Big at heart: Apple’s iPhone SE reviewed
4.4Overall Score

Price (RRP): $679 (starting price); $679 for 16GB; $829 for 64GB; Available on plans from Telstra, Optus, Virgin, and Vodafone;
Manufacturer: Apple

A small iPhone with the heart of a big one? It’s true, and it’s a pretty decent package, even if it took Apple long enough.

Specs

It’s too early for a new iPhone, it being March and all. September is when that’s expected, and when the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus will likely cede their flagship territory to a new generation of device, one that carries the number “7”.

Before that happens, though, Apple is keen to address a section of the market that has been asking a very simple question: what do you do if you want a new iPhone but don’t want a big screen?

The answer is clear, though it is one that Apple has certainly taken its time with: you build a smaller version of your flagship handset.

Currently, the flagship is the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, and to make this answer something people can bank on, can plonk their money on and take home, Apple has shrunk the flagship into the casing and design of something smaller.

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Presenting the iPhone SE, a handset that pretty much takes the iPhone 5S that Apple has had for a few years now and replaces what’s inside, because it is what’s on the inside that counts, especially when you’re talking about phone upgrades.

On that inside, you’ll find Apple’s 64-bit A9 processor paired with the M9 motion co-processor to handle things, and either a choice of 16GB or 64GB for the amount of storage with 2GB RAM on either. Apple’s iOS 9.3 arrives on the phone out of the box, up to date and ready for action.

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Connections are fairly standard especially for a premium phone, with WiFi working on 802.11ac (compatible with 802.11a/b/g/n) while Bluetooth is set to 4.2, GPS arrives as A-GPS with GLONASS, and Near-Field Communication (NFC) is made to work for Apple’s payment technology “Apple Pay”.

Mobile connectivity works with a Category 4 LTE modem, meaning 4G speeds are capped up to 150Mbps downloads and 50Mbps uploads, network dependent of course.

On the camera side of things, you’ll find a 1.2 megapixel FaceTime HD camera up front, while the rear camera is a 12 megapixel camera supporting Live Photos and 4K (3840×2160) video recording.

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That’s what’s inside, and on the outside, it’s more or less the same phone you’ve seen in an iPhone 5S before, with an aluminium casing holding the innards together, with a mute switch and set of volume buttons on the left side while a power button sits up top.

At the bottom, you’ll find the only ports for the iPhone SE, with a 3.5mm headphone port on the left while the Lightning port for charging and data sits in the middle flanked on each side by speakers. Along the right side, you’ll find the one tray for the phone, with a pin-ejectable nanoSIM tray.