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(Pocket-lint) - Apple has announced its much-rumoured update for the iPhone SE - the cheapest iPhone in its lineup.

The biggest new change is the inclusion of the A15 Bionic chipset, making the handset much more powerful than the last generation.

Battery life is also improved, mainly thanks to the more efficient processor. And 5G comes to the entry-level handset range for the first time.

The camera system is new, albeit with just the lens again. It now adopts a 12-megapixel sensor (f/1.8) with Smart HDR4 fucntionality. Portrait mode is also available on this SE model.

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AppleNew iPhone SE official, comes with A15 Bionic processor photo 2

The front camera has been tweaked too. And spatial audio is supported in FaceTime calls.

The design is essentially the same as the last iPhone SE (released in 2020), with a return for the Touch ID button on the front, although Apple claims the 4.7-inch display is covered with glass that is more robust and enhanced this time around. The handset is IP67 rated for water and dust resistance.

It'll be available in midnight, starlight and (Product)Red colours and prices start at $429 in the US. / £419 in the UK / €529 in Central Europe. There are 64GB, 128GB and 256GB storage options available.

Pre-orders start on 11 March 2022 for shipping from 18 March.

Writing by Rik Henderson.