Mid-range smartphones

iPhone SE is almost like the 6s, just smaller

The SE looks like the iPhone 5s, but packs the faster speed and better graphics of the 6s.
The SE looks like the iPhone 5s, but packs the faster speed and better graphics of the 6s.PHOTO: APPLE

APPLE IPHONE SE
$658 (16GB), $828 (64GB)

The Apple iPhone SE is basically an iPhone 5s updated with the innards of the iPhone 6s.

On the outside, the SE looks exactly the same as the iPhone 5s, with the same button placement, such as the round volume buttons on the left hand side and the power/wake button on the top right.

But inside, the SE packs a much faster A9 processor, an updated M9 motion co-processor and a better 12-megapixel rear camera than the one found in the iPhone 5s.

So, you are getting the faster speed and better graphics performance of the iPhone 6s, but in a smaller form factor.

On the downside, the iPhone SE still uses the first-generation Touch ID found in iPhone 5s. This means it is a tad slower than the iPhone 6sduring unlocking (by around 0.5sec).

The SE's 4-inch display has the same 1,136 x 640 pixels resolution as the iPhone 5s, but without 3D Touch support. However, the SE's camera is still able to shoot 4K videos and Live Photos as well as 63-megapixel panoramic shots. In terms of image quality, it is on par with the iPhone 6s.

But the SE's front-facing camera stays 1.2-megapixel instead of being updated to the 5-megapixel camera found on iPhone 6s. So, images of selfies and FaceTime Web chats continue to look "low-res".

If you prefer a small iPhone, then the iPhone SE has to be your pick. But it is by no means mid-range when it comes to the 64GB model.

Trevor Tan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 06, 2016, with the headline 'iPhone SE is almost like the 6s, just smaller'. Print Edition | Subscribe