iPhone SE vs. iPhone 6 and 6S: which Apple smartphone should you get?


Apple's newest iPhone looks just like the old iPhone ... from 2012. The iPhone SE is a four-inch smartphone utilizing the same design as the iPhone 5, yet with upgraded innards putting it on par with the performance of the iPhone 6S. It's meant to appeal to customers who have long yearned for a smartphone that fits more easily in their hands and are willing to make a couple of compromises in exchange. Now Apple fans have more choices than ever — a 4-inch display, a 4.7-inch one, or 5.5-inch one — and will have to take into account all the side effects those choices have.

Of course, there are obvious trade-offs. The iPhone SE won't have the battery life of the monstrous iPhone 6S Plus, and its smaller screen will make reading and playing games less comfortable than on the standard iPhone 6S. But what it lacks in screen size, the iPhone SE may make up for in usability. With the introduction of larger iPhones in 2014, Apple was forced to introduce a software feature that let you lower everything on the screen with a double tap of the home button, making it easer to use the phone with one hand. For those who find that a bit ridiculous — and yearn for the days of smartphones that could fit neatly in our palms — the iPhone SE might be for you.

To be sure, however, it's always a good idea to see a choice laid out in cold, hard data. In the chart below, we've put the iPhone SE up against both the Phone 6 and the iPhone 6S. Whether you're sold on the screen size but wary of the performance or vice versa, it's always a good idea to know what you're buying, inside and out.

Read next: Our iPhone SE review