I spent the weekend with my old iPhone SE and I’ve decided I like it better than
the iPhone X.
The iPhone X is a beautiful device. Smooth, sleek, powerful, and the screen is
just gorgeous. The iPhone SE, by comparison, is tiny, slow, and practically
However, the iPhone SE is also easier to carry, easier to hold, and easier to use.
Face ID is clever and it works pretty well, but sometimes having to either pick
up or lean over the phone to read notifications is less than ideal. And
frequently when I pick it up to read notifications it just opens up to the
home screen instead. Haven’t figured out why yet, but I don’t enjoy it.
Face ID can be super convenient but I’m not convinced it’s always better than
I don’t like putting cases on things. The iPhone X feels so nice that putting a
case on it takes away one of the great things about it. Feeling nice isn’t the
same as being easy to hold, and using a $1,000+ bar of soap without a case is just
asking for trouble. The SE, on the other hand, is much easier to hold. Also,
it’s not nearly as precious so even if
I do drop it I’m not out that much.
I find the iPhone SE easier to use than the iPhone X. I’m still not used to the
contortions required to unlock or swich apps on the X. I must have small hands
because getting to the the control panel one-handed on the X is an exercise
fraught with peril. Holding the phone securely and actually using it can feel
like mutually exclusive activities.
Here’s something I can’t explain; I type much faster and more accurately on the
SE. I can’t seem to type three words in a row correctly on the X.
Oh, and the SE has a real headphone jack. I hate not having a standard
headphone jack on my phone.
There are of course downsides to the SE.
The camera on the SE is not as good as the one on the X. Especially the
front-facing camera. Selfies look terrible in anything but broad daylight.
The SE’s screen is small. This obviously can be less useful than the big, bright
iPhone X screen. Thing is, I don’t use my phone for doing much. I don’t read
anything longer than tweets or short blog posts. I avoid writing on it as much
as possible. I certainly never use it for watching movies. I do miss the larger
screen of the X while using Maps, and I really miss it for viewing photos.
The SE is definitely slower, but not by as much as you’d think.
All in all, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed using the iPhone SE again over
the past couple of days. It’s still the perfect form factor for me. If Apple
introduces the rumoured SE 2 with upgraded internals and camera, I’ll have a
decision to make.