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iPhone 6, 6s, & 7 vs. iPhone SE: Should You Upgrade?

ani4ani

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,406
1,265
UK
If it gets the iOS 14, wouldn't the phone then have the latest software until September 2021? Isn't that 6 years from September 2015?

Well by the same implication, getting iOS 14 in September 2020 a first day order 6s would gets its’ last update after 5 years and correspondingly, as the 6s was Apples flagship until the the 16th Sept 2016, someone who purchased a 6S in September ‘16, would receive their last update after 4 years. Easy to play semantics eh?
 
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Jimmy James

macrumors 603
Oct 26, 2008
5,300
3,733
Magicland
If you're using any of those phones, you should upgrade.

7 may be good for another year, but the original SE, 6, and 6s are likely going to be left behind with iOS 14.

Early indications are that the 6s will get ios 14. It’s also still faster now than prior phones were when new. I see no reason why people with those phones should update if they’re happy.
 
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johnnylarue

macrumors 6502a
Aug 20, 2013
996
497
Contrary to editorial opinion (and against all odds in this era of planned obsolescence), my trusty old 6S doesn’t feel sluggish in the least. Sure there’s a difference in overall snappiness when compared to my new iPad Pro, but there’s nothing about its performance that objectively feels “old” or “broken”, not by a long shot.

The camera feels dated but I’ve switched to carrying around a real camera for that stuff, and my battery is getting tired but that’s easily remedied. But otherwise...? It’s perfectly fine.

No argument that the SE is a good deal. But having to dig out a USB-C dongle to use my headphones with my iPad is already annoying enough. I’m not entirely sure the added horsepower of the SE justifies the aggravation of adding another dongle to the mix. At least not yet...
 
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Locke Cole

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2019
98
66
Kohlingen
Early indications are that the 6s will get ios 14. It’s also still faster now than prior phones were when new. I see no reason why people with those phones should update if they’re happy.
The 6 has definitely been crippled to varying degrees ever since day one. With 1GB of RAM and a minuscule speed boost (1.3 GHz > 1.4 GHz both dual core) the 6 is essentially a larger screened 5s. It was no surprise that Apple decided to drop support for both phones at the same time (Sept 2019). 5s had 6 years of support in total (2013-2019) while released a year later the 6 had 5 years of support (2014-2019). The 5s was the better buy and I'm glad I chose it over the 6 back in Feb of 2015.

The jump from the 6 to 6s is far more significant than the jump from the 5s to 6. It's also more significant than the jump from 6s to 7. The 6s even has 2GB of RAM like the 7 and 8. I don't see why it wouldn't get iOS 14. Wouldn't be surprised if it'll get iOS 15. S model iPhones have been getting an extra year of support over their immediate non 'S' predecessors for a while now with the sole exception of the 6 which as previously mentioned is just a somewhat larger 5s. The 4 was supported for 4 years, 4s for 5 years, 5 for 5 years and 5s for 6 years.
 
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Lixivial

macrumors 6502a
Sadly this is not true. You can't Force/3D Touch swipe back to the last app on the SE. It also appears you can't Haptic Touch a notification on the lock screen. Big disappointment as I found out too late that I do these things a lot.

Same here. Having been on a 6s for the last 4.5 years, I kinda figured some of the workflows would be in parity on Haptic Touch 2.5 years since 3D touch's death. I know HT is not meant to be a full replacement, but not supporting peek and pop in notification center/lock screen? Seems like an incredibly odd omission.

I also found myself really missing 3D touching anywhere on the keyboard to make it a text selection trackpad. The spacebar solution works reasonably well for up, left and right. But good luck trying to scroll downward with it on the SE. This probably works better on the X-class phones due to not having a bottom bezel, but damn. It's annoying on the SE.
 
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Green Valkyrie

macrumors newbie
Jul 17, 2017
9
8
As a 6S owner, this article and the comments from fellow 6S users have convinced me that an upgrade to the SE would be a huge waste.
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If it gets the iOS 14, wouldn't the phone then have the latest software until September 2021? Isn't that 6 years from September 2015?
It absolutely is. 6 years on one device. Not bad at all.
 
