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

raybo

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2007
215
194
Saint Petersburg, FL
This is something that I think many people are overlooking, and even this author kind of glossed over by simply saying that the new bands would only help international service.

For anybody who has an iPhone 8/X or older, you’re missing band 14 which is a huge part of AT&T’s low-band LTE capacity. That’s the “FirstNet” band — that’s the 700 MHz band that’s going to get you improved in-building coverage. And it’s available for all customers to use, not just FirstNet subscribers. Not to mention that the XS and newer support 4- or 5-carrier aggregation. Anybody who doesn't have an iPhone XS, XR, 11/11 Pro, or this new SE is missing out on a lot of speed and coverage.

Likewise, with T-Mobile, band 71 is equally important for the same reasons. I understand that the iPhone 6s and 7 look similar by design, but the improvements in LTE bands and CA make a huge difference for coverage and capacity, which actually helps out everyone by spreading data load across more spectrum. And that’s a huge part of the value of upgrading 2+ year old iPhones that’s really not being discussed here.
THIS! I'm on Cricket (AT&T towers) and I'm sometimes disappointed with reception. I'm assuming this will improve things. I also know that the 8 did not have T-Mobile Band 71 (600 MHz) - they will also get a signal improvement. It's what's inside that counts the most...
 
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FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
1,045
888
Eindhoven (NL)
If the 6S doesn’t get IOS 14 then it would not have received the “legendary“ 5 years of updates, so it is likely to. Notwithstanding that, they’re mostly meaningless in any event with many Updated software features requiring hardware that doesn’t exist in the phone. I’m not sure how many folks will really be holding onto the SE for five years; by then it will be a 10-year old design, phones available then will have large, high resolution micro led screens, 5G will be much more widespread and I would hazard a guess all phones will have a 5G modem within 18 months. Lightening ports will have gone from all Apple products. I’m not so sure the SE is a really that much of a wise buy.

My 6S is perfectly fine, certainly fast enough; my incentive to upgrade would be for a larger screen, but that option moves you into the £800-1000 range with Apple.
iPhone 6S was released in 2015 and received exactly 5 iOS releases (from iOS 9 to iOS 13).
 
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ani4ani

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,406
1,265
UK
iPhone 6S was released in 2015 and received exactly 5 iOS releases (from iOS 9 to iOS 13).

it will be 5 years since launch in September....and in my view whilst it was the flagship phone for Apple until September 16, it should be getting the “5 years” of software support until September 21?
 
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FlyingDutch

macrumors 65816
Aug 21, 2019
1,045
888
Eindhoven (NL)
Only upgrade from iPhone 6S if Apple forces you to do so by stopping bundled core iOS app vulnerability fixes otherwise you're losing high-fidelity low-latency 3.5mm jack and paying $399+ for pretty much the same thing.
The same thing 🤦🏻‍♂️
you can’t help it, right ? You have to cast a bad light over Apple in every comment on the forum, even if your statement is completely false like in this case.
Jump from a 6S to the SE is huge.
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it will be 5 years since launch in September....and in my view whilst it was the flagship phone for Apple until September 16, it should be getting the “5 years” of software support until September 21?
iPhone 6, released in September 2014 received iOS 12 as the last upgrade. So you are historically wrong.
There is no “5 years support” written anywhere. But you can expect 5 iOS releases on a brand new iPhone.
 
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ani4ani

macrumors 65816
May 4, 2012
1,406
1,265
UK
The same thing 🤦🏻‍♂️
you can’t help it, right ? You have to cast a bad light over Apple in every comment on the forum, even if your statement is completely false like in this case.
Jump from a 6S to the SE is huge.
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iPhone 6, released in September 2014 received iOS 12 as the last upgrade. So you are historically wrong.
There is no “5 years support” written anywhere. But you can expect 5 iOS releases on a brand new iPhone.

