Is iPhone SE better than iPhone 6?

Numerous of our friends have been asking us recently whether should they be buying iPhone SE or iPhone 6. The iPhone 6 had been Apple's flagship device albeit 3 years back. The iPhone SE was much touted as the 'affordable' iPhone with almost identical features.  This question has recently got more relevant with considerable price drop across both of these devices. Let's compare them on various aspects to see how they fare.

iPhone SE
iPhone 6

Price

The reason we are comparing them is primarily due to the price range as they cost in ballpark of each other.

iPhone SE

  • The iPhone SE is currently retailing around ₹ 19,000 (USD 289).
  • It was launched in year 2016 and is shipped with iOS 11.

iPhone 6

  • The iPhone 6 is currently retailing around ₹ 24,000 (USD 354).
  • It was launched in year 2014 and is shipped with iOS 9.

Apparently the iPhone SE is costing much lesser thatn iPhone 6 and is relatively newer release.

Upper Hand: iPhone SE

Display

The two phones differ greatly in the screen size and perhaps could be the deal breaker. Both however feature similar screen type and technology.

iPhone SE

  • 4 inches widescreen, IPS-LCD display
  • 1136x640 resolution @ 326 ppi
  • 800:1 contrast ratio
  • Fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating

iPhone 6

  • 4.7 inches widescreen IPS-LCD display
  • 1334x750 resolution @ 326 ppi
  • 1400:1 contrast ratio
  • Fingerprint resistant oleophobic coating
  • Retina HD Display

Here the iPhone 6 is featuring the bigger display with higher resolution and better contrast display. In our assessment, the larger the display, the easier and better to consume content (articles, videos, emails, websites, etc.). However it does comes at the cost of ease of usability.

Upper Hand: iPhone 6

Camera

Both device have capable camera hardware which based on today's standard is adequate for amateur and occasional photography. Both features FaceTime HD camera for selfies, video calling, etc. and the single camera rear shooter. Both miss on the Optical Image Stabilization thus relying completely on the software to remove the jitters in the captured photo and smoothen them. The result could be less sharp photo.

iPhone SE

Rear

  • 12 Megapixel, f/2.2, Digital Image Stabilization, Face Detect, Auto Focus, HDR
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Backside illumination sensor

Video

  • 4k @ 30 fps
  • 1080 HD video @ 30/60 fps
  • 720 HD video @ 30 fps
  • 3x digital zoom
  • Slow motion video, 1080 @ 120 fps, 720 at 240 fps

Front

  • 1.2 Megapixel, f/2.4 Face Time camera, HDR, Face Detection
  • 720 HD video recording
  • Backside illumination sensor

iPhone 6

Rear

  • 8 Megapixel, f/2.2, Digital Image Stabilization, Face Detect, Auto Focus, HDR
  • Sapphire crystal lens cover
  • Backside illumination sensor

Video

  • 1080 HD video @ 30/60 fps
  • 3x digital zoom
  • Slow motion video, 1080 @ 120 fps, 720 @ 240 fps

Front

  • 1.2 Megapixel, f/2.2 Face Time camera, HDR, Face Detection
  • 720 HD video recording
  • Backside illumination sensor

Clearly, the iPhone 6 seems showing its age. It has lesser megapixel for rear and slightly dated front camera.

Upper Hand: iPhone SE

Connectivity, Location & Sensors

Both again features similar set of connectivity, location services and sensors in general. However iPhone SE misses on Barometric sensor. This sensor can be used by weather applications to give you more realistic weather predictions, not an absolute must.

iPhone SE

Connectivity

  • Supports nearly all LTE (4G), 3G, 2G bands
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.3
  • NFC

Location

  • A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Digital Compass
  • WiFi based location
  • Mobile Data based location
  • iBeacon micro-location

Sensors

  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Three axis gyroscope
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor

iPhone 6

Connectivity

  • Supports nearly all LTE (4G), 3G, 2G bands
  • 802.11 ac Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • NFC

Location

  • A-GPS, GLONASS
  • Digital Compass
  • Wi-Fi based location
  • Cellular data based location
  • iBeacon micro-location

Sensors

  • Touch ID fingerprint sensor
  • Three axis gyroscope
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Barometer

iPhone 6 certainly has one extra sensor but seems having few dated components. If barometer isn't your priority (which in most cases it wouldn't be) then iPhone SE it is.

Upper Hand: Tie

Performance

The performance of the phone is really the measure of how well it performs in normal as well as demanding usage. The normal usage could be browsing websites, checking you emails, watching video, taking photographs. The demanding could be, playing games, recording HD or Ultra HD videos, multi-tasking, etc.

iPhone SE

  • Apple A9 chipset with embedded M9 motion co-processor
  • Dual-core 1.84 GHz Twister
  • 64 bit architecture
  • PowerVR GT7600 with six-core graphics
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 16/32/64/128 GB Phone Storage

iPhone 6

  • Apple A8 chipset with M8 motion co-processor
  • Dual-core 1.4 GHz Typhoon
  • 64 bit architecture
  • PowerVR GX6450 with quad-core graphics
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 16/32/64/128 GB Phone Storage

On performance front, the iPhone SE is blowing iPhone 6 out of the waters. It has a chipset which apple claims perform 70% faster than its predecessor (i.e. iPhone 6). It has higher amount of RAM meaning better multi-tasking and has 2 more graphic cores, meaning better gaming experience. Do we need to say who has upper hand here?

Upper Hand: iPhone SE

Conclusion

If screen size is your priority iPhone 6 is for you. However, for all practical purposes, iPhone SE is a superior product wearing a more classy, timeless design.

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