Apple launched the iPhone SE alongside a brand new iPad Pro on March 21. The iPad Pro 9.7 looks to be taking over from Apple’s ailing iPad Air line, while the iPhone SE is Mr. Cook’s attempt at persuading the myriad of iPhone 5s users out there to upgrade to newer hardware.
Indeed, the company revealed that it sold a whopping 30 million 4-inch phones in 2015.
Viewed in this respect, Apple kind of HAD to make the iPhone SE. It needs its users’ buying new hardware and it cannot afford to have a bunch of zombies walking around with three year old hardware; this isn’t what Apple’s business MO is based on. So, rather than forcing users to buy an iPhone 7, or sending them elsewhere, Apple built the iPhone SE — a reboot of the iPhone 5s with some iPhone 6s-flair thrown in for good measure.
Still, Apple could have changed the design up a bit. I mean, it’s not like its short of a dollar or two. How much would a quick once-over in a CAD program have cost? Jony Ive could even have got an intern on the job — something, anything would have been nice in this context. But, no — you want 4in, you get 2013 design. Touch titty.
I get that the internals are decent, and it has a 4in display which is the whole point here. But isn’t simply re-releasing the iPhone 5s with new internals kind of stiffing all those who desire a smaller iPhone?
I’m sure no one’s got any issue with how the iPhone 6s looks, just its size. Also, if you’re already using an iPhone 5s and then switching to the iPhone SE, as Apple believes people will, then isn’t just, well, a really boring customer experience.
The new iPhone SE joins the ranks of Apple’s bigger smartphones, the most popular of which is still the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s.
The obvious difference between the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE are the screen sizes, but they do have a few other differences you should know about when deciding which to buy. Here’s how both compare.
Here’s the specs for the iPhone 6s:
And here’s the specs for the iPhone SE:
iPhone 6s vs iPhone SE: Display & Design
Of course the biggest difference between the two new iPhones are in the display department. The iPhone 6s features a 4.7-inch display with a 1334×750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi and the iPhone SE features a 4-inch display with a 1136×640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi.
Technically, from a resolution perspective the iPhone 6s wins because it has the higher resolution. Although that resolution is obviously larger because the screen is larger. But the 6s wins on another front. It’s display has both dual-domain pixels for wider viewing angles and a 1400 to 1 contrast ratio, as well as 3D Touch.
The contrast ratio of the SE is only 800 to 1 and that means the bigger iPhone’s display can display more difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks.
As for the design, both feature aluminum bodies and while their physical length and height dimensions are of course different (due to screen size) the larger iPhone 6s wins on thinness being just 7.1mm thick versus the iPhone SE’s 7.6mm thickness.
That being said, the iPhone SE is noticeable lighter than the iPhone 6s. The iPhone SE weighs just 113 grams versus the iPhone 6s’ 143 grams.
In the storage department the iPhone 6s wins because it comes in a 128GB option in addition to the 16 and 64GB options found on the iPhone SE. And while both phones have the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and support Apple Pay, the iPhone 6s used a second generation Touch ID, which is about 2x faster than the first generation Touch ID found on the SE. Both phones feature the exact same A9 chip with M9 motion coprocessor.
As for battery life, although the iPhone 6s features a slightly larger battery at 1715 mAh, it doesn’t get any more usage than the 1642 mAh battery provides the SE. Each phone will last about 12 hours in mixed usage. The lack of battery life discrepancy is due to the fact that the larger 6s battery needs to power a larger display.
The final difference between the two new iPhones is in the front camera department. While both have the exact same 12MP iSight camera, the iPhone 6s wins it here because it has a much better front FaceTime camera. The FaceTime camera on the iPhone SE is still only 1.2MP, whereas the FaceTime camera on the iPhone 6s is 5MP.
And then there is the cost. Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE come in silver, gold, rose gold, and space grey. Unlocked the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s will cost £539 (16GB), £619 (64GB) and £699 (128GB). The iPhone SE will cost £359 (16GB) and £439 (64GB).
Needless to say, at the same storage sizes the iPhone SE is significantly cheaper than the iPhone 6s. However, the iPhone 6s has the larger display, the better Touch ID, and the better front facing camera. That being said, your choice will probably come down to what size phone you want. Do you want the small 4-incher or the slightly bigger 4.7-inch?