Why the New iPhone SE is Probably My Next Phone

This week, without much of the pomp and circumstance Apple is typically known for, the company unveiled its latest iPhone: the iPhone SE. Now, if you’re like me, this is slightly confusing because there already is an iPhone SE — I know, because it’s what I currently own and use (then again, the iPhone numbering system has been more confusing than the Fast and Furious franchise’s naming scheme since about the iPhone 4 or so). In any case, the new phone essentially promises the fast internals of late-model phones inside an older frame, helping it achieve a more affordable price point.

Enter: my interest. As I mentioned, I’ve been using my iPhone SE for several years now and it’s showing its age in a few ways — such as the battery precipitously dropping when forced to do such innocuous tasks as sending a text message. Thus, could this be the phone that gets me to upgrade? Let’s take a look at a few reasons why I think it just might be:

Reason #1: Starts at $399

Prior to this week’s announcement, my phone of choice (among the current line-up) would have been the iPhone 11. However, with a starting price tag of $700, it was still a bit hard to justify — especially because that’s just for the 64GB model. Meanwhile, the SE is $399 for the base model or $449 for the 128GB, which is what I have my eye on.

Admittedly, part of me still falls for the mindset of saying “but the 11 is only $300 more” — but it’s $300 more! That’s nearly half a month’s rent for me. So, yeah, $449 is much more attractive than $749.

Reason #2: Touch ID (not Face ID)

I know I’m just going to sound like an old man here, but I’m just not a fan of how the newer iPhones don’t have a home button. Moreover, something about Face ID just turns me off. Not to mention that, at a time when we’re supposed to be wearing masks when we leave the house, I’m not even sure how effective Face ID will be. In any case, I’m glad that the iPhone SE retains my preferred biometric feature and part of me feels like I should capitalize on that before it’s gone forever.

Reason #3: Same build as my wife’s phone

Moving on to more minor benefits, since the SE takes the form of the iPhone 8, it means that my wife’s cases and other accessories will still fit (what could be) my new phone. Considering that she already has a couple of spares, this could actually account for some sizable savings. That’s a win in my book.

Other considerations

Of course, there are other pros and cons to this “upgrade” that keep floating around in my mind as well. For one, while I’ll be glad to still have Touch ID, moving to a new model will mean saying goodbye to my beloved headphone jack. This is notable because I don’t find Apple earbuds to be very comfortable, so I often rely on non-Apple pairs. Luckily, my wife does already own one of the famed dongles though, so maybe this isn’t quite a dealbreaker.

Meanwhile, while I’d love it if the SE had a dual-camera set-up like the 11, that would mean that it didn’t fit into the 8’s body. And, besides, do I really need to shoot two formats at once? If I do, I already have a real camera and a GoPro for such events. In other words, it seems like a fair trade-off for the savings.

Before you say anything, yes, I realize that there are other phones that might have some of these same benefits and perhaps even cost less. While I appreciate that… I’ve been in the Apple ecosystem for far too long now to ever escape. Therefore, I do think that the iPhone SE presents me a decent opportunity to put a new phone in my pocket — and buys me some more time before another frustrating round of changes — all without spending a fortune. With my Apple Card also offering interest-free financing and 3% cash back, it only gets more tempting. What will I do? Tune in next time for the thrilling conclusion (or not).


Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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Been an apple user since and love using these phones but I make sure to make full use of my phone before upgrading or changing it.

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