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sideshowuniqueuser

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2016
914
752
I have a 6s currently. I'll upgrade when it has either a headphone jack or USB-C so that I can continue to use the same pair of wired headphones with my Mac and my laptop without having to mess with plugging in and unplugging dongles all the time. Or, if Apple drops support for the 6s before either of those things happens... well, I guess there's always Android.
I agree, except not to USB-C, that would just mean all my current expensive headphones would still need a dongle, even if I could leave the dongle attached for the mac. The removal of the jack is just ridiculous for the sake of being stubborn. All the bluetooth landfill fanbois seem to love having the jack removed (even though it makes negligible difference to them), but I've yet to run into a wired headphone user with a jackless phone who doesn't spit chips when the subject comes up.
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Like many others here, I don’t think there is really much point for most people in upgrading from an iPhone 7 or 8 to an SE, esp. if that 7 or 8 has had its battery upgraded. Hell, Apple just released a new iPad in 2019 with the same A10 that’s in the iPhone 7 and performance is just fine. Granted, that iPad 7 has 3 GB RAM, but it’s an iPad with desktop browser whereas the 2 GB iPhone 7 is a phone with a mobile browser. Hell, even the 6S isn’t too bad, for the same reasons, although it doesn’t have the wide colour gamut of the iPhone 7. In contrast, the memory limitation and the SoC performance limitation are pretty noticeable on the iPhone 6, and iOS support for the 6 already ended a while back. So, overall, I’d say the only true compelling upgrade here is from the iPhone 6 to the SE.
As an iPhone 6 user, I can assure you, there is no true compelling reason to upgrade from a 6 to an SE either. And there is a true compelling reason not to - the jack.
 
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sideshowuniqueuser

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2016
914
752
I have the 6S now. Still works well overall. However on a day when I use the phone a lot the battery will not last all day. Plus the lightning port seems finicky now. If I wiggle the plug in the port the phone switches between charging and not charging. I do pick out the duct that can collect in the ports. A new SE would be nice but I would rather an XS or 11 Pro. Those are just a touch bigger than the 6S or new SE size iPhones and it has the bigger screen. Does it make any sense to get a used XS? The SE has nice specs but the design is getting tiring and boring.
You should try taking it into Apple to pick out the muck that gets stuck in the port, they've got special tools, and have always done it for me for free. I've found this fixes the problem with a finicky port.
 
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ScooterComputer

macrumors regular
Jul 28, 2011
178
150
Only if you judge on looks alone. The whole article is literally about how its completely different internally than the previous phones it looks like.
I think I made it quite clear that I'm an OG SE owner, and that the form factor—a smaller phone—was what was most important to me. I've literally had –FIVE AND A HALF YEARS– to move up to a bigger phone "completely different internally than the previous phones it looks like." And I didn't. DID. NOT. Which part of that do you folks who keep flogging this donkey fail to understand? All the OG SE loyalists had that same opportunity, but we stuck with our phones. There has too be a reason there, hmmmmm… what could it be?

Can you please point us to these sales numbers that you've seen but Apple is ignoring? I'm not a betting man, but I'm wiling to bet Apple has an entire department dedicated to look at and analyzing those real sales numbers. I could be wrong tho.
Apple, itself, on more than once occasion, has stated that sales numbers for the iPhone SE were "surprising". Their word, not mine. (Search for yourself.) In the SE2 press release Schiller makes it a point to reference the loyalty to the SE size.

My advice: if you have a 6/6s/7/8 and want to keep using an iPhone with a home button, the SE2 is a fantastic upgrade. No doubt about the hardware, performance, value. But if you're an OG SE owner, or a 6/6s/7/8 owner who wants to "move on" from the "look", hunt for a good value used X or XS… you'll get Face ID and a full-face screen, the only things worth going to the larger form factor. I'm going to wait for the changes rumored to be coming with the iPhone 12. Maybe we'll get an "iPhone mini", maybe not. But the way I see it, iOS 14 comes at the same time, wherein we find if we run a year stuck on iOS 13. (I'm still running iOS 12.4, so what do I care? Faster, far less bugginess. Win-Win.) That's worth the wait. Maybe we get lucky. But I figure, if not, the used price of the XS, and maybe even 11, is surely going to be within striking distance of $400; and I'll get a whole lot more than merely the faster CPU for my money.
 
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Neepman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2008
544
729
And that’s why you shouldn’t panic-sell at the bottom of the market.

Locking in your loss at Dow 18,000 was not a great move. The market’s already up 30% off that low.
Where did you see the word "sell" in my post exactly?
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,022
10,430
Sunnyvale, CA
Where did you see the word "sell" in my post exactly?
What’s your point, that there’s no loss after all?

