First Impressions Roundup: iPhone SE and 9.7" iPad Pro

Apple today provided members of the press with hands-on time using the iPhone SE and 9.7" iPad Pro, and first impressions of the new products are beginning to surface across the web. Below is a roundup of some of the more interesting observations and opinions about the new smartphone and tablet.

iPhone SE

iPhone-SE-demo
The Verge said the iPhone SE "finally makes a small phone feel powerful," which is unsurprising given it is essentially an iPhone 6s shrunk down into an iPhone 5s form factor. The 4-inch smartphone is powered by a 64-bit A9 chip with M9 motion co-processor, which is up to twice as fast as the iPhone 5s. Other features are outlined in our iPhone SE announcement coverage.

Usually, getting a small phone has meant getting a phone that skimps on power or on the camera (or, most likely, both). That's absolutely not the case with the iPhone SE. It feels every bit as fast and modern as an iPhone 6S, able to move quickly through screens and web pages. Obviously we weren't able to test the camera very extensively, but we can say that it launches quickly and takes photos just as fast.


TechnoBuffalo described the iPhone SE's top five new features as its 4-inch screen size, $399 starting price, 4K video recording, Live Photos support, and full Apple Pay support without needing an Apple Watch.

That’s going to be a nice bump for folks with the iPhone 5s who otherwise weren’t able to use Apple Pay due to the lack of an NFC chip in the smartphone. Also, Touch ID should be much, much faster than the sensor originally included in that device.

Business Insider highlighted how Apple used more scratch resistant materials for the iPhone SE shell, meaning it should not be prone to scratches and scuffs as easily as the iPhone 5s. This includes matte-chamfered edges and a slightly different aluminum backing with a color-matching Apple logo.

The good news: The iPhone SE gives you everything great about the iPhone 6s for $250 cheaper.

The bad news: Despite all those great features, it still feels a lot like the iPhone Apple unveiled 2.5 years ago.

More: Ars Technica, Engadget, TechRadar, and SlashGear

9.7" iPad Pro

iPad-Pro-comparison
AnandTech went hands on with the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro's True Tone Display, which Apple says adjusts the color temperature of the display by measuring ambient light conditions. There is a toggle switch for True Tone in the iPad's settings, as shown in the short demo video below.

It turns out that this is something that you can toggle on and off on the fly, and the result that it produces seems to be designed to make the display more consistently neutral while other Apple mobile devices tend to end up with a colder white balance in most conditions. I didn’t see a toggle for color gamut, so it’s likely that the iPad Pro 9.7” is using either color management to enable a wider gamut on the fly or just displaying a wider color gamut all the time.


CNET tested the 9.7-inch iPad Pro in a brief hands-on video that summarizes the tablet's features and tech specs and provides a quick look at the Apple Pencil and resized Smart Keyboard. The tablet features a Smart Connector that will allow it to be paired with many other keyboards and accessories.


TechnoBuffalo was able to get a look at the new iPad Pro and has a video depicting its four speakers, rear camera, and Apple Pencil compatibility, along with a quick rundown on all of the included features.


SlashGear also received time to test the smaller iPad Pro, and declared "it's enough to make you throw your iPad Air 2 into the trash." The first impressions also spoke highly about the Apple Pencil.

Really, the iPad Pro 9.7 is about taking the iPad Air 2 form factor and supercharging its guts, and hopefully encouraging a wider wallet in return. On that front, it's undoubtedly the best all-round iPad you can buy, but only time will tell if it can turn around tablet sales for Apple.

More: The Verge, Engadget, AppleInsider, CNET

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, iPhone SE 2020
Related Forums: iPad, iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Oblivious.Robot Avatar
70 months ago
Now that is some SErious innovation right there. :D
-
Jokes aside, iPhone SE has a hidden ace up its sleeve: battery life.
Thats what you get when you have a reasonable thin iphone than an anorexic iphone, which doesn't protrude plus I still love the 5's design better than my own 6's.
-
Now if only they could sort out on what exactly is "space grey".




Attachment Image
Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Swordylove Avatar
70 months ago
The bad news: Despite all those great features, it still feels a lot like the iPhone Apple unveiled 2.5 years ago.
That is not bad news at all. The iPhone Apple unveiled 2.5 years ago is much better looking and has the perfect size.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iabacus Avatar
70 months ago
The day the magic died
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
kwerle Avatar
70 months ago
This is the phone I've been waiting for. I just don't want a bigger phone.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
70 months ago
The iPhone SE is a way for Apple to test how the market responds to what is essentially a flagship 4" model. If it reacts favorably and sells well, then they would probably start releasing one every year, probably starting with the iPhone 7s. If it reacts unfavorably and does not sell well, then that's why it was a "special edition." Works either way!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Count Blah Avatar
70 months ago
iPhone SE is a downgrade, not a upgrade
It's a BIG upgrade from the 5s, the last 4" iPhone.

If you are not interested in 4" phones, then this simply isn't intended for you.

