Review: Apple iPhone SE with FaceTime

The iPhone SE nearly has it all, great performance, long battery life, fantastic camera, iphone-seattractive design, affordable price, in fact the only thing it doesn’t have is a big screen. For all the people still holding onto an iPhone 5 because you like having a phone that you can actually use in one hand, this is the phone you’ve been waiting for. Go out and upgrade right now. And if the SE does well, maybe in a year or two, Apple will introduce the iPhone SE 2 (iPhone SEs?).
I wonder though if the SE has come just a little too late. Once you’ve upgraded to a bigger screen, it’s hard to go back. Take for example, my wife, who was previously using an iPhone 4s, and was incredibly reluctant to upgrade to an iPhone 6, because she thought it was way too big. She spent more than two years using her increasingly sluggish 3.5-inch phone holding out hope that Apple might release a smaller iPhone. Then the 6s and 6s Plus launched and there was still no small iPhone in sight. So she bit the bullet and upgraded to an iPhone 6s and spent the next few weeks complaining about how the display is way too big and she can’t reach half the icons on the screen. So when I got my hands on the iPhone SE, I thought, this is exactly what she’s been waiting for, a small phone with updated specs. And I gave it to her to play with, and you know what she said? “This phone is way too small, it feels smaller than my old phone.” You really can’t go back.
The way we use our smartphones today – reading websites, sending messages, watching videos, viewing pictures on Instagram and Facebook – all benefit from a larger display. On the SE’s tiny display, Instagram shows one picture at a time, which means a lot of scrolling. This isn’t the same smartphone Steve Jobs was talking about back in 2010 when he said no-one would want a big phone. Back then, people spent a lot less time looking at their smartphones. Now we probably spend more time looking at our phones than anything else we do. Just look around you on the train. And looking further forward, it’s only going to get worse (or better depending on how you look at it). With virtual reality and the Internet of Things, you’re going to be looking at your smartphone display more and more, and that means you will want a big screen. The iPhone SE may be perfect right now for people still resisting large displays, but it’s only a matter of time until you upgrade, and when you do you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.
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