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Review: iPhone SE

Six months ago Apple introduced the world with a new 4-inch iPhone, affectionately named by iPhone SE. We know that very soon the iPhone 7 will be among us; On the other hand, iPhone SE will certainly remain firm and strong as Apple's smartphone option.

Being a hybrid of the iPhone 5s with the 6s, the iPhone ?Special Edition? theoretically there is nothing more (that we don't already know) to talk about in a review. But it is precisely what it can triumph, as this junction provides the user with a very powerful choice with the shell, design and screen size that many already know and love.

I used a 64GB pink gold iPhone SE for almost four weeks, comparing it to my space gray 32GB iPhone 5s. Below you can check the official review of MacMagazine of the device. ?

Outside: Back in the Past

Swimming against the sea of ??the market that is increasingly increasing the screen size of smartphones, Apple launched this special edition with exactly the same dimensions and design of the device launched in 2013, the iPhone 5s. The 4 inch screen (with 1136 × 640 pixels; 326 pixels per inch) makes it the only commercially available device of this size ie the only one that can still be used with one hand reaching every corner even if you have a small hand.

Not to mention that ?nothing? has changed on the outside, an extra color has been added to those that were previously available (silver, space gray and gold), rose gold. Also adopted in other product lines of the company, this color was very beautiful in the housing of what would previously be a 5s. I have never been much of a fan of pink, but Apple seems to have hit this junction of golden tones because it makes it very elegant and pleasing to the eye.

Leaving rose gold aside, how do you distinguish it from the 5s? In addition to the color, the ?SE? sign is located on the back of the appliance. Another detail that may go unnoticed by many is the frosted rather than shiny beveled corners.

The little one who thinks big

In English, the term chosen to designate the new appliance was ?A big step for small? (something like ?A big step for the little one? which, we may wish, is not so interesting in our language). Therefore, I admire those who thought of the location "The little one who thinks big" because the phrase expresses exactly what this device.

If there was one combination that worked out it was the smaller screen (which requires less of the processor) and the more robust specs present in the bigger brother, the iPhone 6s. The 64-bit A9 processor and M9 motion coprocessor allow the SE to pass far ahead of the 5s, a dual-A7 / M7-equipped smartphone. The CPU is twice as fast while the GPU is three times faster (according to Apple). The SE still has the great help of 2GB RAM twice the iPhone 5s.

iPhone SE review

Leaving aside the technical terms, it is important for the average user to know if there is really a significant difference when compared to previous handsets. For the answer could not be more affirmative. Putting the SE and the 5s side by side, I did some testing to see the differences.

At startup of the devices, the SE was able to accomplish the task in 14 seconds, against 25 seconds of 5s. They are only ?10 seconds apart?, but in practice they seem like an eternity. I also decided to open all 55 applications I had installed on the devices, including very heavy games. Without exception, the SE fared much better in all of them with differences of 2 to 5 seconds.


SE wireless technologies are not as fast as 6s, but there is a breakthrough when compared to 5s. The SE has, for example, a standard 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip, which provides a better experience however, because of the higher speed of the device itself, it seems that the difference is even greater (compared to the 5s). Mobile connection technology to 4G LTE, different from 4G LTE Advanced in 6s. In practice, in Brazil, it matters little my tests, for example, were made on 3G connections.

Even with the latest generation of Bluetooth, 4.2, many users have complained about problems involving SE audio quality when making wireless calls. Shortly thereafter, Apple released an update to correct the problem. So I had to test and "see it to believe it."

With the system properly updated, I made calls using a JBL GO speaker and Hyundai HB20 car with both the iPhone SE and the 5s. The truth is that I did not notice any distortion or any other kind of problem. Still, some users seem to continue to struggle with it.


IOS 9.3 was released at the same event as iPhone SE. Although it does not come with significant changes, it does bring some good improvements. For example, adding the feature Night shift, which makes the screen warmer / yellowish to make reading on the device more comfortable to the eye in dark / night environments. You can now also password-protect or touch-ID protect notes and sync iBooks titles / PDFs through iCloud. The full list of improvements you can see here. At the time of this review, iOS is at version 9.3.5 and working perfectly without crashes or errors.


Oops, drums! Who doesn't cheer for a better battery with each new iPhone? Although every year it is announced that the battery improves, this is often not even noticeable to the user. But by testing the SE, I found that what we actually report is true.

iPhone SE disassembled by iFixit

The SE's battery capacity is between 5s (1,560mAh) and 6s (1,715mAh), offering 1,624mAh. Despite this number, the smaller screen helps consume less power, making the battery better than the 6s.

