Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect

Posted: , by Peter Kostadinov Peter Kostadinov

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Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect

If you've ever been shopping for a super compact phone, you've certainly stumbled upon the extremely compact and powerful iPhone SE. After all, it's the spiritual successor to what many consider the highlight of Apple design - the iPhone 5s, and to some extent, the iPhone 4. Granted, the iPhone SE is quite possibly the only 4-inch phone you could consider using today, but admittedly, it's starting to feel a bit long in the tooth already. 

While it's not a device that Apple relies too much on bringing home the bacon, it's still a handset that has its own following and should probably be kept around, if only for that crowd of Apple fans that still nostalgically cherish the past when Apple actually made compact phones. Packing iPhone 6s internals, the small iPhone was a powerhouse only rivaled by top-shelf flagships at the time of its market release, but it's been two years since then and the handset's beginning to feel a bit long in the tooth and is due for a refresh. 

Talk about a second generation of the small but potent iPhone SE has been around for some time now, with the gossip windmill spewing more and more leaks and gossip as the developer-centric WWDC nears. The most substantial leak that we've got hold off is an alleged display panel for said iPhone SE 2 that features a notch, heavily hinting that the iPhone X design language could seep down to the smallest iPhone lineup.

Design
Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect

Gone with the old... or not?

As far as design is concerned, we are uncertain if the iPhone SE 2 will look similar to its predecessor. With Apple's 2018 iPhone lineup reportedly landing an iPhone X-like design across all devices, the four-year design language that debuted alongside the iPhone 6 could be going vacant. That will be an opportunity for the iPhone SE 2 to continue the bloodline for a couple more years for all those nostalgics that will miss this design language. 

The iPhone SE 2 is rumored to have the same exact dimensions as the original iPhone SE. That is, 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches (123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm). It's supposed to weigh around the same as well -- 3.99 oz (113 g). The big change from the original, of course, is the much larger screen, as far as design goes, at least. Without the home button of its predecessor, the iPhone SE 2 is expected to adopt the same gesture-based user interface that the iPhone X debuted with last year.

Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect

However, the latest rumor calls in for an iPhone SE 2 with a glass back. An image originating from China claims to give us a sneak peek at a potential slew of iPhone SE 2 back panels as well as a document stating that said panels are Ion-X glass ones. Of course, aside from an aesthetic homage to Apple's past, these glass panels will allow for the inclusion of wireless charging. Introduced across Apple's 2017 iPhone lineup, the Qi wireless charging is likely about to become a new standard for the company's future products, and it makes great sense that a potential glass-back iPhone SE 2 would employ the functionality as well. 


This is merely a speculation at this point, but for the most part, Apple has proved to be highly predictable recently. As far as overall design, it's hard to draw conclusions based on one picture alone, but it looks like the iPhone SE 2 will be a serious refresh over its precursor.

Now, the leaked image hints that the glass panel has a slight curve near the edges, which probably means that the old-school industrial design with sharp edges is going away in favor of the more modern iPhone 6/7/8-like looks. For one, we expect the physical TouchID-enabled button and, ahem, the headphone jack to remain staples of the affordable compact iPhone.



Display


Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect
If one thing is for certain, it's that the second version of the handset will definitely remain a compact phone. However, this doesn't actually mean the display up front wouldn't grow: the recent trends in smartphone design have proven that you can now really have the best of both worlds: a large display tucked in a compact body with small bezels all around. While an iPhone SE 2 with a 4.0-inch display would probably be a safe bet, word in the street is we'll get a 4.2-inch display on the upcoming compact device. 

Although it will be a small increase, it will definitely be welcome provided that the device itself doesn't grow much in size. Granted, the larger bezels on the device probably allows for some leeway as far as screen size goes. The rest of the display properties will probably remain the same: an LCD display with a 640 x 1136 resolution.

Hardware


While the normal iPhone SE had the Apple A9 chipset inside, its successor is tipped to be boasting an Apple A10 chipset. That's the same one that made the rounds in the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. Long story short, it's still a perfectly viable chipset for today's standards, and while it isn't in the same ballpark as the latest Apple A11, we wouldn't think it would be an issue. The bottom-line is that if the iPhone SE 2 arrives with Apple's previous-gen chipset, it will introduce a distinguishable performance boost over the phone's predecessor. Provided that Apple keeps the price delightfully affordable as similar to the original iPhone SE, it doesn't take a genius to deduce that the phone will likely mow down the almost non-existent competition in the ultra-compact segment. Similarly to the iPhone 7, the device could be paired with 2GB of RAM. Storage-wise, rumors call in for either 32 or 128GB of native storage on deck.

Apple iPhone SE

Camera


According to the rumors, the iPhone SE 2 will sport a 12MP iSight camera at the rear and a 5MP FaceTime one up front. Nothing else is known about the shooters in particular, but we suppose that Apple could use the iPhone 7 iSight camera. That one had an aperture of f/2.2, 1.22 μm pixels, software image stabilization, and shot 4K video footage at 30fps - a viable feature set even per today's standards and more than enough for an upper mid-range iPhone as the iPhone SE 2 is supposed. As far as the FaceTime unit is considered, we suppose it could be lifted straigth from the iPhone 6s and perform in a similar manner to that one. We don't expect any advanced shenanigans like dual-camera setups and face-detecting sensors to be used, and neither should you.

Price, release date


Although Apple has the habit of separating its software announcements from its hardware-centric keynotes, it's not unheard of new iPhone or iPads making the rounds at developer-specific events like WWDC. Indeed, it doesn't seem like Apple will be hosting a spring event in 2018 like it used to the past few years, which leads us to believe that if an iPhone SE 2 is really in the pipeline and is slated to arrive soon, it could potentially get announced at the time.

This year's WWDC summit will kick off June 4, thus an Apple keynote is certainly a given. iOS 12 will definitely be the highlight, but we'd say it's quite likely that an iPhone SE 2 would also make the rounds then. Of course, nothing is ever certain when it comes to Apple, so don't grab your pitchforks if Cupertino doesn't abide with our predictions.

Now, the saucy part - the pricing. The original iPhone cost $399 for the 16GB model, while the 64GB one cost $499. Later on, storage got doubled but the prices remained the same, which was surprise as pleasant as they come. Supposedly, Apple would want to keep the second-gen SE 2 similarly affordable. At best, we'd expect up to a $50 hike over the prices that the iPhone SE launched at.

Apple iPhone SE 2: What to expect

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