March 22, 2016

iPhone SE: I’m excited!

iPhone SE: I’m excited!

I confess, I’ve been excited for iPhone launches before. I’m pretty much always excited in fact, but this time is different.

The last time I upgraded my iPhone it was because I wanted to embrace Apple Pay. I’m a regular underground/bus rider in central London, and a big fan of contactless payments in general, so the opportunity of just tapping my way around town using an iPhone was very appealing to me.

When Apple delivered Apple Pay in the UK, I wasn’t disappointed. It worked as seamlessly as promised. A quick current account change later I was as happy as I’d ever been when it came to paying for goods.

But I've never been 100% happy with my iPhone 6.

It’s nothing wrong with the function, and the form is actually very good. I enjoy reading on the slightly bigger screen, I enjoy some of the apps being more intuitive thanks to the extra screen real-estate, and I applaud the little things like movement of the power button to the side of the phone.

But I don’t have very big hands (I’d claim average), and the problem I have using my iPhone 6 is almost certainly to do with the way I hold it; one handed.

The primary controls for iOS are at the top of the screen on an iPhone. On the iPhone 6 I often find it a stretch to reach those all-important ‘back’ buttons without over-stretching my thumb.

I've dropped my phone in bed numerous because of the iPhone 6’s size. I tend to lay on my side in bed, and with one arm permanently out of action (because it’s under me, thank you) as soon as I try to press a back button or other ‘top of display’ control, I end up overstretching and dropping the phone on the floor.

Sure, there’s reachability, built in to the Touch ID button, but that seems more of an acknowledgement of a problem to me, rather than an appropriate fix.

Welcome then, iPhone SE.

I get it, it’s just an iPhone 5S with different insides, right?

But honestly, who cares? The iPhone 5S was the most comfortable to hold, well-weighted, pocket friendly device Apple has ever produced. Why would I want them to change it if I don’t want or need a bigger screen?

I’m getting a 12mpx camera, the latest processor and Apple Pay in a form factor I love. It comes in 64GB just like my iPhone 6 (sorry 128GB fans) and it costs £180 LESS than my iPhone 6 cost new. And my old iPhone 5S cases fit the SE.

Someone please tell me why I wouldn’t be excited?