iPhone SE vs. iPhone 6s Specs and Design Compared <<Back
Apple's new iPhone SE looks almost identical to the iPhone 5s£219.00 at Amazon, but comes with the hardware and capabilities of the 6s $650.00 at ebay. It's clearly intended for consumers who were put off by the size of the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s and 5.5-inch iPhone 6s Plus$199.99 at Best Buy. The SE is an intriguing little device, which we'll soon put through its paces in PC Labs, but until then, we can reasonably guess how it stacks up to the iPhone 6s.
The iPhone SE has the same design as the 5s, down to the aluminum unibody, chamfered edges, clicky Power and Volume buttons, and Touch ID button. The only thing that sets the SE apart from the 5s is that the chamfer is matte. It's a subtle difference, which raises the question: what's the point of owning the latest iPhone if everyone thinks it's an old model?
The SE measures 4.87 by 2.31 by 0.30 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.99 ounces, much smaller and lighter than the iPhone 6s (5.44 by 2.64 by 0.28 inches; 5.04 ounces). The 6s is a tiny bit more slender, but one-handed use will be easier with the more compact SE.
Like most recent iPhones, the SE has a Retina display, but it's a bit lower resolution than the 6s. There's a 4-inch 1,136-by-640 panel with 326 pixels per inch (ppi). The bigger 4.7-inch panel of the 6s nets you a 1,334-by-750 display with 326ppi. Both displays will look crisp thanks to the similar pixel density, but you'll likely find that the 6s is a bit sharper overall.
Resolution aside, the big thing the SE doesn't have is 3D Touch. You won't be able to take advantage of any of pressure-sensitive features like Peek and Pop to preview content or Quick Actions when pressing down on apps.
In terms of hardware, the SE and 6s both run a 64-bit A9 chip and M9 motion coprocessor. We don't yet have details about clock speed or RAM, but it's likely that both phones will perform similarly in general usage. The A9 processor should also keep the SE up to speed in benchmarks and gaming, and be particularly helpful for app developers who won't have to worry about optimizing games for lower-level hardware. It also means that the SE will support hands-free "Hey Siri" voice commands.
In terms of connectivity, we expect the SE to be on par with the 6s. The SE will have faster LTE and 802.11ac Wi-Fi than earlier 4-inch models, and will also support VoLTE, Wi-Fi calling, Bluetooth 4.2, and NFC. The last one is particularly important since Apple Pay can now be used, combined with Touch ID.
We don't currently know the battery capacity of the iPhone SE. Apple is always loathe to reveal that information, so it usually takes an iFixit teardown to find out. That said, Apple did indicate that the SE should have better battery life than the 5s. Since the screen is much smaller, it wouldn't surprise us if the SE's battery compares favorably with the 6s.
The 12-megapixel iSight camera on the rear of the SE is the same as the 6s in most ways. It has 4K video recording at 30fps and 1080p recording at 60fps. It's capable of taking Live Photos, just like the iPhone 6s. The only thing that you won't get on the SE is optical image stabilization, which helps stabilize shots and improves low-light performance. The SE has a 1.2-megapixel front-facing camera, which isn't as high as the 5-megapixel selfie shooter on the 6s, but both have Retina flash.
Since this is Apple we're talking about, software isn't a concern. As the company pointed out during the event, iOS 9 is on 80 percent of Apple devices, while Android 6.0 Marshmallow is only on 2 percent of Android devices. We fully expect the SE to get every version of iOS that the 6s does. In fact, the SE will arrive with iOS 9.3, which adds a few bells and whistles, like Night Shift, which reduces exposure to blue light ahead of bed time.
Pricing and storage sizes, on the other hand, are quite different. The iPhone SE starts with a 16GB option at $399 and a 64GB option at $499. There will be no 128GB option, as there is on the iPhone 6s. On the plus side, it is a lot more affordable than the 6s, which starts at $649 for 16GB, $749 for 64GB, and a staggering $849 for 128GB. You'll also be able to get the same color options for either device–Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Rose Gold.
Which iPhone should you get? That's going to depend on how big you like your phone and how much money you're willing to spend. Either way, the iPhone SE looks like a promising new option for budget shoppers and one-handed phone lovers alike. Check back soon for a full review and buying advice.
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