What do you want out of an iPhone? You probably think of something like a good camera or long battery life and yes, you definitely want those things, but what you want out of an iPhone, what you really want, is all of the iPhone stuff that you don’t usually think about.
iPhone SE Review
You want the thing that works with iMessage. That’s going to be reliable for several years. That has access to all of the best apps and that’s easy and simple to use. And this iPhone, the brand new iPhone SE, does all of those things for only 399 bucks for the base 64 GB model. So this review is actually gonna be really simple. It does all of the iPhone things. The only question we have to answer then is whether or not it does all those things well. Basically, if paying just 400 bucks for an iPhone means that you’re giving up way too much.
About iPhone SE
So if you’ve seen an iPhone 8 or an iPhone 7 or an iPhone 6S or iPhone 6, you get the basic shape and feel of the new iPhone SE. It has a 4.7 inch LCD display with a true tone to make the colors change depending on the light and it’s a really good display. It also has these huge bezels on the top and the bottom and there is a classic home button on the bottom with a fingerprint sensor. It’s compatible with iPhone 8 cases. It’s IP 67 waterproof, which is not the best, but it’s pretty good. Overall, this thing is just really solid and it’s really familiar from the glass back to the fingerprint sensor to the whole package.
iPhone SE Screen
Anyway, there are still two small bummers to talk about with this overall design that we’re so familiar with. One, I’m just gonna say it again, these bezels, they’re huge. A bunch of inexpensive Android phones have figured out how to reduce these bezels to fit a bigger screen and a smaller body. But Apple is just keeping things the same that it’s always been here. Two is the size. It’s 4.7 inches, it’s small, but it’s not nearly as small as the original iPhone SE. Whereas this thing is basically not that much smaller than iPhone 11 Pro. And sorry, that’s just the way the phone world is now.
Actually, there is a third thing to gripe about and that is that there’s no headphone jack on this phone and that is also the way the phone world is now too. But at this price point, a bunch of Android phones do manage to hang on to the headphone jack to be clear. So it is a little bit of a bummer here. At least Apple is including Wired Lightning headphones, it’s just not including a headphone 3.5 adapter.
iPhone SE Processor
Now the reason this phone is really impressive is that inside it has the exact same processor as the iPhone 11 Pro. It’s the A 13 Bionic. That means this phone is really fast, sure, but the real reason it matters is that it means this phone is sure to get OS updates from many years to come.
Now there may be other Android phones that cost the same, $399, but it’s not really about that cost, it’s about how often you have to spend it. And with this iPhone, you’re not gonna have to spend it for a very long time.
I was hoping that that modern processor would mean that battery life would be about as good as on the iPhone 11 Pro, but it’s not quite. It’s still very good, don’t get me wrong. I’m getting through a whole day and it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of four to five hours of screen time. It’s just not stellar. I am glad it has wireless charging though, which makes the average-ish battery life a little bit easier to deal with.
iPhone SE Camera
So let’s talk camera. There’s just one on the back. It’s 12 megapixels and there is a seven-megapixel selfie camera on the front. And for a $400 phone, I have zero complaints. In bright lighting conditions, it’s kind of lovely. Photos are well detailed, they’re color accurate and they’re sharp. In good light, it is almost hard to tell the difference between this phone and a thousand-dollar iPhone 11 Pro. It does some other stuff with new portrait effects and so on because it has that A13 Bionic chip, but it’s still hit and miss with portrait mode because you know, you lose something when you save this much money.
So for example, low light is, it’s not great. There’s no night mode for one thing and for another, when its really dim light, I feel like the software just kind of panics and overcorrects and introduces a bunch of artifacts that didn’t need to be there. If you’re coming from an OG iPhone SE or an iPhone 6 or even iPhone 7, you’re still gonna see a huge improvement. And I know that the Pixel3a and the upcoming Pixel 4a are probably gonna be able to beat this thing in low light, but they will not beat it video where the iPhone SE completely punches above its weight class.
So look, if you took away my iPhone 11 Pro, and you told me I couldn’thave my multiple camera systems or my fancy face unlock orin screen fingerprint sensor and the big bezel-less OLED screens and instead I had to use this iPhone SE, I’d be sad, I’d miss those things, but not as much as you might think. Because other than low light photography, I can do all the same things that I do on those thousand-dollar phones on this $400 phone.
Now if I were buying the iPhone SE, I would probably spend the extra 50 bucks to get a 128 GB of storage instead of 64 GB. I think it’s a good upgrade if you want this phone to last three or four or maybe even five years. And that time is why the iPhone SE is a big deal. No other phone for less than $500 can promise that it’s going to be this good or that it’s going to last that long. And beyond that, the iPhone SE, it isn’t just a good deal, it’s a really good phone. Thank you so much for your time. Let me know what you think of the iPhone SE down in the comments.