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iPhone SE early reviews: Retro on the outside, modern on the inside

Roman Loyola | March 29, 2016
The iPhone SE is like the iPhone 5s... But it's also not like the iPhone 5s.

Camera

iphone se stock 
iPhone SE. Credit: Apple

iMore’s Rene Ritchie points out that the A9 chipset’s image signal processor has improvements that make “your photos look more like real life and less like oversaturated, level-crushed hyper-life.”

CNET’s Scott Stein doesn’t dive deeply into the iPhone SE’s camera performance, but he does say “its speed and features are identical to that of the iPhone 6S—which remains, with the exception of the newer, far more expensive Samsung Galaxy S7 line, the best smartphone camera out there.”

Battery life

The Wall Street Journal says that the iPhone SE’s battery life is “the standout news.” “The SE lasted 10 hours—more than two hours longer than both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 5s, and nearly three hours longer than the Galaxy S7,” wrote Geoffrey A. Fowler.

Lauren Goode of The Verge said the iPhone SE performed better than the iPhone 6S; after 12 hours, she still had 44 percent battery life left. Christina Warren of Mashable and BuzzFeed’s Nicole Nguyen also got better battery life than her iPhone 6s.

Bottom line

Conventional wisdom says that a smaller phone comes with compromises, but the early reviews say you aren’t making serious sacrifices with the iPhone SE. As iMore’s Rene Ritchie wrote, you get “the best experience possible in as small an inexpensive an iPhone as possible.”

Stay tuned for the definitive review of the iPhone SE.

 

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