In the test, I left both devices (SE and 5s) with the screen on continuously and with the following settings: maximum brightness, mobile data on (3G) and a game that "sucked" the battery. The result? One more hour of autonomy (while the SE held 6 hours, the 5s shut down with 5 hours). Obviously this time varies depending on the settings (for example, if you leave 4G on). Either way, the test I do involves such a not-so-typical situation (continuous use, with the CPU / GPU being heavily required). Of course, by using the device in the normal way (even with the 4G on), the battery life will be much better. And compared to many other smartphones on the market, that's a great thing.

New features

There are still some features that came with the iPhone 6 last year and, fortunately, are also present in the iPhone SE. One of them is the NFC chip, which allows the use of the infamous Apple Pay, of course, if you are in one of the countries where the feature is already available (unfortunately not in Brazil).


Another feature that is available to the SE user is the ability to call the virtual assistant by saying ?And Siri? ("Hey Siri") without power on. I, who didn't use Siri very much, kept playing with it for hours; I can't wait for her to become smarter and start talking (really annoying to say "And Siri" every couple of seconds).


The sleek little came with a 12 megapixel iSight (rear) camera, just like the 6s. That was really a big leap compared to the 'mere' 8 megapixel 5s. Unfortunately, the SE is far from having the optical stabilization that is present in the iPhone 6s Plus. The flash True tone remains, as does the aperture of f / 2.2.

"Photo "Photo

Photo taken with iPhone 5s left; iPhone SE right

You can see the differences in color, brightness and saturation in the comparative above.

iPhone SE review

FaceTime HD camera (the so-called ?Face selfies?), The disappointing 1.2 megapixel of the 5s remained, instead of the 5 megapixels of the 6s. A flash option on the Retina screen has also been added but for those who wear glasses () it may not be the coolest option. With iPhone SE, you can also create the Live Photoswith both the rear and front camera.

"iPhone "iPhone

To brighten our hearts, great improvements have been added to the videos. With SE, you can make 1080p video at 60 frames per second as well as amazing ladies and gentlemen in 4K resolution. Of course, if you are recording multiple videos with these settings, you will consume a monstrous amount of space on your phone (and / or iCloud) in no time; Even so, it's great to know that you can make your documentary or short film with a high-level camera. Also, we can now choose slow camera settings between 720p at 240qps or 1080p at 120qps.

Storage and prices

There are two storage options available for iPhone SE: 16GB and 64GB for $ 2,700 and $ 3,000 respectively (view 10% off). Just like the iPhone 6s / 6s Plus, there is no 32GB option, which has left users dissatisfied and I include myself in this. Many people may fail to upgrade because the 16GB model today is not for much; 64GB can be more than these users need and obviously this model is the most expensive. This may also lead many people to prefer the iPhone 5s, which can still be purchased at other Apple partner stores for around $ 2,200 (32GB).


Whatever the reason why Apple decided to launch a new device with the design of three years ago and current specifications, the iPhone SE can really be a wonderful device for anyone who wants to change their hands. iDevice as for who is entering this world now. Despite the weather, the look is nothing "old" and only improved with the new color.

iPhone SE review

From the speed tests that come up over the internet, you can see that it does even better than the iPhone 6s in some ways. Even so, those who have the bigger screen and like it like that may be bothered if rewind to a 4 inch. If you are one of those who prefer and / or do not give up on smaller screens, however, surely do not regret the leap you take in relation to speed. Believe me when I say that the device has not "choked" in no time and that its flow really impressive!

Unfortunately, iPhone SE did not come with the 3D Touch privilege saved only for 6s / 6s Plus devices. The Touch ID was not upgraded to the second generation either, remaining exactly the same as the iPhone 5s.

iPhone SE review

To bring iPhone SE into the world, Apple killed the iPhone 5s; This means that you have not found the device launched three years ago in the official stores of Ma (whether physical or online). Which does not mean, of course, that you will not find it to sell if you pan for it by simply searching other stores, as I mentioned above.

However, here is a friend's advice that has an iPhone 5s: who wins the iPhone SE on cost / benefit. Now, if you're in doubt between the iPhone SE and the 6s, it's worth a look at the differences between the two we highlight in this post. Still, think of the screen size you want to have the most determining factor between these two devices.

In the end, I felt the speed / fluidity of iPhone SE even more when I needed to go back to my 5s and its long seconds to do simple tasks.

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