Rotten Apple, iPhone SE review

by,

Suzanne Coleman

 

For years I have wanted a new iPhone and a couple weeks ago I finally got one.  I bought the new iPhone SE in the rose gold 64 gigabytes.  I was really excited when I got it in the mail, finally, after waiting for about three weeks; the stores were all sold out.

When I opened it up, it came in a beautiful white box with a raised image of the phone on it, and all the text on the box was in the rose gold color.  Nice touch Apple.

I opened the white box and liked the way the phone looked, for the most part.  The problem started though, when I turned it on.  I immediately found the screen very glaring and difficult to look at, in fact really difficult to look at.  I went into the settings after I was able to activate the phone and adjusted them for contrast and other vision options under the accessibility feature, it did help, but not enough.

I also had issues with the phone after about 12 hours asking me to reenter all the data from the very beginning, starting with the white screen with the Apple on it.  According to the Apple Store staff, that was not supposed to happen.  The other issue I noticed was that the phone was rattling, but when I asked the Apple Store staff about that, they said that that is the auto-focus on the camera.  

I tried to give the phone a chance.  So I tried the video out, and after recording for five minutes my phone got extremely hot which made me concerned.  The main reason I bought the phone was for video and photo, especially macro photos and high-quality video, as this is something that I do as a pretty serious hobby.

What did the video look like?  I tried out the “60 fps 1080 p video” and wasn’t very happy with it.  I was videotaping a bird as it was flying, and I was moving the phone as I filmed it, to follow the bird’s motion.  I had two major issues with this.  First of all, the results were not 60p 1080.  The camera did not properly capture the number of images.  The video was very jerky, the images were not smooth.  It seemed more like i than p.  The moving birds’ wings were only showing at a few positions on the video instead of a smooth motion which I get using my 30p 1080 iPod touch 5.  The other issue was that when I moved the camera to follow the bird, the camera couldn’t keep up with the data and the background image became pixelated.  This has never happened with the 30p iPod and is unacceptable.

On the plus side, the images had good resolution; they were very sharp for the most part.  The video result had a much higher resolution than on the iPod for distant images (but not for macro, tested later).  Also, the brightness of the image on the phone while filming was great.  The exposure values were good, though there were some issue with over-exposure.  

Then I switched to 4K video to try that out (supposedly at 30p).  When I went to play it back on my iMac in iPhoto it was terrible, the video image was jerking as the video panned slowly to the right.  When I tested it again by playing it back on the phone, I did not notice this jerking, so this may be a software issue with iPhoto.  I’m also running an older version of the OS which may be the issue- though you would think that they would have updated the software to properly handle 4K. 

Also, when I first connected the iPhone SE to my iMac, iPhoto went crazy and kept flashing back and forth between different screens.  This was very disconcerting.  After I disconnected the iPhone and restarted the computer it seemed to be ok.  When I re-connected the iPhone the next time, it did not do this.

Then I went to try the camera for still images.  The images were OK, they were not outstanding at all.  Next, I used the macro camera and macro video.  In one case the video was good, but in another it was poor.  The camera was ok for macro pics, but not outstanding.   It did not measure up to the iPod in this area.  The macro video was also not able to properly depict the motion of  a moving subject (running carpenter ant).

Since my main interest was the camera and video capabilities of the phone, I decided that this was not the right tool for me.  Plus, its overall cheap-seeming construction and components were not worth the price at all.

I went into the Apple store and I was able to return the phone without any issues within their allotted time frame.  I am pretty disappointed in the quality of the phone, having both hardware and software issues.  And with the company for not properly identifying these problems before releasing the phone to the public.  But this has been their M.O. for quite a while now.  I think there are some deeper issues that need to be addressed at Apple.

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