Going Full Circle Back To iPhone SE

Several generations ago, Apple referred to this device as the best phone they’ve ever made.

They have since repeated this mantra for all their iPhone launches. It’s not a dishonest statement. Truth is – the newer product is almost always better than the previous one. Some are minor improvements, under the hood refinements that few notices. Some are features that benefits the mass, like the addition of OIS when taking pictures. Speaking of camera, portrait mode debuted in iPhone 7 Plus is amazing. Sure, it’s not perfect but as a first release, I thought it’s pretty great. Using software to do what a conventional hardware would, the effects are brilliant.

That’s the sole feature that drew me to a gigantic phone. But that’s not enough to keep me in the realm of the giants. I traded it off for a iPhone 7, a phone I’m convinced strikes an ideal balance between not having to squirm looking at the screen, and the right size to hold in my palm.

I was never comfortable with the Plus size phone from the first moment. I kept convincing myself I’d give it a week, then another week and so forth. But it never felt natural. Holding it using one hand felt awkward, though I don’t have the biggest hands. Tried using both hands and it didn’t feel right, too. I couldn’t find a comfortable position to wrap my palms and fingers.

While I found the big screen alluring for pictures viewing – especially for the likes of Instagram and reviewing the photos in my album – I felt the tradeoff is too much. Slotting it in my denim pocket, it was like a rectangular object alien to me. It’s super slim, but the size didn’t feel suitable to me.

I’ve heard statements like when you’ve used a bigger phone, there’s no way you’ll be able to go back to a smaller one. Certainly doesn’t apply to me. In fact, I’ve gone from a 5.5-inch phone to a 4.7-inch, and eventually back to 4-inch one. I’ve gone a full circle to where I am now.

One of the reasons why I wanted to use an iPhone SE is because I’m spending too much time glued to the screen. I figure having a smaller screen would limit my usage, since it’s not as enjoyable looking at them compared to a bigger phone. It’s a self-imposed way of saying “That’s enough, I’m going to restrict myself to a smaller and controlled diet to curb my appetite.”

The first few days were about accustoming myself back to a smaller screen. I’ve used an iPhone 5 before so it’s not altogether foreign to me. Looking at the arrays of plus-sized phones around me, mine felt like a midget, an odd device that stood out.

The transition hasn’t been too bad. It does everything an iPhone 7 would, albeit with a smaller screen. Sure, I miss the OIS on the camera, and low-light pictures aren’t as fantastic compared to the 7, but that’s about it. I don’t feel I’ve missed out by having a smaller screen.

In fact, I felt this form factor is the best of all the phones Apple have made. The industrial design is stunning. The feel in my hand is excellent – the gripe is terrific (considering starting from iPhone 6, the phones are as slippery as an eel), and the Space Grey color is elegant (they don’t make this color in this manner anymore). Everything about this is top-notch in my eyes. I’ve been hunting an iPhone SE in Space Grey for some time already. So when a good condition one like this got listed, I snapped it up.

Away went the iPhone 7, in came the iPhone SE.

In many ways, it’s indeed the best phone they’ve ever made.