Reviews are trickling out for Apple’s newest handset: the small, yet familiar iPhone SE. The consensus? This may be the phone that fits the bill — and hands — for those that have held on tightly to to their aging 4-inch iPhones.
With a similar case design to the 2013 iPhone 5S, reviewers pointed out that Apple has made the old design new again. That’s because the iPhone SE packs many of the same features of the iPhone 6S, save for a pressure-sensitive 3D Touch screen. Here's a closer look at some reviewers' praises and gripes for Apple's latest handset.
Better Battery Life Than Apple’s Flagship iPhones
The iPhone SE may be much smaller than the plethora of 5-inch smartphones on the market. But where it lacks in size, it makes up with lots of battery life, as Wall Street Journal’s Geoffrey Fowler pointed out.
“Unlike many other recent Apple products, the iPhone SE’s [battery life] is a significant improvement over its predecessors,” Fowler wrote. “In my lab stress test, which cycles through websites with uniform screen brightness, the SE lasted 10 hours — more than two hours longer than both the iPhone 6S and iPhone 5S, and nearly three hours longer than the Galaxy S7.”
Smaller Screen Can Make You Feel Claustrophobic
If you're swapping a larger smartphone for the iPhone SE, space may feel a little tight due to the physically smaller screen on the smartphone, according to iMore’s Rene Ritchie.
“At 4-inches, with a 16:9 aspect ratio, 1136x640 resolution, 326 pixels per inch (ppi) display, you can't fit or see anywhere nearly as much content on iPhone SE as you can on the 1334x750 iPhone 6s or the enormous-by-comparison 1920x1080 iPhone 6S Plus,” Ritchie wrote. “Not as much interface, not as much text and certainly not the iPhone 6S Plus’ two-column view in landscape.”
A Camera That Can Come Close To 6S Plus
Just about everything is new on the inside for the iPhone SE: the processor, Apple Pay mobile payments and even the camera, which saw a jump up to 12 megapixels from the 8-megapixel camera found on the iPhone 5S. It may not be able to best the 6S Plus, which also has built-in optical image stabilization. But it can hold its own, according to Daily Mail’s Mark Prigg.
“The camera has also had a huge update, and it boasts a 12-megapixel camera, which, in our limited testing, produced some great shots. [It's] not quite as impressive as the 6S Plus, but you can also create [Live Photos], which is a welcome addition.”
Still 16GB Base Storage
While reviewers overall praised the upgraded specs in the iPhone SE, most pointed out one glaring feature that has stuck around with the handset — the tiny 16GB of storage in the base model.
“The 16 gigabytes of storage at that price is hardly sufficient to take advantage of all the latest apps and photo capabilities, let alone cover you for years into the future, “Fowler wrote for the Journal. “If you want this phone, pay the Apple tax and get the 64GB version for $499.”
The iPhone SE starts at $399 for the 16GB model in the U.S. For an additional $100, customers can upgrade to the 64GB model. Following preorders, which began Thursday, Apple’s smartphone will be available in retail stores on March 31.