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iPhone SE is official! Meet Apple’s new 4-inch smartphone

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After months of rumours, Apple’s new 4-inch iPhone is finally a reality.

Apple today announced the launch of the iPhone SE, a downsized version of the iPhone 6S.

The phone boasts much of the power of its larger sibling, although its design is more akin to the iPhone 5S (albeit with a few new curves).

The device was unveiled by Apple CEO Tim Cook at the company's launch event in Cupertino, California.

Video – iPhone SE in 90 seconds: All you need to know

The handset features Apple's A9 chip, the same one featured on last year's iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus. Apple says the device is three times faster than the iPhone 5S.

It's also got a 12-megapixel iSight camera, which is the same used on the 2015 flagships. It can also capture 4K video, and offers the same selfie-flash featured on the iPhone 6S.

Apple confirmed the handset will feature a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and the phone will support the Apple Pay mobile payments platform.

Live Photos – Apple's GIF-style photography technology – will also be supported by the iPhone SE, but 3D Touch isn't going to feature on the device.

What's more, Apple has added 'Hey Siri' support for the device, which means you'll be able to chat away to your phone in a way that wasn't possible with the iPhone 5S.

Related: iPhone SE review

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Related: iPhone 7 Release Date

The iPhone SE is Apple's first 4-inch iPhone since the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C. After those devices, Apple upsized to 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, despite its previous assertions that smaller smartphones are easier to use.

The device starts at $399 (£359) for the 16GB version, which means it's the most affordable iPhone ever launched. There's also a 64GB model that costs $499.

You can also bag the device at $17 per month on a 24-month payment plan, although UK pricing is yet to be announced.

Orders for the new device begin on March 24 – that's Thursday – and the device goes on sale officially on March 31.

The US and UK are amongst the 11 launch countries, with a view to roll the device out in 110 countries by the end of May.

Watch – Trusted Explains: Buying a new smartphone

What do you think of Apple’s new iPhone? Let us know in the comments.

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