The Apple iPhone SE is now available for pre-order, and product reviewers have already gotten their hands on the new product. Some of the details regarding the phone and its release date were leaked last month, and now we're finally getting a closer look.
For those who aren't familiar with the SE model, it's designed to appease the needs of those who prefer a smaller screen. Some saw the release of the 6S and 6S Plus and decided the phone was far too big and too bulky to take anywhere. They wanted the latest hardware without the bulk.
The SE fits the bill. The screen is just 4-inches, which is half an inch smaller than the iPhone 4 and almost an inch smaller than the 5. It's a great option for those who don't spend a lot of time taking selfies or watching videos.
However, there are some differences in the SE that make it distinctly different from the 6S.
First of all, the front camera isn't quite as good. It's an older, 1.2 megapixel lens, which is starkly worse than the 5 megapixel you get in the 6S. But with a smaller phone, the lesser camera makes sense.
Still, the camera takes better pictures than the 5S, which is the phone it's meant to replace. The SE's screen turns into a front-camera flash, which gives you a much clearer picture in dim lighting.
The rear camera is the same in the 6S, though there's no image-stabilizing feature. The average person probably won't notice the difference, but if you're really into taking high-quality photographs with your phone, this might not be the right option for you.
The 3D Touch is also different. This is a non-essential feature for most people, but if you like that you'll get different outcomes based on the pressure applied to the screen, you better stick with the 6. It's lacking a barometer as well, which enables apps that do motion and step tracking.
It's also more difficult to zoom in and out of the screen. You can still increase the screen's size to read text or look at a picture, but you have to use a slider feature instead of just your fingers. It's a little less convenient, but it still gets the job done.
For those who store their whole lives on their phone, the SE might not cut it. The miniature screen size also comes with miniature storage. It only comes in the 16 and 64 GB models, with the 64 GB model priced at $100 more.
The SE also won't support the LTE Advanced cellular network that comes with the 6S models. This network can be twice as fast as regular networks, but the original LTE is already so fast that most people probably won't notice the difference.
Wi-Fi is speedy, and the battery is exceptional. You're granted 13 sure hours of web browsing with the smaller phone, which is several hours more than you can expect with the 6S and the Plus.
The adjustment from one iPhone to another will be virtually seamless. It comes with the latest operating software, and it has the same familiar Apple iPhone feel. Users are still holding out to see what the iPhone 7 has in store, but for now, the Apple iPhone SE is a great alternative to the bulky 6S and Plus versions.
[Image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]