Mark Llobrera

Goodbye, iPhone SE

I had hoped to ride out one more year with my iPhone SE v1, but on my recent trip to Maine it took a trip through a full washing machine cycle and died.1 I spent most of the last week in Maine phone-free, and I have to say: my stress level went down quite a bit as a result.

The SIM card was still working when I tested it in a backup phone, though, so I found a used iPhone 11 on Swappa and it arrived today.2

Two mobile phones, side by side.
Little, Big

It’s…comically large, compared to the SE. It’s heavy, too, and slippery. I never used a case with my SE, but I feel like I’ll need one just for better grip…which will make this thing even larger.

Transferring over to the new phone illustrated just how much that process has been refined since I last activated a phone: I brought it close to my iPad, confirmed my Apple ID, selected an iCloud backup to restore from, and 20-ish minutes later I had a working phone in hand, set up just like the previous one.

The process made me also reflect on how utilitarian these devices have become—they really are extremely refined, downright appliance-like at this point. I tried out the new camera system—shooting this lil’ volunteer sunflower on our sidewalk—but otherwise it’s just a newer iPhone, for better or worse.

Yellow periscope

  1. Its size and weight are what I love about it; unfortunately they’re also why I didn’t notice they were still in the pants I tossed into the wash. ↩︎

  2. I use a great, low-cost carrier (Ting) and funnel the money I save on my cellphone bill into a savings account just for electronics—it’s still a fair chunk of change even for used phones, but it’s nice to have a dedicated fund to dip into without disrupting my normal monthly expenses. ↩︎