Review: iPhone SE

Releasing the new iPhone SE was a clever business move from Apple that will satisfy a segment of customers that didn’t want the larger iPhone 6 design. I believe it will also satisfy many of the customers that did upgrade to the larger iPhones when they were released.

Apple executive Greg Joswiak said during the release event that the company sold 30 million 4-inch phones last year. In the big scheme of the iPhone business, 30 million isn’t a huge number, but it is a significant number. Most companies could build an entire business from that.

For Apple, it’s an opportunity. An opportunity to make sure that anyone that wants an iPhone can get one, and get it at the size they want.

Keep in mind that it’s 30 million older phones, with older hardware. What happens when you take the newest technology and put it in a 4-inch enclosure that everybody seems to love? Nobody knows for sure, obviously, but I’m willing to bet it’s going to be a big hit.

At the event when the iPhone SE was released, my first opinion was that this would be a great upgrade phone for iPhone 5s users. I’ve modified my opinion a little bit after using the iPhone SE for a little bit.

I still think it’s going to make for an incredible upgrade for those iPhone 5s users, but I also think it’s going to appeal to some current iPhone 6 users. A lot of people upgraded to the newest design for the technology, and of course, to have the latest and greatest.

I believe that some of those people may go back to the form factor they liked so much and get most of the newest technology with the iPhone SE. Is this a problem for Apple? Not at all. People are still buying iPhones—ultimately, that’s what matters to Apple.

The iPhone SE feels really comfortable in your hands, as anyone who has ever used an iPhone 5s would know. Everything about it is familiar and comfortable.

The one thing I noticed is that I had to boost up the text size, but that’s a problem with my eyes getting old. Actually, making the text larger helped a lot, but I’m also using an iPhone 6s Plus most of the time these days.

People asked me about the pieces of the iPhone SE that were not upgraded with the newer technology. Let’s take a look at those.

iPhone SE has first generation Touch ID. I’m good with that. Touch ID still works great for me on iPhone SE, so I’m not that concerned that it’s not the latest version of the technology.

There is no 3D Touch on the iPhone SE. I’m speaking from my personal experience here, but I don’t use 3D Touch that much, so it’s not something I missed greatly while using the iPhone SE. Although talking about it, I probably should try to use it more on my iPhone 6s Plus.

Finally, we have the 1.2‑megapixel FaceTime HD Camera. It’s a selfie camera. For me, 1.2-megapixels is just fine. The backside camera (the one you actually use to take photos with) is 12‑megapixel and includes Live Photos, Autofocus with Focus Pixels, True Tone flash, Panorama (up to 63 megapixels), Auto HDR for photos, Auto image stabilization, and more and more and more features.

What would have upset me about the iPhone SE is if Apple passed it off as a new phone, but put in an older processor and graphics. That’s not what they did. They basically took the iPhone 6s and put it in an iPhone 5s enclosure. It’s a remarkable phone.

The reason Apple didn’t change the body style of the iPhone SE is simple: It’s one of the most iconic phone designs ever made. Why would you want to change that? Change for the sake of change is not a good reason.

Look at the iPhone SE like this.

Pick your favorite classic car. An old Corvette or Mustang—whatever your favorite car is. That design will always be classic, no matter what has happened in the automobile industry in the last 40 years, those 1960s designs will always be classic.

Now, take that classic car design and replace the engine, drive train, and everything else you can think of. What do you have? A hotrod. An incredible classic design with the most advanced technology that you could put in it.

That is the iPhone SE. A classic design with a lot of the newest and greatest technology.

The iPhone SE is Apple’s classic hotrod.