Bottom Line: iPhone SE Packs Great Value for the Money
Apple’s new iPhone SE delivers unimaginable worth and efficiency, primarily based on early hands-on critiques. It has a surprisingly good digicam and handles movies effectively. Many reviewers have been impressed by the telephone’s A13 chipset.
However, there have been criticisms too, together with inadequate battery life and absence of an evening mode function. Lack of 5G help additionally got here up.
The system is “an excellent midrange iPhone … with the processing power of a top-of-the-line smartphone, for (US)$400,”
wrote Lauren Goode in her evaluation for Wired.
For those that want a brand new iPhone however do not wish to spend $1,000 on one, “the iPhone SE might be a tiny slab of good news for you right now,” she added.
Some mid-range Android telephones supply glorious efficiency, extra-long battery life and even headphone jacks, famous Goode, however buying a smartphone is “effectively deciding which ecosystem you want to live in.”
For an inexpensive telephone, the iPhone SE delivers, and “ought to offer you a telephone that can final you for the subsequent 3-Four years with out the must improve,
wrote Stuart Miles for Pocket-Lint.
Standout options embody flagship specs at an inexpensive value, small measurement, respectable digicam efficiency and the water resistance, he mentioned.
Among the telephone’s drawbacks are a dated design, the undeniable fact that the 18W quick charger needs to be bought individually, the lack of Face iD and night time mode, and battery life limitations, in accordance with Miles.
Still, “we’ve been using the iPhone 11 Pro for over six months at the time of writing — and the experience with the new SE is very much the same,” Miles identified.
He skilled no issues operating “the latest and greatest games” on the new SE, together with these out there on Apple Arcade.
The iPhone SE’s look is dated and the display screen is simply too small,
wrote Chris Velazco in his evaluation for Engadget.
The eSIM twin SIM help and the system’s help for Gigabit LTE and WiFi6 drew his reward.
The lack of 5G help may very well be an issue as a result of “2020 is the year we’re going to see mid-range phones with 5G support really flourish thanks to inexpensive chipsets like Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 765,” Velazco identified.
Repairs will probably be cheaper than for a few of the flagship iPhones — $129 for a display screen substitute on the new iPhone SE in comparison with $149 on the iPhone Eight and $199 on the iPhone 11, he famous. Battery substitute is $49 in comparison with $69 for the flagship telephones.
“For those of us concerned about money right now — and that’s probably the vast majority — and who need a new iPhone, the SE provides the greatest bang for the buck,” mentioned Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
“Right now the market either isn’t buying or people are looking for value.” he advised TechNewsWorld.
Phones in the $400 to $500 vary, each iOS and Android, usually present the greatest worth proper now, Enderle mentioned.
“You’ll generally always get more for the money with Android, but, if you’re locked into the Apple ecosystem, you don’t get those choices without some migration pain that many aren’t willing to undergo,” he noticed.
Apple “has never played the specs game, and the SE’s Android counterparts are not even close to the sheer power the Bionic A13 offers on the SE,” contended Ville-Petteri Ukonaho, affiliate analysis director at Strategy Analytics.
However, the SE’s display screen decision is “severely outdated compared to the Android competition,” he advised TechNewsWorld.
That mentioned, the processor “enables a better imaging experience, thus staying true to Apple’s heritage,” Ukonaho identified.
The iPhone SE “is just so value-oriented that it’s hard to find anything as a con,” remarked Ray Wang, principal analyst at Constellation Research.
“There’s the $399 price, Touch ID, the 4.7-inch screen, the Retina HD display, water resistance, wireless charging, portrait mode, the 4K video, free delivery, zero percent financing with the Apple card; and 3 percent cash back with the Apple Card,” he famous.
“If you think the use cases are video, camera and social media, you realize these hit the key features for anyone ready to switch off Android to iOS and for those who want to upgrade for a select set of features without spending $1,000,” Wang advised TechNewsWorld.
“Not everyone needs three cameras and the ability to last longer under water,” he remarked.
Apple’s Incredible A13
“To me, the standout feature is the inclusion of the latest chip,” mentioned Gerrit Schneemann, senior analyst at
That places the SE’s efficiency on par with different iPhone fashions, he advised TechNewsWorld. “Buyers will be able to get iOS updates for a long time. This is in line with Apple’s support for existing devices, and maybe even more so with this one.”
The A13 Bionic chipset “gives the SE flagship performance,” Strategy Analytics’ Ukonaho identified.
The A13 lets the iPhone SE deal with “damn near anything,” Engadget’s Velazco wrote. “This is $1,000 performance in a $400 body.”
The chipset “future-proofs the phone — to a point since the iPhone SE won’t be able to connect to 5G networks,” famous Wired’s Goode.
Switching between apps, downloading and putting in have been fluid. Launching heavy apps like Fortnite, which takes up Eight GB, took about six minutes, she wrote. Videos “launched and streamed smoothly on a stable WiFi connection.”
The iPhone SE’s most important digicam “punches way above its weight,” Velazco mentioned. He often cannot actually inform the distinction between images taken with it and with an iPhone 11. However, the telephone’s portrait mode doesn’t work until the most important digicam is used, and the lack of an evening mode is a matter.
“We really miss Night Mode, especially as low-light pictures are blurry at times,” Pocket-Lint’s Miles wrote.
Wired’s Lauren Goode mentioned the digicam is “extremely capable,” though it is not akin to flagship telephones’ cameras and underperforms in sure settings.
Apple depends closely on software program to supply options like portrait mode and varied stage lightings on the iPhone SE, however portrait mode works on images of individuals and never objects and pets, Goode famous. Portrait mode additionally falls brief in the iPhone 11.
In some conditions, the iPhone SE was higher at taking pictures the fundamentals than the iPhone 8 Plus, she mentioned. However, the iPhone 11’s front-facing digicam captures extra element basically than that of the iPhone SE.
Still, you get what you pay for, argued Miles. “If you want Night Mode, Face ID, a bigger battery or more cameras, the options are elsewhere in the range — but you’ll have to pay more.”
Battery Life Issue
The SE’s battery tends to final 11 to 12 hours on a single cost underneath regular use, Velazco discovered, and eight to10 hours when he used the telephone closely for video games and digicam assessments.
The iPhone SE’s battery life is “middling” relative to bigger iPhones resembling the XR, the 11, and Pro or Max fashions, Goode mentioned. Streaming an hour-long YouTube yoga video diminished battery life by about 15 % on the SE and by 5 % the iPhone 11.
The Bionic A13 “gives the SE comparable performance to the more expensive Apple devices,” Ukonaho mentioned. “Having a performance that matches the iPhone 11 is what sets Apple’s strategy apart.”
The SE “should allow Apple to prevent migration to Android, but it doesn’t have any showcase features to pull people over from Android,” Enderle remarked.
“Vendors like Motorola have already set the bar for $500 devices and the SE falls short, but, given that Apple users exclusively buy Apple phones, that shouldn’t be a problem for the existing Apple market,” he noticed.
Over time, although, SE gross sales “could cannibalize Apple’s more expensive phones and reduce the brand’s status,” Enderle added, “but that’s been happening for the last several years anyway.”