Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

John Gruber’s Review of the iPhone SE


If you’ve already upgraded to an iPhone 6 or 6S and have made peace with the trade-offs of a larger, heavier, less-grippy-because-of-the-round-edges form factor, the appeal is less clear. Me, I talk the talk about preferring the smaller form factor, but ultimately I’m a sucker for top-of-the-line CPU/GPU performance and camera quality. For the next six months or so, the iPhone SE stands on the top tier. After that, it won’t — I think — and it’ll be back to the 4.7-inch display form factor for me. So why bother switching back for just a few months? I keep asking myself.

And then I pick up the iPhone SE, and hold it in my hand.

This is so well-written; I wish these were my own words.

I know a lot of people — both on the web and in person — who dislike the sizes of the iPhones 6(S) and would prefer to switch back to a four-inch iPhone. My girlfriend is amongst those people. When I asked her about the SE, she said that she preferred the thickness and rounded edges of the 6S because it feels better in her hands. But, she said, it’s still far too slippery and big. She really wants to stick with a four-inch iPhone.

I’ve seen lots of other reactions to the SE along similar lines, with people making tradeoffs one way or another. There are those who are downsizing because the comfort of a four-inch iPhone beats 3D Touch or a significantly better display, and others — like me — who want to downsize but will tolerate a big iPhone for various reasons. I know that I wish for an iPhone with flat, grippable edges any time I’m taking a photo in a situation that is even remotely precarious, but I don’t think it’s worth downsizing for a model that is the iPad Mini of the iPhone lineup. You just know in your gut that it’s not going to be regularly updated. And that’s a little bit sad, because it’s arguably the best iPhone for a lot of people.