You’re the one that claimed 40% loss on 401(k), not me.

At this point I’m not sure what you’re trying to say, or what your point is. Maybe you can clarify it.
 
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verito81

macrumors regular
Mar 18, 2018
121
51
I agree, except not to USB-C, that would just mean all my current expensive headphones would still need a dongle, even if I could leave the dongle attached for the mac. The removal of the jack is just ridiculous for the sake of being stubborn. All the bluetooth landfill fanbois seem to love having the jack removed (even though it makes negligible difference to them), but I've yet to run into a wired headphone user with a jackless phone who doesn't spit chips when the subject comes up.
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As an iPhone 6 user, I can assure you, there is no true compelling reason to upgrade from a 6 to an SE either. And there is a true compelling reason not to - the jack.

what about water resistance? and more ram for multitasking and better processor
 
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TracesOfArsenic

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2018
454
498
Same here. Having been on a 6s for the last 4.5 years, I kinda figured some of the workflows would be in parity on Haptic Touch 2.5 years since 3D touch's death. I know HT is not meant to be a full replacement, but not supporting peek and pop in notification center/lock screen? Seems like an incredibly odd omission.

I also found myself really missing 3D touching anywhere on the keyboard to make it a text selection trackpad. The spacebar solution works reasonably well for up, left and right. But good luck trying to scroll downward with it on the SE. This probably works better on the X-class phones due to not having a bottom bezel, but damn. It's annoying on the SE.

The omission of force-swipe and notification peek is a shocker. And yeah, I can't see old guard at Apple letting the "swipe up first so you can then move the cursor down to a lower line" get through prototyping stage let alone production.

The new SE has been positioned in an inferior no-man's land of functionality and paradigms. I can only hope Apple make an effort to restore some functionality.
 
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mkldev

macrumors regular
Apr 1, 2003
162
206
I agree, except not to USB-C, that would just mean all my current expensive headphones would still need a dongle, even if I could leave the dongle attached for the mac. The removal of the jack is just ridiculous for the sake of being stubborn. All the bluetooth landfill fanbois seem to love having the jack removed (even though it makes negligible difference to them), but I've yet to run into a wired headphone user with a jackless phone who doesn't spit chips when the subject comes up.

Agreed strongly. That said, at least USB-C is a semi-viable workaround, because it is still fairly broadly compatible. At this point, I've given up hope that Apple will give us phones that "just work" like they used to, and I'm willing to settle for "are not too cumbersome to put up with". :(

The thing is, it has now been almost four years since Apple released their first phone without a headphone jack, and said that Bluetooth would eventually be so good that we don't care. We are still not there. Reliability is still terrible; I still average more time spent fiddling with Bluetooth to my car than I did with a hard-wired link. The only difference is that these days, it involves five minutes of fiddling once a week instead of two seconds of plugging in every day. The latency still sucks. The sound quality still sucks. It does not seem to be getting better.

And in exchange for this abuse, at least for headsets, we have to put a radio transmitter right up against our skulls, which is a serious inverse-square law design fail. Bluetooth will never be an adequate way of providing audio, period, much less a good way. The sooner Apple recognizes that, the sooner I'll consider upgrading my phone.


what about water resistance? and more ram for multitasking and better processor

Meh. The last time I dropped a phone in water was in 2001. Faster CPUs only matter if the device feels too slow, and that hasn't been the case for a long time. I mean yes, ostensibly, those are good features, but they don't make up for the loss of any truly important feature, including the headphone jack.
 
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Takeo

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2004
662
245
Canada
I’ve has the new SE for a week now. My previous iPhones were the 3G, 5 and SE. I still haven’t gotten used to the size and especially the weight. It doesn’t sound much heavier on paper but in real life it feels SOOO heavy. I kind of hate it. I’m seriously considering returning it. But I know support for my original SE will be dropped soon. And not having Bluetooth 5 sucks. It makes Siri on my Apple Watch unusable. It’s a conundrum. I was really looking forward to finally having an up-to-date phone but I’m very disappointed.

It’s amazing to me that this is Apple‘s smallest and lightest phone. I could get used to the size (kind of nice for typing) but the weight it a deal breaker. I find it way too heavy. How in the world people walk around with these Max and Plus phones that are almost twice this weight is beyond me. It must be like walking around with a brick in your pocket.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Penryn
Nov 30, 2013
24,228
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Gotta be in it to win it
The omission of force-swipe and notification peek is a shocker. And yeah, I can't see old guard at Apple letting the "swipe up first so you can then move the cursor down to a lower line" get through prototyping stage let alone production.

