Apple’s newer iPhones may not be selling as expected, but its older devices are still very popular. Take the iPhone SE for example which started selling again recently in the US and was sold out shortly after. iPhone SE was discontinued four months back. It was sold through the clearance section of Apple’s website in the US.
So what makes the three-year old iPhone SE still one of the most popular iPhones? Launched back in 2016, the iPhone SE (Special Edition) packs the costlier iPhone 6s’ hardware wrapped under the compact body of the iPhone 5s. The price of iPhone SE has gone so low that it now hangs in the budget category in India. You can get the iPhone SE (32GB) for as low as Rs 17,000 on Flipkart. The device is also available on other platforms like Snapdeal and Paytm Mall.
But does it still make sense to buy the iPhone SE in 2019? Especially a time when phones are launching with full-screen displays, triple cameras, AI-based cameras and more.
If you’ve been planning to buy one, here’s something you need to know from an iPhone SE owner for two years.
iPhone SE sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with f/2.2 aperture, True Tone flash and HDR capability. For selfies there’s a 1.2-megapixel camera with f/2.4 aperture. If we were talking two years back, an iPhone would arguably be the first choice for cameras.
“iPhones just make you look good in photos”, a friend of mine said.
iPhone SE was no less as it took great photos in bright and well-lit conditions. There are no gimmicky beautification features either, and photos look natural. iPhone SE is however a disappointment at low-light photography. In terms of camera, there are much better options in the market like Xiaomi’s Mi A2 and Redmi Note 6 Pro.
Not only do you get dual cameras for depth effect, the cameras also come with AI-based features like Portrait lighting. Budget smartphones have also upped their game in the selfie department with features like Portrait mode.
Battery isn’t Apple’s strong suit and people have come to terms with it. The newer iPhones like the iPhone X and iPhone XS series offer better battery backup. However, the iPhone SE given its compact size has a rather small battery. Apple doesn’t reveal the battery capacity for its iPhones, but the iPhone SE is said to offer internet and video playback up to 13 hours.
My iPhone SE required charging to full 100% at least twice a day which would span for 12 hours. My usage involved regular stuff like calls, shuffling through apps like Instagram and Facebook, and using Apple Music. I played games very rarely, and none was heavy. The only saving grace was that the iPhone SE charged pretty fast.
Smartphones like Asus Zenfone Max Pro M2 offer a massive 5,000mAh battery. Xiaomi phones are also available with up to 4,000mAh battery and Qualcomm’s Quick Charge. There are also power-saving modes for times when the phone battery is low. iPhone does provide its low power mode but the feature never worked for me.
Apple’s iPhones don’t offer a microSD card slot for further expansion. iPhone users with 16GB storage will know the pain of not having enough memory to even take photos. Less storage leads to cutting down of apps, messages, photos and videos. Yes, you have iCloud storage but Apple offers only 5GB for free.
iPhone SE features a compact 4-inch Retina LCD display with 1136×640 pixels resolution. Budget phones don’t offer OLED display, but better resolution with up to Full HD (1080p). iPhone SE also offers a smaller 16:9 aspect ratio which was the standard in 2016. Now smartphones offer full-screen display with aspect ratio up to 19:9. With slimmer bezels, smartphones have more room for display while being compact at the same time.
If these reasons are still not convincing enough, and you still want an iPhone under 20K, then iPhone SE is your best bet. But if you shell out a few more, you can go for the iPhone 6s which comes with a better front camera, 3D Touch and a slightly bigger 4.7-inch display.