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Apple iPhone SE 2022 review: dated design but bargain price | iPhone

Apple’s cut-price iPhone is back and has been upgraded for 2022, with a faster chip and 5G making it an even better bargain than before.

The third-generation iPhone SE costs £419 ($429/A$719) and is the cheapest smartphone Apple sells, priced to compete with myriad mid-range Android devices.

On the face of it, the iPhone SE doesn’t look that tempting a proposition. There are cheaper smartphones available and it only comes with 64GB of storage. The 4.7in LCD display is bright, but cramped and markedly less crisp and vibrant than competitors. It is basically the same as the previous version from 2020 on the outside, which already looked extremely dated.

The bottom of the iPhone SE showing the home button
The iPhone SE has huge bezels around the screen and the old-style Touch ID home button, a design that was first seen with the iPhone 6 in 2014. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

But while the phone may look decidedly old school on the outside, internally it is anything but. It has Apple’s latest A15 chip, which is the fastest on the block and the same one in the top of the line iPhone 13 Pro.

The phone is extremely responsive in use and will continue to be so for years. It runs the latest version of iOS and all the apps and games you might want, except Fortnite. It has 5G, wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, wireless charging, water resistance and all the things you’d expect of a modern phone in 2022.

Battery life is average for a modern smartphone, lasting in the region of 30 hours between charges with the screen on for about four hours using various messaging services and apps, and two hours of 5G. That’s a couple of hours longer than its predecessor but miles behind the 46-hour iPhone 13.

the lightning port in the bottom of the iPhone SE
The iPhone SE fully charges in 90 minutes, hitting 50% in 24 minutes with a 20W or higher power adaptor (not supplied). Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

Use more 4G or 5G mobile data than wifi and battery life will be shorter but the iPhone SE should generally last about a day of use as long as you’re not gaming for long sessions.

Specifications

  • Screen: 4.7in Retina HD (LCD) (326ppi)

  • Processor: Apple A15 Bionic

  • RAM: 4GB

  • Storage: 64, 128 or 256GB

  • Operating system: iOS 15.4

  • Camera: 12MP rear camera with OIS, 7MP front-facing camera

  • Connectivity: 5G, wifi 6, NFC, Bluetooth 5, Lightning, and GPS

  • Water resistance: IP67 (1m up to 30 minutes)

  • Dimensions: 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm

  • Weight: 144g

Camera

The camera app on the iPhone SE
The iPhone’s camera app is super simple for point-and-shoot photos and supports photographic styles, portraits for people and some other advanced features, but not night mode for low-light photography. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

The iPhone SE has a single 12-megapixel camera on its back. It produces very good images in decent light with good colour balance, detail and dynamic range. Even in dull indoor settings it does admirably, but it lacks Apple’s night mode so images shot in the evening are dark and grainy by comparison. It shoots solid video too, particularly at this price point, while its selfie camera is similarly decent in good light but weak at night.

Sustainability

Apple does not provide an expected lifespan for the iPhone SE’s battery but it can be replaced for £49. You should expect it to maintain at least 80% of its original capacity for 500 full charge cycles. Out-of-warranty screen replacements cost £146.44. The previous iPhone SE 2020 was awarded six out of 10 for repairability by the specialists iFixit.

The phone contains 91% recycled rare earth metals, 100% recycled tungsten and at least 35% recycled plastic in various components, plus 100% recycled tin in the solder of its main board. The company breaks down the phone’s environmental impact in its report.

Apple also offers trade-in and free recycling schemes, including for non-Apple products.

Price

The Apple iPhone SE 2022 costs from £419 ($429/A$719) with 64GB of storage, £469 ($479/A$799) with 128GB or £569 ($579/A$969) with 256GB.

For comparison, the iPhone 13 mini costs £679, the iPhone 13 costs £779, the OnePlus Nord 2 costs £369, the Samsung Galaxy A53 costs £399, the Fairphone 4 costs £499 and the Google Pixel 6 costs £599.

