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Is the iPhone SE a worthy replacement for my Android Nokia?

Monday, November 06, 2023

Graphic showing an Android logo slowly dying in the presence of a photo of an Apple iPhone SE

My much-loved Nokia 7.2 finally died. It was time to get back on to iOS.

I live most of my life on my MacBook and iPad, so the latest-greatest iPhone wasn't a big draw. All I needed was a phone to carry around and act as a window into my Apple world. The baby iPhone SE looked like the right choice.

So was it?

The small size and light weight make it easy to slip into every pocket I have and be comfortable. Only concern was it felt a little too slippery, which I fixed with a silicone after-market case.

The battery lasts all day without any problems. That said, I don't tend to get calls as I'm all "Instant Message" these days. Even running on the satnav for over an hour, the worst I've got down to is 40%. The average is 60-70% battery left after 24 hours, about the same as my Nokia.

Everything's nicely integrated across my Apple devices. I use the Apple productivity suite everywhere, so it's now seamless to add a note when it pops into my head on my iPhone and tidy it up later on my iPad. With my Nokia it was awkward shuffling stuff between Google, Microsoft and Apple apps.

The iPhone is the only device I have with notifications switched on. My life is a lot quieter. Touch ID works well and is convenient. I prefer it to the face unlock thing. That doesn't feel secure and I've had problems with it.

Apple Translate works well enough to get by. It has a way to go to catch up with Google Translate.

The Health App is helping me get back in shape and lose the weight the Doctors went on about. Couldn't see the point of syncing data to my iPad.

Apple Maps is OK. The satnav mode is much clearer than Google Maps, although it lacks detail in rural Japan. Major gripe is I can only get it to use a Japanese voice for navigation by switching the whole phone over. I'm not ready for that.

The camera is acceptable. It's clear during the day, but the quality drops sharply at dusk. Not a match for my Nokia, although the image quality on that fell away shortly after I canceled my Google One subscription. For me, the camera is the Achilles heel. Then again, I took some decent photos on my iPod touch.

This last point sums up my relationship with my iPhone compared to the Nokia. The Nokia was all about the camera, whereas the iPhone has a more rounded role. I use it to remind me of things, keep track of activities and capture fleeting ideas.

Overall, the iPhone SE is a great phone if you need a small, easy-to-handle phone to hand while you use a bigger device for serious work.

My name is Ross Hori

I'm a freelance writer, designer and photographer. By day I create articles, features and reports. At night I take photos and write fiction.

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