Apple iPhone SE is here: top hardware in small package

Do you find modern smartphones clunky, overly large, too cumbersome to carry around and use? Do you look back on the times when handsets could easily fit into the pockets of the skinniest of jeans, and didn't require advanced finger gymnastics to operate? What do you know, Apple seems to have been doing the same, as it has just announced a brand new 4" smartphone – the iPhone SE. In case you're wondering, the SE stands for 'Special Edition'. Fair enough.

ALSO READ: 9.7-inch iPad Pro is official – Pro-grade performance, familiar in size

Excuse me, I think we've met before


In what might be seen as a shocking contrast to today's trends of increasingly massive smartphone displays, the key selling point of the Apple iPhone SE is its super-compact, 4" display. To put things into perspective, the regular iPhone 6s has a significantly bigger, 4.7" display, and the still-larger iPhone 6s Plus comes with a 5.5" screen. Of course, the small panel means the iPhone SE itself is extremely pocketable by today's standards: the handset is basically the same shape and size as the 2013 iPhone 5s.

As a matter of fact, the SE looks almost identical to the iPhone 5s, with the only visual difference being the smoother frame edges, which were sharper and shinier in the 5s. Hopefully, this would make the iPhone SE feel a bit softer in the hand, compared to its predecessor. Aside from the tweaked edges, Apple has also added the new rose gold color option. The compact, 4" iPhone SE looks stunningly elegant in pretty much all of its color variants, and especially gentle in gold and rose gold.

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.99 oz (113 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6s

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

Apple iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.99 oz (113 g)

Apple iPhone 5s

Apple iPhone 5s

Dimensions

4.87 x 2.31 x 0.3 inches

123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm

Weight

3.95 oz (112 g)

Apple iPhone 6s

Apple iPhone 6s

Dimensions

5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches

138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1 mm

Weight

5.04 oz (143 g)

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Apple iPhone 6s Plus

Dimensions

6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches

158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3 mm

Weight

6.77 oz (192 g)

To see the phones in real size or compare them with other models, visit our Visual Phone Size Comparison page



The big changes start under the hood of this super-mini


The much bigger upgrades start with what's inside the Apple iPhone SE. Technically, the familiar munchkin is actually an all-new phone! It's practically an iPhone 6s, sans the 3D touch pressure-sensitive display. Which is a bummer, but probably not exactly a deal-breaker. Still, all of the other powerful components are on board, such as the extremely speedy A9 chipset with M9 companion co-processor, powerful 12 MP camera with Live Photos, better front-facing shooter with selfie/screen flash, and, of course, all the new radios with much improved LTE bands support and speeds, faster Wi-Fi, and the Apple Pay mobile payments system.

With the new A9 chip, featuring the dual-core Apple Twister CPU and the top-shelf PowerVR GT7600 GPU, the iPhone SE is promised to deliver around 2x the CPU performance of the iPhone 5s, and around 3x its graphics performance.


Price and Release date


Now, hold on to your seats, because we're about to talk pricing. The Apple iPhone SE is going to cost... how much do you think? $499? $449? Initial speculation pointed at $449 as the most probable price tag. Well, we can honestly say something unexpected has happened today, as the iPhone SE will officially be available for just $399, which is easily the cheapest price for a brand new iPhone model we've seen. This makes the SE a great entry point into the iOS world for users considering Apple's ecosystem, but not quite ready to break the bank yet. Anyway, in standard Apple fashion, the base $399 iPhone SE will come with 16 GB of internal memory. Should you need more storage space, a 64 GB version will be available at $499. For those willing to go the lease plan way, the starting price will hover around $13 to $17 per month for 2 years. In Europe, the iPhone SE price is sadly expected to be higher, starting at EUR 490, but Apple's devices are generally more expensive there, so Europeans are probably used to it. 

Waiting can be painful, so what about the iPhone SE release date? When is it going to be available? That's one area where we've always loved the typical Apple approach, which is to basically minimize the delay between announcement and actual release. The iPhone SE will not be an exception – pre-orders will be open starting as early as March 24, and the official iPhone SE release date itself will be a week later, on March 31 – so definitely sooner rather than later.




READ MORE APPLE NEWS



Related phones

iPhone SE
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A9 APL0898, Dual-core, 1840 MHz
  • Storage 128 GB
  • Battery 1624 mAh(14h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

142 Comments

1. vliang86

Posts: 337; Member since: Oct 05, 2015

WOOOW....that beats the majority of smaller Android phones!

10. Kumar123 unregistered

Yeah, it does. Only Sony's compact series is the real competition here. Though SE will easily beat the compact series with pure RAW power. Plus the pricing is excellent. It's the most powerful small phone ever.

15. Adimane01

Posts: 20; Member since: Jan 11, 2016

Here comes the Sony guy.... As Apple introduced a smaller one it will be actually a trendsetter and motivate other 1st tier manufacturerers to introduce their own counterparts

56. sgodsell

Posts: 7412; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Trendsetter, keep dreaming. The iPhone SE still has a tiny 4" screen with a really low resolution display. It's not even HD. At least the Sony compact comes with a HD display with a 4.6" screen. Oh, and the best part is the Z5 compact is physically almost the same size as this new 4" iPhone SE.

105. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

The iPhone has a smaller screen yet a higher pixel density than the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact. Images will probably appear as good if not better on the iPhone. Like if we compared the iPad and the iPad mini with the same resolution, the mini would appear to have the sharper image because of the smaller screen. The iPhone SE really does not need an HD display, it's unnecessary. Again, this phone is intended for consumers that enjoyed the 5, 5C, and 5S and did not want to move up to a larger screen size. Also, you fail to realize that many people prefer iOS to Android. Why? Because iOS is familiar, and every single Android OEM has a different skin on top of the operating system. Remember, the majority of users are not tech savvy, and they aren't spec hounds. They don't care that another phone does the same thing, they like the iPhone. iPhone is the traditional beef burger, which everyone loves. Android and its OEMs are the turkey, chicken, veggie, and so on. Some are good, some are bad, but none give you the taste of that original burger we all know and love.

131. razmahtaz001

Posts: 501; Member since: May 11, 2013

say what? many people prefer iOS to android??? are u serious??? worldwide sales has android over iOS close to an 8-1 ratio LOL

138. askarak

Posts: 23; Member since: Aug 25, 2015

Only because Android is cheaper.

133. Shocky unregistered

if they haven't already, I doubt they will bother.. It's a niche market, the market has moved on since 4" devices, sadly some iPhone users haven't.

16. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Not really, they'll likely have to underclock it a bit to keep the mediocre battery life that the 5S had. So if will probably be on par with the Z5c.

30. Kumar123 unregistered

I doubt it. Even with underclock A9 should beat SD810 easily. Actually I'm more (honestly) curious to know how is Z5c performing? I read that Z5 series lag in performance and the finger print scanner is unreliable. And there is a huge camera shutter lag. Did the managed to fix the all the lags? How is Sony's marsmallow update?

59. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

No lag at all on the Z5c some ppl need to stop dreaming.

69. NoToFanboys

Posts: 3231; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

But.. but.. Ahovking said that iPhones are low specced :(

70. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

There was a lot of lag on the release software but the subsequent update fixed that completely. Same thing with the Fingerprint scanner which sucked until that update. Now with marshmallow every thing is super smooth and battery life went from good to great. I can stream on LTE for about 7 hours straight. Streaming on wifi is usually 9-10 hours and all of this at 50%+ brightness.

37. Iodine

Posts: 1493; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

Why should they underclock it ? It's the most efficient chip ever, it won't have any problems running full blast in a smallest phone, unlike regular ones in regular phones which look forward to heatsinks. Performance numbers on par with 6S and because it's so efficient, it's got much better battery life than 5S or even 6. But you haven't noticed that fact.

60. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Iodine in fact its even better than 6S for battery as they said..

25. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

I disagree that the pricing is excellent, yes 399$ sounds really nice but that's the 16gb version. You think shooting 4K and using the "lives photos feauture" with a 16gb device makes sense! Plus iOS 10 is on the way and will leave that poor 16gb with even less space! So forget the 16-gb, actual users who want to use this phone as their primary smartphone will have to pay 499$ (the only other option after 16gb) for the 64GB. Hence, you need to pay at least 499$ to really be able to enjoy the power of the SE. It should had been 449$ in order to make it a good price. But hey, it's Apple lol.

35. Kumar123 unregistered

You wouldn't find a phone that's as powerful as SE at $399. From my perspective for such a powerful phone $399 for 16GB is excellent. But of course you can disagree with me, that's your perspective.

42. applesnapple93

Posts: 312; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

I disagree with you

61. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Powerfull phone with crappy camera , super low resolution screen, horrible screen to body ratio.. thats my perspective and the reality. Still! Great price compared to other new Apple product.

78. BaffledTruffle

Posts: 523; Member since: Dec 07, 2013

"Powerfull phone with crappy camera , super low resolution screen" That's just stanning, man. The iPhone 6S still has one of the best smartphone cameras, despite it being "underpowered", the resolution is justified at the size of this phone.

76. oozz009

Posts: 520; Member since: Jun 22, 2015

Well of course I will dissagree with you. Anyone who buys a 16gb model will be forced to pay for an iCloud subscription wishing several months in order to have any space left. That's especially true once iOS 10 is out.

114. ColinW

Posts: 412; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

What does powerful mean? It may be fast but anyone can put a large engine in a old design small car and make it fast.

134. Shocky unregistered

I also disagree with you, raw performance isn't the only factor when choosing a smartphone, we've long since passed the point where the end user can tell the difference, even less so on such a low resolution devices. For the same price here you can have a Galaxy S6 32GB, for around £70 less you can have the Xperia Z5 32GB Compact. The iPhone SE is overpriced.

32. Bm888

Posts: 517; Member since: Jul 06, 2015

I ain't an apple fan.. But this baby will sell like McDonald's burgers, lol... Wonder what Samsung will do in turn ^_^

36. Kumar123 unregistered

They will release a small Galaxy S series. As they always have, they will follow Apple.

51. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

They have released smaller Galaxy S (since the S2 mini) series phones for a while now. Apple will be following Samsung in fact LOL.

57. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Sony compact serie have better screen to body ratio. Better battery. Waterproofing. Better camera. But yeah the Soc will be faster a bit for now until the next sony compact phone in a few months.

139. stanislav

Posts: 136; Member since: Sep 22, 2014

im not sure about the battery and 100% not for the camera.

103. cheetah2k

Posts: 2265; Member since: Jan 16, 2011

title should read "Apple iphone SE - most expensive low resolution 4" phone in a small package with 2hr battery life with 4K but you cant use it because only 16gb onboard storage"

106. AppleVersusAndroid unregistered

I don't think there is any real individual competition sales-wise to an iPhone. What individual model has sold nearly as many times as the iPhone of any given year? Android outsells Apple as a whole because you probably have what, 50 different phones going up against 1, then 2, and now 3?

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.