iPhone SE vs. iPhone 5S vs. iPhone 6 vs. iPhone 6S: What’s the Difference?

iPhone SE

Lovers of small iPhones can finally put a smile on their faces thanks to Monday’s release of the iPhone SE. This 4-inch smartphone comes to life after two good years of large screen devices dominating the iPhone world.

It is easy to mistake the iPhone SE for an iPhone 5S, however, a closer look will reveal something fresh and all new. The phone also packs the specs of the newer iPhone 6S, but of course not all of them. Now that the 2013 iPhone 5S is seemingly out of the question, Apple has introduced its replacement in a bid to keep its offering of 4-inch, 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch smartphones.

So, how does the smaller iPhone SE stack up against the rest of the group?


As mentioned, Apple launched the iPhone SE this week. Before this launch, the older iPhone 5S was selling at $450 for the base model and $50 more for the 32GB variant. On the other hand, the refreshed iPhone SE sells at $400 for the base model and rather than offer a 32GB model; there is a 64GB variant for the same price of $500.

iPhone SE

As far as the iPhone 6 is concerned, the 16GB variant costs $550 while the 64GB variant costs $650. Despite the hefty price, you will still be getting older hardware than what is available on the iPhone SE. The iPhone 6S takes the price even higher as the base model starts at $650. The 16GB variant of the iPhone 6 Plus is also available at this cost of a 16GB iPhone 6S model.


Apple stuck with the same rear iSight camera available on the iPhone 6S for the new iPhone SE.  This means that the smaller phone is better at photography than what you get on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 5S. The camera in question here is a 12MP vs. 8MP, but they have the same aperture of f/2.2. Further, the newer iPhone SE camera has the ability to shoot Live Photos, something that is only enjoyed by the 2015 flagship.

The SE camera also captures 4K videos. If you hate the protruding design of the cameras on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S, the new phone is what you need as it has overcome this design flaw thanks to its thicker design. However, if you love selfies, better go for the flagships as the two pint-sized iPhone 5S and iPhone SE are not the best in this category with their 1.2MP compared to the 5MP on the flagships.

Power and Storage capacity

As mentioned at the beginning, the new iPhone SE packs the same hardware under the hood as the new iPhone 6S, so expect it to be a lot powerful than the iPhone 6. While Apple has yet to detail out things like RAM and clock speed, what is clear is that the new phone uses a 64-bit A9 chipset as opposed to the A8 used on the iPhone 6 and A7 used in the iPhone 5S. In short, the newer chip has better optimizations that promise better performance as opposed to the older ones.

iPhone SE

Storage variations are always at the heart of every phone’s pricing strategy. The iPhone SE has only two options – a 16GB and 64GB variant. It is only the iPhone 5S that offers a 32GB variant. In addition, the flagships iPhone 6 and iPhone 6S come with an extra 128GB variant. The price difference between these storage variants is usually $100, so if you can manage, better go for the 64GB variants instead of the 16GB one.

Touch ID

Apple smartphones and tablets come preinstalled with a Touch ID fingerprint scanner meant for unlocking the devices as well as authenticating online purchases via Apple Pay. The iPhone SE is no exception, however, the only shortfall here is that Apple went for the older or rather first generation Touch ID sensor it used in the iPhone 5S and still uses in quite a number of its iPads. Although it won’t promise the same lightning-fast experience as what the Touch ID sensor on the iPhone 6S offers, it is still good.


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