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iPhone 6s vs. iPhone SE: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on February 29, 2024
The iPhone 6s, launched in 2015, features a 4.7-inch display and 3D Touch, while the iPhone SE (1st gen) combines the 4-inch form factor of the iPhone 5s with the internals of the 6s, excluding 3D Touch.

Key Differences

The iPhone 6s, released in September 2015, introduced several advancements over its predecessors, including 3D Touch, a 12MP camera, and the A9 processor. The iPhone SE, launched in March 2016, adopted the compact form of the iPhone 5s while incorporating the processing power and camera capabilities of the 6s, aiming to offer a powerful device in a smaller package.
Both the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE share the same A9 chip and 12MP rear camera, their design philosophies cater to different user preferences. The 6s offers a larger 4.7-inch display, appealing to those who prefer more screen real estate, whereas the SE features a more manageable 4-inch screen, ideal for users looking for compactness and ease of use with one hand.
The introduction of 3D Touch in the iPhone 6s marked a significant technological advancement, allowing users to interact with their device in new ways through pressure-sensitive inputs. This feature was notably absent in the iPhone SE, aligning with its goal of simplicity and performance without the need for the latest bells and whistles.
Battery life between the two models differs slightly, with the iPhone SE often praised for its efficient power management, likely due to the smaller screen size and optimized internals. This efficiency is a key selling point for users who prioritize longevity and reliability over the course of a day.
In terms of aesthetic and build, the iPhone 6s followed the design language introduced with the iPhone 6, featuring rounded edges and a metal back. The iPhone SE, on the other hand, revived the beloved design of the iPhone 5s with its flat edges and compact frame, offering a classic look with modern internals.

Comparison Chart

Display Size

4.7 inches
4 inches


Rounded edges, metal back
Flat edges, classic design

3D Touch

Not available


A9 chip
A9 chip


12MP rear, 5MP front
12MP rear, 1.2MP front

Launch Year


Battery Life

Better due to smaller screen and optimization

Target Audience

Users preferring larger screens
Users looking for compactness

iPhone 6s and iPhone SE Definitions

iPhone 6s

A smartphone with 3D Touch technology.
I used the iPhone 6s to quickly access my camera with 3D Touch.

iPhone SE

Known for exceptional battery life.
My iPhone SE lasts all day without needing a charge, even with heavy use.

iPhone 6s

Powered by the A9 chip.
The iPhone 6s runs smoothly even with the latest iOS updates.

iPhone SE

Revives the design of the iPhone 5s.
I love the classic design of the iPhone SE; it reminds me of my first smartphone.

iPhone 6s

Features a 4.7-inch Retina HD display.
Watching videos on my iPhone 6s is always a pleasure thanks to its large screen.

iPhone SE

Lacks 3D Touch but maintains performance.
Even without 3D Touch, my iPhone SE handles all my apps flawlessly.

iPhone 6s

Offers a 12MP camera.
The iPhone 6s takes incredibly sharp photos, perfect for my photography hobby.

iPhone SE

A compact smartphone with iPhone 6s internals.
The iPhone SE fits perfectly in my pocket and has the speed I need.

iPhone 6s

Introduced Live Photos.
I captured our moment using Live Photos on my iPhone 6s.

iPhone SE

Affordable without compromising quality.
The iPhone SE was a great deal, offering high performance at a lower price.


What year was the iPhone SE launched?

The iPhone SE was launched in 2016.

What year was the iPhone 6s released?

The iPhone 6s was released in 2015.

Can I run the latest iOS on both devices?

Yes, both can run later iOS versions, subject to Apple's support policies at the time.

Is 3D Touch available on both models?

No, 3D Touch is only available on the iPhone 6s.

Are both models available in multiple colors?

Yes, both the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE are available in several color options.

Do the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE share the same processor?

Yes, both have the A9 chip.

How do the camera specifications compare?

Both feature a 12MP rear camera, but the iPhone 6s has a 5MP front camera, while the SE has a 1.2MP front camera.

Which iPhone is more compact?

The iPhone SE is more compact, reflecting the design of the iPhone 5s.

Is there a significant price difference between the two?

Initially, the iPhone SE was priced lower than the iPhone 6s, reflecting its position as a more affordable option.

Which model has a larger screen?

The iPhone 6s has a larger 4.7-inch screen compared to the 4-inch screen of the iPhone SE.

Which device has better battery life?

The iPhone SE generally has better battery life due to its smaller screen and optimized internals.

Is the build quality the same for both iPhones?

Both have high build quality, with metal backs and a solid feel, though their designs differ.

Can I use Apple Pay with both?

Yes, both models support Apple Pay.

Can I replace the battery in these models?

Battery replacement is possible through Apple or authorized service providers for both models.

Which model is better for photography?

Both are capable, but the iPhone 6s offers a slightly better front camera for selfies.

Is the iPhone SE a good choice for someone who prefers smaller phones?

Yes, the iPhone SE is ideal for users looking for powerful performance in a compact size.

Which iPhone is heavier?

The iPhone 6s is slightly heavier due to its larger size.

Do both models have a headphone jack?

Yes, both the iPhone 6s and iPhone SE include a headphone jack.

How does storage capacity compare?

Both models were initially offered with varying storage options, from 16GB up to 128GB.

Which iPhone is considered more durable?

Durability can vary, but the iPhone SE's smaller size may make it less prone to bending.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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