Glad you have other choices. But why begrudge others, their choice?
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

REC ASA CODE2016 20160601 205816 2745

Elon Musk Reportedly Demanded to Become Apple CEO as Part of Potential Tesla Acquisition [Update: Musk Denies]

Friday July 30, 2021 9:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk reportedly once demanded that he be made Apple CEO in a brief discussion of a potential acquisition with Apple's current CEO, Tim Cook. The claim comes in a new book titled "Power Play: Tesla, Elon Musk and the Bet of the Century," as reviewed by The Los Angeles Times. According to the book, during a 2016 phone call between Musk and Cook that touched on the possibility of ...
General Apps Messages

Android iMessage Competitor Puts Pressure on Apple

Friday July 30, 2021 3:15 am PDT by
Google and the three major U.S. carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, will all support a new communications protocol on Android smartphones starting in 2022, a move that puts pressure on Apple to adopt a new cross-platform messaging standard and may present a challenge to iMessage. Verizon recently announced that it is planning to adopt Messages by Google as its default messaging...
a15 chip

iPhone 13 and Redesigned MacBook Pro Chip Production Hit With Gas Contamination

Friday July 30, 2021 5:44 am PDT by
The most important TSMC factory that manufactures Apple's chips destined for next-generation iPhone and Mac models has been hit by a gas contamination, according to Nikkei Asia. The factory, known as "Fab 18," is TSMC's most advanced chipmaking facility. TSMC is Apple's sole chip supplier, making all of the processors used in every Apple device with a custom silicon chip. Industry...
Apple watch series 5 new case material made of titanium 091019

Titanium Apple Watch Series 6 Models Currently Widely Unavailable

Sunday August 1, 2021 6:21 am PDT by
Models of the Apple Watch Series 6 with titanium cases part of the "Apple Watch Edition" collection is currently widely unavailable for pick-up in several of Apple's retail stores in the United States and is unavailable entirely for delivery in major markets. Noted by Bloomberg's Mark Gurman in the latest edition of his "Power On" newsletter, titanium models of the Apple Watch Series 6,...
iPhone 13 Always On Feature

iPhone 13 to Bring Over a Major Feature From the Apple Watch

Wednesday July 28, 2021 2:21 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will feature an always-on display akin to the Apple Watch Series 5 and Series 6, according to recent reports. In his weekly Power On newsletter, Bloomberg journalist Mark Gurman, who often reveals accurate insights into Apple's plans, said that the iPhone 13 may feature an Apple Watch-inspired always-on mode. The Apple Watch Series 5 and Apple Watch...
apple rtp land

Apple Preparing to Occupy 200,000 Square Feet of Temporary Space Ahead of New $1 Billion North Carolina Campus

Thursday July 29, 2021 9:14 am PDT by
Back in April, Apple announced a $430 billion investment over the next five years to create more than 20,000 new jobs as the company continues to expand. One significant piece of that plan is a new engineering and research center in North Carolina where Apple will be investing over $1 billion and hiring at least 3,000 employees. Assemblage of seven properties in Research Triangle Park owned by ...
telegram

Bumper Telegram Update Enables Video Calls With Up to 1,000 Viewers

Saturday July 31, 2021 12:13 am PDT by
Telegram Messenger has received a major update to its video capabilities, including support for video calls with up to 1,000 viewers. Group video calls in Telegram allow up to 30 users to stream video from both their camera and their screen, and now a maximum of 1,000 people can tune into the broadcast. Telegram says it intends to continue increasing this limit "until all humans on Earth...
app store blue banner

Elon Musk: Apple's App Store Fees Are a 'De Facto Global Tax on the Internet'

Friday July 30, 2021 10:04 am PDT by
Tesla CEO Elon Musk took to Twitter today to criticize Apple's App Store fees in a tweet that sides with Epic in the ongoing Epic v. Apple dispute. "Epic is right," wrote Musk, before going on to call Apple's App Store fees a "de facto global tax on the Internet." Musk earlier this week made veiled comments about App Store fees, but today's statement is a much more direct criticism....
FaceID iMac REREREREMIX

Top Stories: Face ID on Future Macs, Elon Musk Criticizes Apple, and More

Saturday July 31, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
This week saw an interesting range of Apple news and rumors, including a blockbuster earnings report, rumors about next year's "iPhone 14" and Face ID coming to Macs, and more. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Other popular topics included Apple's crackdown on leaks, changes in the latest round of betas for iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and macOS Monterey, and several stories...
duracell battery bitter coating

Apple Says Don't Buy AirTag Replacement Batteries With Bitter Coating

Wednesday July 28, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Since AirTags were just released earlier this year and are expected to have a year-long battery life, it may be some time yet before AirTag users need a replacement battery, but when the time comes for a refresh, Apple is warning customers not to buy batteries with a bitter coating. AirTags use coin-shaped CR2032 batteries, which happen to be a size that's easy to swallow. Some battery...