Every year, a new iPhone is released with better cameras and a faster processor. Meanwhile, older iPhone models still receive iOS updates, which is great for people who don’t upgrade their phones every year. But how good are those old iPhones running with the latest iOS version? Well, I tested the first generation iPhone SE with iOS 15, and it’s still surprisingly good.
I decided to write this article after seeing a tweet Comparing iPhone 6s to Samsung Galaxy S6. Both flagship phones were introduced in 2015, but while the iPhone 6s came with iOS 9 and running iOS 15, the Galaxy S6 was released with Android 5 and two updates were later discontinued completely with Android 7.
Some would argue that while the iPhone 6s will continue to receive iOS updates, the latest software will be affected by its performance – so I wanted to see for myself if these older phones would still be usable in 2022.
I don’t have an iPhone 6s, but I do have a first generation iPhone SE. For those who don’t remember, the first iPhone SE was introduced in early 2016 as a cheaper alternative to the high-end iPhones. It features the same design and 4-inch screen as the iPhone 5s, but with the same A9 chip and 12MP 4K camera as the iPhone 6s.
In comparison, the first iPhone SE was priced at $399 in the US, while the Galaxy S6 launched at $599. So how is the first generation iPhone SE after six years?
First generation iPhone SE and iOS 15
I’m not going to discuss the iPhone SE design here because the point of this article is to discuss how it performs with iOS 15. This phone was introduced when Apple didn’t have any iPhones with a “borderless” design, and it was the biggest iPhone you could get back then with a finely 5.5 inch screen 1080p, so keep that in mind.
While Apple has always claimed that the iPhone SE is a “special edition” for those who prefer small phones, it’s always been clear that this phone is designed to be an affordable iPhone for those who don’t need everything expensive. Smartphone end.
To my surprise, the first generation iPhone SE is still usable even with iOS 15. When using it for basic tasks like browsing the web, listening to music, or opening social networking apps, it’s hard to notice apps that are unresponsive or running slowly. Some things take longer to unlock when compared to the latest iPhones, but it’s not like using an iPhone 3G with iOS 4 or an iPhone 4 with iOS 7 (if you’re old enough, you know what I mean).
Getting access to the latest version of iOS on a six-year-old phone means you can get at least some of the same features as the latest iPhone 13. iPhone SE has a focus mode, redesigned notifications, rich Spotlight results, new Emojis, and all the latest privacy and security improvements that come with iOS 15.
You can also download and install most of the apps available on the App Store, which work well with the A9 chip. There are a few hiccups in multitasking as the first generation iPhone SE has only 2GB of RAM, but regular users might not notice them. Unfortunately, features like Live Text, which require more computing power, are not available on this phone.
The battery can be a problem when it comes to an old phone, but those who still have one at home can replace the battery with a new one to give the device a new life.
The thing is, you probably shouldn’t buy a 2016 iPhone SE in 2022. But if you bought this phone when it was released, it still works fine for basic things, and can serve as a good iPhone backup for emergencies — and I’m sure it does. It was definitely worth the price I paid for it five or six years ago.
This is what happens when you have a phone built with the best chip available in the market, and when the same company makes the hardware and software inside of it.
Going back to the first iPhone SE with iOS 15 also makes me see why iPhone SE still holds a place in Apple’s lineup. Despite its outdated design, iPhone SE still has a lot to offer to people who just want it Reliable smartphone at an affordable price. Thanks to Apple Silicon and iOS improvements, users can enjoy their iPhone for many years to come.
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