Nothing is written anywhere. I am not historically wrong at all, the iPhone 6S launched in September 15 (Sept 25) Furthermore the article states 5 years as well as numerous posters in this thread as why the SE is such a great upgrade. Personally, for me, most iOS updates are meaningless aside from the less obvious bug / security fixes that Apple pushes out (that are fundamentally invisible to the user). Time will tell if the 6S gets another “major” (but meaningless) iOS update.
 
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Jeremy3292

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2012
136
126
At $399 I would say it is no brainer upgrade if you have one of those older iPhones mentioned.
 
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Locke Cole

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2019
98
66
Kohlingen
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.
Agreed. The second generation SE is a worthwhile upgrade coming from the 6 or older (including the 5s which Apple dropped support for alongside the 6). Of course, users of the 6 or older technically don't have to upgrade but these devices are stuck on older iOS iterations and as time goes by app support for them will significantly diminish.

The 6s (which my parents currently use) is definitely still a good phone. I currently have an 8+, but I would've carried on using my 6s if my parents' 6 (yes they share a phone) wasn't on its last legs last September. I'll probably carry on using my 8+ either until it breaks or when Apple drops iOS support for it. It's still a really good phone and I don't need to spend hundreds of dollars for minor improvements when my current one is more than capable for my uses.
 
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rdy0329

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2012
551
218
I have a 2GB 2018 iPad 6th, I'm reading a short pdf on the Files app, then I go to another app, then sometimes when I come back to the Files app the pdf I was reading has closed, I have to reopen the pdf and search for the page I was previously reading.

This also happens on other apps, for example I'm on Photos, then I go to another app, then when I come back to Photos sometimes it reseted the app and I have to search for the photo I was previously looking.

On Books too, it sometimes resets the app when I leave it and then come back to it, but at least Books remembers my last page on the pdf I was reading! I just have to reopen the same pdf, don't have to search for the page I was at!

So my 2018 iPad has become mostly a single-app device for me, I'm always afraid of leaving the app and then losing the current page or current photo when I later come back to the app, I avoid multitasking on it, it's a shame that a 2018 device has become obsolete in only 24 months after launched! Thank you, Tim AAPL Cook!

My 3GB iPhone 8 Plus is much better.

So to have 3GB on the 2020 iPhone SE is definitely a very good reason to upgrade!

It’s the display resolution making you feel the inadequacy of 2GB. It’s driving almost twice the resolution of iPhone 7 which means using higher quality app elements that eate up at that 2GB RAM.

I’d agree that Apple’s chip design has outpaced software innovation (features that slows down iPhones every year). And I agree that RAM stinginess is a result of supply chain sorcery TIM is known for. Use any older parts from a device and you can watch TIM throw together a rehashed version of the device. This time it was the iPhone 7 logic board which had to find a new home when iPhone 8 was introduced.

Unlike android counterparts, RAM is not slapped on willy nilly up to 16GB for example. Wasted RAM means wasted battery life trying to store an app from a week ago.

A10 is still being sold in some devices like iPad and Apple TV 4K, which means it has got more software support down the pipeline (at least 3 more years). The iPhones weren’t able to take advantage of those compute powers.
 
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raybo

macrumors regular
Dec 4, 2007
215
194
Saint Petersburg, FL
Nothing is written anywhere. I am not historically wrong at all, the iPhone 6S launched in September 15 (Sept 25) Furthermore the article states 5 years as well as numerous posters in this thread as why the SE is such a great upgrade. Personally, for me, most iOS updates are meaningless aside from the less obvious bug / security fixes that Apple pushes out (that are fundamentally invisible to the user). Time will tell if the 6S gets another “major” (but meaningless) iOS update.
If the 6s gets iOS 14 In September that would take it to September 2021 which is 6 full years of iOS software support.
 
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rdy0329

macrumors 6502a
Mar 20, 2012
551
218
What Macrumors fail to point out is that most iPhone 6-8 users are “flagship” customers that don’t require yearly upgrades. They’ll most likely get another flagship if money is not a problem for them.
 
