iPhone SE Reviews: Blazingly Fast With Impressive Battery Life

Apple let press go hands-on with the iPhone SE at its launch event and provided several publications with iPhone SE review units ahead of the device's debut, and we've gathered excerpts from each site to highlight the general release reaction to Apple's new 4-inch iPhone. Reviews and first impressions have been largely positive, with reviewers praising the device's powerful internals.

The general consensus is that the iPhone SE is the perfect phone for people who want the power of Apple's flagship iPhone lineup in a small form factor.

iphonese
TechRadar called the exterior "svelte and sleek," and said it's just like handling an iPhone 5s, the phone the SE is modeled after.

The same exemplary precision found on the high-end iPhones is also found on the iPhone SE. At last, you don't have to feel that you're settling just to get a phone that's easier to handle.

Handling the iPhone SE is a lovely affair, particularly if you're coming from the iPhone 6S Plus. It's dainty - cute, even - and although, obviously, it feels exactly as if you're handling the iPhone 5S, there's something extra novel about it now. It's no longer the norm; the 4-inch form factor is now the exception.

The Independent speculates that the iPhone SE will appeal most to those who currently use a 4-inch iPhone, as it can be difficult to adjust to a smaller 4-inch screen after using Apple's larger 4.7 or 5.5-inch iPhones.

Mostly, I'd guess, it will appeal to people who currently have a four-inch display phone. Going back to it from the iPhone 6s Plus with its 5.5-inch screen, took some doing - why, the entire dear little iPhone SE fits within the 6s Plus screen. Using the keyboard on the SE was a learning curve after the expansiveness of the 6s Plus.

iMore pointed out that while the iPhone SE got the 12-megapixel rear camera from the iPhone 6s, the front-facing camera didn't get much of an upgrade. It's still 1.2 megapixels.

The front FaceTime camera is still the same sensor as iPhone 5s but benefits from the new ISP and from a Retina Flash. I'm not sure why it didn't get a bump to an iPhone 6s-level 5 megapixels, because selfies really are a thing and really do need the better camera.

The Wall Street Journal points out the impressive battery life in the iPhone SE, which beats out the iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6s, but criticizes the unoriginal design.

The standout news is battery life. Unlike many other recent Apple products, the iPhone SE's is a significant improvement over its predecessors'. In my lab stress test, which cycles through websites with uniform screen brightness, the SE lasted 10 hours--more than two hours longer than both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 5s, and nearly three hours longer than the Galaxy S7. [...]

The iPhone SE is a win for ergonomic choice, but Apple doesn't score any points for originality. The new phone is nearly indistinguishable from the three-year-old iPhone 5s, which is a hair thicker and less pleasantly rounded than Apple's more recent designs. (The SE even fits in most existing 5s cases.)

The Daily Mail says the iPhone SE, with its A9 processor - the same processor in the iPhone 6s - is "blazingly fast."

Although we've only been using the phone for a few days, one thing is clear - it's blazingly fast. Playing several high intensity games show that this really is as powerful as the current flagship, the 6s.

It's powered by the A9, the same chip found in the iPhone 6s, and Apple says the iPhone SE has 2x faster CPU and 3x faster GPU performance compared to the older iPhone 5s - and this is something you notice right away, with a far snappier feel the the handset even when its not playing games.

Mashable highlights the $399 price tag, calling it "tremendously competitive" for a device with current-generation technology.

mashableiphonese

The best thing about the iPhone SE might just be its price. Selling for just $399 for a 16GB version and $499 for a 64GB version, this is a tremendously competitive phone. Most $400 phones are not going to give you the latest-generation processor and camera technologies. I really can't underscore how well I think this product will do, simply based on its price.

Consider that the iPhone 6S starts at $649 for a 16GB version. Yes, it has more features -- including 3D Touch, a better front-facing camera and a larger display -- but the price point Apple has set will be very compelling.

Pre-orders for the iPhone SE started at 12:01 a.m. on March 24. The device can be purchased from the Apple online store, with deliveries and in-store availability set to begin on March 31. While the 16GB iPhone SE models are still in stock and will deliver on that date, the 64GB iPhone SE models have proven more popular and shipping estimates have slipped to five to seven days. Pricing on the iPhone SE, which is Apple's most affordable iPhone, starts at $399.