The new SE has been positioned in an inferior no-man's land of functionality and paradigms. I can only hope Apple make an effort to restore some functionality.
That one use case becomes the reason the “SE has been positioned in an inferior no-man's land of functionality and paradigms”.

Apple will either fix it or not. Either way the SEis a great value and I’m wondering how many actually focus on this.
 
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TracesOfArsenic

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2018
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That one use case becomes the reason the “SE has been positioned in an inferior no-man's land of functionality and paradigms”.

Apple will either fix it or not. Either way the SEis a great value and I’m wondering how many actually focus on this.
It's not just this one case but I think they could bridge the gap with some software, it's just a matter of if they want to.

You're right though, I don't think most people will care like I do. I suspect I have higher expectations than the vast majority of potential customers and they'll just appreciate it for a phone that's cheaper and not care about the SE that came before it or where it's falling short.
 
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Drewdog

macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2016
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Apple in April 2020 unveiled the iPhone SE, a new low-cost iPhone that marries the design of the iPhone 8 with the super fast A13 chip in the iPhone 11, all for a super low $399 price tag.


If you have an older iPhone, like an iPhone 6s, iPhone 7, or an even earlier iPhone, you may be wondering whether it's worth the upgrade to a newer device. In a nutshell, the answer is yes, but we'll walk through the reasons why in the guide below.

Key iPhone SE Features

  • Same design as iPhone 8
  • Glass body
  • 4.7-inch display
  • A13 Chip
  • Single-lens 12-megapixel camera
  • Touch ID
  • Wireless charging
  • Fast charging

Feature Comparisons and Upgrades

Same (non Plus) Size and Design


The new 2020 iPhone SE is identical to the design that Apple used for iPhones released in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, so those upgrading to the SE from the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, or 8 can expect a device that's the exact same size, weight, shape, and design.

The 2020 iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch LCD display, thick top and bottom bezels, and a Touch ID Home button with faster Touch ID responsiveness than was available in many of the original iPhones with Touch ID.

In older iPhones, the Touch ID Home button was an actual button, but as of the iPhone 7, Apple has been using a buttonless button. The button feels like it's pressing down thanks to haptic feedback, but it's actually solid. It won't feel too different from the button on the iPhone 6 and 6s, but it will have less squish.


Those upgrading from a "Plus" device like the iPhone 6s Plus will not be able to get a device in the same larger 5.5-inch size, as there is no "Plus" version of the iPhone SE at this time.

Colors have shifted, with the iPhone SE available in white, black, and (PRODUCT)RED, but black and white are similar to the well-known silver and space gray colors. There is one major, notable difference in the design of the iPhone SE compared to older phones - the iPhone SE features a glass front and back with an aluminum band sandwiching the two pieces together, while the iPhone 6s and other similar iPhones (with the exception of the iPhone 8) had an aluminum body.


Aluminum is much more durable than glass, so those upgrading to an iPhone SE from an older phone should be aware that the new iPhone is more fragile and can easily shatter if dropped without a case onto a hard surface.

For those coming from an original 2016 iPhone SE, the new iPhone SE is a good deal larger, but it is, unfortunately, Apple's smallest phone. The 4-inch form factor has been retired, and it's unlikely that Apple will revive it.

No Headphone Jack

If you're planning to upgrade to the iPhone SE from an iPhone 6 or 6s, then you need to know that there is no headphone jack on the iPhone SE. Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone with the iPhone 7, and subsequent iPhones have not included a headphone jack.

That means if you have wired headphones that use the 3.5mm headphone jack, you'll need an adapter that lets them connect to the Lightning port on the iPhone or you'll need to transition to a Bluetooth-based solution like the AirPods.

Haptic Touch Instead of 3D Touch

If you're upgrading from an iPhone 6s, 7, or 8, you might be used to the 3D Touch feature that lets you access hidden menus and other features when pressing a finger down on the iPhone's display.

The iPhone SE doesn't have 3D Touch, but it does have something similar - Haptic Touch. Haptic Touch isn't quite the same thing because there's no pressure sensitivity, but it acts in the same way and can accomplish the same tasks.

