recording is also better, with the new iPhone SE allowing 1080P HD video recording at 30FPS. The first generation of the iPhone SE allowed 720P video recording at 30 FPS.

The new iPhone SE also has front-facing portrait mode, which is not enabled on the previous generation of iPhone SE. 

PROCESSORS AND INTERNALS

The new iPhone SE has got some serious under-the-hood improvements. The biggest change is that the processor has been updated from the A9 to the A13, which is the most powerful chip in any smartphone. This is the same chip that can be found in the higher-end iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max.

The iPhone SE also gains the Third-Generation Neural Engine, which is not prevalent at all in the original iPhone SE. The Neural Engine allows for on-device processing and machine learning. It also helps AI function more accurately.

The new iPhone SE has WiFi 6, which allows for faster WiFi connection, and uses Bluetooth 5.0, which allows for faster and easier connection to Bluetooth devices.

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TOUCH ID

Both iPhone SE models have Touch ID, but the new iPhone SE has a new sensor that is significantly faster than the first-generation Touch ID sensor found in the original iPhone SE.

The new iPhone SE uses a second-generation Touch ID sensor, which is 2x faster than the Touch ID sensor in the original iPhone SE.

BATTERY

Apple are always vague about the battery life in their iPhones, and use clever wording such as “Last about the same as iPhone 8” or “Two hours longer than iPhone 6”, but doesn’t say what the battery life was for the iPhone they are talking about.

So, after some digging, the battery life of the new iPhone SE is about 12-13 hours (give or take – depending on your usage), and the battery life of the first-generation iPhone SE is about 9-10 hours (again, this is depending on your usage).

So, if you do upgrade to the new iPhone SE, you’ll be getting an additional 3-4 hours battery life!

CONCLUSION

The new iPhone SE is a great device, and if you are thinking of leaving your old iPhone SE behind, then the new iPhone SE is a great phone to upgrade to for a fantastic price.

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