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If you’ve decided to pass on LG’s UltraFine Display there are only a few other options when it comes to 4K USB-C displays. Jordan covered the best choices back in November and now all of these displays are available (with varying degrees of stock).

There are a few compromises that come along with the $500 ENVY 4K display compared with options like Lenovo’s ThinkVision X1 or LG’s 27UD88-W, but I decided to try HP’s ENVY 27 with price, design, and specs hitting a good portion of my wish list. Keep reading after the break to hear about my first week with this new display.

At first I thought the hard part was deciding what display to go with, but trying to get my hands on an ENVY 27 turned out to be more challenging. After launching in early December, HP quickly sold out of stock. I checked HP’s website daily as it was $625 on Amazon. Strange enough, the display showed up on Best Buy’s site for $450, but with no stock (and has disappeared completely now).

Then about two weeks ago I saw HP had one in stock on their site (literally one). I quickly ordered and got a confirmation for a successful purchase. The next morning I received an email saying the order was cancelled.

Fast forward three days and that repeated two more times. All HP support could tell me was their inventory system wasn’t working properly. Last weekend I happened to look at Amazon again and the price had dropped to $500, I immediately placed my order and received my display two days later.

With HP seemingly having trouble producing enough of these displays, you may have to keep an eye on both HP’s website and Amazon if you’re looking to pick one up. There don’t seem to be any other retailers carrying this unit for now.


HP’s ENVY 27 features a 3840 x 2160 resolution at 60 Hz. This IPS display offers 5ms response time and a micro-edge bezel on three sides that provides a clean, minimal feel. The bezel is almost exactly the same as the new MacBook Pro’s sides and the screen can tilt from -5 to +25°.

Something that sets this screen apart from the competition (for better or worse) is HP’s decision to use an ‘Advanced Haze’ finish on this display. After spending some time researching I discovered that Advanced Haze seems to be a hybrid between a matte and glossy finish. Adam Simmons gets into the nitty gritty of display finishes beyond just glossy and matte in this article.

Although HP couldn’t tell me when I called for details, Simmons says that matte finishes often have a haze value of 24-28%. Since HP offers an ‘Anti-Glare,’ ‘Advanced Haze,’ and ‘Low Haze’ for their various products I’m guessing the ENVY 27 is one step glossier than a full matte finish (ENVY 27 is not available in any other finish besides Advanced Haze).

While the display does look very sharp and is a nice improvement over my 2011 iMac, it doesn’t feature P3 wide color gamut or 500 nits brightness like my 15-inch MacBook Pro or the UltraFine displays. In contrast, ENVY 27 features 99% sRBG and 350 nits brightness.

I’ve been using both my MacBook Pro and the new display at 75% brightness and I honestly can’t tell a difference between the two as far as the brightness. When it comes to colors, my MacBook Pro does produce a slightly more rich and vivid experience, however it isn’t distracting for me to use them side by side.


HP includes a 6-foot USB-C cable along with the same length HDMI and DisplayPort cables. VESA mount hardware is included along with documentation and an HP software CD (which isn’t needed). The power supply isn’t built-in to the display and it’s a decently hefty external one (mouse in photo below for reference). This may contribute to the monitor having a slim profile.

The display’s stand doesn’t come installed in the box, however it’s an easy job, no tools necessary. The base feels sturdy and is a few shades darker than my Space Gray MacBook Pro. The stem is a matte finished stainless steel. I wish they had brought the materials and build quality of the base to the rest of the display, but I keep reminding myself, this is a $500 product. The stem and base are easily removable if you decide to change your mind and mount your display down the road.

In Use

The first thing that surprised me when connecting my MacBook Pro for the first time was that ENVY 27 doesn’t automatically detect video input by default, so I had to switch the input manually (there are five physical buttons on the back, power and four buttons for navigating the display’s settings).

Once connected and I had the display’s settings adjusted, I was interested to see how fast the max 60W of power the display pushes would charge my 15-inch MacBook Pro (standard is an 87W power adapter). I was impressed to see that ENVY 27 gave a full charge in 2.5 hours. Another nice feature of this display is even when the display is powered off and your MacBook is sleeping it continues to charge your computer.