Verdict

The iPhone SE is one of the best bargains in modern smartphones. It is not the flashiest or most feature-rich but it offers more bang for buck for longer than any other.

It has an almost vintage design, lacks the MagSafe charging and accessory system, Face ID and other niceties of Apple’s more expensive models, but is otherwise a solid phone. At £419 it is Apple’s cheapest model, competing with mid-range devices from Samsung and myriad Chinese phone companies, many of which offer bigger, better screens, more cameras and greater storage.

But unlike its rivals, it has Apple’s top chip, 5G, the latest version of iOS and will, crucially, be supported for a very long time with software and security updates – it should be safe to use for seven years or more.

When even the best competition at this price tops out at only four years of updates, the iPhone SE will last longer than any other mid-range phone. And because it is an iPhone, it benefits from a huge ecosystem of third-party accessories, plus you can get it fixed if you break it and the battery can be replaced when it wears out. The starting 64GB of storage will be enough if you store your photos in the cloud and don’t download lots of games and movies.

That makes the iPhone SE the best new smartphone for people who don’t really care about phones – it gets the job done and will last as long as possible.

Pros: lowest-cost new iPhone, about seven years of software support, A15 chip, 5G, wireless charging, decent single-lens camera, top performance, easy to handle, water resistance, Touch ID, amazing value.

Cons: battery life could be better, no headphone socket, no zoom camera, no Face ID, dated design, very slow charging, no MagSafe.

The back of the iPhone SE laying on a table
The front and back of the iPhone SE are hardened glass, while the sides are aluminium – shown here in red but available in a choice of three colours. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs/The Guardian

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Culture

Top 10 Florida Cities Dominate The Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

Top 10 Florida Cities And Business Startup Landscape In The U.S.

The Voice Of EU | Florida emerges as a hub for entrepreneurial endeavors, with its vibrant business landscape and conducive environment for startups. Renowned for its low corporate tax rates and a high concentration of investors, the Sunshine State beckons aspiring entrepreneurs seeking fertile grounds to launch and grow their businesses.

In a recent report by WalletHub, Florida cities dominate the list of the top 10 best destinations for business startups, showcasing their resilience and economic vitality amidst challenging times.

From Orlando’s thriving market to Miami’s dynamic ecosystem, each city offers unique advantages and opportunities for entrepreneurial success. Let’s delve into the chronologically listed cities that exemplify Florida’s prominence in the business startup arena.

1. Orlando Leads the Way: Orlando emerges as the most attractive market in the U.S. for business startups, with a remarkable surge in small business establishments. WalletHub’s latest report highlights Orlando’s robust ecosystem, fostering the survival and growth of startups, buoyed by a high concentration of investors per capita.

2. Tampa Takes Second Place: Securing the second spot among large cities for business startups, Tampa boasts a favorable business environment attributed to its low corporate tax rates. The city’s ample investor presence further fortifies startups, providing essential resources for navigating the initial years of business operations.

3. Charlotte’s Diverse Industries: Claiming the third position, Charlotte stands out for its diverse industrial landscape and exceptionally low corporate taxes, enticing companies to reinvest capital. This conducive environment propels entrepreneurial endeavors, contributing to sustained economic growth.

4. Jacksonville’s Rising Profile: Jacksonville emerges as a promising destination for startups, bolstered by its favorable business climate. The city’s strategic positioning fosters entrepreneurial ventures, attracting aspiring business owners seeking growth opportunities.

5. Miami’s Entrepreneurial Hub: Miami solidifies its position as a thriving entrepreneurial hub, attracting businesses with its dynamic ecosystem and strategic location. The city’s vibrant startup culture and supportive infrastructure make it an appealing destination for ventures of all sizes.

6. Atlanta’s Economic Momentum: Atlanta’s ascent in the business startup landscape underscores its economic momentum and favorable business conditions. The city’s strategic advantages and conducive policies provide a fertile ground for entrepreneurial ventures to flourish.

