Tech Savvy: New options for iPhone SE and iPad bring performance, versatility

While the iPhone 13 came out in late 2021, new options were announced earlier this month during the March 8 Apple Event. No matter the budget, there is an iPhone or iPad option to fit.

Apple iPhone SE models are shown back to back
iPhone SE comes in three beautiful colors — (PRODUCT)RED, starlight, and midnight — and features the familiar Home button with Touch ID.
Courtesy / Apple

When it comes to tech, getting a new upgrade makes up for a lackluster spring with too much snow left and too much chill in the air.

I’m late to the party but after mulling and crunching numbers and the long-term enjoyment of anticipation, I finally upgraded to a lovely Sierra blue iPhone 13 Pro with an incredible camera system. The robust ability to do more with photos and video was too much to pass up and my iPhone X is moving on to help another iPhone user upgrade their equipment. Using iCloud, it’s an easy transfer of data to set up the new phone. With the new phone purchase comes the daunting task of picking a new Otterbox case to protect it and getting Zagg glass for the screen protection. Even dropping a phone to a hardwood floor or having it fall from a tall vehicle to a concrete sidewalk didn’t phase past phones protected by the Otterbox cases. The Symmetry line even comes with a built-in and recessed PopGrip.

The iPhone 13 Pro looks amazing and the speed and performance it brings is both worth the wait and the upgrade package, particularly in shooting video. I’ll detail more of its advantages, such as greater ability for photos in low light and Cinematic Mode for video, in an upcoming Tech Savvy. MacRumors recently quoted DisplayMate , stating “the iPhone 13 Pro Max has the best smartphone display, which has earned a grade of A+ thanks to ProMotion technology, HDR, max brightness, color accuracy, contrast ratio, and more.”

One of the cool features Apple provides with the purchase is an offer to have a virtual session with a specialist to go over the new phone’s features or cover anything you have questions about or want more in-depth information to get the most out of the new phone.

While the iPhone 13 came out in late 2021, new options were announced earlier this month during the March 8 Apple Event. No matter the budget, or how long you are willing to save for an upgrade, there is an iPhone option to fit. Last week, we went over some of the announcements about upgrades and new products from the March Apple event and this continues, this time with a look at the iPhone SE and iPad Air.


A new iPhone SE and iPad Air were among the updates along with a robust AppleTV+ with Apple gaining six Academy Award nominations for its content, including best picture.

iPhone SE (2022)

Apple is also bringing its Apple Silicon advancements with its A15 bionic chip in the iPhone13 to another iPhone, adding it to iPhone SE, at a more affordable price with a smaller phone.

“We’re continuing to add new users to iPhone at a faster pace,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO during the Apple virtual event. “In fact, this past fall, we’ve added more new users to the iPhone 13 lineup than in each of the previous five launches.”

The A15 chip means the iPhone 13 is faster — apps load more quickly, graphics perform more smoothly for gaming, photography tools are enhanced and there is a better battery life and a faster charge when the battery does need more juice. The iPhone SE also now has 5G for faster streaming, gaming and downloads with high definition for FaceTime.

iPhone SE features an aerospace-grade aluminum design, with the toughest glass in a smartphone on the front and back.
Courtesy / Apple

Apple reports the new iPhone SE also has the “toughest glass in a smartphone, is water resistant and has more options for the camera for photos and video. It also has Touch ID to use a fingerprint to unlock the phone, open apps and make purchases with Apple Pay. The new phone includes all the upgrades that come with iOS 15.

“iPhone helps put you in control of your personal information. For example, when you’re browsing, Safari intelligently helps block trackers from profiling you and shows you which ones have been blocked in your Privacy Report,” Apple reports.

Super Bowl deals on big screen TVs mean lots of options to get close to the action without spending a lot of money. OLED screens promise lifelike colors and crisp and clear action for sports.

Users can also share movies and music while they are in FaceTime. The new iPhone SE comes in midnight, starlight or (Product) Red, with each purchase contributing to a global fund to combat COVID-19.

Apple stated in its presentation that iPhone 8 users, who may have been waiting for an upgrade, will see a substantial difference in performance. The iPhone SE starts at $429 — or $17.87 a month for 24 months — for the 64GB; or $479 for the 128GB; or $579 for the 256GB; and there is money off for trading in an iPhone 8 or newer.


Cook described it as an option for existing users who want “a highly capable and compact iPhone” and for those who are experiencing iPhone for the first time.

Other announcements included adding green to the colors available for the iPhone 13. The iPhone 13 starts at $699 for a mini before trade-in discounts from an older model or $799 for a 6.1 inch display or $999 for the iPhone 13 Pro before trade-in.

Apple iPad Air in multiple colors
The powerful and versatile new iPad Air comes in a stunning array of colors, and features the Apple-designed M1 chip, a new Ultra Wide front camera, blazing-fast 5G, and more.
Courtesy / Apple

iPad Air

Other products highlighted included the new iPad Air, with the addition of the M1 chip for faster performance, whether that is in gaming or for content creators. The Air will also feature Center Stage, which uses the ultra wide front facing camera for things like those get-togethers on FaceTime, so even as people move they are kept in the frame. Being so lightweight and portable, iPad Air’s additional performance abilities and keyboard options make it an attractive alternative to a laptop.

iPad Air now has 5G and fits with Apple’s options for keyboards — either ones that fold over the iPad with its cover and put the iPad into an upright position or the Magic Keyboard, complete with keyboard and trackpad.

The Magic Keyboard provides the best typing experience on iPad Air with its integrated trackpad and floating design.
Courtesy / Apple

The iPad connects to the Magic Keyboard magnetically and is adjustable for viewing angles. The keys are backlit and the entire design folds into a case to protect the iPad. The iPad Air is also compatible with the Apple Pencil, allowing users to use the pencil to draw, create, color and turn handwritten notes and designs into presentations, graphics, or into typed content.

The new iPad Air, in space gray, starlight, pink, purple, and a new blue, starts at $599.

A new release for iMovie includes a storyboard and helps people create videos. The new iMovie will be available in April.


The new iPhone SE and iPad Air are now available.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter at

Related Topics: TECH-SAVVY
Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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