Apple iPhone SE review
Our Thoughts: The most affordable iPhone yet
Apple has just made the announcement that it intends to release a new iPhone in March 2016. The Apple iPhone SE will be in stock in the UK from the 31st March and here we take a look at what the iPhone SE offers.
Display - Small but highly detailed
The iPhone SE really is a handset that has been designed for the small phone lover with its 4” Retina display. This sizing makes it an ideal replacement for Apple fans still using an iPhone 4s or iPhone 5s.
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Although the display is small, it doesn’t do bad in the detail department, with a resolution of 1136 x 640 pixels, which equates to 326ppi. To put this into context, the iPhone 6s has a 4.7” display with only a marginally better resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels.
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Design - Aluminium and stainless steel
The iPhone SE is made from aluminium that has been bead-blasted and the stainless steel Apple logo has been colour co-ordinated to match with the body’s colour, from a range that includes gold, space grey, silver and rose gold.
The iPhone SE continues to show its prowess in miniaturisation with a weighting of only 113g and a body that measures only 7.6mm thick. One design element that immediately catches the eye is the additional button that sits above the volume keys. This switches the phone between ring and silent, making it easy to avoid those embarrassing moments in meetings.
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Hardware - A9 Chip
Even though the iPhone SE is touted as a small phone, there is nothing small about the power of the hardware inside. In fact the iPhone SE has the same 64-bit A9 Chip and M9 motion co-processor that I highlighted in my iPhone 6s review.
This powerhouse of a processor gives two times faster processing and three times faster graphics, an excellent attribute for those who love mobile gaming. These comparisons are made against the iPhone 5s but unlike this aging Apple phone, there is a healthy 64GB model to compliment the more budget friendly 16GB model.
Phone Set Up
Security - Touch ID
Just like the iPhone 6s Plus, the iPhone SE has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor built into the home key. This not only prevents unauthorised access to the phone but can be used with Apple Pay to make purchases in iTunes and the App Store.
The wee hours - Nigh Shift Mode
The iPhone SE is a good choice for the night owl with Night Shift Mode shifting the colour spectrum of the screen into warmer colours. This not only helps to promote natural sleep but reduces eye-strain, which has been a considerable issue for many smartphone users.
Apps - 1.5 million and counting
The Apple App Store now holds 1.5 million apps, that can be downloaded. Some of these like the Numbers spreadsheet app and Pages word processor are free, while others can be downloaded for a small fee.
The iOS 9 operating system gives the owner a selection of pre-installed apps, the most popular of these includes Reminders, Messages, Photos, Music, FaceTime and Maps, which works with GPS for navigation and now includes Transit view for those who commute on public transport.
Connectivity - Information in an instant
The iPhone SE has a variety of components to ensure internet connectivity is at its best. These enhance the speed of 4G and Wi-Fi and now support Voice over 4G and Voice over Wi-Fi, a service that the big phone networks have used to tackle locations with poor signal strength.
Siri, the virtual assistant, of course makes full use of the internet connectivity and can now be activated without touching the phone, with a Hey Siri command, The co-processor allows for this feature to run in the background with only a tiny drain on the battery.
Camera & Video
Photography - On a par with the iPhone 6s
Just the like the story of the processor, there is no diluted experience forced onto those looking for a small phone, when it comes to photography. The same 12MP iSight camera has be built in and this works with True Tone Flash to ensure natural looking results when snapping under less than ideal lighting conditions.
The iSight camera can capture video at 4K quality while simultaneously capturing 8MP photos. Up to 63MP can be captured during panorama photography with other features including Live Photos, photo and video sync through the iCloud Photo Library, slo-mo and time-lapse.
Facing the user is a 1.2MP FaceTime HD camera for taking selfies and the iPhone SE can flash the screen at three times the normal brightness to illuminate the scene.
Power management - Capacity vs performance
It wouldn’t be hard to criticise Apple for using low capacity batteries but it is important to take a balanced view. Apple devices always make the most of what they have and the iPhone SE, from a single charge, can give 13 hours of Wi-Fi or 4G internet browsing, play music for 50 hours or video for 13 hours and provide a continuous talk time of up to 13 hours.
In the box, owners will find a pair of Apple EarPods that connect to the phone via a 3.5mm audio jack. As I highlighted in my recent iPhone 7 review, this could be the last Apple phone to make use of the standard 3.5mm audio jack, so if you can’t bear the thought of not being able to use your favourite headphones, then now is the time to buy.
|Apple iPhone 7 review|
Final thoughts: It is refreshing to see a mobile phone manufacturer making a smaller version of their flagship phone that hasn’t had all of the new tech and innovations stripped away in the process. Consumers will not get to experience 3D Touch, but for those who want to save a heap of cash, the payoff is well worth it.
Written by: Michael Brown
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