What Is the Difference between iPhone SE and iPhone 5s?

BY Rajesh Pandey

Published 21 Mar 2016

iPhone SE official name

At its ‘Let us loop you in’ event today, Apple unveiled the iPhone SE. This new iPhone from the company replaces the iPhone 5s, which was released in 2013. The handset is a huge upgrade over its predecessor in almost every way, and makes buying a 4-inch iPhone in 2016 a viable option once again.

If you are wondering how exactly the iPhone SE is better than the iPhone 5s though, read below to find out the major and minor differences between the two phones.

Display & Dimensions:

  • Both phones come with a 4-inch IPS LCD display. However the iPhone SE display is based on a new generation IPS LCD panel that makes it brighter and gives it better viewing angles. It is also laminated that gives the feeling of UI icons floating on the glass surface itself
  • The 4-inch display on the iPhone SE comes with the same resolution as the iPhone 5s: 1136 x 640
  • The iPhone SE and iPhone 5s have the exact same dimensions and almost weight the same as well; the iPhone SE is heavier than the 5s by just 1g (112g vs. 113g)


  • The iPhone SE comes with a 12MP f/2.2 shooter, which is the same camera setup found on the iPhone 6s. The iPhone 5s, in comparison, comes with an 8MP shooter
  • The iPhone SE is capable of recording videos in 4K resolution Full HD at 60fps, and slo-mo videos at up to 240fps. The iPhone 5s cannot record videos in 4K resolution or at up to 240fps in slo-mo
  • The new 4-inch iPhone can take panoramas in up to 63MP resolution, which is significantly higher than what the iPhone 5s can do
  • It is possible to shoot Live Photos on the iPhone SE, which the iPhone 5s lacks
  • The FaceTime camera resolution on the iPhone SE remains the same as on the iPhone 5s: 1.2MP
  • However, the iPhone SE now features Retina Flash, as seen on the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus

Chip, Performance, Storage & Battery:

  • The iPhone SE is powered by an A9 chip. This is the same chip that powers the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. In comparison, the iPhone 5s features an A7 chip, which was Apple’s first 64-bit chip
  • Apple says that the iPhone SE is up to 2x faster than the iPhone 5s in CPU tasks and up to 3x faster in GPU tasks
  • The M9 motion co-processor on the A9 chip is vastly superior to the M7 co-processor found on the A7 chip
  • The new 4-inch iPhone from Apple comes with 2GB RAM, twice of what the iPhone 5s packs (1GB)
  • Apple will be offering the iPhone SE in 16GB and 64GB storage options. In comparison, the iPhone 5s was available in 16GB, 32GB and 64GB storage variants
  • While not announced by Apple, it is all but given that the iPhone SE also comes with a faster internal storage
  • The A9 chipset on the iPhone SE also allows it to offer always-on ‘Hey Siri’ voice recognition
  • The iPhone SE offers faster LTE connectivity than iPhone 5s: 150Mbps vs. 100Mbps
  • The handset also supports more LTE bands than Apple’s flagship iPhone for 2013
  • The iPhone SE also offers slightly better battery life than the iPhone 5s: Up to 13 hours on Wi-Fi and LTE web browsing each compared to 10 hours on the iPhone 5s


  • The iPhone SE will be available in four colors: Silver, Space Gray, Gold and Rose Gold. The iPhone 5s was only available in three colors: Gold, Silver and Space Gray

While there might be some other minor differences between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 5s, the above are the differences that you should be aware of.

What do you think about Apple’s latest iPhone?