Apple released the iPhone SE in 2016 – months before releasing its flagship phones for the year. The iPhone SE was basically a smaller and cheaper phone offering the same system and camera performance as that of the flagship iPhone 6S.
The iPhone 6S retailed for $649 in 2016 whereas the iPhone SE retailed for just $399. While the iPhone SE was not exactly “cheap”, it was definitely being sold for a far lower price compared to the iPhone 6S. The iPhone SE was/is just as fast as the iPhone 6S as it uses the same A9 processor. Also, the iPhone SE uses 2GB of RAM to keep most tasks free of lag.
In terms of the camera performance, the back camera on the iPhone SE is same as that of the iPhone 6S. A 2016 camera sensor will definitely not match the image quality of the more recent smartphone cameras, I’m equally surprised to say that the quality is better than some sub $200 Android phones.
However, the front camera on the iPhone SE is bad as Apple did not use the same sensor as that found on the iPhone 6S. The company rather decided to use the sensor found on the iPhone 5S to keep the costs low. You may very well be able to use the front camera for casual Snapchatting in good lighting conditions but if you are looking forward to clicking Instagrammable selfies, look elsewhere (the iPhone 7 maybe).
The iPhone SE can be found on the pre-owned markets for dirt cheap – under $100. If you need a compact phone which runs iOS and does not compromise in many areas, the iPhone SE is a solid choice. Also, the battery life of the iPhone SE is pretty decent, however the battery backup may differ on pre-owned iPhones.