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  • Badelhas - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Great review. I hope other manufactures will follow the trend. Reply
  • edsib1 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    May I ask why it is only being benchmarked against last years phones ? Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Because I can't use data from phones that haven't been reviewed, and that's true of all this year's Android handsets. Best to check in with Josh and Matt on the status of those reviews. Reply
  • warreo - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Hi Josh and Matt -- what is the status of those reviews? :) Reply
  • nathanddrews - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    LOL Reply
  • JoshHo - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Well under way. Unfortunately due to issues on my end it's taking far longer than I had ever hoped.

    At this point it's undeniable that this is a rather exceptional delay. I'm not sure it will live up to expectation given the delay, but I'm trying regardless.
    Reply
  • gobaers - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Brian set the bar so very high for Anandtech smartphone reviews. I would blame him for all this. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Brian was an exceptional reviewer, but he was pretty slow at it too, all things considered... AT smartphones reviews have rarely been the most timely. They're still the most comprehensive tho, by a wide margin. Reply
  • Sttm - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Yeah, Anandtech reviews are the best to learn about the phone you bought weeks ago. Reply
  • Samus - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Even Engadget didn't have a review of the SE until preorders were shipping, and their review was a joke. Basically half of it just says it's the same as the iPhone 6s and the battery tests are a joke. Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Why is that review a joke? Look at this review, with it's graphs! NAND, CPU, and GPU are essentially the same as the iPhone 6S, and the battery life is a little better. Reply
  • Eden-K121D - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    LOL Reply
  • fm13 - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    any plans to review Xiaomi Mi5? Reply
  • chris.london - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Could you please run a few storage benchmarks on the SE? I would love to see if Apple skimped on the storage or not. Reply
  • CloudWiz - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    ^ This please, I couldn't find any good storage benchmarks online about the SE. The storage is definitely faster than on my old iPhone 5, but I'm pretty sure it's not as great as the NVMe on the 6s. I wonder if they're using NVMe on this phone or something slower like on the 6. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    We're a bit iffy on what to do about storage benchmarking going forward due to issues with the tools available on the Android side. I've updated page two with NAND results for anyone who is interested. Reply
  • CloudWiz - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Thanks so much Brandon! Wow, I did not expect them to use the same storage. Kudos to Apple for fitting so much of the latest and greatest while still keeping it cheap. Reply
  • leexgx - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    hey really need to drop the 16GB model (32GB should be the min on a iphone) Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    As the single largest buyer of NAND, doing so would cause a flash shortage and drive up prices everywhere, or force everyone else to use less storage. Essentially if you double from 16GB to 32GB you should expect NAND prices for 32GB parts to go up to $12 and the 16GB parts to drop below $2.

    Apple uses a single $8.4 256Gb NAND chip, to hit 32GB:
    http://www.insye.com/DP/NANDFlashContractPrice.asp...
    Reply
  • LauRoman - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    http://anandtech.com/show/7335/the-iphone-5s-revie... Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Once this thing goes on a sale it might actually be the first iPhone I buy with my own money to replace my Moto E (2015) as my second phone. Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Sales on apple products are rare, and when they happen, the discounts are very small. Reply
  • Daniel Egger - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I'm well aware of that. But here in the EU (where the Apple prices are higher in general) the discounts also tend to be greater if they happen. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Best Buy was selling MacBook Pro laptops with a $300 discount about three weeks ago. Granted this was probably to clear inventory in preparation for the 2016 models. That's probably the best time to go Apple shopping. Reply
  • Speedfriend - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    "Sales on apple products are rare, and when they happen, the discounts are very small."
    I just bought my partner a iPhone6S on a contract in the UK where the phone effectively cost £250.
    On a side note, as an Android user, I found it very disappointing, there is lag at some points, its ability to hold a signal in my house is poor and it really is no more exciting than the 5S it replaced. And it is full of Apple bloatware that you can't uninstall or remove from the home screens.
    Reply
  • RealityMonster - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Eeeehn, it's a bit of a stretch to call it 'bloatware'. It doesn't take up much space, except in screen real estate, and most of it is actually legitimately useful if you haven't downloaded any apps yet. It does suck that you can't hide the ones that you don't want, though. Reply
  • hMunster - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    "there’s absolutely no reason to arbitrarily redesign a product every cycle"

    Thank you for saying this!
    Reply
  • Alexey291 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    There's absolutely no reason to release a new phone every year either. Reply
  • ATC9001 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Except to make money...add new features, cater to a different crowd, prevent product lines from going stale...I could go on, but there's absolutely no reason to continue explaining... Reply
  • Alexey291 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Earn money yes. The rest is nonsense. But it's cute that you bought into the marketing. Reply
  • michael2k - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    You're visiting a tech enthusiast site that actually celebrates increases in CPU, GPU, NAND, and RAM performance. Apple has consistently been improving them all year to year, which makes each generation significantly faster than the previous. Not nonsense at all.

