Using Apple’s iPhone SE for a Week: Is It Still Viable in 2019?

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Published October 16, 2019
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The Montclarion
Three quarter shot of the 64GB Silver iPhone SE model. Kirk Coronacion | The Montclarion

When it comes to smartphone performance, the iPhones are no slouch. Many consumers enjoy using their iPhone X and iPhone 11 Pro Max today, thanks to Apple’s incredible software optimization and top-notch processing chips.

However, while a good majority of users do use the latest and the greatest of technology, does this mean they are always better compared to older models like the iPhone SE from 2016?

The iPhone SE is an interesting comparison because it’s one of the oldest iPhone models, next to the iPhone 6S, to support the newest iOS 13 update.

Last week, I decided to purchase a 64GB silver model on eBay for roughly $88 as I was curious to see how well the phone could hold up on the latest version of iOS.

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Backside of iPhone SE stands tall next to Red Nintendo Wii.
Kirk Coronacion | The Montclarion

When it first came in, I didn’t really like it, as it was noticeably smaller than modern-sized iPhones. I couldn’t see myself using a phone that had a screen length of four inches. However, after a night of testing I concluded that despite its size, it felt just as fast as my iPhone 7 Plus and so I decided to take on the challenge in using it for a week.

Switching between apps felt smooth as butter even with it only having 2GB of RAM and a somewhat dated processing chip. I was able to use my favorite apps such as Twitter, Instagram and Discord without the phone needing to refresh all the time.

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Mario Kart Tour running smoothly on the iPhone SE.
Kirk Coronacion | The Montclarion

In terms of gaming, “Mario Kart Tour” ran surprisingly well with only a few lag spikes every now and then. Other than that, it was an enjoyable experience and comfortable to hold for longer periods of time thanks to the weight and overall size of the phone.

Speaking of the screen, the iPhone SE brought back memories of when I used to carry my iPhone 5 back in high school. I absolutely loved being able to type with just one hand and reaching from all four corners on the screen.

Carrying this phone around Montclair State University felt like I was carrying a piece of paper in my pocket because of its light weight. As a matter of fact, I was able to fit my wallet on the same side and it still never felt uncomfortable walking.

My iPhone 7 Plus would always make walking uncomfortable, especially in jeans, because of its bulky size. Driving to campus with the iPhone SE made me realize how extremely portable and convenient it is to carry.

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iPhone 7 Plus (left) and iPhone 6 (right) is being compared to the iPhone SE (middle). Kirk Coronacion | The Montclarion

However, the iPhone SE doesn’t bring all good news to the table. Its battery just isn’t enough to last through a day of moderate to heavy use. I found myself needing to charge toward the evening when I attended my career management class on Monday.

It wasn’t a huge deal but it did make me miss my Samsung Galaxy S10 and iPhone 7 Plus a bit because of their superior battery life.

Despite this minor issue, the positives outweigh the negatives. The iPhone SE is still a viable phone to use in 2019.

Its price, compact size and light weight are attractive features for many. If I didn’t own a Samsung Galaxy S10, I would definitely use my iPhone SE over my iPhone 7 Plus. The size just feels better in my hands than using that bulky 5.5-inch display.

The iPhone SE is still a wonderful piece of hardware and is definitely a hidden gem in today’s smartphone world.

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