So last month Apple unveiled a small 4” iPhone which was rumoured since last year when iPhone 6s and 6s plus were unveiled. This may seem a weird decision from a company like Apple but there are actually some really good reasons behind it. Now let’s start from the feeling that you get after returning to a small form factor. iPhone 5 was launched in 2012 and it was apple’s tallest iPhone at that time with a display of 4”. iPhone 5s had the same screen size with updated specs and some new features. However, things changed when iPhone 6 and 6 plus were launched. People got comfortable with the 4.7” inch form factor so much that it actually feels weird now to hold a 4” device. It looks cute, feels premium but there is something about the screen size which makes it really hard to type anything. Even playing some amazing games on a 4” phone feels a bit weird after coming from a bigger/taller smartphone.
Advantages- It’s 2016 and many of us are using smartphones which have a screen size of at least 4.7”. Apple saw the demand of smartphones of bigger screen and they played their card in 2014 by launching iPhone 6 and 6 plus. The demand of iPhone 6 and 6 plus initially were beyond belief. We saw the fastest adaptation rate to the iPhone 6 when it was up for pre-order. So, many people bought it and they really enjoyed the new bigger and better screen. There are some countries where a 4” device is still in high demand. These countries include India and China. Both the countries are a big market place for smartphones. Besides the countries, there are still some people who prefer a 4” phone over a 4.7/5” phone. According to a data, 1/3rd of iPhone users are still using a 4” device. Apple listened to their customers and launched the iPhone SE for people who have shorter hands or feel comfortable holding a 4” phone as it is very compact.
The iPhone SE basically is a phone having the body of a 5s and internals of iPhone 6s. That’s right. iPhone SE has the same chipset and GPU of the high end iPhone 6s. Which means that is has the same A9 chip which is found on the high end iPhone 6s. So the hardware upgrades make the iPhone SE twice as fast as the 5s when it comes to CPU and GPU performance. It also has 2GB of RAM which is present on the 6s. The overall performance of CPU and GPU makes the iPhone SE ‘the fastest 4” phone’ which is actually true, it is very responsive and snappy. 2GB of RAM makes multitasking and app management a breeze.
The design of the SE is similar to that of the 5s. Many people still find the iPhone 5s’s design better than the 6/6s’s design. It looks beautiful and feels very premium with matte chamfered edges.
It looks exactly same as the iPhone 5s and the only way to differentiate between both the devices is either by noticing the small ‘SE’ thing written on the back or by seeing a Rose Gold colour variant.
There are however some Drawbacks in camera department and the software,
It has a 12MP shooter capable of recording UHD 4k video but lacks OIS and the decision of launching the 16GB base model seems really disappointing. The photos taken with the SE are stunning and video quality is pretty amazing. But, 4K videos take a lot of space so it is a a stupid decision to go for a 16GB model.
Now, it may have a 6s CPU and GPU performance and also the same camera but it lacks a major feature, which is 3D touch or force touch. It is not a big deal at all because many apps are yet to take advantage of 3D touch but still it’d have been better if it had 3D touch which is still exclusive to the 6s/6s plus. Some people do find 3D touch a useful feature so it is actually a personal opinion, not a major drawback but still could have been looked at.
Conclusion– The iPhone SE is not a gimmick at all. Many people still prefer the 4” form factor and it is designed specifically for those people without sacrificing any performance or Camera technology. The camera and performance are amazing and the overall design is also beautiful. The phone is available for $399 which is really cheap but its price in India is Rs. 39,000 for 16GB variant which is very high and disappointing.