It doesn’t seem to be a problem for now, but it is worth noting that a warning message pops up sporadically when connecting my MacBook Pro with the following message: “A connected USB device is requesting more power than can be supplied by the display.”

One other slight concern is that I’ve seen a “This doesn’t appear to be a HP USB-C cable” twice now. Unplugging and plugging back in the cable that came with the display has solved it for now.

If you haven’t checked out the specs before you’ll notice in the picture above that I/O is one of the major compromises on this $500 4K display, it doesn’t even include a single USB-A port. Just one USB-C port, 2 HDMI ports, and one DisplayPort. For my use and workflow this isn’t a big deal, but is definitely something to consider before buying.

While we’re at it, we might as well cover the other trade-offs of this display. To bring it to market at $500 with 4K and USB-C connectivity HP also left out speakers and a camera. Many people use external speakers or wireless earphones, and don’t mind using the MacBook’s FaceTime camera, but these missing features paired with bare bones I/O could be a deal breaker for some.

On the plus side, I have been using this display with no issues within about 5 feet of my wireless router. Strangely enough, Zac discovered this to be an issue for LG’s UltraFine Display.  While LG has shared that new units will see the problem solved, this is a disconcerting issue for a $1,000 display. Existing owners will need to contact LG to arrange a fix.

Other notable aspects of my first week using ENVY 27 are the materials and build quality. The aesthetics of the display may be my favorite out of the current 4K USB-C options. However the solid materials of the base don’t extend to the rest of the unit. A lightly textured plastic is used for the back.

Even with plastic as the main material I was hoping for some aluminum accents, but even the bottom bezel of the display is textured plastic made to look like metal. It still provides a nice aesthetic, but is in contrast to the solid materials of the base. The ENVY logo is also slightly annoying, but I prefer it over the HP logo.

One last concern has to do with the stability of the display. From talking with my colleague Jeff, it sounds like HP’s ENVY 27 has a similar wobble to LG’s UltraFine as he mentioned in his full review. It’s not awful, but definitely distracting as I’ve been used to my super solid 30+ pound 2011 iMac. For now I’ve been snugging my MacBook Pro right up against the display to provide extra stability.


I’m not totally sure I’ll use this for my main display long-term, however I’m glad I’ve given it a shot. With a great price point, sharp design, 4K resolution, and USB-C connectivity I think it’s a good value at $500. If the trade offs aren’t deal breakers and it hits enough of your needs, you can pick up HP’s ENVY 27 directly or through Amazon (when in stock).

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Galaxy Nexus For Verizon: First Impressions

The best Android phone to date, the Galaxy Nexus dazzles with its curved display, sleek design, fast performance, and, of course, the Ice Cream Sandwich update.

If you’ve been holding out for the next great Android superphone, your time has come: The Galaxy Nexus has arrived on U.S. shores. We’re lucky enough to have one in the PCWorld offices, and so far the Galaxy Nexus looks to be worth the wait. We’ll be posting our full rated review of the Galaxy Nexus tomorrow morning, after we conduct performance tests in the PCWorld Labs.

Taking a cue from Apple products, the Galaxy Nexus comes in attractive, minimalist packaging. Other than an embossed Verizon logo, the white box is completely plain. Opening the box reveals a red interior with a USB cable, a wall charger, headphones, and the Galaxy Nexus itself.

When I picked up the Galaxy Nexus, my first thought was, “This looks like a Samsung phone, but it doesn’t feel like a Samsung phone.” The glossy display, piano-black bezel, and textured back are all characteristic of Samsung design. But unlike other Galaxy phones I’ve reviewed, the Galaxy Nexus feels high quality. At 5.1 ounces, it has a nice substantial weight to it without being too heavy. As you can see from the photos, the Galaxy Nexus has a subtle curve, which nicely contours to the hand. If you have small hands like me, however, you might find the Galaxy Nexus a bit large (it measures 5.33 by 2.67 by 0.37 inches).

