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    iPhone SE review: A tough smartphone that reminds of a simpler time

    Synopsis

    A13 Bionic chip that is also used in the iPhone 11 series makes a compelling case for the SE.

    Agencies
    The second gen iPhone SE is smaller than its competitors, but it has the looks and power to stun the competition.
    iPhone SE
    Get it for:
    Starts at Rs 42,990
    Key highlight: Great processor

    Apple doesn’t do cheap” is something you hear a lot in tech town. The next time someone says that, you could show them the new iPhone SE. It is the cheapest iPhone — something Apple hopes will help it spread its wings farther in India. However, you should also add that a lower price point does not make it, well, cheap in any sense.

    Now, you might think that if Apple has cut the price of a new iPhone significantly, it would have cut corners also. Much to our surprise, the SE doesn’t seem to have made any stark compromises.

    A lot of it is down to the processor that powers the SE — the A13 Bionic chip. The processor that is also used in the iPhone 11 series makes a compelling case for the SE. And it delivers the best performance in this price segment.

    The SE looks like the iPhone 8 that came in 2017 and in many ways reminds you of a simpler time.

    The second generation has a couple of features that could feel like it was part of a cost-cutting exercise. One is the size and display. The 4.7-inch LCD screen looks a bit odd. The chunky bezels don’t help. But it is easy to carry and use. The big-sized phones that most of us carry around have made us forget that small screen phones aren’t bad and have their own set of pros.

    The second factor that could be seen as a compromise is perhaps the camera with a 12MP no-frills sensor. Thanks to AI and computational photography, it delivers solid performance. Yes, there is no night mode or wide-angle photography. But for an average casual smartphone user, the camera is more than sufficient. The photos in the Portrait mode are as good as those in the iPhone 11 series. The daylight shots in the SE are really good.

    The SE has also brought back the Home button. It works seamlessly and hardly takes time to get used to.

    The iPhone SE is a tough phone to beat on many parameters and Android smartphone companies will soon find that out even with their fully-loaded offerings. The clincher in its case is that the aspirational value of owning an iPhone. Add to that a great processor and a phone that does everything consistently well, and you are staring at a winner.

    - The writer is with gadgetsnow.com

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