Apple released the iPhone SE in March of 2016, as a miniature flagship equivalent of the iPhone 6S. At the time, it was a strong smartphone carrying the same internals of the iPhone 6S which had been released just a few months ago (September 2015). However, many people considered its price to be pretty high.

iPhone SE first gen

The iPhone SE was loved by user’s who preferred small and compact phone in an ever growing world of humongous phones. The “compact phone” people didn’t mind the price as not many smartphone manufacturers were making a phone of its size. However, to improve sales, Apple reduced the price in many markets like India and also started assembling the phone in India to reduce taxes.

Decent performance by today`s standards

Should you buy the iPhone SE? [September 2019]

The iPhone SE is powered by the Apple A9 chip which is a decent chip by today’s standards. Will Apple continue to support this phone in the future with further iOS software updates? Well, we can’t on that topic with 100% correctness but if the past is any indication, iOS 13 is the last major update to the iPhone SE.

The performance of the iPhone SE is actually pretty decent as its coupled with 2GB of RAM which is actually good in the iOS world. Android phones usually require 4GB of RAM to perform similar to that of a 2GB iPhone. If you are a casual phone user – WhatsApp, Instagram, web surfing, video watching, some photo shoots – then the iPhone SE will run perfectly fine. However, for heavy iMovie edits and other power tasks like gaming, the device could struggle a bit.

Decent camera performance

Should you buy the iPhone SE? [September 2019]

The rear camera on the iPhone SE is fantastic – a 12MP sensor does a great job in well-lit conditions and okayish job in dark environments. However, the front camera is horrendous – a 1.2MP sensor produces images which lack quality.

So should you buy an iPhone SE in 2019? If you are a casual smartphone user and can find it for $150 (USD) or less, then sure go ahead, the iPhone SE won’t disappoint. But otherwise, iPhone SE is not a device that’s recommended in 2019 and also the fact that it won’t receive any further major software updates.


Abhay Ram is a News Editor at iLounge. He has been writing about the Apple ecosystem and accessories since 2010. Abhay's work has been featured in various publications. When he's not writing about all things Apple, you can find him playing video games or enjoying a good cup of coffee.