Just as we expected, the iPhone SE comes in a rather compact box accompanied by a Lightning cable, a 1A A/C plug, and a well-packed pair of EarPods.
The iPhone SE spreads at 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6 mm, which is the same footprint the iPhone 5s had. It is very light at 113g, just 1g over the iPhone 5s. If we are to compare it with the new 4.7" iPhone 6s, the SE edition is 1.5cm shorter and 1cm narrower.
The Apple's iPhone SE design is on the catwalk for a third time in a row, and there are no surprises here. After the dawn of the glass iPhones, the new metal chassis introduced by the iPhone 5 quickly became a fan-favorite. It was in fact so popular that in the aftermath of the iPhone 6 premiere the new exterior was considered as a disappointment because of the departure from the old looks.
Sure, Apple could have shrunk the iPhone 6 chassis for the iPhone SE instead, but we suspect they've intentionally decided to keep the iconic chassis. Plus, nobody can't argue it was easier for development and production - faster, and, of course, cheaper.
On a positive note - keeping the flat sides is a tremendous boost to the grip and overall handling, both of which were compromised by the rounded edges of the iPhone 6 generation. The iPhone SE still feels great in hand as it was three years ago, premium as ever.
There are some cons, though - keeping the old design meant sticking to the first-gen Touch ID and older model of the FaceTime camera (1.2MP) and there is also the issue with the sizable screen bezels, which make the phone look outdated by today's standards.
There is one other thing worth mentioning - the iPhone 6s came with unannounced water protection, which allowed it to survive between 10 and 40 minutes submerged in water. On the contrary, the iPhone SE will die instantly when subjected to water as proven by a lot of online videos.
Still, let's take a closer quick close look for the unfamiliar with the iPhone 5 lineup.
The iPhone SE front is covered by an ion-strengthened glass (it's a custom version of the Gorilla Glass protection), complemented by an oleophobic coating to keep the fingerprints away. The frame is all metal as is most of the rear side.
Handling is great, as we said, but if you are coming from an iPhone 6/6s or an Android smartphone, you may miss the side-mounted power/lock key.
The front of the iPhone SE is mostly occupied by the 4" Retina display. On top we find the earpiece, the FaceTime camera, and a couple of sensors. On the bottom is the Home key/Touch ID sensor, with a steel ring painted in the accent color.
The ejectable nano-SIM tray sits alone on the right. The left side houses the metal volume keys and the silencer.
On top of the iPhone, SE is the power/lock key, also made of metal. The audio jack, the loudspeaker grille, the primary microphone (also behind a grille), and the Lightning port are at the bottom.
The iPhone SE rear side is familiar - the 12MP camera is here (no hump, yay), the dual-LED flash is around with the second mic, and there is the Apple logo, of course. The 12MP snapper is the same as on the iPhone 6s, enabled with 4K video recording. Due to the phone's larger thickness, there is no camera hump unlike the iPhone 6s.