Rosencrantz and Goldilocks are dead: Who would want an iPhone SE?


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Writing for The Guardian, Samuel Gibbs keys a tour-de-force thought piece on the absurdity of denying the benefit of choice in a modern technology purchasing scenario.

Oh, wait, this is supposed to be a review? Urg.

“Apple iPhone SE review – too small for most people.” (Tip o’ the antlers to The Loop.)

Too small for most people, just right for most mythical beasts.

Gibbs doesn’t share any numbers to back up this statement, he just assumes most people are like him and like big phones better. He may well be right, but that doesn’t mean the iPhone SE isn’t right for others.

Taking the guts of the iPhone 6S and squeezing them into the frame of the iPhone 5S is great, but only those who really want a 4in phone should buy one

Much like how only those who want a tasty fried snack that’s high in sodium and may or may not contain real onion should buy Funyuns.

Seriously, though, if you do not like the defining characteristics of a device, do not buy that device. This was all covered in Buying Things 101. If you didn’t complete that class then the Macalope is not sure what you’re doing in Tech Purchasing 201.

…is a small, 4in smartphone really up to scratch in 2016?

Can a country mouse make it in the big city?

The new iPhone SE comes in at the bottom end of Apple’s iPhone range on cost…

Hey, it’s significantly cheaper than the iPhone 6s and offers most of the performance! But, small screen, so… [raspberry, tosses iPhone SE in the ocean]

…it weighs 113g, which is quite light for a smartphone these days. Then again, it’s very small for a smartphone in 2016.

Have we mentioned that it’s small? So small.

The hard edges are easier to grip than the slippery rounded sides of the iPhone 6S, and particularly the large 6S Plus, but they hurt my palms after clutching it for an hour or two.

It’s become a cliché to say “You’re holding it wrong” but if you’re holding your phone so hard it hurts your hands, maybe at least consider cutting down on the caffeine before you buy that pet rabbit.

As The Loop’s Dave Mark notes, the edges of the iPhones 6s are too slippery for Gibbs and the edges of the iPhone SE are too edgy. If you’re keeping score at home, literally everything is terrible.

Using a 4in screen in 2016 is a compromise.

Can you even remember how you used to browse and use apps on a 4-inch phone two years ago like an animal? Why compromise when you can have it all with a larger screen?!

Oh, you want a smaller phone that you can reach all corners of with one hand and without playing stupid software tricks and, hey, if it’s cheaper, that’s just money in the bank? Huh.

It’s almost as if one could say that a phone with a larger screen is also a compromise, just on different things.

But here in 2016 we know that such a thing would be laughable! Why, you’d get laughed out of Large Phone University with that kind of thinking!

Performance is much faster overall than the iPhone 5S and feels similar to that of the iPhone 6S, apart from the fingerprint sensor, which is pretty slow for a 2016 smartphone costing £350+.

Too slow for Gibbs, but just right for people who think the iPhone 6s sensor is too fast.

Personally, the Macalope preferred the faster sensor, but he finds the sensor in the iPhone SE plenty fast. Ultimately it comes down to personal preference for whether or not you want to see the notifications screen, but it’s probably worth mentioning that some people actually like the delay.

The iPhone SE’s battery life is better than the 6S…

So compromised.

It would be a significant downgrade from an iPhone 6…

Which is relatively underpowered compared to the SE but has a larger screen and, as we know, larger screens are simply better at all things, all praise larger screens, their will be done, amen.

…isn’t a quantum leap over the iPhone 5S and should only really be considered if size is the overriding factor.

Or price. Or battery life.

Look, the iPhone SE is a pretty sweet small phone. The iPhone 6s is a pretty sweet large phone. This math isn’t hard to do. Just pick the screen size you like best and you really can’t go wrong.

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