With the iPhone 7 helping Apple’s stock soar to record highs, and the iPhone 8 on the horizon, the iPhone’s younger cousin always gets forgotten. But thanks to a minor update by Apple today, the iPhone SE is more attractive than ever.
As part of a raft of minor updates to its product line, Apple has bumped the base internal storage of the iPhone SE to 32GB without touching the price. That means for $399 regularly (or a little less when you can find it on sale), you can have all the guts of an iPhone 6S in a more pocket-friendly package with great battery life. As someone who switched from a 6S to an SE this time last year, I can tell you that it’s basically perfect.
Upgrading the storage on the SE might not sound like much, but it’s a small change that affects the entire dynamic of shopping for a mid-range iPhone. Assuming you want a new phone and you don’t have $650 to spend on an iPhone 7, your choices used to be between the iPhone 6S and iPhone SE.
It used to be that the 32GB iPhone 6S cost $549, and the 16GB iPhone SE was $399. That’s a big price difference, but the problem is that 16GB of storage is pathetic. The operating system alone takes up 4.5GB of space, leaving you with about 11GB of usable storage. Once you’ve downloaded a couple apps, a few Spotify playlists and taken a few months of photos, you’re going to be out of room.
So what about bumping the storage up? Well, the 64GB iPhone SE used to be $499, which was perilously close to the price of the 32GB iPhone 6S. For $50 extra, you got a little less storage, but a bigger phone with a better Touch ID sensor (and the bragging rights of having a distinctly new-looking iPhone). To cut a long story short, the pricing and storage of the iPhone 6S made the iPhone SE a hard sell for anyone but the most basic iPhone users.
That’s all changed now. The 32GB iPhone SE is $399, which makes the iPhone 6S (still $549) completely obsolete unless you’re truly desperate for the bigger screen, and can’t find $100 extra for the iPhone 7.
But for most people, the iPhone SE now represents an awesomely cheap way to get into the iPhone system. Forgetting pricing for a second: it has the same camera and internal specs as the iPhone 6S, in the small, all-metal body of the iPhone 5 series. Price aside, it’s the best iPhone on the market for anyone with small hands, and it’s more than enough phone to stand alone against the best Android devices on the market. The $399 price point just makes everything even sweeter.