The Fifty Shades Of Apple: An Honest Review of iPhone SE 64GB
by Richárd Nagy
Everyone had heard about Apple and its innovative gadgets: phones, laptops, iPods etc. They always share the story that they improved in certain areas which lead us, consumers, into the greater good, the feeling of satisfaction.
After Steve Jobs passed away something changed in the company’s attitude regarding innovation which resulted that Google took away the number one spot in the category of the most valued brands. In the next paragraphs, I will introduce you the iPhone SE as uncommonly as I can to show you the flaws in Apple itself. You will go through the following categories: background, performance, and energy. The statements based on my own experiences since July of 2016. Let’s start.
In the past years, the tech industry’s (mainly Samsung, Apple, Huawei) main goal was to expand the size of their phones to give their customers a better, digitalized experience. That view introduced us the tablets and phablets. During the process, the handy 4″ size got forgotten mainly by Apple because they stuck to their annual phone releases. Someone finally discovered that unused market segment in 2012-2013 and the phone got released on 20 of September in 2013 with the slogan: “For the colorful”. The “budget iPhone” broke some sales record (like every iPhone before) but did not have the necessary performance to stay as a strong competitor in the next 1 or 2 years. In my opinion, the biggest mistake was to release the majority of the phones with just 8GB storage room. Two and half a years later this beauty got introduced:
It was placed in means of performance between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S and below them in the price tag. Let’s compare them in a quick, objective way.
Secondly, If we look at the summary of the three phones, the only missing part is the 3D Touch from the iPhone SE. Same A9 processor chip, 12MP camera, and iOS 10 system. Honestly, it looks nice and acceptable, however, let’s dig deeper. In the early part of the article, I mentioned the lack of innovation from Apple after the founder’s death. I will go through the hardware pieces one by one.
Apple tried to solve the 8GB issue in the sixth series and with the SE which was partly successful. The iPhone 6 and 6S was released with 32 GB and 128 GB options, however, the SE got only 16 GB or 64 GB storage room. Before I decided to buy the phone, I was thinking a lot if the lesser version would be enough. I used more than 20 GB of my storage room plus 8 GB which is required by the iOS. I downloaded 9 games and few social media applications on my phone. The main storage users: Real Race Gaming (3,03 GB), Hearthstone (1,93 GB), OPlayer Lite (1,47 GB), Pictures and camera (1,1 GB; approximately 200 pictures and few videos), Twitter (838 MB), Messenger (656 MB).
According to these numbers, I strongly advise you to buy the 64 GB option, because the lesser may not be enough in the long run if you want to keep your personal things on your phone.
2. Display and shell
The iPhone SE has a 4-inch LED-blacklit widescreen with 1136-by-640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi, typical 800:1 contrast ratio, 500cd/m2 max brightness and a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating. It gives a great viewing experience, everything is sharp, great to look at. The only missing parts are the display zoom and reachability, however, these things are not missed due to the phone’s 4″ size.
The big issue comes when we have to talk about the resistance features. In 2016, Apple was not willing to make the phones splash, water, and dust resistant which in my opinion is a shame. The 7th series has these features, that is why I can not believe why it is missing here.
It weighs 113 grams (3,99 ounces) which are very light.
3. Processor, Camera
These areas raise the phone into the must-buy category if you consider purchasing a 4″ phone. The iPhone SE got the same A9 chip with 64-bit architecture embedded M9 motion coprocessor like the sixth series. It makes that little phone a beast. Since July of 2016 I gave it multiple tasks to test its capacity, however, I could not give it an unreachable goal. Switching between apps always go swiftly without any problem.
Just to mention a few features of the camera, it has a 12MP with f/2.2 aperture, five-element lens, face detection, noise reduction, auto image stabilization etc. Only the iPhone 6S offers more, the optical image stabilization, but, it is not a thing that worth the higher price tag of the 6S Plus.
The FaceTime (selfie) camera is nearly the same in all models. Unfortunately, the iPhone SE got a 1,2MP camera instead of the 5MP camera in the sixth series. It is the difference between the models, the other features are all the same. It has a Retina Flash, able to record in 720p HD and has many other attributions.
You are able to record a video in high quality. 4K video recording at 30 fps or 1080p HD video recording at 30 or 60 fps. In my opinion, the best feature is the Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps or 720p at 240 fps. You are able to record amazing things with this option!
Thirdly, the hardest part of writing the article was to analyze its energy usage. If we compare the iPhone SE with the sixth series, we find interesting data: longer internet use and video playback time (13 hours against 11 hours in both of the situations). The talk time (14 hours) and the standby (up to 10 days) are the same in all three models. We use our phones for multiple reasons and goals, but the main objective is to stay in touch with the world online which requires a large portion of energy. That is why Apple deserves a praise because they were able to extend the use of their phone with one charge.
All in all, the iPhone SE 64 GB model is a gemstone between the other 4″-sized phones. Apple was able to recover from the failure of iPhone 5C. It is not a “budget-phone” with downgraded features but an entry level for the high-end category with its performance and price/value. It depends on Apple what they are planning for us in the future, however, if they are able to change the gear into a higher level, they will be able to find the long-lost path again.
Score of the iPhone SE 64 GB model: 9/10 (strongly recommended to buy)
Score of the innovation found in the iPhone SE 64 GB model: 6,5/10
If you want to compare all the latest models, visit apple.com.