    http://hothardware.com/news/performance-preview-ap...
    Reply
  • FunBunny2 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    when I was your age, young pup, the American car companies made trivial changes each year (even shut down Detroit for the summer to re-tool), while the European ones kept with the same car until there were substantial improvements. American car companies finally figured it out.

    smartphones are still in in the 1950s, from that point of view: bigger tail fins each year. (the 59 Caddy were 4 feet long and 3 feet high): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Car_tailfin
    Reply
  • blaasds - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    As much as i personally agree with this statement, the market has shown that a lot people value new and fresh designs even more than technological progress. It is the first thing people recognize. Especially in countries, where phones are used as a fashion or class statement. Reply
  • Oyeve - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I too wonder why this was not pitted against more recent android phones. I would love to see comparisons with the S7. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I mentioned in a response to a similar comment above that I can't use data from those reviews because they don't exist yet. You'll have to ask Josh and Matt about the status of the S7, HTC 10, and LG G5 reviews. Reply
  • hans_ober - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I don't mind waiting for your reviews because they're the best and most indepth, but sometimes things get pushed too far back. Reply
  • Oyeve - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I saw that. But, the S7 was partially reviewed a while ago, surely there is enough data to compare. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Ah but that would require making a fair and unbiased comparison not a sales pitch. And by the way, all the reviews here are sales pitches Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Why do you even bother coming here then? And you are pretty invested too, I mean you already have 5 comments on THIS article. Reply
  • IntelligentAj - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    This was my question but I'm guessing you guys are strapped for time to get all the reviews done Reply
  • michael2k - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    You're curious how much faster the iPhone SE is than the Galaxy S7? Just look for iPhone 6S and you'll see, given the SE uses the same SoC as the 6S:

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10120/the-samsung-ga...
    Reply
  • osxandwindows - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I can't wait for the "anandtech is so biased" comments to show up. Reply
  • Alexey291 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Ah yes the first of the flame bait comment, so soon too...

    That said I did giggle at the excuse that he can't use non review data in a review. I'm pretty sure I've seen that happen far more than once. But yeah whatever. It's just a phone
    Reply
  • extide - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    That's not what he said. He said he can't use data that he doesnt have. Reply
  • xmrv - Sunday, May 22, 2016 - link

    sheeps dont do that so you wont see any comments like that on this site... Reply
  • DesertCat - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Thanks for the article. I have some friends wanting to stick with the smaller form factor and will forward your review along.

    One quibble from the Experience page: "X fewer emails in the Mail app"

    I'm guessing that was a place holder waiting for you to update with the number after you looked it up. May want to get that edit in. ;)
    Reply
  • MonkeyPaw - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    It's a little bit of a lazy effort from Apple, but it should still be a crowd pleaser. The issue is that you can get a much bigger display in the footprint of the SE. I believe the Xperia Compact is almost the same size as the SE, but can offer a 4.6" display instead. That big thumb button is really costly on Apple devices. Reply
  • Aenean144 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    No, it really isn't. The Touch ID home button has been a huge advantage, well worth the costs of poorer screen-to-body ratios. Maybe in the future the button goes away, but it has served Apple and Samsung quite well.

    iPhone 5/5S/SE
    dimensions: 12.4 x 5.9 x 0.76 cm
    footprint: 73.2 cm^2
    volume: 55.6 cm^3

    Xperia Z5 compact
    dimensions: 12.7 x 6.5 x 0.89 cm
    footprint: 82.6 cm^2
    volume: 73.5 cm^3

    Xperia Z3 Compact
    dimensions: 12.7 x 6.5 x 0.86 cm
    footprint: 82.6 cm^2
    volume: 71.0 cm^3

    iPhone 6
    dimensions: 13.8 x 6.7 x 0.69 cm
    footprint: 92.5 cm^2
    volume: 59.2 cm^3

    iPhone 6S
    dimensions: 13.8 x 6.7 x 0.71 cm
    footprint: 92.5 cm^2
    volume: 60.9 cm^3

    The footprint of the Xperia "Compacts" are indeed small, but both the iPhone 5 and 6 models are smaller then them in there own ways. 5/5S/SE are smaller by 10% in footprint and 25% in volume. The iPhone 6/6S have smaller volumes by 15%.

    An iPhone SE will definitely feel smaller than the Xperia Compacts, while the 6/6S may feel smaller then them depending on users favoring the thinnes. The Xperias also have onscreen home, back, multitasking keys, so that 4.6" has something like 4.2" of application space for many apps.
    Reply
  • mooncancook - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Partially true regarding onscreen home/back keys. On lots of apps they auto hide so the app can use the entire screen, and you swipe that area to bring the keys up. Reply
  • ianmills - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Chinese phones put the touch ID just under the camera lense. It works great (at least on bigger phones) because thats where your finger naturally rests Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Ehh, there's other places you can place a fingerprint sensor and have it be just as effective... The on screen button argument is valid tho, but it's kind of subjective... For video, where they hide away, they're a better choice, for general use it's less advantageous, etc.

