Apple on Monday launched its latest 4-inch iPhone - the iPhone SE - which looks a lot like the iPhone 5s, but comes with innards similar to the iPhone 6s. As expected, Apple has removed iPhone 5s from its official website which indicate that the handset may have been discontinued. This comes as no surprise - similar example of discontinuing an older handset was back in 2013, when Apple discontinued the iPhone 5 when it launched the iPhone 5c and iPhone 5s.(Also see: iPhone SE First Impressions)
Apple has announced that the new iPhone will be going go on sale from March 31, and will hit market shelves in 100 countries by May. It will reach India in early April. In this post, we try to see how the newly unveiled iPhone SE compares against the already available iPhone 5s and the iPhone 6s.
The iPhone SE features a 4-inch LED-backlit IPS display offering a screen resolution of 640x1136 pixels and a pixel density of 326ppi, which is same as the iPhone 5s. The iPhone 6s features a 4.7-inch LED-backlit IPS display offering a 750x1334 pixels screen resolution at 326ppi pixel density. Both the bigger display and higher resolution should make the iPhone 6s a better device for text consumption and Internet browsing.
Under the hood, the iPhone SE packs an A9 chip with 64-bit architecture and an embedded M9 motion coprocessor, which is same as the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 5s comes with the now-dated Apple A7 chip.
The latest 4-inch iPhone SE measures 123.8x58.6x7.6mm and weighs 113 grams. The iPhone 5s, on the other hand, measures the same as the iPhone SE though it is lighter by just 1 gram. The iPhone 6s measures 138.3x67.1x7.1mm and weigh 143 grams.
According to the official listing, the iPhone SE is rated to deliver better battery backup than the bigger iPhone 6s which is a surprise. Unfortunately, Apple has not detailed the battery capacity of the iPhone SE. The iPhone 6s bears a 1715mAh battery, while the iPhone 5s features a 1570mAh battery.
In terms of storage, the iPhone 5s was launched in 16GB and 32GB storage models while Apple changed its storage models after the launch of the iPhone 6. The iPhone 6s comes in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB storage models. The newly launched iPhone will come in just 16GB and 64GB models - skipping the 128GB model, which may be a downer for those looking to place a significant proportion of their media library on the device.
In camera department, the iPhone SE sports a 12-megapixel rear camera with 1.22 micron pixels and f/2.2 aperture, same as the iPhone 6s. The iPhone SE also comes with several features such as Live Photos, sapphire crystal lens cover, true tone flash, autofocus with focus pixels, face detection, Panorama (up to 63 megapixels), and auto image stabilisation features that were first seen on the iPhone 6s. Notably, the iPhone 5s missed on the Live Photo feature from Apple.
One of the biggest differences between the iPhone SE and iPhone 6s is in the front camera. The iPhone SE sports a 1.2-megapixel front FaceTime camera, the same as the iPhone 5s, while the iPhone 6s comes with a 5-megapixel FaceTime camera. The iPhone SE however retains the Retina Flash feature from the iPhone 6s.
The new iPhone will be available in Silver, Gold, Space Grey, and Rose Gold colours, the same as the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 5s was launched in 2013 in just Space Grey, Gold, and Silver colours.
The iPhone SE also packs Lightning connector which was first seen on the iPhone 5s and has been since found on all iPhones.
The iPhone SE, much like the iPhone 5s and iPhone 6s, features fingerprint sensor built into the Home button. The official listing however lists the iPhone 6s to pack an improved second-generation fingerprint sensor, while the iPhone SE features the first-generation Touch ID sensor seen on the iPhone 5s. The new iPhone also supports Apple Pay which will allow users to pay with their iPhone using Touch ID in stores and within apps.
The new iPhone SE also missed out on 3D Touch display as it doesn't include the Taptic Engine, which was introduced by Apple last year. The iPhone 6s was the first phone featuring the Taptic Engine. Other features seen in the iPhone 6s that are missing from both the iPhone SE and the iPhone 5s include Dual-Domain pixels, a barometer, and LTE Advanced connectivity.
To recall the pricing for the new iPhone, Apple has confirmed its latest iPhone SE to be available at $399 (approximately Rs. 27,000) for the 16GB model while the 64GB variant will come at $499 (approximately Rs. 33,000). The Cupertino-based giant also announced India pricing of the iPhone SE to start at Rs. 39,000.