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iPhone SE vs. iPhone 8

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In a bid to lure budget-minded iPhone fans, Apple debuted its new iPhone SE for 2020 for $399 (£419, AU$749). The new iPhone SE’s specs and looks are similar to the iPhone 8 from three years ago, which is likely the reason why the tech company announced it would discontinue its 2017 flagship on the same day.

When it first debuted, the iPhone 8 cost $699, but the price lowered to $449 before Apple pulled the plug on it. These days, you can still get the phone from third-party retailers for even less (Walmart, for example, is selling it new for $349 on Straight Talk). But if you’re thinking of buying the iPhone 8 over the iPhone SE 2020 at that price, don’t. The iPhone SE may share many of the iPhone 8’s specs, but for $50 more you’ll get more mileage out of a phone that isn’t going to be three years old out-of-the-box. (And if $399 is absolutely out of your budget, consider shopping for even cheaper phones.)

If you need more reasons, though, let’s walk through both models and explain why the iPhone SE is the smarter buy.

Apple

Though it shares many key specs, the new iPhone SE still has a few upgrades that make it better than the iPhone 8. That includes an A13 Bionic processor, dual-SIM capabilities and a handful of camera upgrades. (Neither phone has a headphone jack, in case you’re wondering.) If you’re looking for an affordable new iPhone from a reliable retailer with up-to-date support, the iPhone SE is your best bet.

Read our Apple iPhone SE (2020) review.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you already have a well-functioning iPhone 8, there’s no reason to update to a new iPhone SE if you can help it. But if you’re tempted to buy a new one, don’t. In addition to the iPhone SE 2020 upgrades you’ll be missing out on (which I listed above), there’s the likelihood that software updates from Apple and customer support from wherever you purchase your iPhone 8 may not be as robust on a 3-year-old device than on a new one. Though it’s difficult to place a tangible monetary value on things like reliable iOS updates, a robust return policy and a possibly higher trade-in value, it’s worth paying a bit more for those features. (Speaking of trade-ins, Apple is offering $170 off the iPhone SE if you turn in your iPhone 8.)

 

Need to get more specific? Here’s an in-depth walkthrough of how the two iPhones stack up.

Design: Both iPhones are nearly identical, but…

Unlike the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11, which look different even at a glance, the iPhone SE and the iPhone 8 look relatively the same. Both have 4.7-inch Retina HD displays (a branding terms that Apple uses to differentiate its display technology) with the same resolution and pixel density. They also have a physical home button that houses a fingerprint reader for unlocking the phone and authorizing digital payments. Both are rated IP67 for water protection too.

apple-iphone-se-1423-1332
The new iPhone SE looks a lot like the iPhone 8.

 


Angela Lang/CNET

But there are two minor differences about the phones. One is that the iPhone 8 still has 3D Touch. The feature debuted in 2015 in the iPhone 6S, allowing you to access additional menu options and commands by hard-pressing your finger against the screen. Apple began to phase out the feature in 2018 with the iPhone XR and it’s now absent from new iPhones. Instead, the company replaced 3D Touch with Haptic Touch. Haptic Touch is on the iPhone SE and works relatively the same way, except instead of having to press down harder on the screen, you’ll need to merely long-press on the item.

Second, the iPhone 8 comes in black, white and gold — but inventory is limited depending on the retailer so you may find even fewer options. The iPhone SE, meanwhile, is available now and comes in black, white and red.

Camera: iPhone SE has some hidden extras

The iPhone SE and iPhone 8 both have a 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel front-facing shooter, with the same apertures on each (f/1.8 and f/2.2, respectively). On the surface, it looks as if there’s no difference between the two phones’ cameras, but Apple added some useful camera upgrades under the hood. These include:

  • Portrait Mode and Depth Control for taking and adjusting bokeh photos
  • Smart HDR, to improve highlights and shadows
  • Red-eye correction
  • Quicktake, which lets you quickly record video without tapping out of Photo mode
  • Video improvements: Extended dynamic range for 30fps; 3x digital zoom (the iPhone 8 has 2x); cinematic video stabilization for 4K video (the iPhone 8 has it only up to 1080p) and stereo recording
  • Front-facing camera: Portrait mode and cinematic video stabilization up to 1080p (the iPhone 8 has none)

Altogether, iPhone SE captures better quality photos and video than the iPhone 8, and at times takes photos equally comparable to the iPhone 11. For more on camera quality, be sure to read CNET’s iPhone SE review.

Processor, battery, dual-SIM and memory

The iPhone SE is equipped with Apple’s latest proprietary A13 Bionic chip, the same one that’s inside the iPhone 11 flagship. When we ran processing performance speeds on 3DMark and Geekbench 5, the iPhone SE clocked in similar results with the iPhone 11, which is to say that the iPhone SE also performed comparably — and at times better than — the Galaxy S20Pixel 4 and the OnePlus 8 Pro. And compared to the iPhone 8, the iPhone SE’s result for 3DMark’s Ice Storm Unlimited test was miles above the iPhone 8’s (97,415 compared to the iPhone 8’s 62,206 score).

Apple's A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro MaxApple's A13 processor in the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max
Apple’s A13 processor.

 


Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple never discloses its iPhones’ battery capacities, so when it announced the iPhone SE, all it said was that it was the same as the iPhone 8. It also listed identical wireless video and audio playback hours (13 hours and 40 hours, respectively) for both phones. However, when we ran our battery tests for video playback on Airplane mode, the iPhone SE lasted longer than the iPhone 8 by nearly two hours. (To be more specific, the iPhone SE lasted about 15.5 hours, while the iPhone 8 lasted 13.5 hours.)