The display is a roomy 4.65 inches, but really only 4 inches of that real estate is usable. The remaining 0.65-inch space is occupied by a customizable shortcut bar that appears at the bottom of the home screens as well as some other internal screens. Even so, the screen feels plenty spacious for all of your gaming, video, and other multimedia desires.

The Galaxy Nexus sports an HD Super AMOLED display. Colors pop from the display and blacks look deep, while fonts and details appear sharp. My only complaint is that whites aren’t as bright as they could be. One of my colleagues remarked that the screen had a slight yellowish tint. Still, I was pleased overall with the quality of the display.

Ice Cream Sandwich is everything I’ve wanted Android to be: intuitive and attractive, while maintaining a high level of customization and performance. Ice Cream Sandwich truly has mass appeal. Icons are sharper, menus are easier to navigate, and performing basic tasks is more efficient than in previous versions.

The photos I shot with the Galaxy Nexus’s 5-megapixel camera looked a bit flat. Colors seemed a bit washed out, and details were a little fuzzy. But even if your photos don’t come out perfect, Ice Cream Sandwich has your back with its suite of photo-editing tools. You get an array of filters (like your very own Hipstamatic app), the capability to adjust the image angle, red-eye removal, cropping capabilities, and more.

Verizon’s 4G LTE network, of course, plays a huge role in the speediness of the Galaxy Nexus. In my tests using the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest app, the Galaxy Nexus achieved download speeds ranging from 6.69 to 12.11 megabits per second and upload speeds of 21.18 mbps. In other words, the Galaxy Nexus is blazingly fast.

Stay tuned for our full rated review of the Galaxy Nexus for Verizon, as well as further coverage of Android Ice Cream Sandwich.

Valve Index Impressions: An Eye


Which I guess brings me to my first point: The Valve Index uses base stations.

I’m torn. PC-based virtual reality is in a weird spot right now, I think. On the one hand, writing about the Oculus Rift S a few weeks ago, I said the following:

“If you’re hardcore enough about VR that you prefer to hook up to an expensive gaming PC (and deal with the accompanying cable) rather than opt for the less powerful (but self-contained and wireless) Oculus Quest, you’re also more likely to care about flawed controller tracking—and less likely to care about mounting base stations to your wall to ensure peak performance.”

I stand by that statement. And as far as tracking goes, the Vive/Index base stations are the gold standard. The original generation was near-flawless. The second generation might actually be flawless, with a wider field of view both horizontally and vertically. They cover an enormous area, and they do it well. There’s not much else to say.


Base stations are cumbersome though, no doubt about it. Mounting them on the wall is a commitment. Choosing not to mount them usually proves annoying sooner or later, as they either end up in the way or get bumped and need adjusting. I’d also nearly forgotten about the high-pitched whine the base stations emit, having unplugged my Vive a few months ago for Rift S testing. That’s back now as well.

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That said, there are benefits to being plugged in. Keep in mind, these are just our early impressions, but my early impression was “Holy [Redacted].”


The Valve Index jumps from 110 degrees to 130ish degrees and it is (heh) eye-opening. I didn’t notice the difference so much horizontally, but vertically it was like removing blinders. Did you know you can usually see the ceiling and floor while staring straight ahead? Subconsciously, I’d gotten used to not being able to in VR, grown accustomed to moving my entire head to look up or down. The Valve Index makes that unnecessary.

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It looks crisp, too. On paper the Vive Pro and Index have the same 1440×1600 resolution per eye, for a total of 2880×1600. The Index’s RGB LCD display has more subpixels than the Vive Pro’s AMOLED display though. For the layperson: We think of the pixel as being the base unit for displays, but like an atom it can be subdivided into smaller components, or subpixels. These are the actual colored bands of light that, in combination, allow a pixel to reproduce the full spectrum.

Note that the Oculus Rift S also pivoted to RGB LCD and thus looks similarly crisp, but the Index’s higher resolution and larger FOV take it a step further.


