OPINION: Apple is releasing the new iPhone SE 2022 this week, giving those who want a cheaper iPhone an option with the latest internals tucked inside. Unlike Apple’s other phones though, the SE comes in a single size.
That size, simply put, is small. Not just quite small, but positively dinky. Having used the device for the last day I can confirm typing on the keyboard feels cramped, popular apps like Instagram are squashed and it’s a pain watching videos on the new SE.
I know many will disagree, but I am a fan of the SE. And while the design is dated, it still feels a lot better than many of the other best mid-range phones around. I also think it’s great that Apple offers a cheaper device that still has many of the hallmarks of its more expensive phones.
From what I’ve seen testing the device, the iPhone SE 2022 delivers on all the essentials. It has a very fast processor that doesn’t lag or stutter; software that’ll be supported for years to come and a capable camera that shoots reliably in daylight. This phone isn’t aimed people who buy flagships, instead it’s for those who have been hanging onto an iPhone 8 or even an iPhone 6 for many years and want an upgrade that still feels familiar.
This is all great. But the size of the iPhone SE isn’t going to be for everyone and Apple is missing a trick by not having an affordable iPhone that ticks all the basics and offers a bigger, more comfortable display.
Apple has, since the iPhone 6, sold devices in two sizes: a smaller option and a larger one. It gave people the choice and it’s become a part of Apple’s strategy. The iPhone 8, for example, which the iPhone SE 2022 is very much modelled on, had a larger Plus sibling with a 5.5-inch screen. A mythical Plus-sized SE has been rumoured before but it’s never actually happened.
Make the iPhone SE Plus a gaming powerhouse
A bigger screen would not only make the day-to-day tasks I struggle with on the iPhone SE 2022 easier, it would also allow the phone’s ridiculously fast and capable chipset to be put to better use.
The A15 Bionic is a winner when it comes to gaming performance, but I can’t think of many people who would want to play intensive titles or even much of the Apple Arcade library on a 4.7-inch display. Add in a few touch controls and you can barely see anything. Increase it to 5.5-inches and instantly this becomes a gaming machine.
A larger display is also better for photo editing in apps like Lightroom. With so many controls and dials to tweak, the smaller screen can again feel cramped.
I am not asking for a new design, or more modern specs like OLED, ProMotion or whatever – my only request is that we get an affordable iPhone with a display that isn’t tiny. Is that too much to ask?