iPhone SE vs iPhone 6S vs iPhone 5S: The Gizmodo UK Spec Comparison

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

These are the days we live for. Apple has just outed its latest wares, and the iPhone SE is the product trapped inside the thought bubble hanging over everyone's tiny heads. With one foot in 2013, and another in the present day, it's essentially an iPhone 6S in the body of an iPhone 5S. I could stop there, but I don't think Gerald would be best pleased. Here's how Apple-branded trio stack up against each other.

Read More: Everything That Happened at Apple's March Event


As expected, the iPhone SE looks a lot like the 5S, with those comfortably-familiar sharp edges and glass back. Only the corners are curved. It's a classic design that we're happy to see again, and it instantly lands as the top truly-small smartphone on the market.

Nobody should care about the fact that it's a solitary gram heavier than the 5S, as it's still a fair bit lighter than the 6S... which is also pretty light. The SE obviously smaller too, with a 123.8 x 58.6mm frame, rather than the 138.3 x 67.1mm body of its 4.7-inch sibling.

Read More: My Tiny Baby Hands Need the iPhone SE


It's been nice of Apple to stick to the same pixel density with all three phones. That's 326 ppi, for those of you who scrolled past the table, probably thinking it was an ad. Seriously, look again.

The iPhone SE features the exact same display as the 5S, from size to resolution. That's no surprise, and most people will be happy with how it looks. If you've grown used to 5-inch+ handsets though, the SE's 4-inch panel will look tiny. Not the best option for watching football highlights or movies on, but easily good enough for pretty much everything else.

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Thankfully, Apple's decided to equip the SE with some of its latest and greatest camera tech. We feared it would feature the 8-megapixel number used by the 5S, but instead we're in the realm of 12 glorious megapixels. 12! In fact, the iPhone SE features the same setup as the one you'll find on the iPhone 6S. There's a 12-megapixel iSight camera, 4K video support and a two-tone flash. It can capture Live Photos too.

The selfie cam, on the other hand, is a throwback to 2013. The 1.2-megapixel front-facing snapper might generate a few Instagram likes here and there, but it's primarily designed for fuzzy FaceTime shenanigans.

Read More: Where and When Can You Buy the iPhone SE


You know what, maybe this phone isn't as basic as we were led to believe. As you can see, it uses the same 64-bit A9 processor and M9 co-processor as the iPhone 6S, which runs like a dream. However, we haven't got RAM details for the iPhone SE yet.

The 5S, however, is way behind in the performance department, running on the more-than-two-years-old A7. Poor iPhone 5S. If you like to use more than a few apps at a time, there's no contest between the 4-inch handsets here. The SE, with its 6S-grade of performance, is up there with the best on the market. Hopefully the SE comes with a 6S-equalling 2GB of RAM too.

Read More: What Do You Love and Hate About the iPhone SE?

Battery Life

Annoyingly, Apple's yet to announce the capacity of the battery stuffed inside the SE, but has promised "improved battery life". We assume that's a comparison with the 5S, which squeezes in a diddy 1,560mAh number. It's unlikely to go up as far as the 1,715mAh of the 6S, but in all honesty, iPhones aren't exactly known for fantastic stamina. Expect to have to charge it whenever you find yourself near a power source. Sigh.


Still not sure you should choose the SE over the 5S? Maybe this will tempt you. The 16GB iPhone SE will retail at £359 and the 64GB version will land at £439. When the 5S came out all those years ago, it was up for £549. You can obviously get your hands on it for significantly less now, but you'd be getting a lot less phone for your money.

The iPhone 6S, meanwhile, is available from £539. That's £200 more than the equivalent SE model, essentially for a slightly different design and more screen real estate. 16GB of storage is crap though. The 64GB SE and 6S models cost £439 and £619. What's your pick?

For all of tonight's Apple keynote news, head over to our March event hub where we have rounded up everything that happened in one handy place.