    The biggest rationale for a physical home button continues to be that it allows you to easily wake up the phone while it lays flat, IMO... Though tricks like the "knock on" pioneered by LG can offer an alternative to that.

    Let's be honest tho, Apple AND Samsung probably just stick to their guns on the buttons at this point as a sign of pride and/or because it's a recognisable design. They sued the stuffing out of each other in large part over the button and how it ties the design together!
    Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I suspect the way Apple gets away from the home button (and the area it consumes) is by copying ideas from the Apple Watch.

    IF they can get ultrasound based fingerprint detection to work well (so that it can work anywhere on the screen) that's REALLY helpful in terms of making the various lockscreen swipes work so much better --- right now it's kinda lame that you swipe on a notification or text message or whatever but then have to go through the unlock screen.

    So if they can solve the "no need for a fingerprint button" problem, then, IMHO, the logical way to move forward is to adopt ideas from the Apple Watch. These ideas could include (along with screen lights up on orientation) having a crown sticking out the side of the phone. I don't know how well that would work --- maybe it would be too fragile? --- but it seems like it could be useful in a number of ways, and the sort of UI element that Apple could (at least attempt to) patent the hell out of and fairly aggressively and accurately claim that no-one had done anything like that until they implemented it. If you had a crown like button, apart from the rotating to scroll like on the watch, it could also (like on the watch) act to
    - light up the screen
    - bring up springboard
    - bring up Siri
    - bring up the list of previous apps (on watch, at least right now, just the last app) used.

    Doing something like this would allow the iPhone to kinda reset. Apple could get off the naming treadmill (so like Macs new ones get released when they are ready, and have names like "iPhone late 2018"), and even change other things they might want to change (maybe it's worth actually switching to USB-C?). Like I said, a reset allows for lotsa things to change all at once, and allows the inevitable bitching and "I'll never buy an Apple product again" idiocy to flame out over one glorious three month period of non-stop internet ranting.
    Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    "So if they can solve the "no need for a fingerprint button" problem". Well, on my Galaxy Note 5 fingerprint recognition works great. And it has a button too. And the ratio of overall size to screen size is better too. All it took to do that was to have an oblong button instead of a big round one. What's the big deal. Reply
  • Ratman6161 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I guess I'll have to hold an SE in my hand to see how they feel relatively speaking. But 12.4 mm Vs 12.7 mm = a difference of .3 mm in height. Same math, .6 mm different width and .13 mm in thickness. From the numbers, its hard for me to visualize there being any significant difference in real world feel. And 4.2 is still > than 4.0, though I guess it all depends on what's important to you.

    To me, overall the form factor seems essentially the same and as with all these endless debates, in the real world it comes down to personal preference.
    Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I use both (6 vs 5) frequently. The difference in height, and the difference in edge curvature, are both noticeable, but I would not call one worse or better than the other (though I suspect the width of the 6 with hard edges would be noticeably unpleasant).
    For me at least, as a guy with big enough pockets and hands, Apple made the right call with the size of the 6. I remain curious as to whether the primary draw of the SE if the smaller screen size (or, more precisely, the smaller area for pockets and handbags) or the lower price --- I've never seen anything definitive either way.
    Reply
  • qap - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Thickness stopped being a limiting factor (for users, not for designers) some time ago. Thicker phone can even be more comfortable in hand. So there is no point in comparing volumes.
    That leaves footprint and 10% difference means they are direct competitors. In fact (as an example) I am thinking about buying one of them as they are closest to my ideal phone.
    Iphone SE is perhaps closer, but display and everything about display is really off-putting. You can fit 4,5" in the same footprint. Even 4,3" and it would be in my pocket already (it can be done - you can look at galaxy s4 mini). But 60% screen-to-body in 2016? And by 2016 standards it's not even a good display (low res, poor blacks).
    Reply
  • Eden-K121D - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    They didn't even post a S7 review part-2 which was released much earlier than the iPhone SE yet the SE review comes first.Yawn. It has nothing new. Reply
  • michael2k - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    The review they did was sufficient to show you how much faster the SE is than the S7:
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10120/the-samsung-ga...
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Different writers tho, IIRC, not that it's an excuse but it's not like they're purposely prioritizing the SE. Reply
  • whiteiphoneproblems - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I love mine! Only (minor) issues are a rattling power button, and a funky auto-brightness that doesn't like turning on to lowest setting in a dark room (never had that problem in an iPhone before). Reply
  • Alexey291 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    So it's kinda buggy, badly built but you love it? Kay Reply
  • whiteiphoneproblems - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Yep - two minor bugs. Never owned a phone (by any manufacturer) that was bug-free! Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    They sound more like hardware faults or QC issues than bugs to me, but maybe we have different definitions of said word... Reply
  • whiteiphoneproblems - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    That other guy called it "buggy"; OK word by me, I guess. The power button issue has been widely reported (think it goes back to the 5S), so don't know if a hardware swap would be worthwhile. (With a case, it's barely noticeable.)