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asoksevil

macrumors 6502
Jun 7, 2010
474
153
Taipei, Taiwan
Had an original iPhone SE and I thought this second version was gonna be its replacement (I actually had a preorder the moment it went live). However, i returned in within 5 minutes to opening it. Why?

Well basically because I usually hold onto phones for 3-4 years and I just didn’t want to use a design from the iPhone 6, something that mis 5 years old for another 3-4 years.

I care about screen and size and the 5.4” is even smaller than this iPhone SE and has a better OLED screen.
 
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TracesOfArsenic

macrumors 6502
Feb 22, 2018
454
498
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.
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.
 
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nordique

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2014
1,827
1,447
don’t agree there. My iPad Air and my wife’s Xs (Both A12) are both far faster and more fluid in everyday tasks than my 7 (A10). The difference between A9 and A13 is going to be at least as noticeable and probably more.


I mean the SE is rated for about 3 hours more video playback than the 6s, a 30% increase. Is that “significant”? I think so because even the SE is not great, so the 6s is REALLY not great. And to compare apples to apples, you need to spend $49 US to get a new battery in that 6s. And then you’re pouring more money into a 4 year old device.


keeping what you have is always more economical than buying new. It’s why many people run their cars into the ground for 20 years. Doesn’t mean the new car isn’t a massively better machine though.

but “worth” is another subjective word. If you’ve lost your job and that money is next month’s rent? Of course not. But a smartphone is something many people use more than any other object they own. A few hundred bucks for a better one spread over the 2-4 years you’re likely to own it isn’t much to a lot of people, including people who are far from rich.

solid post!

that’s my whole argument I think, worth is entirely up to the end user. One person with an iPhone 6s or 7 may see the SE as a good upgrade, another may see it as pointless

my side of this debate though is you have so many people saying “you should” upgrade “if you have” an older phone. I don’t think that’s fair or appropriate, because what about the person whose effective use of the phone doesn’t change?

my 11 Pro is faster and more fluid overall than my 6s yes, A9 devices aren’t faster and more fluid. But you mean to tell me you disagree with the small relative speed difference?
it’s a very small difference, it really is. The 6s doesn’t chug or lag when moving around the home screen, it doesn’t take several second to load the calendar app or sending a text doesn’t take patience. It’s all pretty fast and not discernible from my A13 Pro device. If it was bothersome, why would you (or anyone) put up with using your A10 device? If anything I hear A10 owners complaining about Loop disease, not the speed of their phone or iPad

I don’t have an SE yet (they’re coming tomorrow) so I can’t comment on battery life, but having a 7 and 8 as well, I find no practical difference in those batteries versus the 6s. I certainly do not have 3 hours more SoT...and I have done that battery test enough times to be confident in that. When the 8 was fresh and new it got me through a day but ultimately 6s,7,8 all required 1-2 top ups and that doesn’t seem to change with the new SE. I still think the A13 will give a bit better battery but for a 6s or 7 user upgrading to this phone for battery, I dunno, still remains to be seen if it really adds that much more to a practical experience. my 7 on iOS 13 is at 93% battery health, and 8 is at 99% health.

My 6s has a tsmc chip and 100% battery health (full oem, Apple replacement) I concede, and that may not be the case for everyone with a 6s, but the speed difference between my 11 Pro and 6s is simply put not the same today on iOS 13 that the gap was between the 6s and the 4S in 2015 on iOS 9

and to that end, what is the worth in upgrading for someone who uses their phone to text and make calls and check emails then? Why should they have someone so effortlessly state “yes you should upgrade” without respecting their usage and what they find important for them

I have my reasons for getting an 11 Pro. People here who have a 6s and 7, who are upgrading to the new SE, have their reasons for getting a 2020 SE. It’s our money and our financial situations that can dictate these things. Someone may just want a new toy and that’s fine.

