iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: Battle Of Apple’s Small Phones

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Apple has officially taken the wraps off its new 4-inch iPhone SE that will go on sale on March 31. It looks a lot like the iPhone 5S, but packs innards of the powerful iPhone 6S. The iPhone SE will mainly be targeting people who still prefer smaller smartphones that fit into their pockets easily. So, how does the new iPhone stack up against Apple’s two older 4-inch devices – the iPhone 5S and 5C? Is it worth the upgrade?

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: display

The iPhone 5C and the 5S both featured a 4-inch IPS display with 640×1136 pixels resolution and a pixel density of 326ppi. The brand new iPhone SE comes with the same 4-inch display with the same resolution. Apple pointed out that the new device is three times brighter than its predecessors. So, you can expect some differences in display quality. However, the new phone lacks 3D Touch pressure-sensitive technology.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: design

The iPhone 5C had a plastic shell casing and weighed 132g. The iPhone 5S featured an aluminum body and hit the scales at 112g, slightly lighter than its plastic counterpart. The iPhone SE has the same aluminum chassis as 5S, but with matte edges. It is smaller and thinner than the iPhone 5C. You won’t notice the difference in weight because the SE weighs 113g, just 1g higher than the iPhone 5S.

The colorful iPhone 5C lacked Touch ID fingerprint sensor. The 5S boasts of a fingerprint sensor but it doesn’t support Apple Pay. Apple has added Touch ID as well as NFC chip in the iPhone SE to support Apple Pay.

iPhone SE vs iPhone 5S vs iPhone 5C: hardware specs

The plastic iPhone 5C was powered by A6 processor and 1GB RAM. Though the 5S had the same amount of RAM, it was slightly more powerful, thanks to the A7 processor and M7 co-processor. The new SE is two-step ahead with A9 chip and M9 motion co-processor. Apple has also increased its RAM to 2GB. In terms of storage, both the iPhone 5S and 5C came in 16GB and 32GB storage options. But the iPhone SE is available in 16GB and 64GB versions.

The newest iPhone reportedly has a 1642mAh battery, slightly bigger than the 1560mAh in iPhone 5S and 1510mAh in the iPhone 5C. With a more efficient A9 processor, the iPhone SE will deliver a much better battery life than Apple’s older 4-inch devices.


This is where the SE is a clear winner. The older iPhone 5S and 5C sported 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.2-megapixel front camera. The iPhone SE features the same 12-megapixel main camera as the iPhone 6S. It also comes with several other features such as Live Photos, 4K video recording, improved low-light images, sapphire crystal lens cover, face detection and Panorama (up to 63 megapixels). The SE sports 1.2MP front camera, similar to the iPhone 5S.


Despite its design similarity with the iPhone 5S, the iPhone SE brings major upgrades to both the older 4-inch iPhones. It has most of the features of the iPhone 6S, though it lacks 3D Touch support. With a starting price of $399 (16GB), it looks like a worthy upgrade if you still prefer a 4-inch iPhone.

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