The iPhone SE (2022) was unveiled by Apple earlier this week as the third generation model in a seven-year-old series. The first iPhone SE from 2016 has already been extensively discussed, but the new model isn’t actually a follow-up to that one. No, both the second and third SE versions are based on the design of today’s phone.
Lastly, there’s the Apple iPhone 6, which was released in 2014, making it (ironically) older than the original SE. Of course, the SE is based on the iPhone 5, which was revolutionary when it was released in 2012. If you compare the iPhone 5 and the iPhone SE (2016), you won’t be able to tell much of a difference between the two.
iPhone 6 and SE are also similar in this regard (2022). These two have almost identical shapes and sizes. The only variances are a few thousandths of an inch. The phone’s screen is still 4.7 inches in size and has a resolution of 750 pixels by 1,334 pixels (and 326 ppi pixel density to make it a Retina Display, something the 4 introduced).
Only one Touch ID fingerprint reader on the iPhone remains in its large bezels above and below the display. Despite the fact that iPads feature front or side-mounted readers, Apple’s phones have long ago moved on to Face ID and fingerprint recognition. As a result of the iPhone X’s (2017’s) unpopular design choice, it has had an impact. Analysts expect that Apple will transform the notch into a punch hole and then move the Face ID module beneath the display, making this a decision that it may never be able to reverse. It doesn’t sound like an under-display fingerprint reader is in the cards.
Fingerprint scanners may be useful in certain situations. With example, you can’t fool one by wearing a mask, which has been a problem for Face ID. Also, if you’re quick enough, you can unlock your phone as you’re taking it out of your pocket by placing your thumb on the FP reader. Using a tactile reader that you can feel rather than one that is hidden under a glass display makes this approach particularly effective.
To be honest, since the iPhone 6, a few things have changed. As a matter of fact, it was the iPhone 8 that brought about the shift. Because the rear of the iPhone 6 is made of metal, which filters signals, you’ll see them there. Since the 8 and X series of phones feature glass backs, antenna positioning has become easier.
It’s also worth noting that the SE phones now feature IP67 dust and water resistant certifications (they can last for half an hour under 1m of water). Ceramic Shield glass has been added to the front of the SE, making it more resistant to scratching and shattering than regular glass. An “Ion-strengthened glass” surface was used instead on the iPhone 6.
In 2014, for the first time, Apple released two sizes of the iPhone 6: 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch. The only real difference between the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus was the bigger 5.5-inch screen and the larger battery (2,915 mAh vs. 1,810 mAh).
The iPhone 6 Plus was the first iPhone to have Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), which was initially available on the iPhone 7 Plus (OIS). It had one edge over the vanilla 6 in terms of the camera. However, both the 6 and the 6 Plus were able to record 1080p video at 60 fps, while the 5s from the previous year was only able to shoot 30 fps. Another improvement over the 5s’ contrast detection AF was the addition of phase detection AF.
It’s possible that some iPhone SE (2022) buyers were hoping for a second camera, but Apple hasn’t deviated much from the design of the iPhone 6. Of course, the new SE has a superior camera. An Apple A15 chipset with increased processing power, a 12MP sensor, and OIS make it much superior than the 8MP camera on the iPhone 6S Plus, as well as a brighter aperture (f/1.8 vs. f/2.2).
Additionally, Apple has upgraded the front-facing camera to a higher-resolution 8MP sensor. 1.2MP on the 6 was just enough for FaceTime video chats; this is an improvement. As with the 11th generation of iPhones, the front cameras have been upgraded to 12 MP and include larger lenses. Center Stage, Apple’s innovative technique that employs a wide-angle lens to keep you always in the centre of the screen, isn’t included in any of the newer models, even though it’s the most advanced.
We’ve already spoken about the new Apple A15 processor, but the SE model now has 5G connection. When the iPhone 6 was released, 4G was still a relatively new technology for Apple, having debuted with the iPhone 5 in 2012. Metal and antennae don’t mix well, as Apple found out the hard way with the 4 and the “antennagate” issue, as we discussed before. However, the correct design has already been found out prior to the release of the iPhone 6.
The “gate” issue involving the iPhone 6 generation occurred as well. Because to the weak places surrounding the buttons generated by the design of the all-aluminum shell, the phones were more prone to bending when sat on or subjected to other forces. Moreover, the touch screen was prone to disconnecting from the motherboard. There were also issues with the flash storage and the annoying “Error 53” that afflicted the Touch ID fingerprint reader..
The Apple A8 was the company’s second chipset with a 64-bit CPU, so let’s go back to that (the A7 inside the iPhone 5s was the first). The newest iOS cannot be run on these processors (support for them ended with iOS 12). The newest iOS 15 is presently installed on the iPhone 6s and the original SE.
There are a few audio-related points we’d want to make before we call it a day. The 3.5mm headphone jack was removed from the iPhone 7 series two years after the iPhone 6 was released. In contrast, the SE and other subsequent versions include stereo speakers instead of just one.
While the iPhone 6 series was far from ideal, it managed to sell 10 million units in its first weekend on the market. A week later, the total had reached 13 million. Furthermore, this was prior to it being released in a few big-name areas (e.g. China).
If you look at the iPhone SE’s design, you’ll see that it’s remarkably similar to that of the iPhone 6, which will soon be eight years old. A lot has changed since the best iPhone of 2014, regardless of how it looks. In addition to fixing the problems in the original design, a number of other changes have been added. If you want to avoid seeming dated, you’ll have to adopt the iPhone X-inspired aesthetics.
PS. We skipped right over the iPhone 6 Plus. There will be a second episode on the history of iPhone sizes. For the sake of completeness, we’ll only say that the iPhone 6 Plus is the last model in the series.