It makes minimal impact on how games are played, but the subconscious difference is enormous—or at least it was in my case. When I first donned the Valve Index I noticed how smooth and snappy the hand-tracking felt, only to realize it was due to the increased frame rate. The difference was especially noticeable because I was coming from the Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest, which run at 80Hz and 72Hz respectively, but even compared to the 90Hz Vive Pro the Index feels fluid.

I am admittedly sensitive to frame rate and use a 144Hz monitor at home, so your mileage may vary. I was impressed though.

Knuckle up

You’re going to spend a lot of time staring at your hands too. A lot. As I said, the Index also ushers in the official release of Valve’s old “Knuckles” prototype controllers, which we first saw back in the halcyon days of 2023, back before Oculus had even released its first-gen Touch controllers.

Anyway, the “Knuckles” controllers have been redubbed the “Valve Index Controllers,” which is way less fun. Regardless, this is the hardware I was most excited to get my hands on (literally), because it’s so different.


I’m going to simplify a bit here, but the HTC Vive Wands essentially track three different parts of your hand: Thumb, pointer finger, and three-finger grip. Of those, the thumb is the only one with fine movement reproduction, thanks to the capacitive touchpad. The other fingers were basically “On” or “Off,” though the pointer finger at least had an analog trigger.

Oculus’s Touch controllers improved on this by making all buttons capacitive, and both the trigger and grips analog. Suddenly you could have a hand that was half-open!

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Like so.

This allows for more realistic item manipulation. To pick up an item, you “grab” the Index controller. To drop it, you open your hand and “let go.” There are also sensors built into basically the entire chassis, so you can close your hand halfway, or point, or ball up just your ring and pinky fingers or whatever and in theory the Index controllers know what you’re doing. (Check out this Valve blog post for some nifty GIFs.)

There’s very little software support for the Index controllers so far, and I’ll need a lot more time with them before we do a proper review. That said, it’s…interesting. When it works it’s incredible, but I’ve had plenty of moments where it doesn’t quite understand what my hand’s doing and it’s taken me out of the experience.

I also find myself fighting my instincts. “Open your hand” to drop an item sound intuitive enough, and yet I keep not doing it. I think it’s the weight of the Index controllers that throws me, because of course when you let go of a virtual item the Index controllers stay put. It makes it hard to “drop” them, even knowing they’re firmly fastened to my hands.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

Still, I love certain features, like the variable grip strength—used to great effect in Valve and Cloudhead’s Aperture Hand Labs, when you grasp a robot with a handshake so firm its arm rips off. That’s cute.

And I’m hoping more time is the answer to the rest. That means more time on Valve’s end to iron out the software kinks, and more time on mine to get used to the whole idea. Part of me wonders whether Valve sent out review units this early for that express purpose, because honestly the Index controllers require a shift in thought that’s comparable in some respects to the ill-fated Steam Controller, a novelty that seemingly everyone bought but…well, let’s just say I don’t know anyone who uses one regularly. It doesn’t mean nobody is, but we didn’t suddenly give up analog sticks industry-wide.

IDG / Hayden Dingman

You can make a peace sign, or (more likely) ruder gestures.

People don’t have two decades of VR instinct ingrained in them, but the Index controllers are going to take an adjustment period nevertheless. I’m looking forward to digging into Vacation Simulator, Arizona Sunshine, and the rest of the early proofs-of-concept to see if I can make the switch in style.

Bottom line

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While you’re at it, be sure to check out our Oculus Rift S and Oculus Quest reviews. Valve’s not shipping the first Index units until June, but the second generation of VR’s already started—especially if you hate wires.

Google Home First Impressions: It’Ll Get Better

What voice commands can I use with Google Home?

How to set up and use Google Home

Google Home is meant to be a jack-of-all-trades device. You can speak to it, ask it questions, tell it to add things to your grocery list, play music through it, and even tell it to turn off the lights. It can even talk to your Chromecast, Nest Thermostat and a few other IoT devices to make your life a bit easier.

