WSJ reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: ‘Smaller gets smarter with better battery life to boot’

“Most smartphones now come in two sizes — big and huge,” Geoffrey A. Fowler reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Apple’s new iPhone SE is the first one made for everybody whose thumbs lack the wingspan of eagles.”

“The phone, which goes on sale Thursday, packs Apple’s best phone processor and camera into a width of just 2.3 inches. And it does it with significantly better battery life and Apple’s lowest-ever starting price, $399,” Fowler reports. “After years of the ‘phablet,’ the small phone is back with a vengeance.”

“The first time I held the iPhone SE, whose screen measures 4 inches diagonally, it felt comically tiny to my fingers and eyes, which are now accustomed to much more. I wouldn’t want to use it as my everyday phone, but as many as 20% of Americans would prefer a 4-inch phone,” Fowler reports. “The standout news is battery life. Unlike many other recent Apple products, the iPhone SE’s is a significant improvement over its predecessors’. In my lab stress test, which cycles through websites with uniform screen brightness, the SE lasted 10 hours — more than two hours longer than both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 5s, and nearly three hours longer than the Galaxy S7.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This will certainly be an interesting experiment and is a much stronger and better move towards catering to third world markets than iPhone 5C.

Apple tries to stimulate growth with the powerful 4‑inch iPhone SE – March 23, 2016
Why the tiny 4-inch iPhone SE will be a gigantic hit for Apple – March 22, 2016
Apple just put a Mac mini in your pocket (with keyboard and screen) – March 22, 2016
Apple’s got millions of reasons to make the smaller iPhone SE – March 22, 2016
The new iPhone SE finally makes a small phone feel powerful – March 21, 2016
Apple unveils iPhone SE, the most powerful phone with a four-inch display – March 21, 2016


  1. The term ‘third world’ is a trifle crass in the 21st century. I think you mean ’emerging markets’ or ‘developing countries’. Oh, I’m a big fan of MacDailyNews, please keep up the good work 🙂

  2. Well color me third world.
    I’ve been waiting for a smaller iPhone.

    Girlfriend and sister both have the 6 and love them.
    I liked using a 6 but it is too big for my pocket.

  3. Well my next iPhone will be the watch (plus the 4″ phone if needed). But that will be another year or so down the road. I do believe that the watch will eventually become the only portable device you need with access to larger screen be it your TV, your iPad your iMac or a any PC.

  4. With the advent of the Apple Watch, with its microphone and speakers, there is no need to pull the phone out of one’s pocket or purse, and up to 48 numbers can be called from the watch. Hence, the size of the 5s suffices, and there is no need for a bigger screen. This is why the Apple Watch user is not about to upgrade to a larger phone, but might well want the new SE, which reminds one of the Mac SE computer which was upgraded to an SE 30 with the 68030 CPU.

  5. It’s patronising and ignorant to suggest that the 6 SE is for the third world and emerging economies. If that were the case, it would have been offered in those markets first. Countries such as India and Mexico don’t even have a release date … just a ‘coming soon’.

    There are some of us who are sophisticated enough to realise that the ‘largest is best’ mentality has gone, if indeed it was anything other than the Emperor’s new clothes.

    We all use our iPhones in different ways and if you asked a thousand people exactly what they would would make the perfect phone for them, you would get a thousand different answers.

    It’s good that Apple is offering a full spec iPhone in a smaller case. Some of us have never liked big iPhones and have been arguing in support of an iPhone like this for many years. The fact that Apple have squeezed everything that matters from an iPhone 6 into such a compact and affordable package is brilliant news.

  6. Now Apple has all the sizes that available for those who complain about phone sizes. Including stupid me! haha… Glad Apple did it. Now everyone can have the iPhone that fits their lifestyle.

    1. I recall being attacked when I suggested exactly this over two years ago.

      Just because Apple is slow in offering hardware options doesn’t mean that there aren’t huge markets asking for more choice.

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