An old dog with new tricks

 An old dog with new tricks

An old dog with new tricks

The iPhone SE is a low-cost beauty

The most affordable iPhone — spanking new to Thailand — iPhone SE is a phone for the people.

With its affordable price-tag and 5G addition, the new version features the A15 Bionic, which powers advanced camera capabilities and makes nearly every experience better, from photo-editing to power-intensive operations like gaming and augmented reality.

Along with 5G, longer battery life (though there have been mentions of draining battery with the iOS 15.4 update) and improved durability, the iPhone SE comes in three colours — midnight, starlight, and (Product) Red. The iPhone SE is as durable as it is beautiful and features an aerospace-grade aluminium and glass on the front and back.

The phone also has the familiar Home button with Touch ID, which I love using. Though the USP would be the inclusion of the lightning-fast A15 Bionic — introduced with iPhone 13, which makes nearly every experience better.

Since we live in a world where taking selfies is a necessity, with each new phone upgrade, it is understandable that preference is given to the camera. What else would you use a smartphone for?! The iPhone SE’s camera is powered by A15 Bionic, with a 12-megapixel ƒ/1.8 aperture-wide camera that offers computational photography benefits, including Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles, Deep Fusion, and Portrait mode. This ensures faces are properly exposed in dim lighting and renders people in the same photo individually. In layman’s terms that means that different adjustments are optimised for different skin tones in one picture.

Like the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13, this phone minimises impact on the environment. It is made with recycled materials, including rare Earth elements, recycled tungsten and recycled tin. Redesigned packaging eliminates the outer plastic wrap, bringing Apple closer to its goal of completely removing plastic from all packaging by 2025.

A phone for those who want a bang for their buck and to look good while doing it. The iPhone SE is available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB models starting at US$429. Visit apple.com/th.

The iOS 15.4 update

A new iOS update rarely garners as much excitement as the iOS 15.4 did, for me at least. And it was down to one simple thing: the ability to use Face ID while wearing a mask. Yes, that is the one thing that had me exclaim “very clever”, after all that was the smartness of the face ID in the first place. The new Siri voice option, expanded language support for Visual Lookup, support for EU Digital Covid Certificates in the Health and Wallet apps, and more significant changes.

FaceTime calls come with spatial audio and a new Portrait mode, SharePlay delivers a way for users to share experiences while on a FaceTime call, Focus helps users reduce distractions and notifications have been redesigned. Another huge plus is that Live Text uses on-device intelligence to recognise text in a photo and allows users to take action. Apple Maps works with a three-dimensional city-driving experience and walking directions in augmented reality. The Weather is redesigned with full-screen maps and more graphical displays of data, Wallet adds support for home keys and state IDs, and privacy controls in Siri, Mail, and more places across the system further protect user information.

More than 37 new emojis (a close second squeal after the face ID update) have made it into the new update. The emojis are inclusive of everyone with pregnant people, K-pop fan fav aka a hand forming a heart and one that I will be over using — a lip-biting emoji. There’s even a lotus and a Hamsa, to protect the receiver from all evil. Though along with all these extra features come a few reports of battery drainage, which I have yet to experience on the iPhone 13 Pro or the iPhone SE. 

Nianne-Lynn Hendricks

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