The days of iPhone SE, the compact budget smartphone with the latest internals that Apple has to offer. iPhone SE was a sensation for many. Especially in price sensitive market like India. iPhone SE launched at a price of Rs. 39,999. Yes, it is not a budget smartphone, but the price of the smartphone soon dropped to around 25,000 INR which was when it became a selling hotcake for Apple. Almost everyone who was looking to buy a Nexus, the Pixels of that time preferred the SE much for its better camera and reliability.
Years without any upgrades, Apple finally released a brand–new iPhone SE2 with starting price of Rs.42,000. Does it stack up with the reputation of the old SE?
Much like the last iPhone SE which came with iPhone 5S’s body, iPhone SE2 comes with the body of iPhone 8 with internals upgraded. iPhone SE2 comes with the same A13 Bionic that comes with iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. It comes with its iconic “Retina” 720p display with big bezels at the top and bottom. Good old reliable Touch ID and iPhone grade 4K capable 12MP camera.
Overall, a decent smartphone. Yes, the display is old with generation old looks, but honestly at display this size, it doesn’t matter if its 720p or 1080p. I only notice the difference when you place it side by side with an OLED panel. For long it has been touted as the best LCD display and it is. The SE2’s battery is pretty small with rated capacity less than 2000 mAh. The less attractive display does help in improving its battery life. It’s not a battery champ or anything, it has enough capacity to get you through the day.
The camera is a very big improvement from the one on the iPhone 8. Its 12 MP single sensor is capable of smart HDR and can take portraits using both front and the rear camera. A13 drastically improves camera performance with its enhanced image processing capabilities. It’s not a Pixel of course, but you can expect iPhone grade decent photos out of this sensor at well-lit conditions. This smartphone does not have a night mode and photos tend to be a bit noisy. It’s not the best but it’s a decent sensor especially when compared to the one on One Plus 8.
It’s a pretty good smartphone but is it worth the money? iPhone SE2 starts at $399 for 64 GB internal storage. For $399 you get pretty good performance and a decent camera. At markets like US, there are people who is looking to just buy a decent smartphone and call it a day. And for those folk’s Apple just gave them an offer that they can’t refuse.
But in India, the story is different. On the days of iPhone SE, there was not a lot of competition at price ranges above 20k. Most of the smartphones at that price range were pretty boring actually. But today the tale is different. iPhone SE2 comes out at a price of INR 42,500, the price at which One Plus 8 comes out. Yes, iPhone SE2 offers better camera, an IP certification and wireless charging. But Indian buyers expect more when they are looking to buy a smartphone. One Plus with its 90Hz OLED display, bezel-less 2020 design Apple is going to have a tough time convincing the buyers in India. In my opinion, iPhone SE2 would have been a better competitor if it starts at a price that begins with 3.