How Apple’s iPhone SE converted me from hater to believer

“When I first heard about and saw the iPhone SE… I didn’t like anything about it. To me, the iPhone SE seemed representative of the type of company Apple has become: dull, stuck in its ways, and possibly a bit lazy,” Know Your Mobile writes. “It costs too much, I said in my iPhone SE review. And it does — Apple should be selling this handset for a lot less than it does.”

“But then I used the iPhone SE for a prolonged period of time; three months or so to be exact and something started to happen. Something scary… I started to like the iPhone SE. Like it A LOT,” Know Your Mobile writes. “Why? Simple: it’s a great phone. Boring, yes. But solid in almost every regard. And because of its size it is kind of unique in the phone space right now.”

Here’s [four] points on how Apple’s iPhone SE converted me from hater to believer in the space of a few months:
• My Pockets Feel Better
• The Battery Life is Phenomenal
• The Camera is Brilliant
• Like the iPhone 6s, The iPhone SE is Super Fast

Two downsides:
• Not Great For Media
• The Front Facing Camera is PANTS

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We briefly flirted with the idea that small iPhones would come back in vogue because Apple Watch required an iPhone to such a degree that people might want to save weight and space with smaller iPhone they could tuck away in pockets, bags, and purses.

No runner who uses the Apple Watch is happy with its lack on onboard GPS – especially those who have iPhone 6/s Plus models! That’s a lot to have to strap to your arm to get accurate running distance tracking.

But, now, with Apple Watch 2 expected to get GPS, sign us up for the largest capacity (come on 256GB!) iPhone 7 Plus! The SE’s 4-inch display is just too tiny for us.

About the success of Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE – August 11, 2016
4-inch iPhone SE looks like a winner for Apple – July 22, 2016
Demand for Apple’s iPhone SE still outstripping supply – June 16, 2016
Apple’s ‘boring’ iPhone SE is paying off – June 16, 2016
Slate reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: ‘Simple, functional, and iconic – love it’ – May 31, 2016
AnandTech reviews Apple’s 4-inch iPhone SE – May 16, 2016
Ars Technica reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: An apology to big-phone haters everywhere – April 6, 2016
iPhone SE event led to website traffic spike in China and India – April 5, 2016
Daring Fireball’s Gruber reviews iPhone SE: ‘Feels the best in hand’ – April 1, 2016
Macworld reviews iPhone SE: ‘It’s a pocket-size powerhouse’ – March 31, 2016
TIME reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: ‘The perfect smaller smartphone’ – March 30, 2016
Mossberg: Understanding Apple’s iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro – March 30, 2016
Wired reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: You’ll use it differently – March 29, 2016
USA Today’s Baig: Apple’s iPhone SE is like a cute, adorable baby – March 24, 2016
The Daily Mail reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: The ‘perfect first time iPhone’ – March 24, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple’s iPhone SE: ‘Smaller gets smarter with better battery life to boot’ – March 24, 2016
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 only mistake APPLE will be making is if they fail to add the 4″ phone to the iPhone 8 line.

    There will always be a need for the small phone factor. In fact, as I have argued on years, there may even be a decent sized niche for something smaller, comparable to an iPOD nano. Small is cool. Why APPLE doesn’t give us a way to quickly switch a phone number from one device to another, depending on work environment or social occasion, is odd.

    Small is Beautiful.

    1. …”Why APPLE doesn’t give us a way to quickly switch a phone number from one device to another,”…

      Unless you’re in America (on Sprint or Verizon), you can take your SIM card from your iPhone and put it in any other device. For years, this has been a rather common practice for fashionable women in many European countries. You had several cellphones of various colours, that would match your outfit, and you’d simply move your SIM card from one to the other. These days, with smartphones, they don’t really do this anymore (most phones today are all screen, so you just by different protective cases to match your outfits).

  2. Technically, the iPHone SE is styled after a six year old product (iPhone 4). Styling is the same (glass front and back, aluminium rim around it), with a slightly longer display. And the beauty of it is that, for months, this six year old style was outselling Apple’s ability to make them.

