The much anticipated iPhone SE is finally here, and if you are still using an iPhone 5s or older, chances are you are seriously considering an upgrade. However, if you put a premium on the “new phone” experience, there is a massive problem with the brand new iPhone SE. It looks and feels identical to the iPhone 5s. In fact, Apple has stuck with the same design for their newest iPhone.
One of the enjoyable parts of upgrading to the latest and greatest iPhone is showing it off to all of your friends and family. If you decide to go with the iPhone SE, you’re not going to get that experience this time around. Instead, you’re likely to get a laugh out of whoever you decide to show your new phone to along with the comment, “it looks the same to me.” The fact that you’re going to miss out on this experience is disappointing, but rest assured, not all is lost.
In reality, the “new device high” you get with a new iPhone purchase doesn’t last all that long anyways. There are considerably more important things surrounding a new iPhone purchase than making your best friend drool over your new device, although it is admittedly a ton of fun. Apple has made some significant improvements in the iPhone SE over the 5s which make it an excellent upgrade if you are a 4” iPhone diehard.
Differences Between iPhone 5s and iPhone SE
The iPhone SE is certainly a unique device and, just like with every new iPhone release, it brings with it the age-old “should I upgrade” question. The answer here isn’t just about the new features, although there are plenty. The main issue is whether you prefer the 4” form factor.
The target audience for the iPhone SE is evident. The iPhone 5s is almost three years old, and the iPhone SE is an excellent upgrade for those who refuse to give up the 4” screen size. Even so, it’s worth considering whether it’s the right phone for you.
The similarities between the iPhone 5s and SE stop at the appearance. The SE features the same A9 processor found in the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus and Apple also managed to stuff the same camera into the SE.
The only flagship feature missing from the SE is 3D Touch, which is only on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. I’d say three primary reasons should drive your decision to upgrade or not to upgrade from an iPhone 5s.
First, if you rely heavily on your iPhone as a camera, the difference between the iPhone SE and the 5s cannot be overstated. The improvements Apple has made in their camera game since the 5s is massive. The camera alone is well worth the upgrade. Second, you’re going to notice a significant speed increase with the SE.
Navigating the device will be buttery smooth compared to the outdated 5s. Last, you’re going to future-proof yourself a bit with the SE. Apple is good about supporting old devices, but they typically run slower, and Apple will most likely quit supporting the 5s in a year or two. Making the switch to the SE will keep you running Apple’s latest software updates for the foreseeable future.
Another major consideration, which is a big score for the SE, is the price. I’m not sure how, but Apple is offering the SE at an entry level price of $399, considerably cheaper than any iPhone before it. What’s remarkable, as I’ve mentioned, is the phone features almost all of the latest and greatest features. If you’re on a budget, this is the clear choice if you’re planning to upgrade to a new iPhone.
Of course, if you’re still carrying an iPhone 5s around, you have plenty of other choices beyond the iPhone SE. Apple now offers more iPhone than ever making the upgrading decision more difficult. If you aren’t married to 4” screen size of the new iPhone SE, I would highly recommend checking out the larger iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.
These phones have 4.7” and 5.5” screens respectively and the benefits of the extra real estate are great. If you’ve never given the larger size a second look, do yourself a favor and give it a chance. You can always take advantage of the return policy if you don’t like it.
Also, keep in mind you’ll get a better response from your friends and family if you upgrade from an iPhone 5s to an iPhone that looks different.
Let us know what if you plan to upgrade to the iPhone SE and why in the comments. Want to read similar comparison but for iPhone 6s Plus? Check this article.