Related Roundup: iPhone SE 2020
Buyer's Guide: iPhone SE (Caution)
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

Chastepe Avatar
73 months ago
Well yes, obviously battery life will be a lot better when you are not obsessed about making thinner and thinner products each year.
Score: 57 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bobob Avatar
73 months ago

The Wall Street Journal ('http://www.wsj.com/articles/iphone-se-review-smaller-gets-smarter-with-better-battery-life-to-boot-1458762252')... criticizes the unoriginal design.

Apple doesn't score any points for originality... [the SE is] less pleasantly rounded than Apple's more recent designs.
The iPhone 5/5s/SE remains the best designed iPhone yet - - why mess with a good thing?
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avieshek Avatar
73 months ago
The power of thicker battery
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
garirry Avatar
73 months ago
See Apple? Making a phone thicker greatly improves the battery life. So stop making things thinner and use your damn mind instead of investing in new technologies just to keep the battery life the same.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sirious Avatar
73 months ago
Apple did quite a good job with this iPhone (if you ignore some of the minor drawbacks). Hope we can say the same for the iPhone 7
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Andres Cantu Avatar
73 months ago
Makes you wonder what a bigger battery in the 6s could have accomplished rather than the smaller one.
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
macos catalina legacy system extension alert

Apple Begins Warning Users That 'Legacy System Extensions' Won't Work With a Future Version of macOS

Wednesday March 25, 2020 9:53 am PDT by
Apple has shared a new support document that indicates kernel extensions — which it calls "legacy system extensions" — will not be compatible with a future version of macOS because they "aren't as secure or reliable as modern alternatives."System extensions are a category of software that works in the background to extend the functionality of your Mac. Some apps install kernel extensions, which...
General Spotify Feature

Spotify Pauses Plans to Add AirPlay 2 Support to iOS App [Update: Spotify Clarifies]

Friday August 6, 2021 9:07 am PDT by
See update at bottom of article Spotify this week confirmed that its plans to add AirPlay 2 support to its iOS app have been placed on indefinite hiatus. In an online discussion forum post, a Spotify representative said the streaming music service had been working on supporting AirPlay 2, but the company has paused the efforts "for now" due to "audio driver compatibility issues." The...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
m1 macbook air

Kuo: Mini-LED MacBook Air Coming in Mid-2022

Thursday July 22, 2021 7:48 pm PDT by
Apple will release a new version of the MacBook Air around the middle of 2022, Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in note to investors seen by MacRumors. The upcoming MacBook Air will feature a 13.3-inch mini-LED display, which would make it the second Mac to gain mini-LED technology after the 2021 MacBook Pro, which is rumored to include a mini-LED display and is expected to launch later ...
Apple Films Tom Hanks Finch First Look

Apple Original Film 'Finch' Starring Tom Hanks to Premiere November 5

Thursday August 12, 2021 8:52 am PDT by
Apple today announced that the original film "Finch," starring Tom Hanks in its titular role, will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday, November 5 and shared a first-look image from the film. The first look at "Finch," shared by Apple. The film, which is anticipated to be an awards season contender, revolves around a man, a robot (played by "Get Out" actor Caleb Landry Jones), and a dog that form ...
whatsintheboxiphonexs

Apple's iPhone XS, XS Max and XR Won't Ship With Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter

Wednesday September 12, 2018 12:58 pm PDT by
Since the headphone jack was removed from the iPhone with the launch of the iPhone 7, Apple has bundled iPhones with a Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter for customers who continue to have 3.5mm headphones. With the launch of the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR, Apple is discontinuing this practice and will not include the Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Jack Adapter. On the...
macbook air m1 first benchmark

Apple Silicon M1 Chip in MacBook Air Outperforms High-End 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Wednesday November 11, 2020 4:43 pm PST by
Apple introduced the first MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 Apple Silicon chips yesterday, and as of today, the first benchmark of the new chip appears to be showing up on the Geekbench site. The M1 chip, which belongs to a MacBook Air with 8GB RAM, features a single-core score of 1687 and a multi-core score of 7433. According to the benchmark, the M1 has a 3.2GHz base...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Begins Preparation for iPhone 13 Production Ahead of Fall Launch

Monday June 28, 2021 3:29 am PDT by
We're just a few months away from when Apple is expected to reveal the 2021 iPhone, dubbed the "iPhone 13." In preparation for its launch, it has been pulling in shipments of different components needed to produce the new iPhones, according to a report from DigiTimes. In years past, Apple released its latest iPhone lineup, alongside a new Apple Watch, during a September event at Apple Park....