See all the Prime Day deals: USA | UK | Canada | India

  1. anon(10210323)'s Avatar
    I posted this review as an article at another smartphone/tech website

    I got my SE a month ago yesterday, so I thought I'd share my impressions and personal conclusions. A "Mini-Review" of my first iOS device, if you will.

    iOS or Android? After using iOS I have to conclude that the comparison is a dead heat - an absolute tie. iOS is more stable, simpler and faster, but lacks some of the features I had grown to appreciate with Android. Some of these features that directly impact me are the ability to create sub-folders for document or picture storage (Creating folders is easy, but creating an hierarchy of folders/sub-folders is not available); extra steps involved in moving pictures from DCIM into folders, or from folder to folder; and less options to customize screen appearance. I like that iOS updates are not carrier dependent. I didn't like the fact that Android updates had to be delayed and basically "re-written" by T-Mobile before being released whereas Apple sends updates directly to the devices, bypassing the service provider. I also like the fact that there's no TMO bloat on the phone even though it is locked to TMO. iOS just does its job quickly and efficiently, but the adventurer in me misses playing with Android.

    Customer Support? Apple is the clear winner here. In both the areas of software and hardware there is fast, expert help either via phone or in person, and their AppleCare+ program is the industry standard for warranty protection and at a fraction of the cost of other plans. I like that I am walking distance from an Apple Store where I can get immediate support and expert answers to questions, instead of the T-Mobile store (2 within walking distance) where I get guesses and shrugs when I ask questions, from people that are not passionate about smartphones.

    The Device Itself? A definite winner. The iPhone SE is an enigma to most people in the smartphone world. It is a midrange device that provides flagship performance at half the cost of today's flagship phones. It was launched in March 2016, then re-launched with new memory capacities in March 2017, specifically targeted to existing iPhone users that love the classic iPhone size and appearance but want updated features and performance. The 4 inch screen is almost comically small by today's standards, but despite warnings from family members and internet friends that I would not like its smallness, the size has become one of its most attractive features to me. It is a pocketable, one-handed phone that is a relief from the hugeness and weight of my old Galaxy Note 4.

    Its high level of performance is because the processor is underdriven. The processor is the A9 Twister, which drives the 6s and the 6s Plus models. However, in the SE, the small Retina screen at 326ppi (640 by 1136) as opposed to the 6s Plus' 401ppi @ 1080 by 1920 means the Twister has a lot of extra time on its hands to run the phone. The small screen size in concert with some simpler UI features (like lack of 3D Touch) makes the iPhone SE the sixth fastest phone on the market today (and probably in history) according to Geekbench and AnTuTu testing. Of course that will change this month with the launch of the Galaxy S8 and then whatever Apple is planning for its tenth-anniversary device in September, but the SE still will rank towards the top. For the curious, the current smartphones that rank faster than the SE are the two Galaxy S7 devices, the two iPhone 7 machines, and the Huawei P9. I think that with the A9 in this small device, it will be a top-tier phone for quite some time. The Twister can run this phone with one hand tied behind its back.

    In side-by-side tests that I've performed, the SE is markedly faster in opening native and aftermarket apps than 4 friend/family devices I've tested it against. It smokes my co-worker's Google Pixel XL, my daughter's iPhone 7 (!), my other daughter's Motorola Droid Turbo, and my wife's LG V10. At half of the retail cost. This is done by simply setting the competing phones side-by-side and opening apps, and seeing which ones open faster.

    The build quality of the iPhone SE is very, very good. In my experience, I would rank it in third place behind a couple of Blackberry phones I used to own (the 9700 Bold, and the 9780 Bold). It's a gorgeous little phone with a lot of attention to detail, and although very light it seems very sturdy. Uncased drop tests on YouTube show it to be able to withstand 4 ft. drops without damage. Nevertheless, mine is encased in a new Otterbox Defender

    Conclusion? I'm very happy with my Pocket Rocket iPhone SE, but I'm looking forward to some better features in iOS that address my issues detailed above.
    Last edited by RefrigeratorRaider; 04-21-2017 at 10:49 AM.
    libra89, eespanol, alc1575 and 1 others like this.
    04-21-2017 10:25 AM
  2. kataran's Avatar
    Nice mini-review

    I also use an SE as my daily driver. It is a sleeper phone, has a lot of speed under the hood
    04-21-2017 10:47 AM
  3. Just_Me_D's Avatar
    Thank you for sharing your experience with us...
    anon(10210323) and libra89 like this.
    04-21-2017 10:49 AM
  4. libra89's Avatar
    I enjoyed the review, thanks for sharing! Glad to hear that you are enjoying your SE.
    anon(10210323) likes this.
    04-21-2017 03:41 PM

Similar Threads

  1. Any chance i can downgrade my iPad mini 1?
    By Abhishek Pradhan2 in forum iOS
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 06-10-2017, 07:51 PM
  2. Apps aren't working on my Apple Watch
    By vimagreg in forum Apple Watch
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 05-21-2017, 01:23 PM
  3. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 05-04-2017, 11:38 PM
  4. Apple Silicone Case Review (7 Plus)
    By metllicamilitia in forum Community Reviews
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 04-27-2017, 10:44 AM
  5. Replies: 4
    Last Post: 04-22-2017, 01:46 AM