iPhone SE Outperforms All Android Phones Using Apple’s A13 Chip

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Apple iPhone SE

John Kim / CNET

By packing the big A13 chip in his little iPhone SE, Apple made its budget smartphone a more convincing product at the right time for a coronavirus-a scared world. Where most low-cost phones cut costs by using low-end processors, the new IPhone SE at $ 400 uses the same flagship chip that powers the $ 1,450 iPhone 11 Pro Max, launched last year.

This processing power means that the latter iPhone, although it lacks certain features of the iPhone 11, such as Face ID and an ultra-wide angle camera, still has new capabilities that require the A13 chip. These include the latest portrait effects to blur the backgrounds behind photo subjects, the six studio lighting effects Apple also offers, the latest HDR technology to manage scenes with light and dark elements and 4K video at 60 frames per second.

“The Apple A13 is a remarkable piece of silicon,” said Techsponential analyst Avi Greengart. “It outperforms the rest of the market at all costs. “

The A13 processor outperforms what is found in all current Android phones, not just the inexpensive models that budget-conscious buyers might consider. IPhone SE gets 1,328 in Geekbench speed test for single-task performance, matching iPhone 11 and far surpassing iPhone’s most powerful competitor, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, which has a score of 835.

Spending limits during the pandemic

Balanced price and performance is good news for buyers concerned about COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus that has killed tens of thousands of people and business stalled in the world. In its review, CNET Patrick Holland praises iPhone SE 2020 as a great value.


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The cheaper iPhone SE arrives when financial concerns are likely keep customers away from high-end models and towards more affordable alternatives.

“With an impending recession … we are seeing a possibility of a stronger downmix change to the iPhone SE,” Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi said in a research note on Wednesday.

A budget but modern iPhone also helps Apple run its iOS ecosystem, which provides far more money than the original sale of the phone. With this iOS foundation, Apple is expanding its business to services like Apple TV Plus, Apple Music, Apple Arcade Synchronization and backup of iCloud data and the 30% that the company charges to developers who sell applications through its App Store.

A13 chips

The A13 chip – its full name is A13 Bionic – is the product of a gargantuan engineering effort. It has 8.5 billion transistors, the tiny on-off switches that do everything from simple calculations to artificial intelligence algorithms that process voice commands.

Two main processor cores handle performance-critical tasks, such as playing games or scrolling through busy Facebook feeds. They’re paired with four smaller, energy-efficient cores for background tasks like playing music and keeping the phone on when it’s mostly idle in your pocket.

The processor also has large modules for graphics processing and AI. Other dedicated modules manage photo processing, video decoding, HDR video, cryptography and the evaluation of the distance of subjects from the camera. Apple can shut down entire modules or parts of them that aren’t needed to extend battery life.

“We only activate the smallest amount of logic on the chip, which dramatically reduces power,” said Sri Santhanam, vice president of silicon engineering at Apple, when launching the iPhone 11 in 2019.

The A13 will not look so advanced when the successors arrive. But it has enough power to operate in a design that, apart from software updates, is unlikely to be updated every year like the flagship iPhones. the first iPhone SE arrived in 2016 but Apple continued to sell it in 2019.

“By now using its most powerful processor, Apple guarantees that it will be able to sell the unchanged iPhone SE for years to come,” said Greengart.

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