    Don't know if the brightness thing is software or hardware. Maybe it's calibrated to work that way for this model? I can investigate further, I suppose.

    All told, the advantages of this phone far outweigh these imperfections for me.
    Reply
  • Klug4Pres - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I see a problem with Apple's strategy here.

    People who cannot afford Apple's larger phones do not necessarily want a smaller phone.

    There is also the old problem that people who want large screen phones do not necessarily want gigantic bezels on their phones.

    Might there be better ways to differentiate the product line?
    Reply
  • Guspaz - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I helped my mother buy an iPhone SE yesterday (which was tricky since we visited 6 cellphone stores, all of which were sold out, before we finally found a store that had one in stock). She was upgrading from an iPhone 4S, since it was getting on in years and they'll likely discontinue software support for it this fall.

    For her, it was the perfect choice: she didn't like the iPhone 6S due to the much larger screen, and the much larger price. The iPhone SE sells for $579 CAD, while the iPhone 6S sells for $915 CAD (or at least it did yesterday in-store, looks like it's gone down to $899 since), which is a big price difference.

    She was happy. A lighter phone without much of a size increase, at $336 cheaper than the 6S.
    Reply
  • UtilityMax - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    The fact that your ma likes a phone with a small screen does not disprove the previous argument. Apple has a huge problem on its hands. There are plenty of great android smartphones with large screens sold for under $400, heck many are priced exactly at around 200 bucks. Throwing a bone in the form of cheaper and smaller iPhone SE to the consumers looking for value will not appease most of them them. Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    On the other hand, Apple has no competition in this space, as everything else in this size is significantly slower in CPU, GPU, and NAND.

    So people who want a small phone can get the SE, and have the fastest and most powerful phone. People who want a large phone can get the 6S and still have the fastest and most powerful phone.
    Reply
  • jerrytouille - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Which CPU did the SE tested have: Samsung or TSMC? Reply
  • Spectrophobic - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Doesn't matter. Margin of error difference. Reply
  • msork - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I bought one. I love the 4" phone. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Dang this review took ages, but nice. Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I have to apologize for the time it took, it's probably two weeks longer than it should have taken. I was in the middle of moving to a new city and also starting a new job during the course of the review which is what caused the delays. Reply
  • zeeBomb - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Oh! No worries then. When life happens, all you can do is just adapt. Reply
  • Neonomide - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Bundling a 10-15W charger with the phone would be stupid, as the battery cycles would suffer. Charging a phone battery too fast takes a toll on battery life in the long run and that's the main reason Apple does not do it. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Doesnt seem to have affected my coworkers iphone 6 at all, despite him using a ipad charger.

    Apple's charging circuit should only let in as much amperage as the battery can take without suffering damage.
    Reply
  • GC2:CS - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    iPhone 6 can take up to 10W I think, not only for charging but also for powering itself. It charges a good few minutes faster than with 5W, the more you load the phone the bigger the difference.
    Plus iPhones take quite a bit more power for just charging.

    What I find interesting that it can use up 5W to charge it's 6,21Wh battery much faster than 5S. That's deffinitelly in part that iPhone devices prior to 6 took some bit less less than 5W to charge, but still the difference is almost faulty looking to me.

