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Home / Features / 11 things you need to know about the Apple iPhone SE

11 things you need to know about the Apple iPhone SE

Here's the lowdown on Apple's cheapest, most powerful MiniPhone

The leaks and rumours were spot on (for the most part). Apple has revealed a 4in iPhone, and it’s called the iPhone SE.

It’s the Cupertino tech giant’s cheapest, most powerful 4in iPhone ever (an oddly specific, but accurate statement), and we’ve rounded up all the juicy details on it below:

1. It’s got a dinky screen

The iPhone SE’s main selling point for many will be its smaller screen. Smartphone displays have exploded in size over the past few years, to the point where five inches is generally regarded as the minimum flagship size.

While the iPhone 6s’ 4.7in display is a littler smaller than the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5, small-handed gadgeteers will still appreciate the iPhone SE’s more manageable 4in screen.

That’s the same size as the now-outdated iPhone 5s‘ display, so if you’re after the iOS experience in a newer, smaller phone, the iPhone SE should definitely appeal to you.

It won’t however, come with Apple’s fancy 3D Touch pressure-sensitive technology, though that’s still more of a luxury than a genuine need at this stage, if you ask us.

2. It’s clad in metal armour

2. It

Unlike the iPhone 5c which was made from coloured plastic, the new iPhone SE has a full all-metal aluminium body, which strongly resembles that of the iPhone 5s, and is a definite improvement over the plastic shell of the iPhone 5c.

Still, if you were hoping for the return of the 5c’s funky colours, you might be a little disappointed.

RelatedLG G5 review

3. Its camera isn’t messing around

3. Its camera isn

Good news photo fans – the iPhone SE packs in the same 12MP camera that’s currently in the iPhone 6s, which should mean crisp, clear shots, in most lighting conditions.

The iPhone 6s had one of the best smartphone cameras of 2015, so we’ve got high hopes for the SE’s imaging performance, especially as it throws 63MP panoramas and 4K video recording into the mix too.

Apple has also given the SE the selfie treatment, by allowing its screen to crank up the brightness to act as a flash, though it still obviously won’t be as good as a proper LED flash in very dark environments.

Despite the lack of a 3D Touch screen, the iPhone SE still supports Live Photos too, letting you capture moments before and after pressing the shutter button, creating little snippets of memories as you do so.

4. It’s no weakling

5. They

Apple calls the iPhone SE the most powerful 4in phone in the world, and that’s because it hasn’t skimped on power either, cramming in the same A9 processor that’s currently working away beneath the iPhone 6s’ innards.

The A9 processor serves up twice the speed as the iPhone 5s, with three times the graphical grunt, which means it won’t compromise when it comes to the latest App Store games, so you won’t be missing out simply for going for a smaller, cheaper handset.

The iPhone 6s’ M9 motion co-processor is also included, which means the iPhone SE can monitor your movements in real time, for more accurate fitness tracking.

5. It’s a good listener

Using Siri

The iPhone SE’s M9 motion co-processor also allows support for always-on Siri, letting users summon up Apple’s digital assistant with a simple "Hey Siri" command.

We wouldn’t recommend doing this in public unless you want to draw lots of subtle tutting from your fellow commuters, but it can come in extremely handy when you’re driving or making a carrot cake (or any other form of cooking, for that matter).

6.It’ll scan your digits


Another area which Apple hasn’t held back on, is security. The iPhone SE features the same speedy Touch ID home button as its 6s brother, which means you can securely unlock it with multiple fingerprints and not have to worry about tapping in a pin each and every time you want to unlock it.

7. It will buy you lunch

Which banks/cards are supported?

NFC is also present and accounted for. Combined with the SE’s fingerprint-scanning smarts, you’ll be able to use the handset to pay for goods at all existing Apple Pay-supporting stores, as well as using it to travel around tubes and buses in certain cities.

It’s handy if you keep your wallet in your bag, but otherwise it’s mostly useful for the novelty of using your phone to pay for things. If you want truly practical contactless payment, then the Apple Watch is the way to go.

8. It’ll stay awake longer than you can

8. It

Battery fans rejoice – the iPhone SE promises to last longer than its fellow iPhone brothers, with up to 13 hours of Wi-Fi browsing and 14 hours of talk time.

The iPhone 5s manages ten hours of either Wi-Fi browsing and talk time, while newer handsets like the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus offer 11 and 12 hours of Wi-fi browsing respectively. Welcome to one of the main benefits of running a smaller screen.

9. It’ll save your eyes

9. It

The iPhone SE will land with the latest and greatest version of iOS, namely iOS 9.3.

New features include Night Shift, which gradually changes the display temperature from a cool blue to a warmer orange, saving your eyes from stinging glare when your using your phone in bed.

Extra security such as password protected information in the Notes app is also supported, along with various CaPlay Music and Maps tweaks.

10. Apple STILL hasn’t killed off the 16GB storage option

10. Apple STILL hasn

Apple, for the love of all that is good, why have you not replaced the pathetic 16GB storage option with 32GB as standard?

As things stand, the iPhone SE is only available in 16GB and 64GB models. Is it so people will be tempted to fork out extra cash for the higher capacity model (given that 16GB is far too small for apps, music and photos)? Almost definitely.

11. It’s the cheapest iPhone ever

You’ll be able to pre-order the iPhone SE on 24 March, and it will properly hit shelves on 31 March.

The 16GB model will set you back £360, while that increases to £440 for the 64GB model, with silver, gold, rose gold and space grey colour options available.

Profile image of Esat Dedezade Esat Dedezade Contributor


Esat has been a gadget fan ever since his tiny four-year-old brain was captivated by a sound-activated dancing sunflower. From there it was a natural progression to a Sega Mega Drive, a brief obsession with hedgehogs, and a love for all things tech. After 7 years as a writer and deputy editor for Stuff, Esat ventured out into the corporate world, spending three years as Editor of Microsoft's European News Centre. Now a freelance writer, his appetite for shiny gadgets has no bounds. Oh, and like all good human beings, he's very fond of cats.

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