While Apple’s media event yesterday may have lacked the traditional level of fanfare that accompanies new product announcements, the recently unveiled iPhone SE is certainly a device worth getting excited about. Though early rumors painted the iPhone SE as being nothing more than a souped up iPhone 5s, the SE, as it turns out, packs the same power and advanced technologies as the iPhone 6s.
For iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s users who have been hesitant to upgrade to Apple’s larger iPhone models, the iPhone SE is a godsend. From faster Wi-Fi and LTE components to a vastly superior camera system, the SE will more than likely spur a new wave of iPhone upgrades.
Following Apple’s event yesterday, the company allowed select media outlets some hands-on time with the new iPhone SE. While full reviews will likely be forthcoming sooner rather than later, we’ve compiled some of the more notable excerpts from some of the early hands-on reviews that have sprung up thus far. Overall, it seems that Apple, with the iPhone SE, has delivered a worthy addition to an already compelling smartphone lineup.
First up, we have Slashgear who came away impressed with the device.
This device feels by all means to be a clone of the iPhone 5s – even its weight feels similar. You’d be forgiven for seeing one and mistaking it as the other. That’s not the point here. The point is that you’re getting a classic design with a set of innards that’s prepared for the future.
It’s snappy. The iPhone SE feels significantly faster than the iPhone 5s, and not just from years of use. We’ve used a newly manufactured iPhone 5s just last week – it’s not quite ready to roll with this iPhone SE. They’re in different leagues.
BusinessInsider made a point of praising the more scratch-proof materials Apple used on the iPhone SE compared to the iPhone 5s.
The logo designs have been slightly tweaked from the iPhone 5S with new materials. Apple says it’s less likely to scratch now… The edges also have a matte finish instead of the shiny finish from the iPhone 5S. It’s a good look.
The exterior is svelte and sleek — every inch an iPhone, as we’re surmising Apple would say. The same exemplary precision found on the high-end iPhones is also found on the iPhone SE. At last, you don’t have to feel as if you’re settling just to get a phone that’s easier to handle.
Handling the iPhone SE is a lovely affair, particularly if you’re coming from the iPhone 6s Plus. It’s dainty — cute, even — and though it obviously feels exactly as if you’re handling the iPhone 5s, there’s something extra novel about it now. It’s no longer the norm; the 4-inch form factor is now the exception.
Engadget was similarly impressed, though it did note that the Touch ID sensor that comes on the iPhone SE is the first-gen model, which is to say it’s a tad slower than what you’d find on the flagship iPhone 6s models.
If you loved the iPhone 5s — as I and apparently many others did — the iPhone SE will feel like a compelling blend of old and new. For once, we’re getting a small iPhone that doesn’t feel like a second-class device. (I’m looking at you, iPhone 5c.) In fact, the SE might in some cases run even better than the 6s and 6s Plus since the A9 has fewer pixels to move — the SE’s screen runs at 1,136 x 640.
And lastly, some video reviews of the iPhone SE from the likes of The Verge and PCMag can be found below.