iPhone SE users are reporting numerous problems with the 4-inch flagship and the list includes severe battery drain, issues with connectivity, lag, and other performance issues.
The iPhone SE is Apple’s best small screen smartphone, but it’s far from perfect. iPhone SE owners are dealing with a myriad of problems, some of which appeared immediately after the iOS 11.2.1 update’s release in November.
We haven’t run into any major iOS 11.2.1 problems on our iPhone SE, but some users are noticing bugs and a drop in performance. iOS updates aren’t supposed to have a negative effect on your device so this is obviously concerning.
Apple’s next iOS 11 update will likely fix some of the problems plaguing the iPhone SE, but each and every iOS update comes with its own collection of issues. Issues with software, and hardware, can strike at any moment.
Today we want to address these iPhone SE problems and take you through the most important things those dealing with issues, and those worried about issues, need to know.
Our guide to iPhone SE problems outlines the current set of issues and provides you with some resources that will come in handy if you run into something on your phone. It also includes some information about the next iOS 11 update for the iPhone SE.
iPhone SE Problems
The current list of iPhone SE problems features some familiar faces, issues that’ve popped up on every iPhone Apple’s ever made.
The list includes severe battery drain where the device can barely hold a charge. It also includes issues with Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth devices, abnormal amounts of UI lag when opening folders and apps and while moving around the home screen, random reboots, and issues with first-party apps like Mail and Podcasts.
We’re also hearing about problems with the iPhone SE’s speakers where sound sometimes becomes distorted, issues with the device’s touch screen, problems with the temperature of the device (it sometimes runs abnormally hot), and issues with the phone’s camera.
We’ve noticed an issue where we shoot a photo in portrait mode and the phone automatically changes it to landscape mode.
Problems can popup whenever, wherever, so you’ll want to be as prepared as you can. We highly recommend backing up the files on your iPhone SE on a regular basis. Once a week at least.
If you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve put together a guide that will take you through the backup process using Apple’s iTunes software and a guide that details the backup process via Apple’s iCloud service.
We’ve also released a pre-installation guide to iOS updates that will take you through some things to do before installing new software on your device.
Apple will periodically release bug fixes for the iPhone SE and you’ll want to make sure you, and your device, are prepared before initiating the download.
Where to Find Feedback
You’ll also want to dig into feedback and fixes from iPhone SE users, particularly right after a new iOS update is released. There are a few places to do that.
We’ve also released our own feedback about the iPhone SE’s iOS 11.2.1 update and we’ll continue to provide feedback about the device’s hardware and software in the months ahead.
How to Fix iPhone SE Problems
If you run into trouble on your iPhone SE your first instinct might be to contact Apple, schedule an appointment to see a Genius, or take the phone into your local carrier store. These are all options, good options, but you might be able to fix the issue from the comfort of your home or office.
Before you get in contact with Apple or your carrier, take a look at our list of fixes for common problems. It offers fixes for the most common problems.
If you can’t find a fix on our lists your next move should be a quick look at Apple’s discussion forums. There are a ton of knowledgable people over there and they might have the perfect solution to your issue.
If the company’s online customer support can’t help you, it’s time to take your phone in to a physical store. If you have an Apple store close to you, make an Genius Bar appointment.
You Can Downgrade Your iPhone SE
If you made the move to iOS 11, you’re stuck. Apple’s closed off the iOS 10 update which means there’s no getting off iOS 11 if the software’s giving you problems. That said, you can move around on iOS 11.
If iOS 11.2.1 is causing problems on your phone, you can drop down to iOS 11.2 for a limited time. Apple will close off this loophole in the near future so you’ll need to move quickly.
Downgrading isn’t a surefire way to fix whatever’s plaguing your iPhone SE, but there’s a chance your device’s performance returns to normal on an older version of iOS 11.
If you’re interested, take a look at our guide to downgrading iOS 11.
The next bug fix update for the iPhone SE should arrive soon.
Apple’s confirmed an iOS 11.2.5 update and it’s currently in beta ahead of its release. We still don’t have an official release date, but we expect it to touch down sometime next year.
The iOS 11.2.5 update should include several bug fixes and patches which means those of you dealing with problems should keep an eye on it as we push into December.
Install iOS 11.3.1 for Better Security
Apple's iOS 11.3.1 update comes with four known security patches for all iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch models capable of running iOS 11.
If you skipped iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update comes with 27 additional patches for potential exploits. Those of you lingering on iOS 11.2.6 would be wise to make the move sooner rather than later.
If you missed iOS 11.3, your iOS 11.3.1 update also includes a new privacy feature. When an Apple feature wants to use your personal information, an icon now appears with a link to access detailed information about how your data will be used and protected.
If you're running iOS 11.2.5 or older, you're exposed to an issue that lets people send a specific character that will crash an iOS-powered device and block access to the Messages app. It can also block apps like Facebook Messenger, Gmail, Outlook, and WhatsApp.
The iOS 11.2.6 update's main purpose was to patch up this issue. If you skipped iOS 11.2.6, you'll get these enhancements with iOS 11.3.1.
If you're running iOS 11.2.2 or below and receive a certain GitHub link through your Messages app, your iPhone or iPad can lockup or respring. The Messages app will also become unusable.
If you're on iOS 11.2.1, your iOS 11.3.1 update includes security improvements to Safari and WebKit to mitigate the effects of Spectre. If you're running an older version of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with a lot more.
Apple's iOS 11.2 update fixed several problems, but it also brought problems of its own including a potentially nasty zero-day iOS HomeKit vulnerability.
The vulnerability, discovered by Tian Zhang, allowed for unauthorized control of HomeKit accessories including garage door openers and smart locks.
Apple quickly rolled out a server-side fix, but the company restored full functionality with the release of iOS 11.2.1. If you skipped iOS 11.2.1 and use HomeKit, you should download iOS 11.3.
If you skipped iOS 11.2, you'll get a few more patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update. Apple's iOS 11.2 update delivered 11 patches including one for Mail and one for Wi-Fi.
The iOS 11.2 and iOS 11.2.1 updates also patched up a widespread security issue called "Meltdown." Apple says its analysis suggests it "has the most potential to be exploited."
Meltdown affects all iOS 11 powered devices so we highly recommend downloading iOS 11.3.1 if you skipped iOS 11.2.
If you skipped iOS 11.1.2, iOS 11.1.1, and iOS 11.1, you'll get additional patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
The iOS 11.1 update delivered eight security patches including a fix for a serious Wi-Fi vulnerability called KRACK or Key Reinstallation Attack. KRACK is an exploit that targets the common WPA2 encryption protocol.
If you're just now making to move from iOS 10 (or whatever you're on) to iOS 11, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with even more security features.
In iOS 11 you can't establish trust with a PC using fingerprints alone. You'll also need to put in a full passcode in order to gain that trust.
If you skipped older versions of iOS, your iOS 11.3.1 update will come with an even longer list of security patches.
Apple's iOS 10.3.3 update delivered 24 security patches addressing potential issues with Contacts, Messages, Notifications, and Safari. It also included a patch for a potentially dangerous Wi-Fi exploit called "Broadpwn."
If you skipped iOS 10.3.2 you'll get 23 additional patches with iOS 11.3.1. And if for some reason you missed iOS 10.3, you'll get 60 security patches with your iOS 11.3.1 update.
If you want to protect the data you store on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you should make your move to iOS 11 and iOS 11.3.1 soon.
This is particularly important for those of you running older versions of iOS.