4" vs 4.7" for reading and typing

wdmn1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
11
4
Thinking my next phone might be an SE after using a 6 for three years. How is the experience on a smaller screen? I'm not worried about texting with one hand or gaming, but I read a lot on my phone. Does content feel cramped? Is the screen nice to look at compared to a 7? And is the keyboard easy to type on in portrait mode?
 

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
30,345
30,602
Thinking my next phone might be an SE after using a 6 for three years. How is the experience on a smaller screen? I'm not worried about texting with one hand or gaming, but I read a lot on my phone. Does content feel cramped? Is the screen nice to look at compared to a 7? And is the keyboard easy to type on in portrait mode?
When I owned the iPhone SE, I found reading was very minimized, as I preferred the 4.7/5.5 iPhone. Like you said, it's great for one handed use, but you have to factor you're reading on a 4 inch display. I would suggest testing iPhone SE in person in comparison to see if you would appreciate it or not for reading purposes.
 

nburwell

macrumors 601
May 6, 2008
4,583
1,617
DE
I agree with @Relentless Power. I really don't read extensively on my SE, I typically save that for my Mini 4. Typing is great on the SE because I can easily do it one handed. But I definitely would suggest trying the SE out in a store before you buy.
 
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DevinNj

macrumors 6502a
Apr 27, 2016
967
689
New Jersey
I agree with the above, go and try it before you commit to buying it. I also love the smaller phones for their pocket-ability and one handed use, but my old eyes appreciate the screen on my 7+
 
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ACG12

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2015
691
580
I loved my SE, but the only reason why I upgraded to a 7 was because the screen was too small.
 

Le Big Mac

macrumors 68030
Jan 7, 2003
2,586
157
Washington, DC
Work just gave me an iPhone 7, an "upgrade" from 5S (have one personally). I don't like typing on it as much - I'm adjusting, but haven't gotten used to the spacing yet.

But, yes, easier to read on especially for anything that doesn't reformat to page width.
 

Knowimagination

macrumors 68020
Apr 6, 2010
2,042
875
I went from 6 Plus to 6s Plus to 7 Plus then briefly to an s8 Plus before getting my SE. I absolutely hate typing on the 4" screen now after getting used to the big screens. I'm so glad I get to get my X preorder in and hopefully will be in the first wave of shipments so I don't have to keep using this tiny screen. Other than the screen size it is a great phone but I just can't do 4" anymore.
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2016
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Europe
I am starting to think i could even go bigger than the 7 Plus screen lol crazy how you get used to things
 

joeblow7777

macrumors 603
Sep 7, 2010
5,966
6,755
I am starting to think i could even go bigger than the 7 Plus screen lol crazy how you get used to things
It’s true. Every iPhone I’ve had has been bigger than the last. I’ve gone 3.5” to 4” to 4.7” to 5.5” and every time within a day or two the new size felt “normal” and the previous phone felt small.
 

itsmilo

macrumors 68030
Sep 15, 2016
2,621
5,148
Europe
It’s true. Every iPhone I’ve had has been bigger than the last. I’ve gone 3.5” to 4” to 4.7” to 5.5” and every time within a day or two the new size felt “normal” and the previous phone felt small.
sometimes i am using my old iPhone 5 and the keyboard is so tiny. I just cant type on it anymore. Gives me cramps in my fingers lol my old 6 is „okay“
 

wdmn1234

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 18, 2013
11
4
I did try one out in a store, actually. It felt small. And the screen on the 7 had a smoother, deeper look to it. There's something about reading an article where there are like 4-5 words on a line (4") that I found annoying. But I guess I was wondering if it's just one of those things I'd get used to it and forget about after a few days. Same with adjusting to a small keyboard again.
 

Mjmar

macrumors 65816
May 20, 2008
1,177
403
I had the SE and was forced to upgrade to a 7 because of my job. Prior to getting the SE I had a 6 for two years.

Going from the 6 to the SE took about a week to get used to. After that week I remember being really happy with the size - specifically being able to use it with one hand and the fact that it disappeared in my pocket. Typing actually became faster for me on the SE than it was on the 6. iOS just fits so perfectly on a 4" screen in my opinion.

When I was forced to go to the 7 it felt like the extra size was unnecessary and everything just seemed so big. Now I am used to it again, but if I had a choice I'd go with a 4" screen over 4.7". Regardless of what you choose, it will become "normal". I say if you have normal vision go with the SE! Hoping Apple keeps the 4" iPhone alive.

Edit:
Also want to mention that the SE kind of altered my reading habits - I noticed that I would grab my iPad more for reading. And honestly I did not consider this a bad thing, the iPad is better than ANY phone for reading.