Apple held its first product event of the year on Tuesday, showcasing the anticipated iPhone SE (2022) — alongside the iPad Air (2022), Mac Studio and Studio Display. While the Mac Studio is the showstopper here, the iPhone SE might be the most important announcement for both Apple and its audience at large. It doesn’t have any noticeable changes – the iPhone SE (2022) does however have the internals of the iPhone 13, including the A15 Bionic SoC as well as an improved rear camera.
Host Akhil Arora joins Executive Editor Jamshed Avari and Senior Reviewer Aditya Shenoy to discuss all of the products Apple unveiled at its Tuesday event on this week’s special episode of the Gadget 360 podcast, Orbital.
For this year’s iPhone SE, Apple has kept the same design and aesthetic that it introduced on the iPhone SE (2020) a couple of years ago. However, there are some minor changes on the design front – including new glass protectors on the front and back, which are said to be the same panels that debuted on the back of the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 models last year.
The new iPhone SE also comes in an IP67-certified dust- and water-resistant aerospace-grade aluminum construction. Additionally, there are slightly different color options that Apple calls Midnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT) RED.
However, the iPhone SE (2022) comes with the A15 Bionic chip, which is said to offer up to 1.8x faster CPU performance over the iPhone 8. The new chip also enables features like live text in the camera app and on-device dictation – thanks to the built-in 16-core Neural Engine.
The other big change in the iPhone SE (2022) is the presence of the new rear camera, which comes with computational photography benefits previously available on the iPhone 13 and earlier flagship models, including Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles, Deep Fusion, and Portrait mode.
Apple has also built 5G support into the iPhone SE (2022) to make it a viable option in markets where next-gen cellular connectivity is already available or about to be introduced.
All that aside, the pricing is a sticking point, at least in India. Pricing for the iPhone SE (2022) in India starts at Rs. 43,900 for the base 64GB variant. It is also available in a 128GB model for Rs. 48,900 and the top-end variant with 256GB storage for Rs. 58,900.
In India, the iPhone SE (2022) is not an affordable option. In addition, its design is too dated compared to most Android phones today.
You can also pick up an iPhone 12 mini for around the same price or even less than the base variant during the festive sale.
Nonetheless, the iPhone SE (2022) comes with Apple’s top-of-the-line mobile chip and the form factor previously only available on older models. It could therefore be a worthy upgrade for the existing users who are on iPhone 6 or iPhone 7.
Alongside the iPhone SE (2022), Apple this time brought the iPad Air (2022) as a new regular iPad offering. The new iPad Air also features the A15 Bionic SoC and an improved front camera with Center Stage support. It also has a 5G option to choose from.
With the iPad Air (2022), Apple seems to be essentially focusing on customers who not only want an iPad from a consumption perspective, but also to create new things, including works of art. It can also be paired with Apple’s keyboards and Pencil (2nd generation) for an enhanced productivity experience.
This week’s Apple event also unveiled Mac Studio and Studio Display, two new hardware offerings aimed specifically at pro users. The Mac Studio was designed for people who want a modular computer that can deliver top-notch performance in a form factor that’s smaller than the Mac Pro and has a similar footprint to the Mac mini, albeit larger.
The Mac Studio is powered by Apple’s brand new M1 Ultra as the new SoC – the new chip is essentially a combination of two M1 Max chips to offer a faster computing experience.
To make things clear, Apple has confirmed that the Mac Studio will not replace the existing Mac Pro. Word has it that the upgrade to the Mac Pro will come later this year.
The Studio display, on the other hand, is designed to provide an enhanced viewing experience. It acts as a 27-inch 5K external monitor with a camera that supports Center Stage and built-in speakers to deliver high-fidelity audio.
We discuss more about all of these new Apple products in this podcast episode, which lasts over 30 minutes. So press play on the Spotify player embedded above to hear our full conversation.
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New Orbital episodes are released every Friday – this week is an exception due to the Apple event. So make sure you tune in every week.