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iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: what’s the difference?

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: what’s the difference?

There’s long been talk about Apple launching a new, smaller iPhone. Well, it’s just happened.

Dubbed the iPhone SE, it’s designed to take the mantle of 2013’s iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, two phones that are looking decidedly long in the tooth.

Have you been weighing up picking up a bargain iPhone 5S? Or thinking of chopping one in for something new?

Read our head–to–head guide to see whether you should choose Apple’s spanking new smartphone instead of its old reliable one.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: camera

iphone 6s launch photo

The iPhone SE has the same camera as the iPhone 6S. That means a 12-megapixel sensor, with support for True Tone flash and Apple’s clever Retina Flash function for its forward–facing FaceTime camera.

The upshot is that you can use the screen as a flash when it comes to taking selfies.

Throw in 4K video recording and Live Photos support and this is a major upgrade.

By comparison, the iPhone 5S looks pretty dated. Its camera shoots eight megapixel images and while its flash is a similar dual LED effort, it can only record 1080p video, a step down from futuristic 4K.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: screen

iphone 5se colours launch

The display on the iPhone SE is exactly the same as the iPhone 5S.

You get a four inch screen with Apple’s Retina Display tech offering a 640 x 1136 pixels at 326 pixels per inch. In this time of AMOLED and ultra bright screens, this isn’t something to get overly excited about.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5s: battery

iphone battery drain

Apple says the iPhone SE has ‘improved battery life’ when held up against the iPhone 5s. Talk time over 3G is up to 14 hours compared with 10 hours, while you can get 13 hours of 4G web usage out of Apple’s new device.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: storage

The iPhone 5S came with 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage options. Despite offering 4K video and Live Photos, both of which take up a huge amount of space, Apple has binned the 32GB option with the iPhone SE.

This is in keeping with its wider strategy, which has seen 32GB models of other iPhones discontinued.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: processor

a9 processor

The iPhone SE is way out in front here, using the same A9 silicon as the iPhone 6s.

This can easily handle the latest, graphically intense games and apps, something which 2013’s iPhone 5s, with its A7 chip, cannot quite manage.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S: price

The iPhone SE costs £359 for a SIM free 16GB model, rising to £459 for a SIM free 64GB model. Comparatively, the iPhone 5s cost £379 for a 16GB model, with a 32GB model costing £419.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5s: conclusion

In every department, perhaps except storage, the iPhone SE is an improvement on the iPhone 5S.

With Apple having discontinued the latter, it may still be available at low cost from networks, but is likely to stop being supported in the next year or so.

The iPhone SE, with its iPhone 6S-aping range of specs and affordable price tag, is definitely a better bet.

Looking for a comparison of the iPhone SE and iPhone 5C instead? That's right here.

How does the iPhone SE differ from the iPhone 6S? Get the inside line with our head-to-head comparison.

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