Upgrading My 10-Year-Old To An iPhone SE – Review

Almost a year ago exactly, we as a family made a decision… Holden, who was ten, would get his own phone. This is a tricky dilemma that a lot of parents face these days. I don’t think I got my first phone until the end of high-school, but then again I grew up when everyone had landlines, I can remember when the internet became a thing, then email and most social direct messaging took place on ICQ.

So when Holden started to ask about getting a phone a few years ago we immediately said, “not until you are thirteen,” without really putting much thought into it.

But last summer, just after Holden turned ten, we started to give him more freedom… biking to his friends’ houses and to our nearby library. Initially we relied on moms texting each other whenever the kids swung by their house, but this became challenging. Not to mention that it wasn’t easy for Holden to just contact his friends just to chat.

So, the decision was made… we would give Holden his own phone. We had an old iPhone 7 to hand down to him, which was perfect because we are an Apple family and it helped to have him be able to tap into the Apple eco-system to give us more opportunity to connect with Holden and keep an eye on what he was up to. We got him a minimal phone plan and he was all set.

The relief that came with making this decision was HUGE. Also, Holden having a GPS on his phone was an added bonus. Freedom was his!

Fast-forward a year and I can’t get over how Holden is about to turn eleven years old! I also can’t wrap my mind around how much the world has changed in one year. I don’t think anyone can. Although Holden has temporarily lost his freedom of biking to his friends’ houses as we all stay home to flatten the curve, he relies on his phone more than ever to stay in constant contact with his friends over iMessage and FaceTime.

But a little over a week ago, Holden, the most responsible and mature pre-teen I know walked into my office super upset. His phone had slipped out of his pocket and hit his bed frame smashing the screen. I felt for him because he had been so careful for a year, and this was currently his lifeline to the outside world. So, a decision was made…

We decided to upgrade Holden to a brand new iPhone SE. This is Apple’s newest and most budget friendly phone. We knew we wanted to keep Holden in the Apple eco-system and loved the features on it. Here’s a quick peek at some of the features that is included….

Camera Camera includes Portrait mode with all of the studio style lighting effects, next-generation smart HDR and optical image stabilization. It’s the same wide 12MP camera that is in the iPhone 11. 

Video Cinematic video stabilization in the front and rear cameras, 4K at 60fps video quality (which is broadcast quality) on the rear camera.

Access to Apple services (TV, music, Apple Arcade, Apps) and privacy and security features that Apple is known for.

A13 Bionic chip This is the fastest chip in a smartphone and the same chip that is in iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. This means iPhone SE is really fast and will feel fluid, whether you are launching apps, playing graphics-intensive games, or trying new augmented reality experiences.

What’s different about iPhone SE The smaller form factor, the home button with Touch ID, its the best value in the current iPhone line up at $599 CAD and it’s the best single-camera system in an iPhone.

So, bottom line, if you are looking into what phone to get your older child, pre-teen or teen, this is a great option. Or, if you are looking for a more budget-friendly entry Apple phone to get you into all of the benefits of the Apple eco-system, this is a great option.

What does Holden think about it? He loves it! Here’s a little unboxing video we did together…