in Technology

All hail our (sort of) new iPhone overlords

A few hours with the iPhone SE

As much as I like to think I’m a minimalist – the kind of person who lives with only the most bare essential possessions – I’m really not. I mean, I own no less than three Raspberry Pi microcomputers, a Chromecast I haven’t used in almost a year (because it’s pretty useless) an Apple TV and an iPad Pro.

Frankly, I just have a lot of stuff. But one thing I have been good about is only replacing those objects when they break. Case in point: the iPhone 5 I’ve owned, in one form or another, for over four years. When the first one kicked the bucket a little over a year ago because of a swollen battery and failing home button, the Apple Store tech offered me an out-of-warranty replacement for $60. And I’ve been using that one until today.

Unfortunately, as I learned, out-of-warranty doesn’t mean “new” and the home button on the replacement phone was also starting to fail. The thing was also just plain slow, and the 16GB of storage space was crippling. I had taken to deleting basically everything except the stock Apple apps and a few essentials. As for games, I really had no choice in the matter. The iPhone 5 is not 64-bit, and most modern games won’t even run on its processor.

Now, finally, I have an iPhone SE – AKA Apple’s budget iPhone. Despite the classification, I’m still enjoying the faster processor, the ability to run iOS 11 and the Touch ID sensor. As for Apple Pay, I guess we’ll have to wait and see how much use I get out of it.

But what’s immediate apparent is that this size iPhone just feels right. I’ve played around with the 6S, and it feels more like a tablet than a phone. Maybe it’s because my first entry into the Apple smartphone universe was an iPhone 5, but it’s kind of comforting that the iPhone SE is a new skeleton with the same skin. There’s no learning curve. It just works – a rarity in the post-Jobs world of constantly changing peripheral ports and disappearing headphone jacks.

Here’s to another four years. Hopefully.