But is this a device you actually need? We’ve been using Google Home for a few days now, and there are some things you should know before running out and buying one right away. Here are our first impressions on the new Google Home.

Which apps have Google Home support?


What really makes Google Home interesting is the handful of smart home apps and services that work with it

What really makes Google Home interesting is the handful of smart home apps and services that work with it. You can control your Nest Thermostat, Chromecast, Philips Hue lights or Samsung SmartThings devices all from your Google Home. Out of this list, most people are probably going to be using Google Home in conjunction with a Chromecast device, since smart thermostats and lightbulbs are still sort of niche products. Telling your Google Home to play a YouTube video on your living room Chromecast sounds really cool in theory, but it’s sort of weird in practice at the moment. You basically need to know the name of the YouTube video you’d like to watch before you ask your Google Home to cast it, which isn’t really the way people watch videos on the internet. We suppose it could be useful to ask Google Home “Play the latest video from Android Authority on my Chromecast”, but for basically anything else, you’ll want to just pull out your phone and cast it that way.

While app support isn’t quite there yet, Google Assistant helps make up for it. We’ve particularly taken a liking to the My Day feature, which will walk you through the current weather conditions, work commute, your next meeting, your reminders and daily news.

[related_videos title=”Google Assistant in action” align=”right” type=”custom” videos=”720376,724744,722883,720232″]But the fact that you have Google’s powerful Assistant on board is one of the best parts about this device. It’s conversational, meaning you can talk to it, and it feels like there’s actually someone on the other end talking back to you. It can do cutesy things like tell jokes and read you poems, but it can also perform Google searches, give you sports scores, and a lot more. Plus, it can also understand the context of multiple questions. So when you ask “How tall is the Empire State Building?”, you can follow that up with “Where is it located?”, and Google Assistant will know you’re still talking about the Empire State Building.

Multiple account support isn’t here yet

Me: “Hey Google, do you support multiple accounts?”

Google Pixel XL review: a Pixel’s perspective


There is one exception – Google Home does support multiple accounts with music services, but everything else will still be tied to your personal Google account. Sure, you can blacklist certain apps and services like Google Calendar or Gmail from being accessed by Google Home, but that means you need to switch it off completely, meaning nobody can access those services.

Note: There’s a handy Google Home FAQ page here if you need more details on accounts and services.

Google Home is a pretty amazing product, but there’s certainly room for improvement. What if, one day, Home would be able to tell the difference between each user, and associate different accounts and services based on who’s talking? That’s actually touched on in Google’s FAQ page:

Currently, we don’t have an ability to differentiate users by different voice patterns. Here’s more about data security and privacy on Google Home.

While it isn’t possible with this first iteration of Google Home hardware, it’s probably going to happen sometime in the future. And when it does, Google Home will be much more useful for families.

Huawei P30 Pro First Impressions: Endless Possibilities

Huawei is hell-bent on revolutionizing smartphone photography, making it simpler for the average consumer to capture DSLR-like images. The Pixel 3 was the best camera device to date for this purpose, however, Huawei’s latest flagship smartphone – the Huawei P30 Pro has debuted with some impressive camera hardware and capabilities that would blow your socks off.

Huawei was kind enough to send us the P30 Pro and we have the stunning Aurora variant with us, which reflects light to show off this dual-blue gradient shade. I’ve been using the Huawei P30 Pro for exactly 24 hours and here’s my initial impression of the device:

Huawei P30 Pro: Specifications

Dimensions158 x 73.4 x 8.41 mm

Weight192 grams

Display6.47-inch Full-HD+ OLED

ProcessorKirin 980


Internal Storageup to 256GB

Rear Cameras40MP (f/1.6) SuperSpectrum + 20MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide + 8MP (f/3.4) telephoto

Front Camera32MP (f/2.0)

Operating SystemAndroid 9 Pie-based EMUI 9.1

IP RatingIP68

ConnectivityWi-Fi 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0 BLE, USB Type-C

SensorsAmbient Light, Gyroscope, Compass, Proximity, Gravity Sensor, Infrared, Colour Temperature Sensor


ColorsBreathing Crystal, Aurora, Amber Sunrise, Pearl White, Black

Huawei P30 Pro: Design and Build

The Huawei P30 Pro is a visually stunning device and you’ll notice that the moment you take it out from the box and remove the plastic wrap that secures it. This smartphone is building on the excellent design of Huawei’s previous flagship, the Mate 20 Pro, and I’m loving what I see.

