This week Apple introduced the long-rumored iPhone SE. In many ways, the SE is simply a spec-bumped iPhone 5s. But the release of the SE also signifies that Apple believes there is still a strong market for “small” 4-inch smartphones.
Indeed, the company revealed that it sold a whopping 30 million 4-inch phones in 2015.
The new iPhone SE joins the ranks of Apple’s bigger smartphones, the most popular of which is still the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s.
The obvious difference between the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE are the screen sizes, but they do have a few other differences you should know about when deciding which to buy. Here’s how both compare.
iPhone 6s vs iPhone SE: Specs
Here’s the specs for the iPhone 6s:
Display: 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326 pixels per inch ppi; 1400 to 1 contrast ratio; Dual-domain pixels for wide viewing angles
Dimensions: 138.3mm x 67.1mm x 7.1mm
Weight: 143 grams
Storage: 16, 64, or 128GB
Processors: A9 chip with 64-bit architecture and M9 motion coprocessor
Front camera: FaceTime HD camera. 5 MP photos and 720p HD video.
Battery: 1642 mAh. Up to 12 hours battery life mixed usage
Touch ID: yes (1st generation)
iPhone 6s vs iPhone SE: Display & Design
Of course the biggest difference between the two new iPhones are in the display department. The iPhone 6s features a 4.7-inch display with a 1334x750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi and the iPhone SE features a 4-inch display with a 1136x640-pixel resolution at 326 ppi.
Technically, from a resolution perspective the iPhone 6s wins because it has the higher resolution. Although that resolution is obviously larger because the screen is larger. But the 6s wins on another front. It’s display has both dual-domain pixels for wider viewing angles and a 1400 to 1 contrast ratio, as well as 3D Touch.
The contrast ratio of the SE is only 800 to 1 and that means the bigger iPhone’s display can display more difference between the brightest whites and the darkest blacks.
As for the design, both feature aluminum bodies and while their physical length and height dimensions are of course different (due to screen size) the larger iPhone 6s wins on thinness being just 7.1mm thick versus the iPhone SE’s 7.6mm thickness.
That being said, the iPhone SE is noticeable lighter than the iPhone 6s. The iPhone SE weighs just 113 grams versus the iPhone 6s’ 143 grams.
iPhone 6s vs iPhone SE: Specs and Battery
In the storage department the iPhone 6s wins because it comes in a 128GB option in addition to the 16 and 64GB options found on the iPhone SE. And while both phones have the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and support Apple Pay, the iPhone 6s used a second generation Touch ID, which is about 2x faster than the first generation Touch ID found on the SE. Both phones feature the exact same A9 chip with M9 motion coprocessor.
As for battery life, although the iPhone 6s features a slightly larger battery at 1715 mAh, it doesn’t get any more usage than the 1642 mAh battery provides the SE. Each phone will last about 12 hours in mixed usage. The lack of battery life discrepancy is due to the fact that the larger 6s battery needs to power a larger display.
iPhone 6s vs iPhone SE: Camera
The final difference between the two new iPhones is in the front camera department. While both have the exact same 12MP iSight camera, the iPhone 6s wins it here because it has a much better front FaceTime camera. The FaceTime camera on the iPhone SE is still only 1.2MP, whereas the FaceTime camera on the iPhone 6s is 5MP.
iPhone 6s vs iPhone SE: Cost & Verdict
And then there is the cost. Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE come in silver, gold, rose gold, and space grey. Unlocked the 4.7-inch iPhone 6s will cost £539 (16GB), £619 (64GB) and £699 (128GB). The iPhone SE will cost £359 (16GB) and £439 (64GB).
Needless to say, at the same storage sizes the iPhone SE is significantly cheaper than the iPhone 6s. However, the iPhone 6s has the larger display, the better Touch ID, and the better front facing camera. That being said, your choice will probably come down to what size phone you want. Do you want the small 4-incher or the slightly bigger 4.7-inch?