    Then we got MacBook and iPad Pro charging in 2 hours at 29W, 9,7" iPad Pro supposedly charging super quick (~3 hours) even with it's included (pooor poor 10W) charger, great for a tablet, not ultra quick, but there is Apple smart battery case which can take some super quick charging times when conected to 10/12W iPad adapters.
    The question is, what will happen when you connect this phone to a 12W charger ? Can it take more power in like iPhone 6 does ? Does it have that mysterious battery tech like SBC , which gets soaked quickly ?
    Not to say Apple wants to unexpectedly come up with fast charging, I think they are going after it for some time, but what does that mean for the next iPhone... Ultra iCharge confirmed ?
    Reply
  • thestinkinggenius - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I own this phone and two things that drive me nuts are:
    1: Bluetooth calls sound like crap - this is a known issues and is being fixed in the 9.3.2 beta
    2: Cell reception is sub par - I work in a basement office and regularly get disconnected in the middle of a call (I also use a Nexus 5x and never get disconnected). If I turn on Wifi calling it still happens.
    Reply
  • sfwineguy - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I'm very glad to read the details of this comment (mainly re the Bluetooth fix). I own this phone - it replaced a 4S purchased upon release. I was motivated enough by this issue to register with Anandtech in order to comment!
    The phone in general seems quite good, but the Bluetooth is unusable in my car (a 2012 VW that worked great with my 4S and every other phone) and in the few other cars in which I've tried it. Bluetooth has worked fine with a Mini Jambox. Apple has consistently denied responsibility for this problem to me and (if you believe the internet) many other users, but I've seen online that they have also at times stated that they are aware of the problem and working on a fix. I'm hoping the issue is software and not hardware. If they roll out a fix soon, it's no problem for me as a consumer; if not, the phone is very nearly worthless. I advise anyone buying this to immediately test it with your Bluetooth before giving up your old phone.
    Reply
  • sfwineguy - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Follow up: downloaded the update and have used phone on Bluetooth in my car. Better and good enough to use; still not as good as my old iPhone 4S or many older phones: Overall, happy to have the update. Phone itself has proven very usable. Love the size, and yes, the bezels are too big and outdated; would be great to shrink the bezels for either same overall size and more screen or same screen and smaller overall size. Using what they had, though, is probably too deliciously profitable for Apple and suppliers to pass up. Reply
  • Tomcs - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Excellent review. But can I be the only one posting to spot that Apple are actually delivering two fundamentally different SEs aimed at two very different markets? In developed markets, and for upgraders (like me, in my case from a 16GB 4S because I saw nothing in the slightly androidy, blingy, mini-tablety 6s to justify the expense) the 64GB SE is a totally awesome product, is still I believe in short supply, and with the cost of the additional memory will keep Apples ASP healthy. For other markets there is the 16GB, partly reflecting the likely lower mobile bandwidth available in many developing markets: 16 will be enough there, but not for existing users.

    I'm extremely happy with mine: I now expect Apple to stick with the format very closely for several iterations as the mature one-handed smartphone phone, just doing some amazing technical stuff shrinking the increasing power of the over-size "flagships" to fit.
    Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    This will most likely be my next phone, whenever I get tired of my note 4. I want system updates and a small phone again. Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I wouldn't mind a smaller phone (have an iPhone 6S+ at the moment) but I think this is too small. I think the has the ideal size screen - I just wish they would increase the battery life a little. Reply
  • DanaGoyette - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Something I really wish tech reviews would cover: what is the _minimum_ brightness of the screen?

    As an example, my 2012 Nexus 7 is too damn bright at night.
    My Galaxy S5 is also a bit too bright, but because it's an OLED display, it can be dimmed further in software simply by drawing a translucent black layer over the screen. This
    Reply
  • DanaGoyette - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Oops, I left a dangling word there. I was going to say: This is one major reason I prefer OLED displays. Reply
  • kwrzesien - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    This is the perfect phone for first time users, remember that each year there is a new generation of kids looking for a smartphone. For families that are already in the Apple garden this is the go-to choice for your kids (if you need a new device). It's also going to be snapped up by companies looking to give their employees a basic device. Reply
  • bdkennedy1 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    There is no 128gb option for the iPhone SE. Reply
  • TheinsanegamerN - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I wish there was. or 256GB. Reply
  • fire400 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    i have the 64gb version, huge upgrade over 16gb..
    and if there was a 256gb version that cost +/~$800, I would probably would have seriously considered it...
    *-*
    Reply
  • Savanah - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I think this is a very biased review. You have completely neglected the negative aspects of the phone.
    1)The phone has a 4 in display but such huge bezels. They could have easily included a more usable 4.5 in display if they had the technology to incorporate narrower bezels.
    2) The finger print sensor is painfully slow. Even a $300 android phone has a faster scanner.
    3) The front camera is terrible. Even a $200 android phone has a better front camera.
    4) What is the use of 4k recording when your display doesn't support it. Yes you can play it on an external device but that is besides the point.
    5)I am sure there are phones from last year that cost lesser that this device but are much better. For example Samsung Galaxy S6 which is better in every aspect except batter life.
    Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I think it's less about not having the necessary display tech and more about A) reusing parts and tooling plus B) sticking to the aspect ratios iOS has been made to work well with.

    I don't fundamentally disagree with you tho, but at the same time I wish there were more/better small Android phones so I'm actually glad Apple saw a demand for the SE and put it out there.

    I'm still clinging to a Nexus 5, in 2.5yrs I've seen nothing that has tempted me away from it outside the Z3/5 Compact which would've required a carrier change (still considered it).

