Apple just changed the budget phone game

This article may contain personal views and opinion from the author.
Apple just changed the budget phone game
The new iPhone SE is here. And it looks just like an iPhone 8. Boring, right?

Except that it's not: the iPhone SE is a $400 phone that features the world's fastest processor, something that we have NEVER seen on a budget phone. Well, maybe in the good old days when OnePlus was making $400 phones, but now the cheapest phone that OnePlus makes starts at $700 and that company has conveniently forgotten about its roots and ideals. Talk about "flagship killers".

There is something else that is incredible about this iPhone 8: it's got a flagship camera too. Apple says this is the best single-camera system ever put on an iPhone, and the last such phone was the iPhone XR. This new iPhone SE is better than it. And we have no reason to doubt the company, just look at the snaps below.

This means a couple of things: first and foremost, it means that this phone that nobody had any big expectations for just became the best budget camera phone too. Heck, it's right there with the $1,000 phones except for the lack of ultra-wide and telephoto cameras. Just like that, without even an event for it. Released with a press release, in a snap.


I am not talking just photos: other $400 phones can't even record 4K video. And when they do, it's intentionally crippled: it lacks stabilization, the dynamic range is usually poor, sound recording is often times compromised, and the list goes on. The iPhone SE on the other hand handles 4K video at the incredible 60 frames per second, and with regular 4K30 capture it also offers industry-leading video stabilization. We have no reason to doubt it will be right there with the latest iPhones in video quality. That is, it will be at the top.

Fastest budget phone. Best camera. Best for video. $400.


And you might underestimate it for its conservative looks, but this little phone is a beast on the inside unlike any other budget phone out there.

It sets the bar way too high for others because what else is there in this price range? The upcoming Pixel 4a will have a bigger screen with smaller bezel and a great camera, but it's a flimsy plastic phone with a much slower processor. That's your strongest rival, suddenly appearing weak. The Galaxy A51 / A71 series, the successor to Samsung's super popular A50 / A70 from last year? Not even close in terms of camera and performance.

The iPhone SE also supports wireless charging and is IP67 water protected. Rare features to find on a budget phone.

And we have not even touched the iOS ecosystem with its incredible software update support and the coveted AirPods and Apple Watch.

Apple might have just released the phone of the year


The new iPhone SE might look just like an iPhone 8, but make no mistake, this humble phone will shake and bake the industry in a way that even the iPhone 11 Pro Max has not. Apple might have just released the phone of the year.

The question now is... what do Android phone makers have to fight that.

Related phones

iPhone SE (2020)
  • Display 4.7 inches
    1334 x 750 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera)
    7 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A13 Bionic, 3GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1821 mAh
  • OS iOS 13.x

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