    There is a reason these devices successfully sell: the design is flawless, and the phone is superb.

    1. Agree. My son has been “playing” with our old 4 and my favorite, the 3Gs. Been a while since I’ve handled a 4 without a case..and it felt really good in my hand. Really good.

    1. Are you freaking kidding me? Porsche is at the cutting edge of performance-driven automotive technologies. It always has a supercar in development, and if you are referring to the fact that the 911 remains a 2-door fastback design, each generation has brought SUBSTANTIAL improvements everywhere. If you can’t see the evolution, then you’re not looking.

      Apple’s iPhone 5 SE is substantially less ambitious – essentially just a discounted old model with zero new technology.

      1. You may call it less ambitious, but the principle is the same: an excellent original concept and design, followed by years of incremental refinement. If you were not so determined to shit on the iPhone you’d see that the analogy holds. For Christ’s sake, the guy simply wrote that for him the SE turns out to be better than expected. You can’t even let someone say that without coming along to pour your bile all over it? And, by the way, each generation of the 911 did NOT bring SUBSTANTIAL improvements.

  3. There is something to be said for SOLID. Not the most cutting edge, the most fraught with security peril, the most likely to fail. SOLID.

    Also just what constitutes a radical style change in design that would appease the ADD tech-offs considering there are only few rectangular forms a cell phone can take? Most changes come from within, on the surface and software. You know that and I know that so why pretend otherwise? Insanity indeed.

  4. This kind of lightweight analysis-free blogging is just as embarrassing when it’s pro-Apple as when its anti-Apple.

    The iPhone 5SE has three things going for it: small size, relatively lower price compared to other models, and the power button is on the top where it belongs. That is it.

    Feel in pocket is no better than other 4″ phones of any manufacturer.
    Battery life is demonstrably not any better than the competition or Apple’s other models.
    The camera is inferior to Apple’s other models and significantly less capable than some of the larger/thicker cameras offered by the competition.
    It is NOT super fast. It is good enough for a 3 year old phone.

    I’m all for Apple extending its production runs so that 3 year old hardware can be sold cheap in emerging markets. But it’s a slap in the face to USA customers to not have current technologies in all 3 iPhone sizes. How hard would it be for Apple to at least offer increased memory options? This is how Apple is now earning its reputation as a lazy fashion-first company. Things have to improve or in a few more years the iPhone market may eventually follow that of the under-supported Mac.

    1. There is no such a model (5SE). There is 5, 5S, 6, 6S (and 6+, 6S+) and SE (no number). Technically, the SE is the most recent model, which uses the most recent CPU (A9), and the same processor, RAM, graphics, storage and rear camera specs as iPhone 6S. The only difference (apart from display size) is the front camera, which is 1.2Mp (and 5Mp on 6S).

      So, to say that the SE is three-year old hardware is quite disingenuous (to remind everyone, three years ago, Apple released 5S, which had A7 processor and 512MB RAM. SE has A9 with 2GB RAM).

      Currently, SE has the latest-generation Apple hardware, and will have it for the next few week, when we expect the new iPhone 7 (or 6 Pro, or whatever they decide to call it).

      1. Good call Predrag.

        Obviously, Paul doesn’t have an SE. Beside the frame, the screen and the front facing camera, the SE is fresh tech in a small form factor.

        Nice try Paul

      2. Nitpick as much as you want, you know my points are valid.

        “SE” has traditionally stood for “Special Edition”, but in this case, the only thing special is that Apple is using up old hardware.

    2. I have to say, this king of lightweight response (without checking one’s facts first) is irresponsible and frankly, embarrassing for the author. As I said above, there is nothing on the iPhone SE that is inferior to the latest-generation iPhone 6S, with the exception of the front-facing camera. One could argue that the price of the SE is far too low, compared to the difference in specs (are screen size and front-faced camera resolution really worth $250?).

