iPhone SE: A Smaller, Cheaper Alternative to the iPhone 6s

Ok let’s just get this out of the way right now—I know today’s announcement was a little disappointing in a lot of ways. There were no major updates to iOS, nothing much changed with the iPhone or iPad, and teleportation capabilities are still, to my dismay, nonexistent. With that said, this was still a practical announcement that many people will appreciate, especially those who prefer the smaller iPhones of the past.


When Apple released the iPhone 6 in 2014, many users were thrilled to hear about its 4.7-inch screen. But believe it or not, there were still a lot of people (myself included) who were sad to see the 4-inch iPhone 5s go. The 5s was the perfect size for me, and although I love my iPhone 6s, I still find I miss the smaller design of my older 5s, especially in those moments when I’m trying to fit my phone into my pocket or navigate my screen one-handed.

It appears I’m not alone in that opinion. Today, Apple announced the release of the iPhone SE—a new model that blends the technical features of the iPhone 6 and 6s with the body of the iPhone 5. According to Apple CEO Tim Cook, over 30 million 4-inch iPhones were sold in 2015 alone, showing that there was still a great demand among consumers for a more compact design. And Apple decided to meet that demand.

"Many, many customers have asked for this," said Apple CEO Tim Cook. "And I think they're going to love it."

As far as design goes, the iPhone SE looks nearly identical to the older iPhone 5. But although the two devices share a similar design, the iPhone SE is notably more impressive internally, boasting many of the same features present in the iPhone 6s (such as Apple Pay, Touch ID, an 12-megapixel camera, and an A9 processor). There’s only one major feature missing, and it’s one I’ve grown to love a lot: 3D Touch.

When it all comes down to it, I want a smaller iPhone, but not at the expense of 3D Touch. That in itself is enough to prevent me from purchasing the iPhone SE. However, the iPhone SE is a great option for those who value a compact design over those extra features. It’s also great for those who are hoping to save a few bucks since, despite its incredible specs, the iPhone SE begins at only $399 for 16 GB of storage. This makes it much more affordable than other current models.

The phone will come in space grey, silver, gold, and rose gold, and will go on sale March 31.

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Author Details

Rheanne Taylor's picture

Author Details

Rheanne Taylor

Rheanne Taylor is the Video Production Manager of iPhone Life. Before discovering her love for video production, Rheanne was the Managing Editor. In her 6+ years at the company, Rheanne has helped produce 19 issues of iPhone Life magazine, edited countless podcasts, and produced over 1,000 educational videos showing people how to get the most out of their Apple devices. She continues to be a regular contributor to iPhone Life magazine, using her 10+ years of photography experience to create content primarily covering photography tips and photography gear. Rheanne is a passionate photographer both in and outside of work and loves to remind people that they don't need a fancy camera in order to capture beautiful shots—her most recent photography show featured work mainly shot on an iPhone!

Rheanne holds a bachelor's degree in Literature & Writing from Maharishi International University. When she isn't overseeing video content, she loves drinking tea, holding up traffic by taking entirely too many photos of bugs, and hanging out with her Instagram famous cat Wesley (IG: wesley_the_pirate_cat).