iPhone SE review

Yes, I got an iPhone SE. I mean, after all my complaints about larger phones, I kind of had to or not show my face around the schoolyard.

That’s a joke.

I’m not allowed near the schoolyard.

Also a joke. I’ll get to the review eventually.

Eh, maybe now.

This phone feels like coming home again. The iPhone 6 and 6s were both terrific phones, but 4.7-inches was always uncomfortably large for me. I’ve endured all the “Donald Trump hands” jokes since declaring my intention to buy this phone and — guess what, jerkbags — I can reach the upper right app icon now without some software thing that only works half the time and you can’t. Besides, pretty sure Donald Trump is not using an iPhone anymore since he’s boycotting Apple.

I would list my turn-ons and turn-offs about this phone but there really aren’t any substantial turn-offs for me. Which is good because it’s a phone, not a sex object.

What is wrong with you, Ned? Gross.

Literally every drawback in feature set is mitigated by being one I don’t care about. The front-facing camera isn’t as good. Don’t care. There’s one fewer row of icons on the home screen. But all that meant for me was moving some apps I don’t use that much anyway to the second page. (To paraphrase Bill Gates, 24 apps should be enough for anyone.) It doesn’t have 3D Touch, which I kind of like. But neither does my iPad and switching back and forth was annoying. I’d rather both have it or both not. The Touch ID sensor is the slower, first generation one. Yeah, that just means it’s fast instead of insanely fast. The screen size is smaller. That’s what I wanted.

The phone has the usual high-quality Apple fit and finish and is exactly the same size and shape as my favorite iPhone, the iPhone 5s, except it’s faster and has more stuff. The SE also looks like an iPhone at the top of its design game. The power button is on the top where it “should” be. The back is two-tone instead of having the lines that the 6 and 6s models have which I hate even though they look exactly like those on a Star Trek PADD. Battery life so far has been better than that on my iPhone 6s. Three hours into the day this morning with normal use checking Twitter and email I noticed it was at 99 percent.

In fact, the only reservation I have about this phone is business-related.

I purchased the 64 GB model (Space Gray) and paid for it outright. Why? Because Apple’s commitment to making this a perpetual product in the lineup is uncertain. I wanted to make sure I could resell it at any time without being tied to a payment plan. The iPhone SE is not available for purchase on Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program, which is a tipoff that this phone is not going to get upgraded every March. (You can get it on a regular installment plan without the upgrade option.)

Like John Gruber, I definitely don’t expect a new iPhone SE in the fall and am dubious about one arriving next March. I am hopeful there might be one in the fall of 2017, or maybe March of 2018, but who knows? If I had my way, Apple would ship an updated SE a year from now or maybe move it to the fall cycle. If this size only gets updated every two years, I’m not sure what I’ll do. (My son and wife are on the upgrade plan, so we’ll have new phones in the house for me to write about.) If it never gets updated, well, I’ll eventually be back on a 4.7-inch phone.

I understand that a lot of people prefer larger phones, but this is the right size phone for me (and many others). Period. I wish it were a size that Apple would commit to.