  5. Bothered to look at a BMW recently? BMW’s famous tagline is “evolutionary not revolutionary”. That statement perfectly describes the SE and it is meeting a demand in the market that was not being served by the current crop of gigantaphones. It may not be anything you would like but my wife can barely get her hands around the 6s. If the SE had been available she would have probably gone with that instead of the 6S.

  6. I love my SE. I think it’s the best phone on the market. And the price point makes it a no brainer.

    Performance-wise, it will beat and run rings around every top top of the line Android phone.

    1. I’m not sure what phones you’re talking about. The way you said it, it sounds like the iPhones have some extremely sensitive screen surface that cracks, compared to all other phones (that are, presumably, more resilient). Tests that we had seen so far, comparing iPhone to major competitors (Samsung, LG, HTC, Moto) confirm what most iPhone owners seem to already know, and it is that the iPhone glass is able to take a serious beating before it actually cracks. I am on my third iPhone, all three have been dropped out of my hands onto hard surfaces and none had any visible scratches or dents. The previous two I had sold “as new”, the current one (6s) is almost a year old, but still looks new (despite several falls). In all fairness, I have it in a case, but it isn’t one of those monster all-enveloping heavy-duty rubber cases. It is thin plastic, mainly to protect edges, corners and back side precisely against such falls. Screen is still pristine (which makes sense when it is made out of that Corning “Gorilla Glass 5”).

      I know my response doesn’t answer your question (I don’t have the SE), but it is built with same Gorilla Glass as the other current models, and should therefore be the most resilient mobile phone screen currently available.

  7. I’ve had every iPhone through the 6S – and the SE is hands down my overall favorite yet – easy one-hand use, fits better in pockets, amazing camera & battery life – everything is just right to me. I wear my Apple Watch every day – so my phone spends more time in my pocket anyway. I’m nearsighted so any larger screen is not necessary for me. Won’t consider upgrading to any new phone until there’s a 4″ iPhone 8 or whatever it’s called!

  8. I would do a small iPhone if I had a iPad Mini. I simply can’t use the smaller screens too difficult to read anything. I enjoy my 6s+ but occasionally it can be a little big.

  9. I’m upgrading this Fall from my 5 to the SE. Can’t wait. I didn’t want the bit ass phone and was resigned to keep my small one as long as it worked—then the SE came along! 🙂 As soon as the spare cash is around to do it, I’m getting one. My aim is to just outright buy it and not do payments this time.

    1. Your Fall plans mirror what I did on the first day Apple was taking orders for the SE.

      Bought it unlocked from Apple and it was cool tracking the shipping online coming from China.

      Unlocked, you can take it anywhere to add the network of your choice simm card. The choices are many and the phone rocks …🍰

    2. Forgot to mention additional advantages with an unlocked iPhone.

      I showed up at a Target electronics counter with my then active AT&T 4S phone and my new unlocked SE.

      You can remove the SIM from your current phone and insert it into another compatible device, provided it’s either with the same carrier or you’ve ‘unlocked’ it from its original network for use on another. Swapping the SIM means the new phone will operate over the same network with the same phone.

      US carriers, AT&T and T-Mobile run on ‘GSM’ networks, while Sprint and Verizon Wireless use ‘CDMA’. Other networks like Consumer Cellular, Cricket, Tracfone and many others vary.

      SO I went on a Target shopping spree of all networks that support my GSM iPhone, comparing plans and price.

      Cool thing is if you go with a compatible provider that offers monthly plans, you have the option to cancel anytime and move your unlocked phone to another carrier — ANYTIME.

      It took 10 minutes to switch off AT&T and activate my new provider on the spot. Sweeeeett…🌅

  10. The funny part is that contrary to logic, the entire tech gadget echo chamber who care more about what their fellow buddies have to say, all had the same canned negative reviews of it while everyone else was like “holy crap I want one'”

    Same thing happens all the time. They’re a close knit bunch of refugees from Engadget all spread around with no more a clue about technology than any one else. Except of course Walt Mossberg

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