iPhone SE Review

                The iPhone SE arrived two weeks ago, and as promised, I am going to give you my thoughts on it. Being at that age, my family decided to order my teenage brother the 64 GB space gray model for those of you who were curious. This post is going to consist of my own opinions of the product, and may occasionally be put up against my iPhone 6.

                Opening the box, there was nothing special. You had the phone sitting on top of a tray which is above the envelope with your documentation which is above your array of accessories. The key selling point of this new phone is that it will replace the iPhone 5s with a new 4” phone for those who preferred the smaller screen devices. In a sense, it is just the like the iPhone 5s. The general physical appearance is about the same, and the only difference I could tell is the new bezels. All of the buttons are located in the same place, and it retains the same size as the iPhone 5 and 5s. The nice part of this is that the new phone will fit into all of your old cases! We had an old Otter Box Armor Series case lying in a drawer and we were able to throw that case right on with no problem.

                Probably the most notable change would have to be the internals. This iPhone shares many of the same specs that can be found in the iPhone 6s. This device packs the A9 Processor with 2GB of RAM (Random Access Memory). Apple Pay is also included with this cheaper phone, and if you have read my previous post about the service, you know that I am a huge fan of it. Probably what most people love to do with their phone would have to be taking pictures. This device wields a 12 megapixel shooter on the back with auto-focus, dual flash, and 4K capabilities. A cool little bonus with this phone is that it is able to shoot and play Live Photos. On the front, you have your typical 5 megapixel shooter, but now, your screen acts as your dual flash.

                When it first powered on, I was reminded of the old days of using an iPod Touch. The smaller screen detours away from my love of the phone. I understand that that is the purpose of the phone, but I’ve noticed that once you get familiar with a larger display, especially being vison impaired, it is hard to go back to a smaller one. Overlooking that one aspect, it was a pretty smooth experience. During setup however, I did notice some lag and loading issues. This, however, is probably attributed to the problems of iOS 9.3 on release. For those of you who don’t know, Apple pulled the update multiple times due to problems during activation.

                I have gotten to see it in action over a long weekend, and I was truly impressed. The factor that wowed me the most was the battery. It was unplugged at about 6 AM Saturday, and it did not get charged until about 4 PM Sunday afternoon. After normal use, sending texts, emails, and making phone calls, it still had about 40% remaining. If you care about battery life, this is definitely the device for you. I absolutely marvel how much Apple is able to pack into such a small product; the capabilities it has are extraordinary.

                One of my biggest worries before purchase had to do with the wireless capabilities. LTE speeds for Verizon, at least where I live, range about 5 MB/s – 9 MB/s down and about 3 MB/s – 4 MB/s Up. These speeds are about the same as I get on many of my other cellular devices, and are certainly suitable for the everyday YouTube video or just going on Facebook. Wi-Fi speeds, are also decent enough for the everyday tasks I need to accomplish. Fortunately my concerns were dissolved.

                The question on everyone’s mind is probably how much does it cost? In a bold move, Apple decided to set the price at $399 for the base 16GB configuration, $499 for 64 GB, and it’s free for anyone with a two year contract. Apple has truly got a foot in every market from the high end phone, to the cheaper, budget phone without sacrificing speed, design, and ease of use. That’s the main reason we chose the SE over the 6s.

                I have to admit I like this product, but it would definitely not be suitable as my primary device. I honestly prefer the large screen on my iPhone 6 even though it doesn’t have the latest specs. However, I am perfectly fine with that factor, and I don’t see it as a great trade-off for that smaller screen, but we had purchased this device for my brother, who is also visually impaired, and because he had never dealt with a larger display, he was perfectly fine with the 4” phone. What do you think of this device? Am I being to bias? Is this a fair review? Would you ever consider purchasing it? I would be interested in what you have to say.

                If you have any recommendations for future posts, leave me a comment below.


Posted by Diane BraunerJan 11, 2017

Hi Christina,

All iPhones have built-in accessibility features, including VoiceOver - Apple's screen reader.  Yes, the iPhone SE works beautifully with VoiceOver!  Since you are already familiar with VoiceOver on your iPhone 5C, you should have a smooth transition to a new iPhone.  I have read that the older iPhone 5 and 5C initially had some compatibility issues with iOS 10 (I believe these issues have been resolved).  Updating to a new phone will ensure compatibility with current software and access to all of the newly available features!

Remember to back up your phone before switching to a new phone!

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