The Apple iPhone SE 1st gen, released on March 31, 2016, could potentially serve as a viable alternative to certain budget Android phones. However, it is important to note that this device is now seven years old and has been discontinued by Apple.
Consequently, it will not receive any updates beyond iOS 15. While it may still be suitable as a secondary phone for individuals who are employed or on a tight budget, its overall value in 2024 should be carefully considered.
Initially priced at Rs 39,000, the iPhone SE was positioned as a mid-range option. Presently, it can be purchased in used or refurbished condition for Rs 5,299. Therefore, it is worth evaluating whether the iPhone SE remains a worthwhile choice in the year 2024.
Key Specs of iPhone SE
The Apple SE series is renowned for its budget-friendly cost and compact form. In 2024, this iPhone stands out with its sophisticated design, even when compared to contemporary smartphones. While its core design aligns with the latest iPhone 14 series, it possesses its own unique aesthetic.
The premium appearance is achieved through its sleek metal body and lightweight structure. On the rear, you will find a single camera setup accompanied by dual flashlights, the iconic Apple logo, and, naturally, the iPhone SE branding. Its flat edges resemble those of the newer iPhones, adding to its overall appeal.
The front area of the device may disappoint you due to its large bezels on both sides of the screen. Surprisingly, even the latest iPhone SE 2022 retains these significant bezels. However, when it comes to affordability, Apple seems to have simply replicated the design of the previous iPhone.
This particular model features a dedicated home button that also functions as a physical fingerprint scanner. Positioned at the top is a single selfie camera, while the top edge houses a power button. On the left edge, you will find a dedicated volume up and down button, along with an alert slider that is no longer present in current iPhones.
Overall, the design of this device exudes a premium and sleek aesthetic. Its compact size may give you the impression of a small phone, but it still offers a satisfying hand feel.
Display Size Matters
It is rather frustrating to be aware that the screen size measures 4.0 inches. Furthermore, the bezels occupy 0.8 inches of the overall phone size, which is 4.8 inches. If the display size does not meet your preferences, then the matter concludes here.
Furthermore, the device boasts an HD+ display, which poses no concerns whatsoever. It effortlessly supports 1080P video playback on YouTube. The panel type utilized is IPS LCD, a common choice within this price range. It delivers colors that closely resemble those found in nature, but when it comes to clarity and detail, it is simply unparalleled. Unfortunately, I am unaware of the peak brightness, but it performs adequately indoors and poorly outdoors.
Ultimately, the quality of its display panel is commendable, although size does play a role. For regular usage, it suffices, but when it comes to content consumption, gaming, and overall viewing experience, size does indeed matter. If you primarily engage in activities such as video watching, calling, texting, and the like, the iPhone SE serves as a suitable option.
Apple iPhones are renowned for their exceptional overall performance and core functionality. It is widely acknowledged that iPhones experience significantly less lag compared to other mobile phones, making them a preferred choice among consumers. Despite being 7 years old, this iPhone surpasses the performance of most phones within its price range.
The iPhone SE is equipped with the Apple A9 chipset, a powerful dual-core processor running at 1.84 GHz. It offers various storage options, including 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB, along with 2GB of RAM.
Apple’s iOS operating system is meticulously optimized for their chipsets, ensuring seamless execution of every task. When it comes to performance, choosing an iPhone is a decision you will never regret.
The iPhone SE is equipped with a solitary 12MP rear camera configuration. Although 12 MP may seem modest on paper, the camera’s performance surpasses expectations in real-world usage. In my opinion, this camera stands out as the finest in its price category. While other phones may boast higher MP cameras, it is the image quality that truly matters.
The iPhone SE boasts a 1.2MP front-facing camera that delivers average image quality. However, it is worth noting that its performance in low-light conditions is quite average. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to capture photos or videos in well-lit environments. Additionally, the iPhone SE impresses with its ability to record videos at 4k 30FPS. Its video recording quality is truly remarkable, surpassing not only its price range but even higher-priced options.
IOS Updates and Experience
The iPhone SE, operating on IOS 15, is the latest IOS update available for this Apple device. Since Apple has discontinued the iPhone SE, it may receive security fixes updates but no significant updates. The IOS experience on this device is unparalleled, offering a seamless and highly responsive user interface that surpasses any other phone in its price range.
So Poor Battery
The battery backup of this device is entirely reliant on the workload it handles. With a battery capacity of merely 1624mAh, it is crucial to consider the battery health when purchasing this device. Ideally, the battery health should be above 85% but not 100%, as a battery claiming to be 100% healthy is likely to be fake or not original, which can negatively impact battery performance.
To put it simply, under normal usage, you may need to charge the device at least three times or more, depending on your usage. However, under heavy usage, the battery might drain completely within just 30 minutes.
In conclusion, the decision to purchase a device ultimately depends on your specific requirements and whether it meets your overall needs. I have outlined some pros and cons, but ultimately it will provide value for you.
Reasons to buy:
- If you are on a tight budget and specifically need an iPhone.
- If you require a secondary phone, such as an iPhone.
- If you only need a phone for the short term.
- If battery life and display quality are not major concerns for you.
Reasons not to buy:
- The display size is relatively small compared to the latest phones.
- If you do not require a high-quality camera or performance, and are willing to increase your budget to purchase a better phone.
- If you are a working person and battery life is a crucial factor for you.
These are important points to consider and carefully evaluate before making a decision to purchase or not.