iPhone SE Pros and Cons

The Pros and Cons of Apple’s iPhone SE

Weighing Your Options

Its been nearly three years since the iPhone SE was released and technology has changed a lot in that amount of time. However, if you are someone who doesn't gets drawn in by shiny, new phones and doesn't care whether you have the latest model, purchasing an iPhone SE might be a great option for you.

This phone has quite a few surprising features that just might be enough to outweigh its drawbacks. Lets go over the iPhone SE pros and cons to see whether this is the phone for you.

The Identity

The iPhone SE was released in 2016 after the iPhone 6S. It looks and feels exactly the same as the iPhone 5S, but has everything and more than the 6S has.

Apple figured people might want an old school, small design of their new generation of phones considering that the 6S was supposed to change the way we see smartphones.

Indeed, the SE fits perfectly in your hand. Its size makes it quite portable and it is the first iPhone without the camera bump, making the back side impeccably smooth.


  • Comfortable box metal build
  • 5S size with the power of the 6S
  • No camera bump
  • Easy to handle, discreet, solid finger grip
  • iOS12 runs faster than ever
  • Smooth and quick programs
  • Modern day camera
  • Touch ID sensor
  • 3.5 millimeter jack
  • Battery

The Power

The box metal build pays homage to the 5S and its predecessors, capping off an era. Putting the power of the 6S into a smaller casing was a great way for Apple to pull this off and it shows the care they put into all their products.

Not only is the battery much stronger than previous models, but it can outlast even the modern-day phones in certain areas. It holds its own for things like talk time and videos, with a battery capacity of 1,624 mAh. That doesn’t sound like much, but for the system it powers, it definitely packs the punch.

Once You Notice It...

When you do test individual components like the processor and graphics card, you start to realize just how far back 2016 was. The iPhone SE is almost three times worse in performance compared to today’s phones.

You will immediately notice that the graphics are worse and cannot support modern day games, which the 4-inch diagonal screen wasn’t made for either.

The screen space is rather small in comparison to what we are used to. It does take away from the number of messages or words on a website that you can see, but it isn’t all that relevant if you use your phone casually.

The Cons

  • Older camera software
  • No stereo speakers
  • Wide bezels and 4-inch screen
  • Older screen resolution, colors and lighting
  • Laughable 1.2 MP front-facing camera
  • No 3D touch
  • No wireless charger
  • Older processor

The Camera

The main camera has the same power as a lot of modern phones, standing at 12 MP. The software for processing images has come a long way since 2016, with a modern 12.2 MP image giving you a bit more in terms of quality.

Still, the main SE camera is pretty impressive! As a special surprise, you can take an incredible 4K video at 30 frames per second with the iPhone SE. When it comes to the front camera, we’ll do it a favor and not talk about it.

Firsts and Lasts

The iPhone SE has the first-generation touch ID sensor that, to this day, is mandatory on every smartphone. A lot of people do prefer Face ID, but it doesn’t quite hold the same feel to it as knowing that your fingerprint starts your phone up.

You’ll be surprised that a phone this small managed to still have the 3.5 millimeter jack for headphones, making it the last iPhone to have this feature.

The Verdict

This device was made in 2016, but not necessarily for it. It does lack in some areas but it more than makes up for it in others. It does not have stereo speakers but it does have the headphone jack. The hardware is older but runs incredibly smooth and lightning quick on iOS12.

The software that processes photos lacks quality, but the camera is still high tier and snaps quality pictures. It lacks 3D touch, which essentially became Apple’s right-click button and made wielding their devices that much easier, but it does have Touch ID.

You cannot charge the battery wirelessly but it’s a small battery that can charge quickly and outlast modern phones. The screen is only 4 inches diagonally, but the phone is practical, slick, flat, fits anywhere seamlessly, and has that awesome metal box that just feels so good in your hand.

There is simply something to the iPhone SE that makes you want to set aside its flaws and make the most out of what it gives.