7. Fort Worth’s Business-Friendly Environment: Fort Worth emerges as a prime destination for startups, offering a business-friendly environment characterized by low corporate taxes. The city’s supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives facilitate the growth and success of new ventures.

8. Austin’s Innovation Hub: Austin cements its status as an innovation hub, attracting startups with its vibrant entrepreneurial community and progressive policies. The city’s robust infrastructure and access to capital foster a conducive environment for business growth and innovation.

9. Durham’s Emerging Entrepreneurship Scene: Durham’s burgeoning entrepreneurship scene positions it as a promising destination for startups, fueled by its supportive ecosystem and strategic initiatives. The city’s collaborative culture and access to resources contribute to the success of new ventures.

10. St. Petersburg’s Thriving Business Community: St. Petersburg rounds off the top 10 with its thriving business community and supportive ecosystem for startups. The city’s strategic advantages and favorable business climate make it an attractive destination for entrepreneurial endeavors.

Despite unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Great Resignation, and high inflation, these top Florida cities remain resilient and well-equipped to overcome obstacles, offering promising opportunities for business owners and entrepreneurs alike.


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Culture

European Startup Ecosystems Awash With Gulf Investment – Here Are Some Of The Top Investors

European Startup Ecosystem Getting Flooded With Gulf Investments

The Voice Of EU | In recent years, European entrepreneurs seeking capital infusion have widened their horizons beyond the traditional American investors, increasingly turning their gaze towards the lucrative investment landscape of the Gulf region. With substantial capital reservoirs nestled within sovereign wealth funds and corporate venture capital entities, Gulf nations have emerged as compelling investors for European startups and scaleups.

According to comprehensive data from Dealroom, the influx of investment from Gulf countries into European startups soared to a staggering $3 billion in 2023, marking a remarkable 5x surge from the $627 million recorded in 2018.

This substantial injection of capital, accounting for approximately 5% of the total funding raised in the region, underscores the growing prominence of Gulf investors in European markets.

Particularly noteworthy is the significant support extended to growth-stage companies, with over two-thirds of Gulf investments in 2023 being directed towards funding rounds exceeding $100 million. This influx of capital provides a welcome boost to European companies grappling with the challenge of securing well-capitalized investors locally.

Delving deeper into the landscape, Sifted has identified the most active Gulf investors in European startups over the past two years.

Leading the pack is Aramco Ventures, headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Bolstered by a substantial commitment, Aramco Ventures boasts a $1.5 billion sustainability fund, alongside an additional $4 billion allocated to its venture capital arm, positioning it as a formidable player with a total investment capacity of $7 billion by 2027. With a notable presence in 17 funding rounds, Aramco Ventures has strategically invested in ventures such as Carbon Clean Solutions and ANYbotics, aligning with its focus on businesses that offer strategic value.

Following closely is Mubadala Capital, headquartered in Abu Dhabi, UAE, with an impressive tally of 13 investments in European startups over the past two years. Backed by the sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Investment Company, Mubadala Capital’s diverse investment portfolio spans private equity, venture capital, and alternative solutions. Notable investments include Klarna, TIER, and Juni, reflecting its global investment strategy across various sectors.

Ventura Capital, based in Dubai, UAE, secured its position as a key player with nine investments in European startups. With a presence in Dubai, London, and Tokyo, Ventura Capital boasts an international network of limited partners and a sector-agnostic investment approach, contributing to its noteworthy investments in companies such as Coursera and Spotify.

Qatar Investment Authority, headquartered in Doha, Qatar, has made significant inroads into the European startup ecosystem with six notable investments. As the sovereign wealth fund of Qatar, QIA’s diversified portfolio spans private and public equity, infrastructure, and real estate, with strategic investments in tech startups across healthcare, consumer, and industrial sectors.

