PC Magazine: Apple’s iPhone SE is more fun for less money

“The best iPhone may actually be the one Apple seems to have forgotten about,” Sascha Segan writes for PC Magazine. “I’ve had this conversation with taxi drivers, friends, and even other smartphone experts. The iPhone SE’s invisibility shows how important Apple’s marketing is to its sales: if it makes a great product but doesn’t talk about it, nobody knows it exists. But there’s a reason Apple keeps the iPhone SE$399.99 at Verizon Wireless in the shadows.”

“The 4-inch device is compatible with all the latest iOS software, but the smaller screen doesn’t swallow you the way newer, larger phones do,” Segan writes. “It remains a tool rather than an all-absorbing media landscape. This is the iPhone you’re less likely to dive into, so you’re more likely to spend time looking at and thinking about the world around you. You’re also less likely to drop it. It’s the life-compatible iPhone.”

“So why doesn’t Apple promote the SE? It’s too good a value,” Segan writes. “Pushing the iPhone SE would dramatically depress Apple’s ASPs. Even if SEs didn’t replace 7 Plus purchases, the average of a bucket with a lot of SEs and 7 Pluses in it is less than the average of a smaller bucket of 7 Pluses alone.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: It’s a nice narrative and the SE is a very nice iPhone, but it’s not Apple’s “best iPhone.” Not by a long shot.

By a wide margin, that honor currently goes to:

Apple.com's introductory image for "iPhone 7" is the top rear of the Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus model featuring its dual-camera and Quad-LED True Tone flash
256GG Jet Black iPhone 7 Plus

Know Your Mobile reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: The best camera phone. Period. – March 6, 2017
PC Magazine’s Miller: Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus is the best smartphone I’ve ever used – November 23, 2016
iPhone 7 Plus review: One month later – October 18, 2016
TechSpot reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: Absolutely decimates the competition – October 12, 2016
AnandTech reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus: ‘Unparalleled, a cut above anything else in the industry’ – October 10, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: There’s never been a better time to switch to iPhone – October 7, 2016
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus: Editors’ Choice – September 20, 2016
Tom’s Guide reviews Apple’s iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus: Great upgrades, but one is greater – September 20, 2016
More evidence Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus is more than a modest refresh – September 20, 2016
Professional photographer Benjamin Lowy puts Apple’s iPhone 7 Plus cutting-edge camera to the test – September 20, 2016
Apple’s A10 Fusion chip miracle – September 20, 2016
The iPhone’s new A10 Fusion chip should worry Intel – September 16, 2016
Apple’s remarkable new A10, S2, W1 chips alter the semiconductor landscape – September 15, 2016
Wired reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘Fantastic’ – September 14, 2016
Sprint, T-Mobile: iPhone 7/Plus pre-orders up 4X over last year; Apple shares surge – September 13, 2016
USA Today’s Baig reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘A strong handset for sure’ – September 13, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘Get over the headphone thing and upgrade’ – September 13, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: It’s a great phone, but where’s my headphone jack? – September 13, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple’s iPhone 7/Plus: ‘The future in disguise’ – September 13, 2016


  1. The SE is certainly the best iPhone for me. I also have a cellular iPad and use that when I need a large screen area, so I have no use for a phone with a large screen.

    The portability of the SE, together with the light weight and battery life are perfect for my needs. I’d be happy to pay more for a version of the SE with enhanced features, but as things currently stand, it’s by far the best phone for me.

    1. Kudo!

      I’ve finally bought a 7 jet black. I have to admit, I really really like it. But the size is not ideal for my rather small hands.

      Hopefully with the release of the 8, it will come in 3 sizes. I’ll sure come back to the more portable one if features are practically identical to its peers.

    2. Regardless, it’s clearly not Apple’s best iPhone.

      A10 Fusion, Retina HD display with wide color, 3GB RAM, 256GB capacity, Taptic Engine, 401 ppi, 1300:1 contrast ratio , 625 cd/m2 max brightness, Dual-domain pixels, Display Zoom, numerous and significant camera advantages including optical image stabilization for video, Optical zoom at 2x and digital zoom up to 6x, 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera, Barometer, 3D Touch… All are advantages iPhone 7 Plus has over the entry-level iPhone SE.

      1. The best phone for you may not be the best for every user. The phone I carry with me needs to be one that I can use. It is a real hardship to use my 6S when I cannot reach the left side of the device with my thumb. A 6S+ or 7+ would be impossible.

        If I want a big screen, I just use my iPad. I’m not wild about losing the state of the art features to move down in size, so I’m not sure what I might get next.

    3. I totally agree. Had the SE been available in October 2015, that would have been the successor to my old 5S. Now, I’m stuck with the 6S that is just too unwieldy to reach with the thumb. And the ‘reachability’ feature (double-tap on home button), is just a kludge, extra step to solve a problem of a screen too big.

      Every time I get my hands on someone’s 5, 5s or SE, I realise how much more comfortable the phone sits in my hand than the 6s.

      I cannot imagine lugging around 6s+ (or 7+). That’s just way too massive for me.

    4. The flipside to your response is that if you get a larger phone there’s no need for an iPad and you save an awful lot of money I see the iPad is a waste of money have a Mac and an iPhone save yourself the grand +

  2. I have the SE for its size. I bitched for years that Apple needed to produce a smaller screen phone. I like to have my phone in the front pocket and anything larger than the SE would be a problem.

    Along with an ARM-based, cluster, super computer for the Mac Pro, they should also be designing smaller phones with an ability to easily switch the number from phone to phone allowing the user to own multiple phone for different purposes and situations. It seems like something they could achieve.

    Make a nano-phone, APPLE. We know you can do it… oh, and a Mac Pro with a drop-down side.

    1. The ability to switch the number from phone to phone has been in existence since the beginning of GSM standard and SIM cards. I’ve been doing it for years (decades).

      In America, the old TDMA / CDMA technology never bothered with SIM cards, and even when GSM started slowly spreading out (Cingular/AT&T, T-Mobile), people were still oblivious to the existence of the SIM. In Europe, it was quite common for fashionable young women to have multiple phones of various colours, which they would swap to match their outfit by moving SIM from one to the other. In the age before e-mails, texts, etc, when the only personal info on that phone was the contact list, you could easily store all your contacts on that SIM and move it from phone to phone. Same works with the iPhone today (except that data, other than the phone number) doesn’t move with the SIM anymore. However, since all of your Apple devices are talking to iCloud, all data is there anyway, so all you need to move is that number, which is on the SIM.

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