The camera is the same as the iPhone 6S and as such is very good, if not quite the best. Photograph: Samuel Gibbs for the Guardian
The rear camera is the same 12-megapixel shooter as fitted
in the iPhone 6S and performs as such. Its one of the better cameras available on a smartphone, with good detail and colour balance, but it has been bettered recently by cameras from Samsung, Sony and Google.
It is a big step up from the iPhone 5S with 4K video recording and Apples Live Photos, which are nice to play with but end up being a gimmick thats difficult to share with non-iPhone users.
The 1.2-megapixel selfie camera, however, is the same as that fitted to the iPhone 5S and is distinctly worse than the rear camera or that fitted to the iPhone 6S, which is a shame. It will shoot decent selfies in good light, but struggles in low-light conditions.
The iPhone SE is available in four colours and two storage options costing 359 for 16GB of space and 439 for 64GB of space.
For comparison, the
iPhone 6S costs 539, the iPhone 6 costs 459 and the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact costs 300.
It took a full phone reset to get iCloud Music/iTunes Match to work properly,
which was deeply irritating. Do not buy the 16GB version unless you can help it. 16GB of storage will rapidly be filled up with apps, videos, music and photos.
The iPhone SE will fit in any cases and take any accessories designed for the iPhone 5S or 5
Apple Pay is supported, unlike the 5S
Compared to larger phones the SE feels more robust
Typing on the 4in screen is quite fiddly and slow – my thumbs clashed on the tiny keyboard
My hands started to cramp after half a day trying to grip the small phone
The hard edges were sore on my palms and are a downgrade over the iPhone 5S. Stick it in a case.
The iPhone SE lacks 3D touch and the Taptic engine from the iPhone 6S, which means many of the new gestures built into iOS9 for swapping between apps etc are not available.
The iPhone SE is one of the best of the very few small phones still available. It would be a significant downgrade from an iPhone 6, isnt a quantum leap over the iPhone 5S and should only really be considered if size is the overriding factor.
It might make a good first iPhone, but it feels like a step backwards – the 4in screen is very small for browsing, viewing photos, apps, games and typing.
Smartphones, and what we consume on them, have moved on in the four years since a 4in iPhone was first unveiled, and the iPhone SE feels much less engaging than a 6S.
It is much more pocketable, easier to grip and costs less, but it still isnt a budget iPhone and is still relatively expensive compared to competing smartphones from other manufacturers.
Pros: one-day battery, good rear camera, decent screen, easy to hold, easy to fit in a pocket, fits in existing iPhone 5 accessories
Cons: very small screen, edges are hard on hands, looks like an iPhone 5 or 5S, selfie camera isnt great, no expandable storage or removable battery Other reviews