iPhone SE, first impressions: the best and worst of the new iPhone for 489 euros
This week the new iPhone SE has been put on sale in Spain and other territories. This model "escapes" from the usual cycle of Apple launches, which in the case of smartphones is usually September for years. But this iPhone SE is not an evolution of the latest Apple smartphone but the renewal of a category that the company wants to continue exploiting: the 4-inch smarpthone. Will we see them come back with force?
At Xataka we are already testing the new iPhone SE, and we have first impressions to share with you. You can also take the opportunity to ask in the comments questions or questions that you want us to pay special interest in our in-depth analysis that will arrive in a few days.
What we like most about the iPhone SE
A 4-inch smartphone in 2016? That said, it sounds strange, but in Apple accounts it is a good idea. They say they have sold in 2015 the figure of 30 million units of the "old" models with this diagonal, so they offer with a single model both a renovation for those looking for an iPhone with less cost than the company's flagship and a terminal current with 4 inches diagonal or even an entry model for all markets and that means a minimum of 250 euros in savings compared to its older brothers.
After the first hours with the iPhone SE in our hands, this is what we like the most and it is convincing us of this model.
Convenience of such a compact terminal
If you've been moving for years in the upper-mid range, the 4-inch diagonals have not been seen for a long time. Having a model with high-end components in some facets is strange but at the same time it gives us the feeling of maximum comfort due to its weight, dimensions and manageability.
With one hand we can easily reach any part of the screen and it is very comfortable to carry. Nowadays, like almost feeling like you don't have a phone with you.
High level of finish
With little variation compared to the iPhone 5s except for the matte finish of the edges and the range of colors that include rose gold, the iPhone SE copies the design of the previous 4-inch model from Apple. And that means they maintain the excellent quality of materials, metal and the body in one piece.
The iPhone SE also seems to us a robust terminal despite the fact that it will not be a smarpthone that will shoot out of your hands. We will see if the extreme ease that the iPhone 5s's beveled edge had to get marked has been solved.
Battery to go beyond the day
Same screen with low resolution is a great combination along with a more efficient operating system and processor to achieve that, with the same battery as the model of almost three years ago, the autonomy improves. It will be one of the features that we will test in depth in our complete analysis, both to see how long it lasts with intensive use and charging times. What there is not is wireless charging and in the first charges, despite its low capacity, it can be seen that not having fast charge like that of its rivals means that the time used to return to having 100% battery is more than we would like.
Excellent point-and-shoot camera
It does not have optical stabilization but the quality of the point-and-shoot photography that has always characterized iPhone is perfectly fulfilled in this iPhone SE. At the end of the day we have the main sensor of the iPhone 6s, which we have seen that performs excellently but without standing out as it used to be.
In the first tests with the iPhone SE camera, the results have convinced us especially for the security that, except in very specific cases, we will get a very good snapshot. What we will not be able, at least with the native application, is to control the aspects of photography.
Despite what it might seem from its size, this iPhone SE also includes the possibility of recording 4K video. Another thing is that you choose the 16 GB model and run out of space when you least expect it.
Maximum power and fluidity
With so little screen resolution to move and having a processor as capable as the Apple A9 accompanied by 2 GB of RAM, we have rarely seen a smartphone perform with such ease. Everything is immediate, from opening an application to switching between them, and once you get used to that speed, to terminals that are very fluid they seem somewhat lazy compared to this iPhone SE. But be careful because in the first hours with the iPhone SE, where the data download has been very intense and we have played and used the camera quite a bit, we have seen a considerable warming of the rear-upper part. We will continue to monitor it and we will tell you.
What we like least about the iPhone SE
Apple has reduced the starting price of the iPhone SE not only for a smaller screen size, but sacrificing some sections. This is what, in these first hours with the iPhone SE, we have found most improvable in the new Apple smartphone.
Four inches is not for everyone
Coming from smartphones that at least offered me a 5-inch diagonal, facing the four of the iPhone SE has been impressive from the start. If you are not an intensive or productive user, you may feel comfortable, but for the use that a good part of society makes of an advanced phone, four inches is very few. If you are someone who uses the smartphone productively, it is an insufficient diagonal. Also, for resolution and brightness the experience with the screen of the iPhone SE I do not think that it equals at all that of its older brothers.
When you use it, applications, consumption of multimedia content, reading, messaging ... everything seems to be from another era. There is little content at a glance and even the keyboard covers a good part of the screen.
Something also relevant regarding the screen diagonal is that, with a design effort, those dimensions could have given of themselves for a few tenth of an inch more that would be very welcome.
The iPhone SE actually costs 589 euros
Although the price of the most affordable iPhone SE model is 489 euros, you will not want to leave an Apple store leaving only that money. It is the 16 GB version and with maturity and complexity of the applications (especially games), added to the 12 MP photos and 4K videos, it is not a recommended capacity in a product today.
It could have been solved with a microSD card slot or leaving the starting memory at 32 GB. But it has not been that way. If you really want a 4-inch iOS smartphone, you should not opt for anything less than the 64 GB version, and that is already 589 euros. Not so interesting for what it offers us.
Secondary camera much better
Of the incomprehensible things that Apple usually leaves us almost as a rule. Although the technology and sensor of the iPhone 6s are transferred in the main camera, the same does not happen with the secondary, which degrades both at the level of resolution (1.2 MP compared to 5 MP of older iPhone models) and general performance, especially when light is poor. Too little for this level.
Fingerprint sensor a little behind the best of Apple
Once you get used to using your fingerprint to identify yourself securely both when accessing the terminal and when making purchases or accessing applications, there is no turning back. If it works reliably and quickly. The sensors of the iPhone have managed it since the first generation, and despite having improved that Touch ID in the latest iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, Apple places the previous one on the home button of this iPhone SE. Of course, in reality, the difference in speed and reliability in access is practically negligible.
Without 3D Touch
It is surely the characteristic of the superior iPhone that has less impact in the day to day with the iPhone SE, but we must record and note its absence. If it is a feature you were looking for on an iPhone, this SE should be ruled out. In any case, with this diagonal, opening menus and options with long presses have less travel than in large diagonals.
So far we have come with the first impressions of the iPhone SE.Now we will continue testing the terminal in detail, but you can take the opportunity to ask what you would like us to look at in a special way or not to be missed in our complete analysis that will arrive in a few days.
Apple iPhone SE 32GB Space Gray, MP822DN_A (Gray)Today in amazon for 241.30 €