Huawei states that the colors of the beautiful gradient glass panels on the P30 Pro are derived from nature, specifically the salt flats and how the day goes by there. The comfort and in-hand feel of the device feels pretty much like the Mate 20, which implies that the P30 Pro is quite sturdy and does have some heft to it. It is IP68 certified and has wireless charging, as well as reverse charging capabilities in tow as well.

As for the ports and buttons, the latter are quite tactile and I love the red indent in the power button. They are also located at an appropriate position, whereas the former is a lone wolf. There’s only a USB Type-C port at the bottom and no 3.5mm headphone jack. There’s a speaker grill and SIM tray at the bottom as well, with the IR blaster and noise cancellation mic sitting up-top.




Turning our attention to the front, the Huawei P30 Pro includes a gorgeous display with smaller bezels (more on this below) and improved in-screen fingerprint scanner in comparison to the Mate 20 Pro. The fingerprint scanner on P30 Pro is an optical one (not the ultrasonic sensor we’ve seen on the Galaxy S10 Plus) and it’s placed lower this time around.

It takes a while to set up, as is the case with most optical in-display fingerprint sensors, but works quite flawlessly. The unlocking process has been snappy and reliable. I haven’t hit a snag, where I had to use the pattern so far, and the speed seems pretty comparable to latest Vivo smartphones.

Huawei P30 Pro: Display

The Full-HD+ OLED panel, with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 2340×1080 pixels resolution, looks pretty awesome, with punchy colors, deep blacks, and amazing brightness. There’s minimal bezels at the top and bottom, similar to the Galaxy S10, and it looks pretty good for the brief time that I’ve spent with it.

Huawei P30 Pro: Cameras

Stepping up from its previous flagships, Huawei P30 Pro carries a Leica-branded quad-camera module which has a primary 40MP (f/1.6) SuperSpectrum sensor (with an RYYB  Bayer filter), a 20MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide angle camera (with more than 120-degrees FOV), an 8MP (f/3.4) telephoto camera (with the 10x SuperZoom capability) and finally a Time-of-Flight (TOF) camera. The TOF camera is currently used to better low-light photos and portraits, but will later come in handy for AR applications as well.




The biggest highlight of the P30 Pro camera, however, will have to be its insane zooming capabilities. You have 5x optical zoom, 10x hybrid “almost lossless” zoom, and even 50x digital zoom available on this smartphone. I’ve been playing with this feature since I got my hands on the P30 Pro and my initial impression is my jaw hitting the floor. Here are a couple of samples:




If you want to check out some more awesome 50x camera samples, here’s our YouTube video straight from Paris:

So the cameras here look promising, but obviously, I’ll be testing them out thoroughly and comparing them against other flagship smartphones. Keep an eye out for our full review to get a more detailed look at the camera performance on the P30 Pro.

Huawei P30 Pro: Performance & Software

I understand that you want to learn how gaming on the P30 Pro feels like, but I haven’t gotten around to testing that just yet because of the cameras on board. I will tell you all about it in our in-depth review.

As for the software, Huawei P30 Pro comes backed by EMUI 9.1, which is Huawei’s custom take on Android and it’s the only smartphone to come pre-loaded with this new variant of the skin. It’s based on Android 9 Pie and loaded with features to the brim and I’m still to dive deeper to explore all of them. I mean, 24-hours is not really enough for that.

Huawei P30 Pro: Battery

The Huawei P30 Pro carries a massive 4,200mAh battery pack but still manages to keep the thickness at around 8mm, which is pretty impressive. The smartphone doesn’t even feel heavy and is comfortable to use too. You should be able to extract up to a complete day of usage from this battery pack on a single charge, without having to push the limit.

