Lu-Hai Liang

thoughts from a freelance foreign correspondent

Posts Tagged ‘iphone se 2020

iPhone SE (2020) – a journalist’s review

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In August 2017, in the UK, I bought my first ever Apple iPhone. It was to replace a stuttering LG G3.

This phone was the SE  – “Special Edition” – and shared internals with the iPhone 6S. It cost £299 with 32GB of internal storage. I loved it for its fluidity of use; its decent camera; and its compact size. The design: with machined speaker grilles, metal frame, and square-ish proportions, remains one of my favourites.

Unfortunately by June 2020 this iPhone SE had stopped working and I was forced to buy a new phone. I replaced it with the second-generation iPhone SE.

Five generations — the iPhones 7, 8, X, XS, XR — separate the old SE and the new SE. And it is the most modern phone I have ever owned. It shares the same processor as the top-end iPhone 11 Pro but costs far less. The 4.7-inch screen seems gigantic compared to the 4-inch screen I was using. I have to admit, I do miss the very compact size and lightness of the old SE, which didn’t move around so much in my pocket when I went jogging.

The new iPhone SE has an extremely fast A13 Bionic processor (although the latest version of iOS can be a bit buggy). The screen is colourful and contrast-y; the speakers could be better; it is water resistant; it is a bit heavy; the front-facing camera is quite good (7MP) which is important in this day of video-calls. The battery life could be a bit better but it’s not too bad.

I bought it in the Apple store in Fukuoka and it cost me £376.37 for the 128GB version.

From my freelance journalist’s perspective — we freelancers being somewhat price sensitive — I consider this a very good deal. I’m a fan of iMessage; the way the iPhone syncs with my iPad; the included EarPods, which have a decent mic and button controls; and the Apple ecosystem of apps, podcasts, etc.

It is not the most transformative gadget I have had. That accolade possibly belongs to the iPad Mini, which I snagged last year in Seoul. The iPad is my do-almost-everything gadget. I watch films on Netflix on it while simultaneously FaceTiming. YouTube is better on the bigger screen. Video-calls, such as Zoom, work better on my iPad than on my laptop. I have a Logitech keyboard which I use to write messages and emails, etc. I have an Apple Pencil to sign documents and to occasionally doodle. And I play Call of Duty, playing online Battle Royale and deathmatches. The iPad Mini was one of my best ever purchases. And the phone, for me, is of lesser importance these days, but I can highly recommend the new iPhone SE.

Written by Lu-Hai Liang

July 21, 2020 at 8:36 am