Apple’s latest iPhone release

iphone se

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On March 21, 2016 Apple introduced the iPhone SE. It is the first 4­inch iPhone since 2013 and was developed to respond to some smart phone user’s preference for a smaller phone. The iPhone SE resembles the iPhone 5s in appearance but internally it contains many of the same components of the iPhone 6s. The iPhone SE is considered a new device in Apple’s iPhone lineup and not an iPhone 6 SE.

What makes the iPhone SE different?

If it looks like the iPhone 5s and uses the same components as the iPhone 6s then what makes this new release from Apple different. According to Apple its latest release is “the most powerful 4­inch smartphone ever.” Essentially it can do pretty much what the smartphones in its iPhone 6 series do but costs less and comes in a smaller package.

iPhone SE appearance

iphone 6 se

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There isn’t much to distinguish the iPhone SE from the iPhone 5s in appearance but it does have a few features that enable you to tell them apart. The iPhone 5s has shiny chamfered edges while the SE has matte chamfered edges which are less easily scratched. It also has an inset Apple logo made from a separate piece of stainless steel and on the back it has “SE” labeling. The colors available for the SE are gold, rose gold, silver and space gray. The iPhone SE weighs in at 3.99 ounces making it the lightest iPhone out there. It sports the same measurements as the iPhone 5s at 4.87 inches by 2.31 inches. It is thicker than the iPhone 6s at 7.6mm compared to 7.1mm. The size and weight of the SE make it easy to use one-handed which many people can’t do with the larger iPhones.

Notable features found in the iPhone SE release

iphone se release

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Although there isn’t anything in the SE that hasn’t been seen in an iPhone before, it’s the first time many of these features have been seen in this small of a package at such a low price. Some of the most noteworthy features include:

  • Processor: A dual­core 64­bit A9 chip with integrated M9 motion coprocessor which is also used in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus provides longer battery life, CPU performance twice as fast as the iPhone 5s and three times faster GPU performance. The A9 chip runs at 1.85 GHz and with the integrated M9 motion coprocessor allows always on “Hey Siri” functionality.
  • Battery Life: Due to the efficient processor and smaller display batter life gives up to 14 hours of talk time, 13 hours of internet use, 13 hours of video playback, and 50 hours of audio playback. This means that in most areas it out performs the iPhone 6 and 6s.
  • Camera: Rear­facing 12­megapixel camera with image signal processor for more detailed photos. It can shoot 4K video, capture 63­megapixel panoramas take Live Photos but there is no 3D Touch support.

Chart comparing iPhone SE vs. 6 vs. 6s features

iPhone SE iPhone 6 iPhone 6s
Size 4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches 5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches
Weight 3.99 ounces 4.55 ounces 5.04 ounces
Display 4­inches 4.7­inches 4.7 inches
Resolution 1,136 x 640 pixels 1,334 x 750 pixels 1,334 x 750 pixels
OS iOS 9.3 iOS 9.3 iOS 9.3
Capacity 16, 64GB 16, 64GB 16, 64, 128GB
Processor A9 chip, 64‑bit, M9 motion coprocessor A8 chip,64­bit, M8 motion coprocessor A9 chip, 64­bit, M9 motion coprocessor
RAM 2GB 1GB 2GB
Connectivity 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC 4G LTE, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, NFC
Camera 12MP rear, 1.2 MP front 8MP rear, 1.2MP front 12MP rear, 1.2 MP front
Video 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30, 60, or 120fps, 720p at 240fps 1080p at 30 or 60fps 4K at 30fps, 1080p at 30 or 60fps
Bluetooth 4.2 4.2 4.2
Sensors Touch ID fingerprint sensor, barometer, three­axis gyro,

accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor

Touch ID fingerprint sensor, barometer, three­axis gyro,

accelerometer, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor

Touch ID fingerprint sensor, barometer, three­axis gyro, accelerometer,

proximity sensor, ambient light sensor

Apple Pay Yes Yes Yes
Battery Non­removableLi­Po 1642 mAh battery Non-removable Li­Po1,810mAh battery, Non­removableLi­Po 1715 mAh battery
Charger Lightning Lightning Lightning
Colors Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Space Gray Silver, Space Gray Gold, Rose Gold, Silver, Space Gray
Avg. Price $399 $549 $650

In a comparison of iPhone SE vs. iPhone 6 the SE comes out ahead in pretty much every area except for screen size. Performance wise the iPhone SE is the equal of the 6s in most areas except for screen size and the fact that you can get 128GB of storage with the 6s. It all boils down to what you want in your phone. If you like a phone you can manage easily with one hand but that is as fast and has most of the capabilities of a larger more expensive model then the iPhone SE with its $399 price tag may be the right choice for you.

Don’t forget to check new features of iPhone 7 as well!