Apple iPhone SE: How does the mini-iPhone beat in the lab test?

Apple iPhone SE: How does the mini-iPhone beat in the lab test?

After the iPhone 6S and the larger iPhone 6S Plus and the ever-growing iPhones, Apple thinks the new Apple iPhone SEagain one size smaller. Instead of the 4.7 (6S) or 5.5-inch (6S Plus) pocket computers, the SE is based on one of the most popular sizes from earlier days: Like the iPhone 5 and the iPhone 5S, Apple relies on the advantages of a smaller 4-inch screen – with the latest 6S technology inside. Whether it can really compete technically with the big brothers, shows only the complex COMPUTER BILD laboratory test. After the elaborate live-test (see box at the bottom of the article) the final results are now available.


Apple iPhone SE: First problems with Bluetooth

Hardly has the iPhone appeared, Apple must fight against the first problems. MacRumors reports that more and more users complain about Bluetooth errors when making phone calls. While other Apple iPhone SE  models in the same situation would work fine, it comes to the iPhone SE to interference and incomprehensible voice transmission. In the Apple Support Forums, users write that Apple now knows about this issue and is working on a software update to enable flawless Bluetooth telephony. Regardless, below you will find out how the Apple iPhone SE beats in everyday life.

Apple iPhone SE: Design without experiments

The first impression holds no surprises. Unlike the iPhone 6S reigns here further introduced with the iPhone 5 square design. Who does not hold the iPhone SE in the new color rose gold in the hand, it is not outwardly of the predecessor iPhone 5Scan distinguish. On the contrary, Apple has made every effort to retain all the details. The housing dimensions (123.8×58.6×7.6 millimeters), the location of a camera lens, buttons and housing openings: all this is identical. The weight has increased by 1 gram from 112 to 113 grams (and thus much lighter than the iPhone 6S with 152 grams). Even the standby button, like the iPhone 5S, has wandered back to the top, as it can easily be reached with one hand on a smaller display. The advantage: Old cases should also fit the iPhone SE outstanding – as well as the purchase of expensive new car mounts is unnecessary.

How fast is the iPhone SE?

The pace tests in the laboratory of COMPUTER BILD prove the technical relationship of the Apple iPhone SE to the iPhone 5S. In the practice-oriented test procedure of COMPUTER BILD, there was a very good grade of 1.19 for the operating and working speed (iPhone 6S: 1.14). The refurbished small iPhone also scored points in benchmark tests that specifically address the processor and graphics. The ticketing iPhone9 A9 processor reached 4,706 points in the Futuremark benchmark, almost twice as much as the iPhone 5S and about as much as the iPhone 6S. The Octane 2.0 benchmark also left a good mark with 16,277 points. Opening a large PDF file in a mail attachment took just 1.7 seconds in the test. And to convert and rewrite an (only) in Full HD recording video after a cut from two to a minute, the iPhone SE took only three seconds. That is very respectable! Cut 4K videos with the iPhone SE (and the 6S!), But less fun, here the iPhone SE took much longer.

Video editing with the iPhone SE in 4K is not really fun yet. Shortening a two-minute video with two cuts (in iMovie) to one minute is a daily task at the editing stage. For the subsequent Neurendern and save needed the iPhone SE in the test eight minutes and 46 seconds. in Full HD, the same scene could be rendered in 18 seconds.

The camera in the lab test

The 12-megapixel camera of the iPhone SE is slightly different in design than the iPhone 6S (and does not stick out of the case), but according to Apple consists of the same components. It also offers the same recording options as the iPhone top models: videos in 4K resolution, time-lapse and slow-motion movies as well as HDR and live photos. Test images were qualitatively indistinguishable from photos of an iPhone 6S. In the laboratory, the iPhone SE, like the 6S for daylight shots, achieved the grade “good” (2.46), but “satisfactory” in low light. The COMPUTER BILD test lab also looked closely at the selfie camera of the iPhone SE. It takes pictures only with 1.2-megapixel resolution. When zooming in, however, the lack of detail was clearly evident. The laboratory evaluation showed: Overall, the shots offer very few details, but still good grayscale. However, the colors are a bit pale and the noise is clearly noticeable.

The evaluation of the test recording of the iPhone SE shows The 1.2-megapixel optics stingy as expected with details, but the grayscale is still good. The colors look a bit pale and annoying noise can be seen even with good lighting.

Apple breaks the battery promise

Apple promises for the Apple iPhone SE a much longer battery life compared to the 6S. The laboratory could not confirm this claim: With a running time of ten hours and 50 minutes in the intensive usage mix of the COMPUTER BILD test procedure, the iPhone SE lasted exactly one minute longer than the iPhone 6S. After all: The feat succeeds the iPhone SE despite shrunken battery capacity (1,624 mAh instead of 1,715 mAh in the iPhone 6S).

Display comparison with the iPhone 6S

In the display comparison between iPhone SE and iPhone 6S, there is a point that stands out even without laboratory measurement: the Apple iPhone SE lacks the 3D touch technology that Apple introduced with the iPhone 6S. However, since most users are more likely to switch from the iPhone 5S or an even older device to the Apple iPhone SE, this will not be a noticeable disadvantage in practice. But what about the measured values? In the small newcomer is a normal Retina display with the resolution of 1136×640 pixels known from the 5er installed. With a pixel density of 326 PPI ( Pixels per Inch), it is just as sharp as the display in the 6S. Compared to the iPhone 6S it should be according to Apple much lower contrast. However, this contradicts the laboratory results of the COMPUTER BILD-Tests: Here the contrast values are on a comparable level.


Apple’s latest phone family: the size comparison between iPhone SE (left), iPhone 6S (middle) and the big iPhone 6S Plus.

Memory: The 16-gigabyte trap

Another difference between the iPhone SE iPhone 6S is the memory: potential buyers have to renounce the Apple iPhone SE on the 32- and 128-gigabyte version – why Apple even in 2016 at 16 gigabytes deals, is only to explain that Apple wants to offer an iPhone under 500 euros. Because ex-factory of the nominal 16 GB only 12.7 GB are free. If you want an SE halfway intense for apps, photos, or even 4K video user wants, does not get far with so little memory. Speaking of abstaining: Even in the Apple iPhone SE is missing a typical Apple memory card slot for microSD cards. Samsung’s waterproof Galaxy S7 has the edge here. Less noticeable is another detail: the Apple iPhone SE SE has no barometer – so it can measure in fitness apps, for example, no more floors when climbing stairs. And for altitude measurement, the GPS module is now solely responsible.

Conclusion: iPhone SE

The iPhone SE is a successful symbiosis of the performance of the iPhone 6S and the popular size of the 5 Series of the iPhone. So if you want more power without having to get used to handling a lot, you’ll have a good grip. Also, car mounts so continue to use. Although there is the iPhone SE from 489 euros, the useful 64-GB variant is not just a cheap phone with 589 euros. If you’re looking for an iPhone that will be equipped with completely new technology gadgets, you will have to wait until autumn, when Apple iPhone SE  presumably introduces the next generation of devices: the iPhone 7.

Apple iPhone SE: Price and Availability

The price for the 16 GB version is 489 euros. This makes the SE the most favorable Apple iPhone SE to date for sale (March 31, 2016). The laboratory-tested larger version with 64 GB memory costs 589 euros. The color palette is similar to the 6S models: silver, space gray, rose gold and gold.


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