iPhone SE: The Safest Bet
Updated: Oct 24, 2020
In the age where the budget end of smartphones is full of excellent offerings like the OnePlus Nord, Samsung Galaxy A71, Google Pixel 3a/4a, Samsung Galaxy S20 FE and many more; it becomes a bit hard to justify iPhone SE to people attracted towards flagship appearances. The iPhone SE looks nothing like a flagship phone, has the face of a 6 year old device and the size of an even older standard. iPhone SE also lacks the fancy on paper numbers like quad camera setup, ultra fast charging, gigatons of RAM and edge to edge display. All being said though, your best option if you are looking to spend 400-600USD is probably the iPhone SE from the perspective of longevity and reliability. We do cover what makes a smartphone premium in another article but today we will be focusing on the biggest positives of the safest bet in the smartphone industry, the Apple iPhone SE 2020.
Below are our top reasons for consumers to consider iPhone SE 2020 especially in the Pakistani market.
Performance is the biggest reason why one would go for the iPhone SE, there is no doubt about the performance iPhone SE offers. Hands down it is the best performing device in its price category and even manages to beat many 800USD+ Flagship devices by other brands. iPhone SE is easily one of the fastest performing devices available in the market from the perspective of peak and sustained speeds. Now one might say that you don’t really need that much raw power, which is true perhaps for today; but these high performance numbers are meant for tomorrow. Having a device that beats 99% of the competition in performance stats means that your device will last you much longer and won’t have any issues with keeping up along newer and more demanding apps, services or games.
The iPhone SE has the A13 Bionic processor which is a 64-bit architecture six-core processor. A13 Bionic chip is Apple’s latest, which was first introduced in the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. The new iPhone SE also uses Apple’s third-generation of Neural Engine. The fact that they are offering similar performance to 1,000USD+ devices is the biggest factor to considering iPhone SE as your next device.
When talking about Apple, you cannot ignore the factor of their own apps, services and software. Apple is the most vertically integrated company in the smartphone industry since they manage their own hardware and software. This enables them to be the only one in the industry to offer updates and new features for even 6 year old devices in some cases. The recently released iOS 14 being supported on iPhone 6s (released in 2015) is the latest proof of this.
Having iOS also means that the door to the Apple Walled Garden is open to you, features such as iMessage and FaceTime which have become the industry standard are now at your fingertips. One might argue that services like WhatsApp are better for Asian markets but the fact is that iMessage just offers unique features like full size image sharing, app integrations, digital touch, easy SMS option and more. On the other hand FaceTime offers the highest video and voice quality out of any service with support up-to 32 people on a video call, Animoji filters and special effects. You also get access to the fastest most convenient file sharing service AirDrop across all your Apple devices. Lastly you get access to a plethora of Apple's ecosystem apps and services, the fact of the matter is that apps usually are just better optimized for iOS than Android. Given that your phone is basically a portal to your apps 90%+ of the time, having better optimized and feature rich apps is important in the long term user experience.
We all know that one friend who has an iPhone 6/6s which is still alive and kicking. Not only does the iPhone SE have official IP67 water and dust resistance, it carries on the strong, premium and hefty materials used in iPhone 8. Outdated design aside, the feel of the iPhone SE is just better than any competition. You can be sure that this phone will easily last you at least 3-4 years of usage and still hold value.
Build quality is often not marketed by the competition because frankly speaking most 400-600USD have pretty shady build quality. It is really hard to review this factor of a device in short time of usage hence most reviewers will avoid talking about it. The fact remains that iPhones have proved time and time again that they will last you forever, in hardware quality and software support.
As we went over in our Premium Smartphones article, having multiple cameras and big spec sheet numbers don't mean anything if you can't optimize for them. iPhone SE does not have an eye catching camera setup or the flexibility of having multiple lens types. The truth of the matter is, that if you open your gallery right now, you can expect to have the majority of your photos been taken on the main camera of your device. That is where everything went to in the iPhone SE, the main shooter. The iPhone SE has a single 12-megapixel camera that supports Portrait Mode and all six lighting effects available to the other iPhones. It also has 4K video recording capability for upto 60fps which most of the competition cant handle simply because of the lack of performance in their chipsets.
Considering how smooth the camera experience is in the iPhone SE, the only good competition is expected from the Google Pixel 3a and 4a. Many people don’t check for this, but next time if you are checking a camera, try shaking the camera and see if you experience lag; this serves as a good indicator for the camera's performance. iPhones are easily the best point and shoot smartphone cameras out there, with fast processing, clean camera layout and optimized UX.
Considering other unique features like Wireless Charging, True Tone display, Wide color display (P3) support, Touch ID and Siri support; the iPhone SE should be high up in your list of considerations. If having a large display, multi lens cameras and modern design aren't your concern; we are compelled to refer the iPhone SE 2020 to users looking for an excellent package at a comparatively reasonable price. We live in an age where marketing has dominated facts and reality. Oftentimes the eye popping designs, low prices and big numbers on a spec sheet is all we are made to care about, but in reality some things are just objectively better. You as a consumer have the option to either be educated or be distracted.
As always our decision to give insights into a product is always based on considering the local market and the consumer base in and around the Asian region. We do understand that there are other brands that are offering very good value but most of those don’t release on time in this market. That being said, stay tuned for another value for money product review coming soon.
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