In addition, the iPhone SE has options for a nano-SIM and an e-SIM, meaning you can manage two phone numbers on the same phone. Having dual-SIM capabilities is handy if you travel a lot and need a phone abroad, or you have two phones for personal and business use and would like to combine it in one device. Lastly, while both phones have a 64GB and 256GB memory option, the new iPhone SE has a third, 128GB model. That capacity is commonly considered to be the “sweet spot” as far as storage goes. That’s because 64GB may not be enough to hold all your photos and 4K videos, 256GB may be too extravagant.

iPhone SE 2020 vs. iPhone 8

Apple iPhone SE (2020)iPhone 8
Display size, resolution4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels4.7-inch Retina HD; 1,334×750 pixels
Pixel density326ppi326ppi
Dimensions (Inches)5.45×2.65×0.29 in5.45×2.65×0.29 in
Dimensions (Millimeters)138.4×67.3×7.3 mm138.4×67.3×7.3 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams)5.22 oz; 148g5.22 oz; 148g
Mobile softwareiOS 13iOS 11 (can update to iOS 13)
Camera12-megapixel12-megapixel
Front-facing camera7-megapixel7-megapixel
Video capture4K4K
ProcessorApple A13 BionicApple A11 Bionic
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 256GB
RAMNot disclosedNot disclosed
Expandable storageNoNo
BatteryNot disclosedNot disclosed
Fingerprint sensorHome buttonHome button
ConnectorLightningLightning
Headphone jackNoNo
Special featuresWater resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM and e-SIM); wireless chargingWater resistant (IP67); wireless charging

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Vancouver's Cibo Trattoria and UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar announce new head chef – Eat North

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After weeks of planning and anticipation, Vancouver’s Cibo Trattoria and UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar recently announced the addition of new head chef Jesse Zuber, and are both set to reopen their doors for dine-in services today.

Chef Zuber, best known for competing on Top Chef Canada and helming the kitchens at Ayden Kitchen and Bar and Saskatoon’s Little Grouse on the Prairie, has developed new dinner, lunch, and weekend brunch menus for Cibo that embrace the restaurant’s traditional rustic Italian cuisine, while maintaining the B.C.-born chef’s affinity for seasonality and local ingredients. 

“It’s a bit of an odd time to start a new position, but I’ve been so impressed with the amount of passion on display here and the breadth of talent from the front of house to the kitchen and bar,” says Zuber. “I’m so thrilled to be a part of this amazing team and we can’t wait to welcome old friends and new acquaintances back to our dining room.”

At UVA, chef Zuber and his team will provide a select menu of bites and small plates to complement the downtown Vancouver wine and cocktail bar’s award-winning cocktail list and cellar of Old- and New-World wines. 

Both Cibo and UVA plan to employ stringent health and safety standards, including the use of personal protective equipment and social distancing measures.

Reservations for Cibo can be made via OpenTable or by calling the restaurant, while UVA will accept walk-ins only based on availability.

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Best Buy Canada goes big on Father's Day 2020 tech deals – MobileSyrup

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Best Buy Canada wants you to celebrate Father’s Day in style and has heavily discounted several notable tech items. As a reminder, Father’s Day is June 21st, 2020.

Below are some of the Canadian retailer’s best offers:

Source: Best Buy Canada

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This Is How the Original BMW X5 SUV Went From Idea to Reality – The Drive

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Some of us are well versed in the process that takes a vehicle from idea to either concept or finished production model,  but that’s not to say that it isn’t mesmerizing to see the process behind the design phase of a specific car, especially one as important as BMW’s first-ever SUV: the X5.

Frank Stephenson is the closest thing the automotive design world has to a living legend these days, and his new “How I Designed” series on YouTube pulls back the curtain for us to see how he worked his magic with a variety of models. In his latest video, he sketches the original BMW X5 SUV and tells us how he helped take it from a BMW executive’s wish to an actual finished product.

Stephenson says the X5 came about as an exercise to see what a BMW could look like if it were styled like a Land Rover. Chris Bangle, BMW Chief of Design at the time, offered to produce sketches of the new vehicle, but the demand given to the design team was to create a full-size model of the vehicle for company executives. Stephenson says the designers were given just six weeks to take the SUV from conception to the finished model. 

Together with three guys that worked on the Lamborghini Miura decades earlier, Stephenson worked up a model for the X5. Following the company’s purchase of the Rover brand, BMW had access to the platform that would go on to underpin the new SUV, so the rest just had to be created out of thin air—and that’s where Stephenson’s mastery came in handy.

Stephenson claims that creating a sketch can be a challenge, but it’s actually better to start from scratch. The design can be almost anything the designer wants it to be, as long as it holds true to some element of the brand’s DNA. Stephenson shows this element in his X5 sketch as a deep, straight line down the vehicle’s flank and the Hofmeister Kink, which is a kind of double angle in the window by the SUV’s D-Pillar. The team also added lines and shapes into the hood for a more dynamic look. 

Frank Stephenson via YouTube

Though the end result was impressive, Stephenson’s portfolio goes much deeper than just penning a BMW SUV. His name appears on the credits for the Maserati GranSport and MC12, Ferrari FXX, and F430, along with several other cars under the Pininfarina banner—and not to mention his success at McLaren, too.

Got a tip? Send us a note: tips@thedrive.com

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