iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, or iPhone 6s Plus — here's how to pick the perfect iPhone model for you!

Apple now has a full range of modern iPhones, from the entry level iPhone SE to the mainstream iPhone 6s to the ultra-premium iPhone 6s Plus. As you go up in size, what you lose in pocket-ability you start to make up for in things like camera quality, battery life, and interface expansion. But what's the best tradeoff for you?

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Display size

iPhone SE has a 4-inch 1136x640 display at 326ppi. iPhone 6s has a 4.7-inch 1334x750 screen at 326ppi. iPhone 6s Plus has a 5.5-inch 1920x1080 screen at 401ppi.

All of them are light-emmiting diode (LED) backlit, in-plane switching (IPS) liquid crystal displays (LCD). That's a lot of alphabet soup to say they're all using the same bright and beautiful screens.

Obviously, iPhone SE has the fewest number of pixels — 727,040. That compares to 1,000,500 on iPhone 6s and 2,073,600 on iPhone 6s Plus. That means the bigger iPhones can show more stuff on screen at one time.

  • If small size is more important than lots of stuff or bigger stuff, get an iPhone SE.
  • If you want a good balance between size and quantity, get an iPhone 6s.
  • If you want the most pixels possible, get an iPhone 6s Plus.

Case size

Bigger displays make for bigger phones.

  • iPhone 6s Plus is 6.23 inches (158.2 mm) high, 3.07 inches (77.9 mm) wide, 0.29 inch (7.3 mm) deep, and weighs 6.77 ounces (192 grams)

  • iPhone 6s is 5.44 inches (138.3 mm) high, 2.64 inches (67.1 mm) wide, 0.28 inch (7.1 mm) deep, and weighs 5.04 ounces (143 grams).

  • iPhone SE is 4.87 inches (123.8 mm) high, 2.31 inches (58.6 mm) wide, 0.30 inch (7.6 mm) deep, and weighs 3.95 ounces (112 grams).

That means iPhone SE is easy to slip into smaller pockets, purses, and bags, and easier to hold and hold up for longer periods of time. Conversely, iPhone 6s Plus needs bigger pockets, purses, or bags, and takes more work to use one handed or to hold up for long periods of time.

  • If you want something to fit into your skinny jeans or tiny clutch, or something you can easily use one handed, you want iPhone SE.

Accessibility

If you don't want more pixels but just want bigger pixels, iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus can do that too. Thanks to Display Zoom, you can tell an iPhone 6s to use the iPhone SE interface and magnify it up, or tell an iPhone 6s Plus to use the iPhone 6s interface and magnify it up.

That way there's not more stuff on the screen, simply bigger stuff that's easier to see and interact with. For anyone with visual accessibility needs, it's incredibly important to consider.

  • If a bigger interface is necessary for you to see and interact with your iPhone, get an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s and use Display Zoom.

Colors

iPhone SE and iPhone 6s come in space gray, silver, gold and rose gold.

iPhone 6 currently only comes in space gray and silver.

  • If you want the golds, you have to go with iPhone SE or iPhone 6s.

Capacity

iPhone SE only comes in 16 and 64 GB configurations. That means you won't be able to store maximum apps, games, videos, photos, and other media.

iPhone 6s comes in 16, 64, and 128 GB configurations. That means, if you choose to, you can have the most storage space possible available for apps, games, videos, photos, and other media.

  • If you want the most storage possible, you'll want iPhone 6s.

Productivity

The iPhone 6s Plus has so many pixels that, in landscape mode, it acts like an iPad. Mail goes from one column to two columns. So does Messages, Notes, and a host of other apps. Safari gets tabs and the rest of the tablet treatment. It may not sound like much but it's a huge boon for productivity.

  • If you like the idea of having a big iPhone in portrait and a tiny iPad in landscape, get the iPhone 6s Plus.

Processor

iPhone SE and iPhone 6s both have the top-of-the-line Apple A9 system-on-a-chip, which combines Apple's third generation 64-bit, dual-core processor with a silly fast graphics processor for the best performance in the business. There's also an integrated M9 coprocessor for motion sensing and unplugged "Hey Siri" and an advance image signal processor (ISP) for the most true-to-life photography possible.

iPhone 6 has a previous generation Apple A8 system-on-a-chip, which combines Apple's older 64-bit, dual core processor with an older but still fast graphics processor. It's not longer cutting-edge though, and will age-out faster than then the A9, meaning it's not as future-proof. It also can't do unplugged "Hey Siri".

  • If you want maximum power and power efficiency, get iPhone SE or iPhone 6s.

Camera

All modern iPhones have really good iSight cameras. iPhone 6 is 8 megapixels and 1080p, iPhone SE and iPhone 6s Plus are 12 megapixels and 4K.

iPhone 6s Plus, however, offers optical image stabilization (OIS) for both photos and video. With OIS, the lens is essentially isolated from the body so that if your hand shakes the lens does not. That means it can stay open longer and drink in more light without introducing blurring and other distortions.

iPhone SE didn't get the better front FaceTime sensor of iPhone 6s, but did get the better Apple A9 image signal processor (ISP) and Retina Flash for low-light. iPhone 6s, however, remains champion of the selfies.

  • If you want the best camera phone Apple makes, get the iPhone 6s Plus.

3D Touch

Currently only iPhone 6s supports Apple's 3D Touch pressure sensitive technology.

  • If 3D Touch matters to you, get iPhone 6s.

Battery life

iPhone SE gets tremendously great battery life. Up to 14 hours of talk, 10 days standby, 13 hours of web browsing and video playback, and 50 hours of audio.

iPhone 6s gets just as tremendous battery life. Up to 14 hours of talk, 10 days standby, 10 to 11 hours of web browsing and video playback, and 50 hours of audio.

iPhone 6s Plus gets crazy good battery life. Up to 24 hours of talk, 16 days of standby, 12 hours of web browsing, 14 hours of video, and 80 hours of audio.

  • If battery life matter most to you, and you don't want to use an external battery case or power bank, get the iPhone 6s Plus.

Who should get iPhone SE?

If you want the smallest iPhone available, one that'll fit into the smallest pocket or pouch, but that still has all the power and capabilities Apple has to offer, you want iPhone SE.

In other words, if small is where it's at, that's iPhone SE.

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Who should get iPhone 6?

If you really want a big or bigger iPhone but simply can't pay full price for any iPhone 6s, iPhone 6 may be an option. Just remember it has an older processor and so won't age quite as well as iPhone SE or iPhone 6s.

In other words, most people should go for iPhone SE if budget it tight and iPhone 6s if money isn't a huge issue.

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Who should get the iPhone 6s?

If you want all the latest technology with screen sizes that range from big to bigger, with fantastic cameras 3D Touch, and all the other trimmings, you want iPhone 6s.

In other words, unless you want a small iPhone, get one of these.

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Still undecided?

If you're still not sure about which iPhone to get, jump into our iPhone discussion forums and the best community in mobile will happily help you out.

Bottom line, your iPhone will be one of the most often-used, most important possessions in your life. Get the one that will fit your needs the best!