By packing the big A13 chip into its small iPhone SE, Apple has made its budget smartphone a more compelling product at just the right time for a coronavirus-spooked world. Where most budget phones cut costs by using lower-end processors, the new $400 iPhone SE uses the same flagship chip that powers the $1,450 iPhone 11 Pro Max, which launched last year.
That processing power means this newest iPhone, though lacking some iPhone 11 features, like Face ID and an ultrawide-angle camera, still gets new capabilities that require the A13 chip. Those include the latest portrait mode effects for blurring backgrounds behind photo subjects, the six studio lighting effects Apple also offers, the newest HDR technology to handle scenes with bright and dark elements and 4K video at 60 frames per second.
“Apple’s A13 is a remarkable piece of silicon,” said Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart. “It outperforms everything else on the market at any price.”