iPhone SE vs iPhone 6S

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE


Impressively the iPhone SE has exactly the same processor as the iPhone 6S. We're talking a 64-bit A9 chip, coupled with Apple's M9 motion coprocessor. What does that all mean? Well, this is no entry-level phone, in fact it should be capable of flagship performance and be able to go toe to toe with the iPhone 6S.

Having the M9 chip too means that it supports hands-free Siri use. Apple claims it's the most powerful 4-inch phone ever made and there's every chance that's true.

The similarities between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6S go beyond performance though. The new SE also has Touch ID and supports Apple Pay, so it really is the complete package.

iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6S


The iPhone SE also has the same snapper as the iPhone 6S. Both phones have a 12MP iSight camera, complete with Focus Pixels and a True Tone flash. Both can also bring photos to life with Live Photos, which turn your images into short videos.

Both can shoot video in up to 4K quality and both can light up the front screen to use it as a flash and take better selfies.

We were impressed by the iPhone 6S's camera and the iPhone SE's should be just as good. Or at least the main camera should be. The iPhone SE's front-facing snapper is just 1.2MP, down from 5MP on the iPhone 6S, so selfies won't be quite as good.

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE

Battery life

Battery life should be similar, albeit with a few differences. Apple quotes the iPhone SE as lasting for up to 14 hours of talk time, 12 hours of internet on 3G, 50 hours of audio playback or 10 days of standby.

The iPhone 6S on the other hand is quoted as lasting for 14 hours of talk time, 10 hours of internet on 3G, 50 hours of audio playback and 10 days of standby.

So despite its smaller size the iPhone SE should if anything last slightly longer when web browsing, but there's unlikely to be much in it based on these stats. The iPhone 6S typically requires a daily charge, so we'd expect the same here.

iPhone 6S

The iPhone 6S


Other than the size the biggest difference between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 6S is the price. The iPhone SE starts at US$399 (£359, AU$679) for a 16GB version and rises to US$499 (£439, AU$829) for a 64GB one.

The iPhone 6S on the other hand starts at US$649 (£539, AU$1,079) for a 16GB handset and rises to US$749 (£619, AU$1,229) for the 64GB model. So the iPhone SE is significantly cheaper.

Not only does it massively undercut Apple's flagship, it's also competitive with mid-range Android handsets. If you want or can live with a smaller screen it could be a seriously tempting option.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to 3G.co.uk, 4G.co.uk and 5G.co.uk and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.