Best Tech I've Ever Owned

November 5th, 2019

I didn’t think I’d be writing a “love letter” to a certain device today, but here I am. The last time I did this was about my favorite ebook reader, which has since died the saddest of deaths (touchscreen is non-responsive). The Nook had a good run but the throne of “Favorite Device” is vacant. So that gets resolved right now.

OK “Favorite” might not be the most appropriate label. My favorite might be my old Sega Genesis Nomad from the 90s. What I’m talking about now is similar in nature. It’s a portable thing smaller than it has any right to be. It’s my phone. Specifically, my iPhone SE.

size check. screenshot from apple.com/iphone/compare

Side by side with my wife’s iPhone 7, the SE looks and feels tiny. And that validates my affinity for it so perfectly that I could end this post now – I won’t – and feel like I’ve gotten my message across. My SE gets reactions from people when I use it. The comments are usually along the lines of “I looovveed my iPhone 5” or “I miss having a small phone lol” then followed by complaints about how big and bulky their 8, 9, 10 max whatever is. And how expensive they are. Well let me back up a minute.

I bought my SE 2 years ago for $129 from Walmart. That alone is an achievement, since a new iPod Touch is $199. You can still get it for that much from Amazon or a few other places. Anyway, the SE is essentially an iPhone 6 but in a smaller package. And that’s why it is my favorite device and the best piece of tech I have ever owned. I love it in spite of the rose gold/white color combo (it was the only option). I love it because I’ve dropped it a million times and there are no cracks, just some solid dents in the wraparound metal edge. I love it because my thumb can reach the top of the screen without having to readjust my grip. I love it because it lays flat on a surface because the lens is flush with the body. This thing is blazing fast, has plenty of storage, a great battery, and fits comfortably in any pocket. I can wirelessly get photos to it from my camera, and all photos (including yours) look better on it because the screen is so small. The SE is perfect as I write this at the end of 2019.

You can buy a new SE right now AND a full frame digital camera for less than the price of the 11 Pro. I'm impressed that the SE is still listed on Apple's site. So you might think the latest takes amazing photos and it probably does, but will the quality be as good as what you'll get from a Sony A7? Which one are you also more likely to drop? Just sayin.

I don’t even need or want a new model. At three and a half years old this thing is still amazing. Would I buy a new version of this small phone if Apple made one? Absolutely. I’ve thought about picking up another SE to keep around until this one dies but I have no reason to think it will ever die. It will, and break my heart just like my Nook. But I’d like to see what Apple could do with a new phone at the same size. Not the Apple Watch, which I don’t own but am also impressed by. A new SE. This is starting to feel like an Apple ad but I promise it isn’t. I don’t care about a giant screen or multi-lens camera capabilities. Mo pixels mo problems. Stop making things pocketable things bigger. That whole “they don’t make em like they used to” sentiment has never been truer. And cheaper.