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Unlike Apple, Samsung actually puts some effort into its mid-range phones

Opinion
By 

Last updated: March 9th, 2022 at 10:09 UTC+02:00

Apple isn’t the first brand that comes to mind when we think of value-for-money smartphones. When it does announce one, it undoubtedly attracts some attention as it lets more users get a taste of the famed Apple ecosystem. However, the iPhone SE 5G unveiled yesterday was a travesty.

By all modern standards, the iPhone SE 5G looks antiquated for a phone launched in 2022. Apple even had the gall to talk about its “revolutionary” design which involves sandwiching a chassis from 2016 between two layers of glass. Heck, it would be acceptable even if Apple reused an iPhone X/iPhone XR chassis for the iPhone SE 5G, but apparently, that’s too much work for a trillion-dollar corporation.

Apple talked at length about how the iPhone SE 5G packs “the fastest mobile processor” available on the market. But that processor is of little use when the remaining components can’t take full advantage of it. The lack of any supplementary camera sensors makes it so that the A15 Bionic’s ISP is woefully underutilized. Gaming on its puny screen makes little sense, as does media consumption. In essence, we end up with a phone that can only use a fraction of its processing power.

Besides, the iPhone SE 5G’s $430 price tag isn’t even all that affordable, especially for a phone with a puny 4.7-inch screen. For that money, you can get a ton of phones made by Samsung, a company that actually puts effort into its mid-range offerings. Unlike Apple, which clearly launched the iPhone SE 5G as an afterthought to appease the rabble.

For around the same price, one will probably be able to get their hands on the soon-to-be-released Galaxy A73 and Galaxy A53. Will they pack the “fastest mobile processor” on the market? No, but they will be usable smartphones that one can reliably daily drive. Will they get five+ years of big software updates? Well, probably only four, but at least one isn’t going to be stuck with a 4.7-inch screen for half a decade.

Besides, the high refresh rate AMOLED screens on the Galaxy A53 or Galaxy A73 will be vastly superior to whatever decade-old leftover LCD panel Apple has on the iPhone SE 5G. Oh, and they will probably offer more than double the battery life, too. Now, there’s no denying that small form factor phones have legitimate use cases, but with smartphones replacing desktops/laptops/TVs as the primary media consumption device, they do feel a tad outdated.

It’s not like Apple can’t design an affordable ~$500 phone that will blow all of its competitors out of the water. There is enough talent at Apple that can make it happen. It’s just that Apple doesn’t want to alienate its ivory tower dwelling audiences by lowering the barrier to entry, and frankly speaking, that’s infuriating.

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Opinion Galaxy A53Galaxy A73iPhone SE
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