Apple iPhone SE: 5 things we love and hate about it

Apple's exciting 4-inch iPhone SE is now available in Apple Stores and authorised retail stores in the UK, and if you're planning to buy one today, here are the best and worst features of iPhone SE that you should keep in mind.

iPhone SE with a 4-inch display comes as a major surprise at a time when phone manufacturers across the world are putting their money on phablets and when 5-inch phones are considered the smallest in the smartphone market.

Here are five reasons why iPhone SE will rock in the coming months:

Processor

iPhone SE comes with the latest 64-bit A9 chip which is 50 per cent faster than the A7 chip in iPhone 5s. The A9 chip is also 90 per cent faster in terms of GPU speed than the A8 chip powering iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, and also 70 per cent faster in terms of CPU speed.

The new M9 co-processor will also let iPhone SE perform functions like fitness tracking and will let you activate Siri by just saying 'Hey Siri' without picking up your iPhone.

Camera

iPhone SE features a 12MP iSight camera which is capable of shooting 4k videos and contains True Tone feature which emits flashes that are consistent with the surrounding environment which make the pictures look real and not overly bright.

The primary camera in iPhone SE has been borrowed straight from iPhone 6s and also features Live Photos which turns a photo into a short 1-2 second video without compromising on image size!

Yet another likeable factor is that the 12MP camera lens doesn't place a camera bump on the iPhone's surface. This gives the iPhone a uniform and seamless design and look.

Apple Pay

The fact that you will get to use Apple Pay on a device that costs just £359 makes iPhone SE a very likeable phone. Apple Pay has caught on with iPhone users ever since it was launched and today  hundreds of thousands of users in London use the app to make contactless payments on a daily basis. The number is set to multiply very soon as more than 1,000 unique smartphone users use the transportation system every day.

Thanks to Apple Pay, you will be able to purchase tickets for trains, the Underground and buses and will be able to shop at a large number of retail stores across the country.

As per data released by Transport of London, journeys that are paid for via smartphones have increased seven-fold ever since Apple Pay was launched. Over 200,000 smartphones have so far been used in the last six months. With the launch of the cheaper iPhone SE, the number of people using Apple Pay will surely multiply in the coming months.

Battery life

Thanks to its smaller display, iPhone SE offers a better battery life than even the premium iPhone 6s. Compared to 11 hours of video playback, 10 hours of Internet use on LTE, and 11 hours of use on Wi-Fi that iPhone 6s offers, iPhone SE offers 13 hours of video playback and 13 hours of Internet use over LTE and Wi-Fi.

LTE and Wi-Fi connectivity

iPhone SE offers download speeds of up to 150 Mbps over LTE and 433 Mbps over Wi-Fi, way faster than iPhone 5s would let you. Thanks to the presence of 19 LTE bands, the iPhone will be compatible with most LTE networks across the country.

And here are five reasons why iPhone SE may not be a real deal:

No upgrade in front camera technology

The 1.2MP FaceTime camera in iPhone SE is the same one that Apple had introduced with iPhone 5s. It is indeed disappointing when a company like Apple cannot redefine a front camera even after three years where other phone makers have started introducing front cameras with as much as 8MP resolutions.

Lack of 3D Touch
 
One of the principle USPs of iPhone 6s and 6s Plus was the revolutionary 3D Touch. The new 3D Touch feature lets you interact with the home screen and the apps through gesture control. Simple light and deep taps of your fingers lets you perform a range of functions like taking a selfie or sending a message.

The fact that Apple decided to place almost every feature of iPhone 6s in iPhone SE except for 3D Touch is disappointing. This would have been a great moment when mid-range phone buyers would have tasted Apple's 3D Touch feature and gotten used to the feature before Android phones came with similar ones.

Now that 3D Touch isn't present in iPhone SE, mid-range buyers will need to wait a little longer to experience the feature in future phones.

Is 4-inch screen really in demand?

While iPhone 5 and 5s with 4-inch displays were popular phones during their times, the world has come a long way since 2013. Modern phablets with 5.5 to 6-inch displays are selling like hot cakes and even sub- £100 phones feature 5-inch displays nowadays.

With smartphones increasingly being used for taking pictures, watching movies and videos and playing HD-quality games, we fear the 4-inch display in iPhone SE won't really capture everybody's hearts and minds once launched.

Contrast ratio

The contrast ratio on iPhone SE is just 800:1 which was also the case with iPhone 5s. Modern smartphones, including iPhone 6s and 6s Plus, offer much better contrast ratios like 1400:1 and 1300:1 and if you've used such a phone already, iPhone SE will disappoint you.

Price tag

Even though iPhone SE is quite cheap as per Apple's standards, £359 can still be considered too pricey for a mid-range phone at a time when LG's flagship G5 is selling for £400 and the lovely OnePlus 2 is retailing for just £249!

At this price, you'll get a full HD 5.5” IPS LCD display, a 3,300 mAh battery, dual SIM slots with 4G connectivity, a 64-bit superfast Snapdragon 810 chip, 4GB RAM, 64GB of installed storage and USB Type-C ports for quick charging and data transfer. OnePlus 2 also comes with a fingerprint scanner, 13MP and 5MP cameras with dual LED flash and an alert slider for notifications and for turning the phone silent.

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