More Water Resistance

The first iPhone that was advertised as being water resistant was the iPhone 7, so if you have an iPhone 6 or 6s, water resistance is a major bonus feature that you'll get when you upgrade because you won't need to worry about using the iPhone in the rain, accidentally dropping it in a puddle, and other accidental liquid exposure.


The iPhone SE has an IP67 water and dust resistance rating, which means it is impervious to dust and can withstand being dunked in water up to one meter deep for 30 minutes. Waterproofing isn't always permanent and Apple does not cover water damage with its warranty, so it's still best to keep it away from liquids. If there is accidental exposure, though, the iPhone SE will most likely come out unscathed.

Wireless Charging

A glass body might sound like a downside when it comes to durability, but it does enable a feature that older iPhones didn't have - wireless charging. Wireless charging allows the iPhone SE to be charged using any Qi-based wireless charger, which is handy because there are tons of these chargers on the market now.

Wireless charging means an iPhone can be set down on a Qi-based wireless charger to initiate charging, with no need to hassle with the Lightning port and a cable. Wireless charging maxes out at 7.5W so it's not the best solution if you need power quick, but it's perfect for trickle charging during the day or charging the iPhone on a night stand at night.

Faster Charging

When you're in a hurry and have an iPhone that's close to dead, a feature like the iPhone SE's fast charging can come in handy. The iPhone SE can charge to 50 percent within 30 minutes using a USB-C to Lightning cable and an 18W+ power adapter.

You might already have a USB-C power adapter on hand if you have a recent Mac or iPad (any Mac or iPad power adapter that's USB-C can charge your iPhone with the right cable), but otherwise these components need to be purchased separately because the iPhone SE ships with a 5W power adapter and a standard USB-A to Lightning cable.

Luckily, USB-C cables and appropriate 18W chargers can be picked up pretty cheaply on Amazon.

Top of the Line Processor and Speed

If you have an iPhone 6, 6s, or 7, it's probably starting to feel slow, especially if you've upgraded to iOS 12 or iOS 13, which have features designed for more modern iPhones.

The iPhone SE, with the same A13 Bionic chip that's in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, is much, much faster than the chips used in Apple's older iPhones because chip technology has come so far in the last few years. Using an iPhone SE after using an older iPhone will be the most notable change because everything will feel smoother, speedier, and more seamless with no lag and other hiccups that you might be used to.


Apps will open faster, games will perform better, webpages will load quicker in Safari, you'll be able to open up the camera faster and snap a picture, and it'll just generally feel quicker regardless of what you're doing.

The A13 Bionic chip is the fastest smartphone chip that Apple has released. Just look at benchmarks comparing the iPhone 11 (which has the same chip as the SE) with the iPhone 6, 6s, 7, and 8. It's an incredible difference that you will be able to feel in day to day usage.


According to Apple, the iPhone SE's CPU is up to 2.4x faster than the A9 chip in the iPhone 6s, and the GPU is up to 4x faster. Note: If you have a 2016 iPhone SE and are thinking of upgrading, the processor in that device is the A9 that was in the iPhone 6s.

Improved Camera with Portrait Mode

Apple's older iPhones (with the exception of the iPhone 7 Plus and 8 Plus) all had single-lens rear cameras, and the same is true of the 2020 iPhone SE. It's equipped with a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera that isn't quite as good as the wide-angle camera in the iPhone 11, but it's close.


Though there's still a single-lens camera, Apple is using improved sensor technology in its modern iPhones, which means you're going to see better photos from the iPhone SE than you see from the iPhone 6s and other older iPhones. The camera in the SE is better than the camera in the iPhone 8, and seems to be similar to the camera in the iPhone XR.

People coming to the 2020 iPhone SE from an older iPhone can expect bright, vivid photos with true-to-life colors and Smart HDR support, which means much better detail in the areas of the photos that are bright and dark. It's not as good as the flagship iPhones at low light photography (there's no Night Mode), but it's a notable improvement over older devices.

That said, if photography is what you're going for, you might want to take a look at the iPhone 11 as it has two-lens setup with an ultra wide-angle lens, but for every day use, the SE works great. It's a fantastic smartphone camera at its price point.

The A13 chip in the iPhone SE lets it perform some computational photography tricks, enabling multiple features that were absent from older iPhones. The aforementioned Smart HDR is powered by the A13, and it also adds Portrait Mode for creating portrait images of people with artfully blurred backgrounds and Portrait Lighting for adjusting the lighting in those photos.


