Apple iPhone SE Review

Kevin Foley Profile image

Written by:

Updated June 27, 2022
94 Expert Rating

You may not be thinking of the best smartphone options when it comes to the best cell phone for seniors, but in the case of the new iPhone SE, you should be! This Apple iPhone has all the features you love like Apple Pay, Touch ID, Portrait mode (with adjustable portrait lighting), and is available in a variety of colors beyond the traditional black/white/silver options of its competitors.

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Why We Like It – Apple iPhone SE

The Apple iPhone SE builds on the old platform and updates it for modern performance. Powered by the A13 bionic chip (which is the same processor used in the iPhone 11), the new iPhone SE combines wireless charging, IP67 water resistance, and the return of the home button into a single, capable platform.

  • Decent Battery Life
  • 7 MP Front Camera
  • Supports Haptic Touch
  • Lacks a Night Mode for the Camera
  • Limited to Apps from the Apple Store (Unless You Jailbreak the Device to Use An Alternative App Store Like Cydia)
  • Limited to Wireless Service from a Cricket Service Plan

Overall Performance

Thanks to the inclusion of the A13 bionic chip, anyone using this device won’t have to deal with any lag. Seniors can often get frustrated when using technology, so having a highly responsive interface is key. The SE iPhone is easily up to the task of HD video recording, meaning recording family get-together and saving memories is a pain-free process. This device will easily work over wi fi and the Cricket Wireless network so you’ll never have a problem with connectivity either. Hate iOS? Check out the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus instead!

Battery Life

Apple claims the SE will last up to 13 hours per charge, but real-world experience tells a different story. Realistically, you can expect between 9 to 10 hours from the 1,821 mAh internal battery before you need to recharge the device. That’s not great, but it still outperforms cheaper phones like the Nokia 3310 TA-1036. The iPhone SE supports wireless charging and fast-charging as well. Unfortunately, fast charging (up to 50% in only 30 minutes) requires the purchase of an additional 18W charger. If you want a phone with a better battery life and don’t mind a flip phone then you can check out the GreatCall Lively Flip.


The Retina display of the iPhone SE is light-years ahead of basic LED displays like the one found on the BLU JOY Cell Phone. The iPhone’s 4.7” Retina Display with Touch ID has a resolution of 1334 by 750p. This provides a. extremely clear image perfect for looking at pictures. Seniors won’t have to worry about struggling to see what’s on the screen, because this iPhone’s display has a contrast ratio of 1400:1 with a max brightness of 625 nits!


If you’re worried about your parents (or grandparents) breaking their new phone, you’ll be happy to know that the iPhone SE can fend for itself. Despite having glass on both sides of its aluminum body, the SE has been proven to survive 50-foot drops with no damage. The device is IP67 certified, which means it is safe from dust and can survive underwater up to 1m deep for half an hour without any ill effects. That said, we would not recommend using it in the water.


At just under $400, this is easily the most affordable option available from Apple. This particular phone isn’t eligible for Apple Card monthly installments, and unfortunately, there aren’t any other financing options available. You’ll have to pay $55 per month for the service plan as well, bringing your initial investment up to $454. This phone is locked to the Cricket Wireless network so you can’t use it on other carriers, but it does have free shipping and includes a one-year limited warranty. You can also purchase Apple Care+ for an additional $79 (for two years of coverage).

Apple iPhone SE Wrap Up

While we wish this iPhone could use a SIM card other than Cricket Wireless, the plan available isn’t overly expensive. The phone itself is a quality device, perfect for taking pictures, browsing the web, calling, texting, and more. The iPhone SE is an ideal option for seniors who are tech-savvy.

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