You can now buy a brand-new Apple iPhone for just $399

Apr 15, 2020

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I’ve been spending the past few months with the iPhone 11 Pro Max, Apple’s flagship smartphone, with three cameras, a super-speedy processor and a giant 6.5-inch screen. It’s an exceptional device, with photography chops unlike anything else I’ve encountered with a device of its size. But at $1,099, it’s also a splurge — especially at a time when consumers are being especially mindful about how they spend.

At the same time last year, Apple launched a similarly capable lower-cost device, the iPhone 11, which starts at $699. But even still, that price tag makes the device out of reach of some.

iPhone SE is available in black, white and red. Photo courtesy of Apple.
iPhone SE is available in black, white and red. Photo courtesy of Apple.

That’s where the new iPhone SE comes in — it has the same A13 Bionic processor in a smaller, scaled-down handset, with a 4.7-inch Retina display, a single 12-megapixel camera and a far lower, $399 starting price tag. It’ll be available to pre-order this Friday, April 17, and ships the following Friday, on April 24.

While the SE doesn’t have the same camera capabilities as Apple’s more premium devices — there’s no 2x telephoto or 0.5x ultra-wide cam to speak of — the A13 Bionic processor does support Portrait Mode, one of my favorite iPhone camera features. With that mode enabled, you can capture a subject and adjust the lighting and depth of field later, giving you a ton of flexibility, even after you capture a shot.

iPhone SE supports Portrait Mode, despite its single camera. Photo courtesy of Apple.
iPhone SE supports Portrait Mode, despite its single camera. Photo courtesy of Apple.

You can also shoot 4K video, at up to 60 frames per second, and there’s built-in optical image stabilization, support for slow-mo video at 240fps, a Portrait Mode option for the selfie camera and more. The device also sports dual SIM card support, via a nano-SIM and eSIM, so you can use your home SIM card and a local international SIM at the same time.

Also on the travel front, iPhone SE supports Apple Pay, including the Apple Card, and has IP67 water resistance, so you don’t have to worry about damaging your device, even if it takes an accidental dip in the pool or gets caught in a rainstorm. If you decide to place an order, be sure to make your purchase using a card that offers purchase protection, or loss and damage protection, as outlined in far more detail in this post.

Featured photo courtesy of Apple.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
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