    The N5X looked ok, specially at Project Fi prices, just not quite enough... Hopefully there's another small Nexus this year. Otherwise I might give up and try a large phone (S7/HTC 10), ugh.
    Reply
  • fanofanand - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I'm with you, my Nexus 5 screen shattered last summer, but the 5X was not impressive to me (still 2 gb of ram?) so I have been holding out for October to see what the new release is. Too many things on my phone are failing now (imagine the dirt, dust, etc. that got in there over the course of a year) but rather than shell out $400+ I went to swappa and found a 32 gb Mint Nexus 5 for $135. Unless something is horribly wrong with it (in which case I can return it) that phone will be plenty "good enough" until hopefully October 2017 when 14/16 nm is matured. Reply
  • fanofanand - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Before anyone asks why I would need more than 2 Gb of ram, I am constantly having apps evicted, even when there is only one app going. For example, playing a game, I get a text. I reply to the text, and when I go back to the game, it had been evicted from ram and I have to completely re-load it. If I am going to shell out for a brand new phone, no way I will get one with less than 3 gb of ram. Reply
  • Impulses - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Games are probably the worst case scenario in that regard, possibly followed by heavy camera use... I don't do/use much of either on my phone so I've gotten along just fine with 2 GB. I think the phone actually manages RAM better now than when it launched on Lollipop. Reply
  • Spectrophobic - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    1. Get used to it. Bezels are there for a purpose.
    2. And yet people complain about fingerprint sensors on other device as "too fast".
    3. Stop taking selfies.
    4. You gotta be kidding me.
    5. It's also 5.1".
    Reply
  • kmmatney - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    You need the bezels, at least on the side - makes it much easier to access the sides of the screen with a case on. People have to give up and the bezel argument - iPhone users like the bezel size. Reply
  • Grendelrtg - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    I wouldn't go as far as to say iphone users like them...as me and a lot of people i know that use iphones hate the bezels. I have a 6s plus that feels bigger than my brothers phone which has a larger screen. I like my iphone but they can decresase the damn bezels anytime!! Reply
  • osxandwindows - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    In typical anandtech iPhone review fashion, it didn't take long for the "this review is so biased" comment to show up. Reply
  • vFunct - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I think the 5s design is the best so far. I found that the curved edges on the 6/6+ are too slippery compared to the hard edges on the 5s.

    Also, the button-click feel on iPhones are so much better than anything on Android. Buttons on Android phones are so mushy feeling, it really cheapens their experience.
    Reply
  • Byte - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    I'm really surprised apple went to flagship parity on the internals while using the same part number for the front screen. Good job apple! Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    So your complaint with the screen is WHAT exactly? What was so bad about the 5/5S screen that reusing it was unacceptable? You want change simply for the sake of change? Have you actually even SEEN the screen in real life?

    This is the sort of idiotic complaint that makes Apple fans so irritated with the haters, a complaint that is so OBVIOUSLY utterly content-free.
    Reply
  • Eden-K121D - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Viewing angles suck Reply
  • name99 - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    "Apple’s A9 SoC is still one of the fastest chips you’ll find in a smartphone"

    Wow, someone's trying REALLY hard not to praise Apple. Please tell us the names of these other chips of faster to comparable speed...
    Because what I see in the reviews is that on single-threaded benchmarks Apple's CPU from three years ago is spanking the best Android can offer today, and the SE has a CPU that's twice as fast as that...

    You can obviously buy octacore (or hell, decacore) mobile CPUs which have aggressive parallel performance. But that is not "fast", not by the intuitive definition, and not in terms of pretty much any real world workload.
    Reply
  • CloudWiz - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Haha, first comment I've seen where someone is hating because they're pro- instead of against- Apple on an iPhone review.

    He says "one of the fastest" because chips like SD820 and Exy8890 have only slightly worse single-threaded performance, significantly better multi-threaded performance, and better GPUs to boot. I own a 64GB SE, but there's no denying that both of those chips are beasts. SD has its optimization problems on the S7 but it looks to perform quite similarly to the E8890.
    Reply
  • name99 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Hard to argue against that claim in the absence of any reliable reviews!
    The best I can find is this
    http://wccftech.com/benchmark-results-show-a9-domi...
    which has at least interesting graphs, but I wouldn't especially trust the numbers for 2016 which have god knows what provenance (eg may be released from within Samsung on golden chips to build up S7 buzz), and we have no idea what the throttling characteristics are like.
    Reply
  • NA1NSXR - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    It would've been perfect if they stretched the display out closer to the ends of the chassis, making the display ever so slightly bigger than what's on the 5/5s, but with the same size body. Reply
  • csango - Monday, May 16, 2016 - link

    Great review. Across iOS n Android both there is need for 4-4.5 inches smart phones , manufacturers can't just think that trends n users like phablet so we will only manufacturer 6 Inches slabs n bricks. Let some sensibilities prevail in Android too , public fashion choices are ephemeral but good quality and design is eternal. I hope Motorola and Google are paying heed and Apple too esp on the price point they need to look at making 4 inch phones more affordable so ppl latch onto it and then you would see there will be all of sudden market for 4 inches .... it's all a value vs price game in the end. Reply
  • Che - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Lack of a review of the Galaxy S7 (or any other android of this year) is just pathetic. Really no excuse is reasonable. Yet no problem getting the apple review done. Reply
  • Ian Cutress - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Different reviewer. Check one of the first comments. Reply
  • Che - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    Yes, saw that already. Also have been following the comments on the other reviews. So I have heard the school work excuses already. But if that is a problem, you need to find a solution. You can't continue forever with an ever increasing backlog of reviews.