As for video, the iPhone SE offers a lot for the asking price. It's able to shoot 4K video at 60fps, the same as Apple's flagship iPhones, with optical image stabilization and some other useful features like QuickTake video for capturing a quick video by holding down the shutter button while in photo mode.

When it comes to the front-facing camera, there are definite improvements over the 1.2-megapixel camera in the iPhone 6, the 5-megapixel camera in the iPhone 6s, and the 7-megapixel camera in the iPhone 7. The iPhone SE also uses a 7-megapixel camera but with the A13 chip, it can do Portrait Mode and the image quality is much improved thanks to Apple's software algorithms.

More Storage Space

Apple has increased the base amount of storage that entry-level models get in its recent iPhones, and the iPhone SE is available with 64, 128, or 256GB of storage space. If you plan to take a lot of photos, it may be worth paying an extra $50 for the 128GB model, especially if you're planning to keep the iPhone SE for several years to come.

When originally released, the iPhone 6 and 6s were limited to 16, 64, and 128GB storage options, while the iPhone 7 was available with 32, 128, or 256GB of storage. If you opted for an iPhone with a lower storage tier like 16GB, the upgrade to a minimum of 64GB will be a huge relief because you won't need to manage photo storage and app installations as closely.

Good Battery Life

The iPhone SE offers about the same battery life as the iPhone 8, lasting for up to 13 hours when watching video on device, 8 hours when streaming video, and 40 hours when listening to music.

It's not as good as the battery in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, which lasts much, much longer, but it's going to be a solid improvement for most people coming from older iPhones with batteries that have degraded over time.

Faster WiFi and LTE

The iPhone SE supports Gigabit LTE and it works on more than 25 LTE bands, which is a major improvement over the iPhone 6 to the iPhone 8. Gigabit LTE means faster upload and download speeds on a cellular connection, while more LTE band support means that if you travel, your iPhone is more likely to be able to work in another country.

The iPhone SE also supports WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, the most modern Bluetooth and WiFi specifications. WiFi 6 is faster than the WiFi 5 protocol that has been around for many, many years now, and while it's not used everywhere yet, it's definitely a feature you want on a phone that you're going to be using for several years to come.

The iPhone SE offers up to 3.2x faster cellular speeds than the iPhone 6s, and up to 38 percent faster WiFi speeds, but real-world speeds will vary as these statistics are based on theoretical maximums.

Dual-SIM support is also included so you can use a secondary SIM when traveling without needing to swap out the SIM, or you can set up two phone numbers on the same phone - one for work and one for personal use.

eSIM support, also exclusive to newer iPhones, makes it easier to switch between different carriers.

Tech Spec List

Our tech spec comparison covers some of the basic features of the iPhone SE compared to similar features in the iPhone 6, 6s, or 7, providing an at-a-glance overview of what's improved. Some specs, such as battery life, aren't able to be compared as older iPhones have degraded batteries and differences in battery life due to software upgrades over the years.

iPhone SE
  • 4.7-inch LCD display
  • 1334x750 resolution and 326 PPI
  • Single 12-megapixel rear camera
  • Single 7-megapixel front camera
  • Portrait Mode/Lighting, Smart HDR
  • A13 Bionic chip with Neural Engine
  • Touch ID
  • Haptic Touch
  • Lightning connector
  • No headphone jack
  • IP67-rated water resistance
  • Fast charging: 50% charge in 30 min
  • Qi-based wireless charging
  • 64/128/256GB
  • Dual SIM (Nano-SIM and eSIM)
  • Gigabit-class LTE
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 3GB RAM
iPhone 6/6s/7
  • 4.7-inch LCD display
  • 1334x750 resolution and 326 PPI
  • Single 8/12/12-megapixel rear camera
  • 1.2/5/7-megapixel front camera
  • No Portrait Mode
  • A8/A9/A10 chip
  • Touch ID
  • 3D Touch (6s and later)
  • Lightning connector
  • Headphone jack (6 and 6s)
    No water resistance (6 and 6s)
  • No fast charging
  • No wireless charging
  • 16/64/128GB (256GB iPhone 7 only)
  • Single SIM
  • LTE Advanced
  • 802.11ac Wi-Fi 5
  • Bluetooth 4.0-4.2
  • 1/2/2GB RAM


Other Considerations

Trade-Ins


If you have an iPhone 6s, 7, or 8 (or their Plus versions) you can trade them in to Apple when purchasing a new SE to get a discount.


