Long Term Review: Apple iPhone SE
Long Term Review: Apple iPhone SE
We are revisting an Apple product that we feel was one of the better devices amongst smartphones released. The iPhone SE. This fantastic device falls somewhere between High end and Mid range in terms of specs but the majority of it (from the build to the hardware) is very high end. This phone uses body of the iPhone 5S device but contains the more powerful iPhone 6S hardware. Because it uses the iPhone 5S’ body we find it to be the perfect phone if you want a smaller device but that still uses powerful specs. This phone is for smartphone users who want a smaller foot print.
- 4 Inch IPS Retina Screen
- iOS 10 (latest)
- A9 Dual-Core processor
- 2 GB RAM
- Touch ID fingerprint sensor
- 1624 mAh battery
- 16 or 64 GB storage
- 12 MP rear camera
- 1.2 MP FaceTime Front facing camera
- Live photos
- Relatively cheap ranging from 200 – 400$
The iPhone SE is not the newest device out there today (2017 January) but it still deserves a lot of credit. Today Apple totes their newest iPhone 7 and 7 Plus smartphone devices. Despite the fancy new devices pumping out each year we found that the iPhone SE is the unsung hero. The iPhone SE has a three year old design (due to it using the iPhone 5S’ body) but sales for these devices did not slack due to its powerful hardware. It supports Apple pay and is as fast as last years iPhone 6S.
Design, Screen and Audio
Many people do not fail to mention that they would like to have a smaller device. Even in our own office we have some who would love to ditch the trend for larger screens and go for a high end but small screen, small body device. Enter the iPhone SE. A fantastic choice for anyone who wants just that. The iPhone SE comes in standard colors of white and black but this time it includes the iPhone 6S’ Rose Gold colour model. The cut edges of the body show matte rather than a shiny chrome. The iPhone 5S’ design is very iconic and used for so many adverts and graphic designs. It is the design that everyone is familiar with. The brushed aluminium back is cool to the touch, the buttons are premium, and the device is small enough to be used one-handed.
After so many cycles of giant screened smart phones people would have a bit of a hard time getting used to the small screen again. The keyboard is smaller, the options and buttons are a lot smaller and require more squinting and close ups with your eyes.
Some aspects about the design is a bit out dated and may not be the best over time. This includes the sharp edges of this boxy device. Over time it can feel a bit too edgy compared to the rounded, curved edges found on today’s flagship models. Since this was a few years ago as well the screen technology and trend for bezeless displays were not in force at the time. This means the iPhone SE has rather large bezel’s for a small screen. The screen resolution is a 1136 x 640 with a sharp 326 ppi (pixels per inch). This screen, however, does feel out dated compared to AMOLED displays. Despite these little issues the display is bright and sharp.
There is a headphone jack, 2 speaker grills at the bottom and the lightning port. As usual the sound quality is decent. The audio of the head set is great as well. Good call quality, loud ear speaker and good noise cancelling on calls.
The Camera on the iPhone SE is fantastic. Especially because the SE costs a lot less than the iPhone 6S.
The front camera, however, seems to drop the ball. It uses a 1.2 MP sensor compared to the 5 MP found on the iPhone 6S. Megapixel’s are not everything but when it comes to details and quality they can matter at such a difference between the SE and the 6S.
The iPhone SE does have the Retina Flash feature. This lights up your display 3 times its brightness a few times to light up your face for a selfie.
The iPhone SE uses a dual core A9 processor with 2 GB of RAM included. On benchmarks it doesn’t sweat at all beating many of its competition. It uses the identical processor found in the 6S so it can blast through hardcore gaming without any issues.
The device has a small screen which enables higher framerates as it taxes the cpu / gpu a lot less. The device doesn’t get too hot and you wont find any stuttering. We give props to the optimization process that Apple demands all apps strictly adhere to.
The A9 processor also includes an M9 co-processor which kicks in as a lower powered processor for lower end applications and jobs. This saves a lot of power. The SE does last a long time in terms of battery life.
The iPhone SE lacks the 3D Touch feature which enables additional options when pressing with varying pressures on the phone screen.
Should I buy the iPhone SE?
For those in need of a smaller phone that is usable with one hand but also not wanting to compromise on specs this is the phone to buy. We recommend getting the 64 GB model instead of the 16 GB as iPhone’s cannot use microSD to expand memory and 16 GB is just not enough at all. The performance is solid, build quality is great and camera works great (except the front facing selfie camera). We highly recommend this device if you are considering it.
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