iPhone SE Review


Welcome to the Apple iPhone SE review. As usual we start with the same phrase, we love the iPhone and loathe it at the same time. It’s a great phone platform because there are plenty of Apps to extend the phone’s functionality beyond what Apple even imagined. The support is great at an Apple store and online. However on the flip side hardware specifications are not top of the range and most importantly security problems are hidden until the hackers s[read your personal data over the internet! Anyway the newsiest iPhone is their budget or entry level model now simply called the iPhone SE. The iPhone SE is priced $679 AUD for the entry level 16 Gig model so it is not  exactly bargain priced.

Apple fans tend to blame parts manufacturers for short falls in performance but of course anyone with a bit of common sense knows that Apple doesn’t use the latest hardware because it costs more. It’s purely financial decision. Adding the latest tech and gloss over catchup functionality with very good PR. Since the majority of iPhone users are not usually tech inclined the power of the PR and Brand stands.

In terms of construction and design the iPhone SE the description is easy! The iPhone SE is exactly the same as the 4 year old iPhone 5 and iPhone 5S on the outside. It is a good design that’s modern and relatively sleek but it does look a little cheap in 2016. Apple calls it timeless we call it by its true name – lost design Mojo. The 1000-ish Apple designers are on holidays and the temps are the accountants which is exactly what the you get…  Regardless in the hand the build quality is excellent and the size is very good if you don’t have large hands and good eye sight as the screen is a little small. The image or screen quality is very good too but again it is washed out but it does show that the odd sized 1136 X 640 screen is good enough if the pixel density is at least 326ppi. The iPhone 5S design looks OK in isolation and can only be compared with other iPhones and in that sense it’s better looking than the iPhone 6 but not as nice as the iPhone 4s.

In terms of hardware the iPhone SE is a mix of iPhone 5S on the outside and iPhone 6S  on the inside. Sure not all 6S hardware is on the inside but the key features are so you get 4K video (with Ok quality) but the new camera hardware exceeds the vast majority of regular ‘point and shoot’ cameras. A faster CPU helps smooths out the iPhone 5S sluggish performance running the latest version of iOS. No improvement on the call quality side as the microphones and speakers of the iPhone SE are really below the standard set by the Samsung Galaxy series and especially the forgotten Microsoft Lumia phones in this price range. You can easily tell the caller has an iPhone by the muffled call quality. Overall though there is nothing exceptional or truly bad apart from the tiny screen and the biggest problem and flaw with the iPhone SE and the entire range is a measly 16G memory as standard which means less than 8G available for phones, music etc..

In terms of use and features we like Apple PR with 3D touch – holding your finger on the icon to see an extra menu has been around for years only Apple has finally caught up. However developing hardware solution is not a financially sound way of doing things. The iOS interface is really good but it is quite complex these days with lots of things to turn and off but still lags behind Microsoft’s Windows 10 for phones. Online storage is expensive but the inclusion of NFC is good and the faster processor does help the growing operating system bloat. Apps are now offering the ability to transfer your Apps via logins so you can move from the iPhone without paying for it again so the lock to Apple is slowly disappearing. Is the iPhone still simple to use? Yes.

How can you sell a recycled design and a claimed 1000+ designers employed and have PR say that your company is innovative? The answer is No – yet Apple continues to advertise. Nonetheless the iPhone SE is a great little phone with the right specifications in a compact size. The iPhone SE biggest problem is that it is overpriced especially with so little memory to use, especially when trying to take 4K video or the vast majority of ‘essential’ Apps as the entry level model. In that sense the iPhone SE is a pricing rip off – it is a great time to try another brand to see if you like it.

  • Apple iPhone SE
  • Network
    Quad-band GSM 850/900/1800/1900
    Tri-band 3G 850/900/1900/2100
    4G LTE All
  • Design
    Touch screen
  • L123.8 x W58.6 x D7.6mm
    Weight 113 grams
  • Display/s
    External TFT 640 x 1136
  • Camera
    LED Flash
  • Video Camera
    4K 30 fps
  • Connectivity
    Bluetooth V4
  • CPU
    A9 Dual Core 1.84 Ghz
    Graphics: PowerVR GT7600
  • Memory
    From 16 – 64 Gig
    Less than 8 Gig for the user.
  • Ring tones
    Purchase or iStudio only and vibration
  • Features
    4K video
    Battery 1624 mAh
    Up to 240 hours Standby
    Up to 14 hours Talk Time
  • Price history
    From $679 AUS 2012 (Outright 16Gig)