Product Recommendation- iPhone SE 2nd Generation

A poor man’s iPhone?

Haha, very funny. Keep laughing guys……… I tried to be a good sport and take it, as my mates ribbed me about my new iPhone SE 2nd Generation. The comments which were made which garnered all the laughs was “Oh, the iPhone SE, isn’t that a second hand refurbished iPhone 8 from Bangladesh?”

Yes, outwardly I was laughing with them, sure my new phone wasn’t a $1500+ flagship phone, but inwardly I was thinking “it’s no second hand refurb either!” I usually tell people that it’s the most advanced software and internals, but in an older phone’s body- that’s all. And I’ve been sprucing this line for years now, as my new SE is my second SE.

Even as recent as a month ago, I honestly believed that I was going to hang onto my iPhone SE 1st Generation for as long as I could. And tell you the truth, I honestly stressed out thinking about the day when it would finally fail like all tech eventually do, and what would I do then? As I loved my old SE, because it was small and compact- the very last of the small body phones. It fitted in my pocket so well, that you hardly notice that it’s there! And because I’m blind, I didn’t need a fancy big screen, and having a small surface area had its advantages as well, as all the icons were in close proximity so I wasn’t always blindly searching around for stuff on my phone.

However the scenario which made me think- ‘perhaps I need a larger screen’, was when my wife complained of eye-strain from watching ‘Terrace House’ on my tiny 4 inch monitor (SE 1st Gen used the old iPhone 5 body). And the second contributing factor which pushed me over the edge to purchase a new phone, was the fact that my 4 year old SE’s battery life was real bad- so bad that if I used it at all, I’d had to charge it twice a day to ensure that it would last the evening, and then last through to 8am the next morning. Not exactly all that mobile, for a mobile phone?

So over a 4 week period I first convinced myself in, then convinced myself out, and eventually talked myself back into taking the plunge and purchasing a new phone- and these are my thoughts after week 1.

The pros of the phone, may also be its cons?

I purchased the base of the base model, SE 64GB in  black with no further accessories nor cases- setting me back a miserly $749 (there are 128GB and 256GB options).

The set-up of the new phone was more than simple! With your two devices in hand, you can elect to send your existing phone’s data and settings over to your new phone, what’s required from you is to simply tap a few commands and then you allow your old phone and new phone to get acquainted. It felt like a ‘handover’ session between an outgoing and on-boarding staff member, the two phones just sit side by side for a couple of hours, exchanging content (and probably gossiping about you in the process). And after a snooze on my part, my new phone literally looked and handled like my old phone did- right down to being able to pick-up part-way where I’d left all of my podcasts, audiobooks and videos. Saying that it was unbelievable- is an understatement!

However the downside of this obvious pro and seamless transition, was that the ‘new phone experience’ was taken away from me? So much so that after less than 2 hours of getting a new phone, the sense of having something new was already gone? If that makes any sense? In the past, the new phone experience was all about learning the new functions, adapting to something completely foreign, configuring and customising the settings to your preferences, choosing a ring tone and homepage, transferring phone numbers (ok, perhaps I don’t miss that part), deciding which apps and photos to keep or not etc. But this day long ordeal (and sometimes multiple-day long ordeal) was completely taken away from me, that by the end of the first day I had by in large forgotten that I was still meant to feel excited about having a shiny new phone. Not to mention, if you were previously struggling with having available storage space with your old phone? Even after a new phone, you’ll still have this same problem, as everything from your old device has migrated over to your new (unless you’d purchased a phone with double or triple the existing storage space- which I had not).

But I have to admit, at first when I purchased the new SE, I had planned to still use my old SE due to its compact size. As my old phone wasn’t ‘dead’ yet, just poor battery life, I had imagined to use it when going out- perhaps keeping my sim in the old and actually just using it as a phone- yes, you know, for making and receiving calls? While the new phone would be used around the home on WIFI, like a mini, mini tablet. But all thoughts of maintaining dual devices left, as soon as I found how sleek and nice the SE 2nd Generation is to hold. Its super smooth with its dual sided glass case, it’s nicely weighted, and although it’s made out of glass it feels super sturdy. So much so, that I hadn’t planned on using a protective case- however my wife happened to had an unused iPhone 6 case, which we were surprised to find that it fitted perfectly.  And even with the case, it still feels super sleek and thin! **Note: Probably not using a case is unadvisable, as the back facing camera lens protrudes and caseless living might result in scratching up your 12 megapixel camera. And although the screen is larger, the actual phone doesn’t feel all that large in the end. 

The improvements on the original SE I’ve found, have been the sound quality, now that the in-phone speakers are in stereo. The Bluetooth connection is more reliable. The processor is definitely quicker. And the haptic feedback and the strength of the vibrations are solid and a welcomed addition (although it first annoyed me, vibrating and clicking each time I interacted with the phone).

The feature which I’ve loved the most, has been the simple fact that it still has a fingerprint reader- my wife would now actually prefer my smaller sized phone, than her iPhone 10, just because the SE can still unlock the phone with only a single touch! And having 13 hours of video playback, and probably 2 days’ worth of battery if I’m a light user that day- that is definitely a plus+!

So the latest software and internals, inside the body of an iPhone 8 for a bargain basement price (in mobile phone terms that is), I’m laughing! Not at all, do I feel like I’m the povo who can’t afford a ‘real’ phone.

So if you’re thinking of replacing your old phone and perhaps you’re not looking forward to forking out $1000+ in this current climate? Check out the iPhone SE 2nd Generation, click HERE for a side-by-side comparison between the SE 2nd Gen, iPhone 8, and iPhone SE 1st Gen.

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