Apple pulled off a surprise earlier this month by launching the iPhone SE, a $399 phone that aims to change the budget phone landscape. Apple has fitted its new ‘compact’ phone with its top-of-the-line A13 Bionic chip and a single camera that can shoot 4K videos and supports portrait photography. Sounds like a solid package, eh? Yeah, we think so too.
But the big question is, has Apple equipped the iPhone SE with the hottest flagship trend of the year 2020? Of course, we are talking about 5G here. So, does the iPhone SE support 5G? Well, the answer is NO. Apple is sticking with 4G LTE for its new ‘iPhone for the masses.’
So, how big of a trade-off is that? Well, it ain’t a major red flag for many reasons. First, the availability of 5G network is still not as widespread as 4G, and finicky network latching behavior is also an issue. Plus, there is the speed gain conundrum while switching between mmWave and sub-6 GHz bands, which in turn has a reciprocal relationship with network stability and penetration.
Second, 5G connectivity comes with its own well-documented drawbacks such as increased battery consumption and some heating as well. I don’t want to sound like a 5G detractor here, but that’s just the current state of it.
Third, but the most important point, is that 5G comes at a price. Adding 5G support to a phone guarantees a steep price hike. Just look at the OnePlus 8iPhone SE with new antenna hardware, all of which costs a pretty penny. And had Apple added 5G support to the iPhone SE, the company almost definitely would not have sold it with that sweet $399 price tag.
But iPhone SE is still an excellent value for $399, even without 5G support. It has a tried and tested camera hardware that can capture good photos and can hold its own against the best when it comes to video capture. The A13 Bionic chip powering it is capable of crushing any task you throw at it, and there is 18W fast charging support as well.
Plus, the iPhone SE comes with an unsaid assurance of much longer software support and updates compared to Android phones. Lastly, the compact form factor will appeal to many, and the IP67 certified build is another bonus. Nostalgia? Well, that sells too.