iPhone SE reviews are glowing as device now available for pre-order

iPhone SE

The iPhone SE unveiling may not have been accompanied by the type of fanfare that usually drapes iPhone announcements, but make no mistake about it - the iPhone SE is poised to be a huge hit for Apple.

Thus far, media outlets who received test units of Apple's latest smartphone have had nothing short of glowing reviews. And though the SE is effectively an iPhone 6s inside of an iPhone 5/5s frame, reviewers still found plenty of reasons to get excited.

Geoffrey A. Fowler of The Wall Street Journal, for instance, praised the device's impressive battery life, noting that it performed better than the iPhone 6s, 5s, and even the recently released Galaxy S7.

The standout news is battery life. Unlike many other recent Apple products, the iPhone SE’s is a significant improvement over its predecessors’. In my lab stress test, which cycles through websites with uniform screen brightness, the SE lasted 10 hours—more than two hours longer than both the iPhone 6s and iPhone 5s, and nearly three hours longer than the Galaxy S7.

The compromise you must accept for that performance is the SE’s screen, which is not only smaller but also packs in fewer pixels and noticeably less contrast than the iPhone 6s.

It's worth pointing out that for many users who have been patiently waiting for a new 4-inch iPhone to hit the scene, the SE screen is far from a compromise. Indeed, for some users, using the gargantuan screens that adorn the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus is a compromise. Sure, the iPhone SE lacks 3D Touch, but this hardly seems like a major gripe most users would voice.

Mashable reviewer Christina Warren also came away impressed with the new iPhone SE. In particular, Warren seemed to recall the joys of being able to use an iPhone one-handed, a user experience which has prompted many iPhone 5s and iPhone 5 users to hold on to their current devices rather than upgrade.

My fingers are now used to a larger screen and it took some adjustments to get used to typing on a smaller screen. Still, I won't lie it's nice to be able to use a phone with one hand again. The form factor is classic and a bit of a throwback, but it feels great too.

Apple used to vaunt the one-handed nature of its 4-inch phones. And it's true, there is something to be said about a phone that can truly be used with one hand. No need for reachability, no need for adjusting your hands.

And though Warren didn't conduct any controlled tests to measure battery performance, she did casually note that battery life on the iPhone SE was superior to the iPhone 6s.

The reality is that we don't need an onslaught of reviews to truly measure the value proposition of the iPhone SE. After all, it comes in a familiar form factor and essentially features the same exact internals as the iPhone 6s.

That being the case, you might be glad to know that pre-orders for Apple's latest iPhone are open. The device can be ordered via Apple's online store and also via Apple's 'Apple Store' app for iOS devices. Interested buyers can also purchase the device directly from all four major U.S. carriers, including Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

The color options for the iPhone SE are standard Apple fare, with Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray and Silver being the four possibilities. Storage wise, there is a 16GB model available for the unsubsidized price of $399 and a 64GB model available for the unsubsidized price of $499. Of course, if you're trading in an old iPhone as you make your purchase, you can get the device for even cheaper on a monthly payment plan.

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