For the average blind iPhone user, is the iPhone SE a good phone to buy now?

Hardware and Accessories

Hi all,

My mom is considering getting me an iPhone SE now. It'll be either 64gb or 128gb, but I still want either last year's iPhone 8, or preferably this year's iPhone XR. My mom is mainly pushing for this, though, cuz the phone itself is $180 on Amazon, with the plan being pretty cheap after, (it is prepaid.) By this I mean the SE.

My mom also said that I could upgrade my phone in around 2 years, though I don't know if she'll keep that promise. In the meantime, should I bargain for an 8 or XR or give in and get the SE? Right now, would the SE serve the needs of an average blind person?

Thanks in advance for the replies! (Sorry if this forum topic is off-topic.)



Submitted by Matt on Friday, October 5, 2018

I think the SE would serve you well. With IOS 12 there have been speed improvements.

Submitted by Michael Hansen on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Member of the AppleVis Editorial Team

Hi Meraddy,

First, I am certainly not going to advise you to ask for something more than what your Mom is able/willing to give you. The iPhone SE, while not the newest phone, will run iOS 12 quite well. And if that's what you can get right now, you will have an iPhone that is likely to receive software updates for the next two years at least.

If (and only if!) there is some flexibility in what your Mom will get for you, my general recommendation is always to buy the newest model you can comfortably afford. This is because the more current the phone is in relationship to when you buy it, the longer that phone is likely to run well and perform at a level that would provide you a good user experience.

Submitted by Rixon Smith on Saturday, October 6, 2018

As I have said in my subject line I would most likely go for the iPhone 8 because of the apple care plus coverage plan. I believe that will give you security in case anything really does go wrong with the phone and you have to have it replaced. Otherwise you would be completely on your own on replacing the phone itself.

Submitted by charles on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Unfortunately, the SE is no longer being sold by Apple. With this in mind, I would go with an iPhone 8 or 8+ with the most storage space you can afford. Newer iPhones will get technical support from Apple for a longer period of time. I do wish that Apple had not discontinued the SE, but they have done so.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Saturday, October 6, 2018

Hey all. Thanks for all the info. I feel like since I’m getting an SE now and my mom says i can upgrade soon, i should probably get it and bide my time. The SE still has a headphone jack and a modern processor, so i think i should be good for next 2 years until my mom gets me an upgrade. (She says the 2nd-newest phone for the next upgrade. I think that’s reasonable, seeing as Apple is far ahead of other venders in terms of processor power and software updates.) though my parents have the ability, they aren’t the money-spending types, especially when it comes to electronics.


P.S. i misspelled my name in the original post. Braille screen input on an iPad doesn’t always suit me well :)

Submitted by Kelly Pierce on Sunday, October 7, 2018

I always buy the newest iPhone and recommend people do so if they can afford it. I do however have a job that pays reasonably well to allow me to afford whatever electronic toys I want. That being said, if you do not have an iPhone now, an SE will be a highly useful and effective tool for a blind person today. The turn by turn walking navigation functionality will mean that you will never get lost as a blind person. The iPhone offers navigation support that it took me nine months to learn in daily training at a residential school. The SE also plays music as well as a newer model. You will also have the same iOS version as an iPhone 10s. If you have not used an iPhone much before, the learning curve could take some time, making the newness issue less important. It took me three months to learn VoiceOver on the iPhone. Braille screen input also took time to learn as did making ringtones for my iPhone. I like heavy metal music and made my own custom ringtones because the regular ones were so lame. Navigation apps like Apple Maps and Blind Square also took a couple of months to learn completely. By the time a blind end user learns all of this functionality for performance to be an issue, it would likely be a year or two anyway.

Submitted by Brian Giles on Monday, October 8, 2018

the SE is also great if you like a small phone, which hardly anyone seems to care about anymore. I was considering upgrading to an iPhone 7 or 8, but decided they didn't have any compelling features to upgrade to. So I ended up just putting a new battery in my SE since it only costs $29 to do that till the end of the year.

Submitted by Pyro2790 on Monday, October 8, 2018

AS people have commented above apple is not selling the phone anymore. I'm sure you can find it on other sites for a very reasonable price though. I had to replace my phone a month or two ago and still got the SE. I like the pricing on it its always been the cheapest phone offered. I also like it for its size. I do not need a bigger screen since I can't see it therefore it serves me no purpose to get a larger screened phone.
Unfortunately since they updated the phones the cheapest model is now 450 dollars. I appreciated the days when I could buy an SE for a reasonable price and not break the bank or go on a monthly payment plan to pay the phone off. the bonus with the SE is its the last phone to still have a headphone jack so I don't need any extra dongles or converters to use a pair of wired earbuds or head phones. I am only hoping my SE lasts as long as possible, because I'm not looking forward to a bigger price tag in a couple of years and always making sure I have a headphone converter with me. Personally I think blue tooth still lags way too much with VoiceOver to do anything useful such as texting, writing emails etc. So is the SE sufficient? Most certainly it works for me and my needs. I don't need a bigger screen, installment plans or the latest technology and fastest processor though.

Submitted by MarkSARCH on Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Hi Maddy
I am glad you decided to get a iPhone
and specially as Michael and some others are saying get what you can.
however if you have already decided get an iPhone SE with some prepay plan service
I heard even couple weeks ago that Metro or now Metro by T Mobile they were offering the SE per $49 and remember is prepay not contracts well should you make a phone call to the company may still has the promotion
I can tell about the service by Metro but actually I have T Mobile and the service cover is decent not complain for the service and money I am paying for.

Submitted by Ishkabibble on Tuesday, October 9, 2018


My family has already decided on phone service from Cricket. (They don’t like the idea of speed throttling after x amount of data is used.) I’m currently going to be on a 5gb data plan with unlimited talk and text, (yay!), with 8mbps speeds. I think that speed would be ok, especially considering Cricket’s other plans have speeds of 3mbps. :(