And even if you completely drain the battery by playing a ton of PUBG Mobile or viewing BTS videos (something that I’ve been doing, of recent), the 40W SuperCharger bundled with the P30 Pro will allow you to fill close to 75% of your battery in just 30 minutes. It’s the same as the Mate 20 Pro and the charging power also hasn’t been bumped to 50W or higher.

SEE ALSO: Everything You Need to Know About Huawei P30 Pro’s Quad Cameras

Huawei P30 Pro First Impressions: That Camera is The Bomb!

Huawei P30 Pro offers you endless possibilities and I stand by this statement, right from this hands-on impression. I say that because of the jaw-dropping and mind-boggling (oh yeah, one adjective felt lacking) camera prowess of the smartphone. It seems to throw a challenge to its competitors in this department, while packing all necessary features and many over-the-top ones too.

Now, all that’s left to see is whether Huawei P30 Pro is the best flagship smartphone out there or will Samsung manage to hold onto its crown? We’ll explore the same in our in-depth review, coming very soon, so stay tuned.

Iphone Se: Hands On With Every Official Apple Case

As with every iPhone launch, Apple has produced a variety of official cases to go along with its new iPhone SE hardware. Unlike the iPhone 11, which featured 17 unique official Apple cases at launch, the iPhone SE’s official case options are much more modest.

iPhone SE Silicone Case

Apple sells three iPhone SE Silicone Cases, and they come in Pink Sand, White, and Black color options. Apple’s iPhone SE Silicone Case costs $35.00, and features a silky-smooth soft-touch exterior that lends enough grip to keep the phone from sliding out of your hand.

Inside the silicone case, you’ll find the familiar microfiber lining that helps protect the iPhone’s rear glass panel. Just as you would expect, the cases feature precise cutouts for the camera, flash, volume buttons, mute switch, and Side button.

iPhone SE 2 Apple cases video walkthrough

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Although the iPhone SE doesn’t use the same gesture-based system like the iPhone 11, the bottom of the case maintains the cutout area, which is great for interfacing with the bottom area of the phone.

Some people dislike this open-ended design, but I’ve always preferred it. Of course, the case features curved edges that wrap snugly around the other three sides of the iPhone SE, which helps protect it in case of a drop.

iPhone SE Leather Case

As always, Apple’s leather cases demand a slight premium over the cheaper silicone offerings. Each leather case can be purchased for $45.00. Apple offers iPhone SE Leather Case options in the following colors: Midnight Blue, Black, and Red.

Each leather case is made from tanned and finished European leather, and develops a natural patina finish over time.

What I particularly like about Apple’s leather cases are the color matched machined aluminum volume and Side buttons. Although small, these buttons provide better tactile feedback than the molded buttons on Apple’s silicone cases.

Like all Apple cases, the iPhone SE Leather case fits snuggly over your iPhone, and features a microfiber lining on the interiors to protect your device.

Wireless charging is a go

Like the iPhone 8, which the iPhone SE design is based on, Apple’s newest budget smartphone is compatible with Qi wireless chargers. With this in mind, Apple has made sure that its first party iPhone SE case offerings are all compatible with the wireless charging standard.

No clear case, and no Leather Folio

The official iPhone SE case lineup is sparse, not just because of the limited amount of colors, but because there are only two case styles available. Unlike the iPhone 11, there is no clear case option for showcasing your iPhone’s color while still maintaining case protection. There’s also no Leather Folio option for those that like to combine everything into one convenient package. Indeed, official Apple case options are minimal, but at least there will be plenty of third-party iPhone SE cases available.

9to5mac’s Take

Although it’s a far cry from the massive selection of official cases that the iPhone 11 had access to on day one, you can still come up with some pretty cool color combinations thanks to the three iPhone SE colors. Overall, there are 15 different iPhone color/case combinations, or 18 if you want to count both of the black (silicone and leather) case options.

Once I have the iPhone SE in hand, I’ll be sure to post a gallery featuring all of the possible color combinations in order to help you decide what looks best.

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