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iPhone SE (2016) review – Small Size, Big Performance

  • for camera
  • for battery
  • for performance
  • for price
  • for display
4.2/5Overall Score

Design and Build Quality


The iPhone SE (2016) harks back to a time when Apple's smartphones had smaller form factors. With a 4-inch Retina display, it fits comfortably in one hand and is a refreshing departure from the growing trend of ever-larger screens. The body of the SE is crafted from aluminum with chamfered edges, reminiscent of the iPhone 5s. This design choice adds a touch of elegance and nostalgia for those who appreciated the classic iPhone aesthetic.


Measuring 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm and weighing just 113 grams, the iPhone SE is one of the most compact smartphones ever produced by Apple. It's a breath of fresh air for users who prefer smaller devices in an era where larger screens seem to be the norm.

  • Network Tech: GSM / CDMA / HSPA / EVDO / LTE
  • Launch: March 21. Released 2016
  • Display: IPS LCD, 4.0 inches, 44.1 cm2
  • Chipset: Apple A9 (14 nm)
  • Memory /Ram: 16GB 2GB RAM, 32GB 2GB RAM, 64GB 2GB RAM, 128GB 2GB RAM
  • Camera: Rear 12 MP, f/2.2, 29mm (standard) >>front 1.2 MP, f/2.4, 31mm (standard)
  • Battery: Li-Po 1624 mAh, non-removable
  • Colors: Space Gray, Silver, Gold, Rose Gold
  • Compact size
  • Powerful performance
  • Great camera
  • Regular software updates
  • Small screen for some
  • Limited battery life for heavy users


In 2016, Apple took a slightly different route from its usual flagship offerings and introduced the iPhone SE, a compact smartphone designed to cater to a different segment of the market. With its design reminiscent of the iPhone 5s, the iPhone SE brought back a sense of nostalgia, but it also came equipped with hardware borrowed from its more powerful siblings. This review explores the iPhone SE (2016), examining its specifications, performance, and how it holds up in 2023.

Performance in iPhone SE (2016)

One of the most compelling aspects of the iPhone SE (2016) is its performance. Under the hood, it packs the same A9 chip found in the iPhone 6s, coupled with a PowerVR GT7600 GPU. This hardware combination ensures smooth performance across a wide range of tasks, from everyday use to gaming and multitasking.

The A9 chip features a dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister CPU and 2GB of RAM. While it may not sound impressive compared to today’s flagship smartphones with multiple cores and higher RAM capacities, the iPhone SE’s optimization with iOS results in a snappy and responsive user experience. Apps open quickly, and navigation remains fluid even in 2023, thanks to Apple’s ongoing software support for this device.

Battery Life

The iPhone SE (2016) comes equipped with a 1624mAh battery, which may seem modest by today’s standards. However, thanks to the smaller screen and efficient A9 chip, it manages to offer respectable battery life. With moderate usage, users can expect to get through a full day on a single charge. Power users might need to recharge the device before the day’s end, but the quick charging capability helps mitigate this inconvenience.


The iPhone SE (2016) may be a blast from the past, but it still holds its own in 2023. Its compact size, premium design, and reliable performance make it a unique offering in a market dominated by larger smartphones. While it may lack some of the bells and whistles of newer iPhones, it delivers a genuine iOS experience with access to the latest software updates.

If you value a compact form factor and are looking for a budget-friendly iOS device, the iPhone SE (2016) is worth considering. It’s a testament to Apple’s commitment to longevity and support for its products, and it proves that a smaller phone can still pack a punch in terms of performance.

In a world where bigger doesn’t always mean better, the iPhone SE stands as a reminder that sometimes, small in size can indeed be big in performance.

FAQ and Answers

1. Q: Does the iPhone SE support the latest iOS updates?

   – A: Yes, Apple continues to provide software updates for the iPhone SE.

2. Q: What is the storage capacity of the iPhone SE (2016)?

   – A: It comes in 16GB and 64GB storage options.

3. Q: Is the camera quality comparable to newer iPhone models?

   – A: Yes, the 12MP camera still delivers great photo quality.

4. Q: Can I use Apple Pay on the iPhone SE (2016)?

   – A: Yes, it supports Apple Pay for secure and convenient transactions.

5. Q: Do you want to see iPad 2021 review?

   – A: Then check out this review.