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​​​Is iPhone SE 1st generation worth buying in 2023?​ 

iPhone SE

Apple iPhone SE 1st gen could be a good option over some budget phones from the Android segment. This device is a 7-year-old iPhone launched on 2016, March 31. Can this iPhone be a good option in 2023?

Well, it’s already been discontinued by Apple and it will not receive any updates over IOS 15. Note that this device can be used as a secondary phone if you are a working person or not having a budget.

The launched price of the iPhone SE was Rs 39,000 which was a mid-range iPhone. It is currently bought in used condition or refurbished at a price of Rs 5,299. So let us see how exactly the iPhone SE is worth or not in 2023.

Also Read: Is Google Pixel 4a 5G Worth Buying in 2023?

Note: Don’t forget to read the conclusion section.

Key Specs of iPhone SE

Premium Design 

Apple SE series is famous for its affordable price and compact design. The iPhone SE has a premium design even compared to modern phones in 2023. Its core design matches the latest iPhone 14 series.

But it doesn’t mean it has the same design. Its premium look comes out from the metal body and its lightweight body structure. At the back, you will have a single camera setup with dual flashlights, an Apple logo, and of course iPhone se banding. Its edges are flat which means its edges are similar to the newer iPhones.  

iPhone SE
iPhone SE

At the front area, you will be disappointed by its large bezels on both sides of the screen. Even when see the latest iPhone SE 2022, has the same big bezels. But when comes to affordability, apple just copied and pasted the previous iPhone design.

It has a dedicated home button which also acts as a physical fingerprint scanner. At the top, a single selfie camera has been given and at the top edge, a power button is been given. At the left edge, you will get a volume up down dedicated button with an alert slider which is nowadays removed from iPhones.  

Overall, its design is premium and sleek. Its hand feeling may you feel the phone is pretty small but also feels compact. 

Also Read: Samsung S20 in 2023: Is it still a good choice for budget buyers?

Display Size Matters 

It feels so stupid when you know that it has 4.0 inches of screen size. And guess what the size of its bezels – 0.8 inches of the total size of the phone 4.8 inches. The deal ends here if you are not comfortable with its display size.

iPhone SE
iPhone SE

Further, it has an HD+ display which is not an issue at all. It supports 1080P video playback on YouTube. The panel type is IPS LCD which is common in this price range. It produces close to natural colours but when it comes to clarity and detail it is just incomparable. I don’t know the peak brightness but it is average in indoors and poor in the outdoors.

After all, its display panel quality is good but it does matter size. For normal usage, it is just enough but in content watching, gaming, and viewing experience, yeah size matters. iPhone SE is a good option for normal video watching, calling, texting, etc.

Insane Performance

Apple iPhones are famous for their overall performance and core performance. You might hear that the iPhone lags much less than any other mobile phone. That’s why people prefer to buy iPhones. Even though this iPhone SE is 7 years old, it outperforms most of the phones in this price range.

The iPhone SE is powered by Apple A9 which is a dual-core chipset @1.84 GHz. It is available in different storage options such as 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB 2GB RAM.

Apple phone’s IOS is well optimized for their chipset so that every task is performed so smoothly. In terms of performance, you will never regret iPhones.

Also Read: Is The Samsung S20 Plus Worth Buying In 2023?

Stunning Camera

The iPhone SE has equipt a single 12MP rear camera setup. On paper, 12 MP might be a small number but the camera performance is far better in the actual world. I think this is the best camera in this price range. Whereas other phones might have a higher MP camera but matters image quality.

iPhone SE
iPhone SE

On the front, a 1.2MP selfie camera is given which is average but the image quality although good. One thing you will notice, its low-light performance is very average. For the best result, I will recommend you capture photos or videos in a full-light environment only.

The iPhone SE is capable of recording videos at 4k 30FPS. Believe me, its video recording quality is insane compared to its price range and even higher price range.

IOS Updates and Experience

The iPhone SE currently running on IOS 15 which was the last IOS update for this Apple device. As the iPhone SE is discontinued by Apple it might receive security fixes updates but no major updates.

I think I don’t have to tell the IOS experience. It is smooth and responsive. None of the phones in this price range can provide this smoothness and responsiveness.

So Poor Battery

Battery backup totally depends on the workload. It has only 1624mAh battery capacity. Note that if you buy this device then battery health must be above 85% or more but not 100%. Because a 100% health battery is definitely fake or not original it might decrease battery performance.

In simple words, on normal usage, you might have to charge it 3 times or more depending on usage. And on heavy usage, it might die within 30 minutes.

Also Read: Is The Google Pixel 5 Worth Buying In 2023?


So in conclusion, it totally depends on your requirement for a device and whether it satisfies overall factors. I have made some cons and pros but it will provide value for you.

Buy if:

  • You have a tight budget and you literally need an iPhone.
  • If you need a secondary phone like an iPhone.
  • You will need a phone for the short term.
  • Overall battery and display don’t matter.

Why not to buy:

  • The display size is tiny if you compare it to the latest phones.
  • If you don’t need that camera, or performance, need a basic phone but have a budget that can be increased to buy a better phone.
  • Working person – battery matters.

These are some points you just have to clear them out and carefully choose to buy or not.

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