    I have been forced to look elsewhere for the reviews and info I need. In the past I would wait for the AnandTech review due to its depth (always better than other sites),but better is not better if it takes this long.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    What exactly did you want to see? S7 is slightly slower than the iPhone SE in CPU, slower NAND, slightly faster in GPU offscreen, slightly slower in GPU onscreen (due to larger and higher resolution screen), several hundred dollars more, and about the same battery life.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/10120/the-samsung-ga...
    Reply
  • Che - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    I want to read reviews for the various android phones released this year. I am not in the market for an iPhone, personal preference.

    I think you missed my point.
    Reply
  • michael2k - Friday, May 20, 2016 - link

    I did, sorry. When you said 'lack of review of Galaxy S7' I had misinterpreted your comment as a complaint that they didn't compare the SE to the S7. Reply
  • jav_eee - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    The only part I disagree with is where you mention that the 6 feels better in the hand. I don't think it does. It is much too slippery. The 5 was perfect. Reply
  • Silvio6 - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    This looks like the benchmarks were extracted from a tool, and not realy real-life tests. For example, i was told the fingerprint sensor was slower than the one from the 6 and 6s. How much slower ? The one in the 6 is acceptable, but i wish there was the one in the 6s. There is no mention of it in the tests, and this is something anyone would be confronted to multiple times a day. Reply
  • bodonnell - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    It is slower than the 6s, but at worst it should perform similar to Touch ID in the 6 as both use the 1st gen sensor. In practice it may be slightly faster than the 6 as the A9 chip processes the unlock faster than the A8 in the 6. Reply
  • heartinpiece - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    For the NAND tests are the read/writes to NAND encrypted?
    I'm guessing some of the other compared devices are not encrypted... Could you elaborate, or distinguish the encrypted from unencrypted devices?
    Reply
  • Brandon Chester - Tuesday, May 17, 2016 - link

    In mobile if a device is encrypted then you're usually stuck with that, so I don't see any point in differentiating. In the end we're still comparing devices as they work within the limitations of their hardware and software, not the hardware components individually. Reply
  • gochichi - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    I'm really happy with the Nexus 5X, including the great price, camera, 32GB option, etc. I'm a happy camper. Reply
  • Nick Arthur - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    It seems a transitional version between 5 and 6 but combines some advantages of the two version together. The price is much cheaper, exactly. Reply
  • lucianmarin - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    I had the SE for 6 days. It bricked after taking a photo. I was lucky the retailer accepted my return.

    Don’t buy this device. It’s the worst iPhone ever. The buttons on the sides make noises when you touch the screen, same for the camera lenses. I will use my iPhone 4S until it brakes… Steve Jobs is really dead. Apple as we knew it is dead.
    Reply
  • darwiniandude - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    What?
    Apple has the best warranty support in the industry, bar none. How are you lucky they accepted your return? Apple offers 14 day no questions asked money back. With a faulty device, you could have the whole thing replaced on the spot via mail in or Apple Store anywhere on the globe. I've handled a bunch of these so far, no issues with buttons or noises, the camera lens is fixed. Something was clearly not right with your device.
    Apple has very high physical build quality, fit and finish and the SE is no exception. Read any reviews.

    Your 4S is commendable for still being able to run the current software, but it is thick, heavy, unbelievably slow compared to modern devices. Horrible camera. The ancient and fragile dock non reversible dock connector. Keep using it by all means, but the 5s was over twice as fast as the 4s. The SE is more than twice as fast again. Absolutely no comparison. And compare the camera.
    Sorry, I just don't get this comment. You obviously got a rare dud.
    Reply
  • osxandwindows - Wednesday, May 18, 2016 - link

    Dude, you had a faulty device.
    Some people don't think sometimes.
    Reply
  • Spunjji - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    "I still find myself asking whether the 6s is truly worth that $250 premium."

    It's good to see Apple finally releasing a device with a vaguely realistic price point. No way the 6s is worth that much more!
    Reply
  • yhselp - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    It's the phone I've been waiting for except it doesn't have 3D Touch, and it doesn't have fast Touch ID. I am willing to pay the $250 premium for those two features alone. I hate it that Apple decided to go the budget route with their very late, and only, new small iPhone. It feels like a second-class citizen, an afterthought aimed at earning a quick buck in an overlooked market. I want a premium, feature-rich small iPhone, not this. They just can't kill two birds with one stone that way.

    There's no need for an iPhone 6 mini design, but they could surely tweak the screen size. They could make it just a tad bigger, while keeping the footprint largely unchanged. It could be a little shorter, and a little wider. Why does a small phone need to sport such a wide aspect ratio? Why should any phone that is not strictly made for media consumption? It's unpractical. The tablet market reflects this nicely and offers wonderful aspect ratios. Apple don't even put 16:9 screens in their premium laptops. The 16:9 choice for smartphones has always baffled me.