MetaVision Dubai, a newcomer to the scene, has swiftly garnered attention with six investments in European startups. Focusing on seed to Series A startups in the metaverse and Web3 space, MetaVision raised an undisclosed fund in 2022, affirming its commitment to emerging technologies and innovative ventures.

Investcorp, headquartered in Manama, Bahrain, has solidified its presence with six investments in European startups. With a focus on mid-sized B2B businesses, Investcorp’s diverse investment strategies encompass private equity, real estate, infrastructure, and credit management, contributing to its notable investments in companies such as Terra Quantum and TruKKer.

Chimera Capital, based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, rounds off the list with four strategic investments in European startups. As part of a prominent business conglomerate, Chimera Capital leverages its global reach and sector-agnostic approach to drive investments in ventures such as CMR Surgical and Neat Burger.

In conclusion, the burgeoning influx of capital from Gulf investors into European startups underscores the region’s growing appeal as a vibrant hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. With key players such as Aramco Ventures, Mubadala Capital, and Ventura Capital leading the charge, European startups are poised to benefit from the strategic investments and partnerships forged with Gulf investors, propelling them towards sustained growth and success in the global market landscape.


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China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending ‘Taikonauts’ To The Moon From 2030 Onwards

China Reveals Lunar Mission

The Voice Of EU | In a bold stride towards lunar exploration, the Chinese Space Agency has unveiled its ambitious plans for a moon landing set to unfold in the 2030s. While exact timelines remain uncertain, this endeavor signals a potential resurgence of the historic space race reminiscent of the 1960s rivalry between the United States and the USSR.

China’s recent strides in lunar exploration include the deployment of three devices on the moon’s surface, coupled with the successful launch of the Queqiao-2 satellite. This satellite serves as a crucial communication link, bolstering connectivity between Earth and forthcoming missions to the moon’s far side and south pole.

Unlike the secretive approach of the Soviet Union in the past, China’s strategy leans towards transparency, albeit with a hint of mystery surrounding the finer details. Recent revelations showcase the naming and models of lunar spacecraft, steeped in cultural significance. The Mengzhou, translating to “dream ship,” will ferry three astronauts to and from the moon, while the Lanyue, meaning “embrace the moon,” will descend to the lunar surface.

Drawing inspiration from both Russian and American precedents, China’s lunar endeavor presents a novel approach. Unlike its predecessors, China will employ separate launches for the manned module and lunar lander due to the absence of colossal space shuttles. This modular approach bears semblance to SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, reflecting a contemporary adaptation of past achievements.

Upon reaching lunar orbit, astronauts, known as “taikonauts” in Chinese, will rendezvous with the lunar lander, reminiscent of the Apollo program’s maneuvers. However, distinct engineering choices mark China’s departure from traditional lunar landing methods.

The Chinese lunar lander, while reminiscent of the Apollo Lunar Module, introduces novel features such as a single set of engines and potential reusability and advance technology. Unlike past missions where lunar modules were discarded, China’s design hints at the possibility of refueling and reuse, opening avenues for sustained lunar exploration.

China Reveals Lunar Mission: Sending 'Taikonauts' To The Moon From 2030 Onwards
A re-creation of the two Chinese spacecraft that will put ‘taikonauts’ on the moon.CSM

Despite these advancements, experts have flagged potential weaknesses, particularly regarding engine protection during landing. Nevertheless, China’s lunar aspirations remain steadfast, with plans for extensive testing and site selection underway.

Beyond planting flags and collecting rocks, China envisions establishing a permanent lunar base, the International Lunar Research Station (ILRS), ushering in a new era of international collaboration in space exploration.

While the Artemis agreements spearheaded by NASA have garnered global support, China’s lunar ambitions stand as a formidable contender in shaping the future of space exploration. In conclusion, China’s unveiling of its lunar ambitions not only marks a significant milestone in space exploration but also sets the stage for a new chapter in the ongoing saga of humanity’s quest for the cosmos. As nations vie for supremacy in space, collaboration and innovation emerge as the cornerstones of future lunar endeavors.


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