Today, Apple introduced the long-rumored Apple iPhone SE for $399 with 16GB of storage and $499 with 64GB of storage. The design is rather a hybrid – it has the iPhone 6S specifications (for the most part) with the size of the iPhone5S and Apple is calling it “the most powerful 4-inch smartphone ever.” This is quite typical, as with every device Apple makes it claims it is the “most powerful” device around. We decided to compare the new iPhone SE with a few Android devices near the same specifications and with smaller displays – for the most part. We took the Motorola Moto G, the Asus ZenFone 2 Deluxe, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and the HTC One A9 and compared them to the Apple iPhone SE. Let’s take a brief look at just how these devices are similar and different from one another.
Taking a quick look at the displays, we see that Moto G comes in at 5-inches, the ZenFone 2 comes in at 5.5-inches, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact splits the ruler at 4.6-inches and the HTC One A9 comes in at 5-inches. The Moto G, Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and the new iPhone SE all come with an HD display, while the ZenFone 2 and One A9 sport a Full HD display. All displays use the IPS LCD technology except the One A9 that uses AMOLED technology. The Android smartphone manufacturers have gotten away from a mini or compact size with most displays considered small at 5-inches, although the Z5 Compact – a true ‘mini’ – breaks that barrier with 4.6-inches. The new iPhone SE comes in at a small 4-inches – a size that Apple believes will sell well with their customers – after all, they bought 30 million 4-inch phones back in 2015. According to Tim Cook, many of their customers have asked for it and he thinks it will sell well…although it might be more the $399 price tag than the size of its display.
The processors vary quite a bit across the brands and models – The Moto G uses a Snapdragon 410 Quad-Core, ZenFone selected the Intel Atom Quad-Core for their ZenFone 2, the Xperia Z5 Compact uses the powerhouse Snapdragon 810 Octa-Core, the HTC One A9 uses a Snapdragon 617 Quad-Core. The new iPhone SE uses Apple’s A9 Dual-Core processor, the same one as in the iPhone 6S.
The amount of RAM and storage memory also varies greatly and all of these smartphones have room for storage memory expansion except the iPhone SE – with it, you have a choice of 16GB or 64GB and that is all. As far as RAM goes, the Moto G has 1GB, the ZenFone 2 has 4GB, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact packs 2GB and the One A9 has a 2GB or 3GB model depending on the storage you select. The iPhone SE follows the Moto G and comes with only 1GB of RAM. As far as storage goes, the Moto G has 8GB, the ZenFone 2 has a choice of 64GB or 128GB, the Xperia Z5 Compact has 32GB and the One A9 has a choice of 16GB or 32GB. Expansion on the Moto G is 32GB, 128GB on the ZenFone 2, and 200GB on either the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact or the HTC One A9. As mentioned earlier, the iPhone SE, as with other Apple devices, offers no expandable storage…it is either 16GB or 64GB, period.
Except for the 23MP main camera found on the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact, the remaining cameras are close in size. The Moto G, ZenFone 2, and the HTC One A9 use a 13MP lens and the iPhone SE uses the same 12MP iSight camera found on the iPhone 6S, which means it is a very good camera. The number of megapixels is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to how good your photo will turn out. In a smartphone, the software plays a very important part in the sharpness and amount of graininess/noise. Apertures, the speed of the autofocus and the speed of the shutter all have their hands in the outcome.
The batteries all vary in size and all five of these devices have non-removable batteries. The Moto G has a 2470mAh size battery, the ZenFone 2 has a 3000mAh battery, the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact has a 2700mAh battery, the One A9 has only a 2150mAh and the iPhone SE squeezes in only a 1642mAh battery. As with the camera, just because a battery is larger, does not necessarily mean it will last longer – the power management functions have a lot to do with battery performance. Sony is excellent at squeezing out every drop of juice, something that Apple has never been accused of.
If there is truly a huge market for 4-inch smartphones these days, then Apple may have a real hit on their hands at $399 and $499, especially when it has many components of the more expensive iPhone 6S. The new iPhone SE will be available in gold and rose colors along with the traditional light and dark grays. Pre-orders will begin on March 24 with availability on March 31. Once it hits the US, it will be available in more than 100 countries by the end of May.