    The real issue with the 4-inch screen size is that iOS 9 just isn't designed with that size in mind. Many native apps feel cramped, where that wasn't the case before. The fact that Apple launched a new 4-inch iPhone and did nothing to amend this in iOS speaks volumes about their commitment, or lack thereof, to the 4-inch form factor.

    All things that should have been addressed in the article - things that I'm pretty certain Anand himself would have payed attention to. These Android points throughout the whole article coupled with the facts-of-life, borderline spiritual 'getting used to life and the joys of breathing sunshine' part about the 4-inch form factor, and the reviewer's touching coming of age story about phone screen sized feels a tiny bit subjective, and largely unnecessary. To review a product one needs to be intimately familiar with the platform going back years. That goes for any platform. I wouldn't like to read an Android review by a person that has mostly used iPhones throughout the years. I wouldn't like to read a phablet review by someone that doesn't like the form factor either. The fact that the reviewer thinks that the single hand usability is the primary, if not only, benefit of a smaller screen phone is enough proof that they aren't the right person to review such a device.

    Anyway, I can't begin to express how much I hope that Apple would truly decide to pay attention to and innovate in the small form factor platform and produce a new, revolutionary small iPhone. I'm not going to say it, but you-know-who might have done you-know-what differently.
    Reply
  • tom5 - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    Where's the HTC 10 review Part 2? Reply
  • Meteor2 - Thursday, May 19, 2016 - link

    Tbh by the time the 2016 reviews are published here, people will have read all they want elsewhere so the articles won't get many views, and Anandtech won't get much ad revenue :(. Reply
  • beck2050 - Friday, May 20, 2016 - link

    Weak screen is deal breaker. Much better options in that price range. Reply
  • jkhoward - Friday, May 20, 2016 - link

    Anyone want to trade? I have a 6S Plus and I am looking to get this phone... Won't charge anymore, just want the trade... Currently on T-Mobile. Reply
  • DiegoLinden - Sunday, May 22, 2016 - link

    Nice review, i still using a Iphone 4 that is 3.5' inch , i dont really like android system and they big screen, but was thinking about get a ~4.7inch(because my i4 is rly slow after the last update available) and now i think i go to this iphone xD

    thanks!
    Reply
  • SourAPL16 - Sunday, May 22, 2016 - link

    On Monday, 23rd, I will be going after my FOURTH I Phone model, since turning my 6PLUS in
    but one month ago. I have had, now three SE's in rapid succession. My service is VERIZON. I have not had a dropped call in memory. In the last two weeks I have had several everyday. THE SE Sucks, in my humble opinion. Even switching Sim cards, no change in the lack of performance. I had my 5C for almost 3 years; great service. I jumped at the 6Plus because of
    Verizon's newer acquisition program. No more big downstrokes. I wanted to be Mr. Cool among the fam and I was for a couple months. My arthritic hands became increasingly stressed as I
    attempted to heft and use the Monster. Hip but terribly frustrated. Opted to downsize to the SE
    for my damaged hands ease of handling and for SE's new goodies. The goodies have not come
    close to offsetting the misery of telephonus interruptus! Any other sufferers want to start a
    SUPPORT GROUP??? Considering moving to a straight 6; my wife's is easy to handle. Stay tuned!!!
    Reply
  • kimi33 - Monday, May 23, 2016 - link

    Highly recommend this SELECTEC 8600mAh White Ultra-Thin Pocket Size Power Bank to you, only $15.99 after coupon code M6TBH358, http://amzn.to/1UV8Blf Reply
  • GB123 - Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - link

    Here in Taiwan -

    LG G4 32G = USD$340 without contract
    iphone se 16GB = USD$483 without contract

    iPHone SE is definitely not the one with best camera at USD$4xx, not to mention the expansion capability.
    Reply
  • mike_IC97 - Tuesday, June 14, 2016 - link

    This phone is super fast and has an excellent camera but if you are a headphone junkie like me and like to blast your tunes all the time the 5s has a much cleaner and more dynamic sounding headphone output. Just my 2 cents Reply
  • Assimilator87 - Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - link

    Hey Brandon, here's a proposal for an experiment: You should get acclimated to the iPhone 6s Plus and then switch over to the HP Veer. I'd like to research the behaviors and symptoms that may arise from such a traumatic experience ;-) Reply
  • skrafi151 - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - link

    This iPhone has nice features and for service/repair go to #http://appworldin.com/ Reply
  • thomas94k - Sunday, October 02, 2016 - link

    I was waiting for this type of topic. Thank you very much for the place. http://www.lordsmobilehackonline.com/ Reply
  • Drkovcim - Sunday, January 01, 2017 - link

    Display iPhone SE under the microscope: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UWEy4Vklros Reply

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