Counter Argument: The iPhone SE is garbage (sort of)

By: Kumail Hussain, March 31, 2016

Hello Apple this is 2012 speaking and we want our design back. Now, I'm not going to be giving you some backstory about the iPhone SE because that's boring. I'm here to tell you why some other company, besides Apple, deserves your money.

Let's continue with that design rant. We already allow Apple to use its designs for two years which might not sound absurd but when considering how other phone manufacturers are treated, it just seems unfair. Take Samsung for example, their S7 is being considered a disappointment simply because it has a similar design, or HTC who had a similar design with their One M8 and M9, or Sony with their Xperia Z line. Ok maybe not Sony since it's their fault for releasing more than one Xperia Z phone each year. Other than Sony, however, all companies were treated inconsiderately. Also, mind the words I used, I said similar and not identical because the S7 and M9 are different enough from their previous generations that you aren't able to use the same case. In fact, in the case of S7, the phone feels enormously different in hand compared to the S6. Whereas the iPhone SE is a clone of the iPhone 5 and 5S, and yes you can recycle your old 5 and 5S cases for SE.

I was critical of them using an older design from the day they released the iPhone but of course I was blinded by their superb marketing team which did a marvelous job at selling the iPhone SE as an iPhone 6S from the inside at half the price with a super compact figure and an already beloved design. Let's take that sentence apart, shall we?

The Cash Money Flow

At first glance the price looks super lucrative. An iPhone for $399!? WOW. SOLD. But hang on, $399 for a phone that looks like it's from 2012 and has a fingerprint sensor from 2013's iPhone 5S. On top of that Apple had the audacity to release a 16GB base model in 2016. Numerous analysts have been saying that the iPhone 7 will finally get rid of the 16GB model, replacing it with a 32GB one but after the iPhone SE release I am not so sure if Apple might ever leave the 16GB in the past, where it belongs. Now many people definitely will bring up cloud storage and whatnot but the fact remains that Apple's latest smartphone offering has a measly 16GB model while almost every other manufacturer has dropped that version for their flagships. Let me just give you a scenario of why 16GB is horrendous.

The iPhone SE features the latest and greatest rear camera from the iPhone 6S, please keep in mind the front camera can not be described as such since it is a potato but I'll come to that later, which allows users to capture videos at the futuristic resolution of 4K. However, you would be spending more time deleting footage from your camera roll than you would be actually capturing since 4K videos take a lot of space and when I say a lot I mean so much space that you could make "yo momma so fat" jokes. On top of that Apple is heavily promoting the fact that the iPhone SE features Live Photos which sounds cool but when you're on a budget and are going for the base model then it just ends up being a gimmick that you show off to people at parties. The problem with it is that due to Live Photos your phone will be taking three-second videos instead of a still image which will obviously increase the amount of space each photo requires. With that in mind the only option left for you will be the 64GB version and also another thing to be noted here is that if you need more space than that then the only option you have is getting another iPhone SE because Apple decided it would be best if there was no 128GB version. So, how much does the 64GB iPhone cost? The answer to that is a not so lucrative $499. Yup, you'll be paying an extra $100 just to upgrade from 16GB to 64GB whereas you can get a microSD card for tenth of that.

Alright so now you want to get a 64GB model and still think the $499 tag is justified but the problem with that $100 bump is that you reach into the price range where you can easily get last year's android flagship phones. Ok, but you don't want last year's phone, you want the latest and greatest. Then why are you even looking to buy an iPhone SE? If you still think the price is justified then let's carry on.

The Beauty Within

You've probably heard the iPhone SE is an iPhone 6S at the inside but is that really true? Well, it is, sort of. You see Apple had to make some cutbacks to keep the price low, actually a more accurate reason would be that they did it to keep their profit margins high.

First off is the disappointing front facing camera which comes in at 1.2MP compared to the 12MP rear camera. That's a shocking ten times decrease. I don't think they got the memo from the MacBook department that consumers don't like terrible front cameras. This is the age of selfies and almost every rear camera is so great you won't realise much difference but the front cameras still haven't caught up and Apple seems to be adamant to carry this tradition. Now I know megapixels don't mean much but when your camera only has 1 megapixel then it's not really a camera it's more of a cabbage. To add to that the aperture size is worse than the iPhone 6 and you are still restricted to 720p video recording.

Moving on to the Touch ID, which is, drum roll, the same one from the iPhone 5S. In other words you won't be having the blazing fast fingerprint sensor from the 6 or 6S. Also, obviously, it will be less accurate and reliable. And last but not least you also do not have 3D Touch which also means the new taptic engine is missing. So you can say goodbye to all those cool ads showing off the 3D Touch features.

The Final Paragraph

So, is it really worth it? Right now you can get an S6 for $400 which simply defeats the purpose of the SE then. The 5SE is basically a 5S for $500. It's like your grandma high on caffeine. It sounds cool but you wouldn't like to be seen with her. The SE may still be the best 4 inch phone out there but as Drake said "I will pay to make it bigger I don't pay for no reductions".

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