but what isn’t fair is to tell someone they should upgrade when their needs don’t suit it and there’s a lot of that going on, not just in this forum but also around the internet. There are many users here who have said “no thanks I am perfectly happy with my phone” and that should be respected, not beaten down with a “your needs don’t matter, you have an old phone so you should upgrade”

my whole point of the trade in value was to highlight how if Apple was selling a new 6s today for their trade in value at 50$ or even 80$, that might be more of a steal for some people than the 600$ CAD or 400$USD pre-tax price of an SE

and the A9, and yes your A10 as well, are more than capable of running the basic necessities of these phones to provide a comfortable user experience. A 6s owner will unlock their phone just as quick as a new SE owner will For example.

if someone identifies it’s important for them to upgrade because they’re just frustrated and fed up with their experience, and we can respect that, then why are some people carrying a narrative that owners of older phones “should” upgrade if they own that older device?

The SE may in fact not have any value to those users and may be a waste of money instead. And that’s the thing I think is not being respected when people say things like “oh if you have an iPhone 6s you should upgrade”
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If the 6s gets iOS 14 In September that would take it to September 2021 which is 6 full years of iOS software support.

the reigning champ for software support thus far has been the 5s! (However many years that is) from iOS 7 to 12.

If the 6s gets iOS 14, it would tie the 5s for most supported device. Imagine if it got iOS 15 - that would be unreal. But you never know, as the 6s was still sold brand new in emerging markets in FY 2019
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,022
10,430
Sunnyvale, CA
Thanks for the reply! However, my lightning port issue is not due to lint as I clean it quite regularly and have done it several times especially since it started happening last month :/
Assuming you’ve tried another cable already, you’ll need to replace the connector, might as well do the battery at the same time. I would have it done at an independent shop, should be less than $100 in total. But if you have the money to replace it, it’s probably time.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,022
10,430
Sunnyvale, CA
I went to my provider to order the new SE to replace my old SE only to find out for $70 more I could own the XR. (Apple puts the screws to non-U.S. countries when pricing. Being generous with exchange rates between USD and CDN Apple could've easily charged $499 but the "budget" phone is $599 CDN.)
$499 CDN? Dream on, that’s a $64 discount. At $599, you’re paying $25 US more than we pay in the States. That’s hardly putting the screws to you.

But at $799 CDN, the XR is a good deal, it should be $845. You’re getting it at the equivalent of $566 US, we have to pay $599 here.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,022
10,430
Sunnyvale, CA
Sure, when you are out of work and your savings are gone and your 401k is down 40%, its a perfect time to spend more money.
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.
 
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GreyOS

macrumors 68040
Apr 12, 2012
3,310
1,641
It’s even more than that. You can’t use pressure to select text using the keyboard with Haptic Touch, since there is no pressure sensitivity.

The way the loss of 3D Touch has been under-explained is the exact reason why we lost it. If these sites didn’t write it off like it’s no loss or ignore it completely, more people would’ve understood the value of it and it could have stayed.
Yeah a real failure of journalism here.
 
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filmbuff

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2011
906
279
I just decided to upgrade my iPhone 7 to an SE. I don’t want to pay $699+ now for the “good” phone when a new one is coming out in <6 months, but I also don’t want to keep living with my dying 7 for months. I think the SE is the perfect stopgap for a year that I can be happy with and decide later on if I want to drop $1000+ on an iPhone 12.
 
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davidbrummy

macrumors regular
Feb 7, 2008
189
0
I have a 7 Plus and my wife a 7 and both are fine. I have replace the battery on my wife's once but that was $80. I will take a look at this years phones as long as they support 5G as I feel that will be a good long term investment.

The SE looks to be a good entry phone which I would get one of my kids. However we have generally gone with handme downs so I guess they would my either mine or my wife's phone.
 
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