Apple offers up to $80 for an iPhone 6s in good condition, dropping the $400 price of the iPhone SE to $320. Apple offers up to $100 for an iPhone 6s Plus, $120 for an iPhone 7, $150 for an iPhone 7 Plus, $170 for an iPhone 8, and $250 for an iPhone 8 Plus.

Apple even takes old smartphones from companies like LG, HTC, Samsung, Google, and more, so Android users switching over to an iPhone can get a discount too.

Ongoing iOS Support

Apple provides software updates for iPhones long after release, and even the iPhone 6s, manufactured and sold in 2015, is continuing to get the most recent software. But Apple does stop offering new updates after approximately four years, so the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6s are likely nearing their support end dates and probably won't be able to upgrade to iOS 14 this fall.

The iPhone 6 is already stuck on iOS 12 and doesn't have iOS 13 available, so getting modern software and the latest software capabilities is another reason to upgrade from an aging iPhone 6, 6s, SE, or 7.

The A13 chip in the 2020 iPhone SE is the same chip as the iPhone 11, which means Apple is going to support it for years to come. It will get a good four years of updates, which is great news for those who like to hold on to their iPhones for a long time.

Bottom Line

The 2020 iPhone SE is, without a doubt, the best value smartphone that Apple has ever released. It keeps up with the modern flagship devices when it comes to processing speed, and while the design is dated, it's still going to appeal to those who like smaller iPhones and prefer Touch ID to Face ID.

iPhone users who have held on to their iPhone 6, 6s, 7, 8, or even an earlier phone for size preference or cost purposes should take a good look at the iPhone SE because it offers solid hardware at an affordable price, and it is a significant upgrade over older iPhones.

The iPhone SE is the ideal device for those who are looking for a good deal and for those who like to keep their iPhones for many years because it's going to keep getting software updates for years to come, thanks to future proofing with the latest A-series chip and perks like WiFi 6.

Guide Feedback

Have a question about the upgrading to the iPhone SE from an older iPhone that we didn't cover in this guide or see an error or something that we left out? Send us an email here.

Article Link: iPhone 6, 6s, & 7 vs. iPhone SE: Should You Upgrade?
 
Comment

Drewdog

macrumors newbie
Sep 7, 2016
4
5
I think it’s absolutely ludicrous and simply wasteful to buy a new phone every single year.

I’m proud to rock my environmentaly-conscious, 6-generation-old iPhone 6s that allows me to charge it while using premium headphones or hardwired to my BMW/home audio for best fidelity.

As mentioned ad infinitum, those benchmark tests are essentially crap when you can compare for yourself that the newest phone is only marginally faster in real-world, common applications.

My secret is to not ever ever ever trust Apple’s almost *weekly* IOS upgrades that eventually brick all iPhones, regardless of Apple saying that they only do it because they just “love” their customers - HA. HA...
 
Comment

Locke Cole

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2019
98
66
Kohlingen
I think it’s absolutely ludicrous and simply wasteful to buy a new phone every single year.

I’m proud to rock my environmentaly-conscious, 6-generation-old iPhone 6s that allows me to charge it while using premium headphones or hardwired to my BMW/home audio for best fidelity.

As mentioned ad infinitum, those benchmark tests are essentially crap when you can compare for yourself that the newest phone is only marginally faster in real-world, common applications.

My secret is to not ever ever ever trust Apple’s almost *weekly* IOS upgrades that eventually brick all iPhones, regardless of Apple saying that they only do it because they just “love” their customers - HA. HA...
Being an A9 device, the 6s is actually 4 generations old not 6 (latest are A13 devices). It does contain the number '6' in its name but was a huge upgrade from the regular 6.

Other than that I generally agree with you!
 
Comment

Victor Mortimer

macrumors 6502
Apr 17, 2016
263
607
Being an A9 device, the 6s is actually 4 generations old not 6 (latest are A13 devices). It does contain the number '6' in its name but was a huge upgrade from the regular 6.

Other than that I generally agree with you!

The 6s is a great phone, I just upgraded to it last year.

It's got a real home button, headphone jack, is plenty fast enough... It's pretty much the ideal iPhone.

I'm putting it in the same category as the 2012 15" MBP, the best Apple has ever built. It's only gone downhill since then.
 
Comment
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