The iPhone SE (2022) is faster and amend-connected than its predecessor, and at the most attractive toll currently possible for a new 5G iPhone. However if you’re looking for a meliorate iPhone deal with bigger screens, better cameras, and a bigger list of modern specs, the new SE might non be for you.
Powerful for the cost
A 5G iPhone that’s still affordable
Thin and lightweight design
Starts at only 64GB storage
Screen is cramped
More expensive than SE 2
If you like your iPhone affordable and retro, Apple’s iPhone SE 2022 edition might exist the
It keeps the SE serial blueprint linguistic communication firmly rooted in 2017 – that was the year Apple launched the
iPhone 8, the design of which Apple employed for 2020’s SE 2, and has stuck with for this new phone.
In 2020, Apple took that chassis and upgraded the CPU to an A13 Bionic, the rear camera to a 12MP wide, and introduced ‘monocular depth interpretation,’ which improved Portrait Mode photography for the front and rear cameras. It was a nifty AI-infused trick that worked similar a charm on faces, but nothing else.
All those things you lot loved from the
iPhone SE (2020)
remain in the iPhone SE (2022). There’s been no modify to the sparse and light trunk, no reintroduction of the 3.5mm headphone jack, no removal of the Touch ID. The Liquid Retina display is untouched. The cameras – a 12MP rear and 7MP front – are the same, likewise.
The difference, and it is bigger than you think, is the new A15 Bionic, the very same Apple Silicon you’ll detect in
Apple’south iPhone 13
line. It’s a powerful mobile CPU that – to date – beats even Qualcomm’south latest
Snapdragon viii Gen 1 CPU
(in Geekbench scores).
It’south a lot of power and headroom for a tiny, 4.7-inch screen smartphone that doesn’t fifty-fifty take a depth sensor on the front. Still, the A15 Bionic is upward for annihilation, from shooting and editing 4K videos to playing intense action games similar Call of Duty and PUBG.
The A15 is a organisation on a chip, which ways the graphics processing is integrated, and that in turn means better image processing. Even though it still has the same camera as its predecessor, the iPhone SE (2022) is capable of timelapse nighttime photography (though you’ll demand a tripod).
Inevitably though, there are limits to what’southward on offer here compared with Apple’s flagship phones. All the A15 Bionic-sporting iPhone 13 phones support the new
video (bokeh-upshot), just there’due south no such video command on the new iPhone SE.
Speaking of things missing from this new telephone. The iPhone SE (2022) follows Apple’south new packing strategy: No more than power adapter or wired earbuds in the box.
From an environmental perspective, this makes a lot of sense. Information technology is unfortunate, though, that the cost rose $xxx to $429 at the same time Apple pulled these accessories. Accounting for inflation, yet, the toll might be considered roughly the same every bit it was two years ago. I don’t look that argument to fly everywhere.
Battery life is 12 hours, which is notable because the more than powerful CPU and eye-brow singeing 5G connectivity, only it’s not in the same league every bit the handsets in the iPhone 13 family.
It’due south hard to wholeheartedly recommend the iPhone SE 2022, when y’all tin spend a little more for the iPhone 13 mini, which has a bigger, brighter, and shaper Super Retina XDR OLED screen, some other photographic camera, Face up ID, and a fresher design (and y’all can pick upwards some of the lower-finish iPhone xi and iPhone 12 options for a similar premium).
Even so, there is all the same something charming about the wait and feel of Apple’due south aging iPhone design. And getting all that performance and 5G for under $500 is goose egg to sneeze at either.
For Apple devotees, the brand can set the pricing and options calendar for its iPhones, condom in the knowledge that it doesn’t have to appoint in a race to the bottom against lower-end Androids.
The iPhone SE (2022) carries on that tradition in mostly fine form. However, it changes nothing aesthetically near the last model but builds on it with Apple’s latest flake and mobile connectivity technology – whether that’s plenty for y’all is a personal decision.
Yet if y’all’re looking for a new iPhone that offers and costs more, allow us to bespeak you to the
iPhone 13 series, which comprises the
iPhone 13 mini
(the iPhone SE consistently outsells the mini line), the
iPhone xiii Pro
iPhone 13 Pro Max
iPhone SE price and availability
- Non the cheapest iPhone ever at $429 / £419 / AU$719
- New iPhone SE is bachelor equally of March xviii, 2022
- Bachelor in the US, UK and Commonwealth of australia
The iPhone SE (2022) has gotten a price hike over its predecessor to $429 / £419 / AU$719, only it even so qualifies as Apple’s cheapest 5G phone. The iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 / £679 / AU$one,199 and the iPhone 12 mini starts at $599.
However, information technology is more than a fiddling frustrating that Apple insists on offering a phone with just 64GB of storage to start. The phone shoots upwardly to 4K, 60fps video. Where are all those files supposed to go? Apple’southward iPhone 13 line at present starts at 128GB across the board. That’s the standard Apple tree should’ve followed here. The outcome is compounded because the iPhone SE (2022) tops out at 256 GB of storage ($579 / £569 / AU$969), though there’s likewise a 128GB option for $479 / £469 / AU$799.
If you’re considering a 256GB iPhone SE at that price, and then you really should start thinking almost i of the iPhone 13 models.
The previous iPhone SE started at $399 / £389 / AU$679, and while asking for a piffling more for a 5G phone with the newest processor is not a big ask, consumers will notice the packaging is a bit smaller and lighter. The environment will thank Apple, simply some consumers might exist miffed that in that location are no longer wired earbuds and power adapters included with the device. That’s the same for the iPhone 13 series, just the omission still might sting for budget-conscious iPhone consumers who now have to buy the accessories separately.
It’s worth noting that you take just
3 color choices
for the retro-looking device: Midnight, Starlight, and Product RED. Our test unit is a lovely and very deep bluish Midnight.
Pre-orders for the phone started on March xi and the device is now on sale (every bit of on March 18).
- Looking to buy? Cheque out the best
iPhone SE deals
- You lot’ve seen this pattern before
- Physical Bear on ID button
- Light and super-comfortable to hold
There is familiar and so there is
Apple’southward iPhone SE (2022) is such a well-worn await that I instinctually took to it, even though I know it’s not a look that’s ‘in’ right now.
The aluminum enclosure is shine, clean, and, in our test model, gleaming Midnight. Information technology looks black indoors, merely the blue shines through in the sunlight.
The drinking glass back and front end are perfectly smooth, and it’s almost quaint to see a single relatively tiny, 12MP wide-angle camera on the back in this historic period of ever-expanding photographic camera blocks. The sapphire glass lens cover’s distance from the backplane can be measured in a millimeter (maybe ii).
There are almost no edges on the whole 5.44-in. by 2.65-in. past 0.29-in. 144g frame; know some people still complain about the sharp edges on the iPhone 13 and the new
Samsung Galaxy S22
line; you’ll have no such issues here. Forth the left edge are the book buttons and a slumber/silent switch, while on the correct are the power button and the SIM slot (which besides supports eSIM). The lesser edge features the speaker grilles, microphone, and Lightning port.
The front features the aging 1344 x 750 pixel Liquid Retina Display, which looks bang-up on its ain, but literally pales in comparing to, for example, the iPhone thirteen mini’s 5.4-inch edge-to-border Super Retina XDR brandish OLED screen.
To a higher place the screen is the 7MP FaceTime and selfie camera, which sits next to a wide, shallow speaker grille.
Below all that is our onetime friend, the Impact ID home button. Nosotros’ve been living with Confront ID, domicile-push button-free iPhones for then long, that our reintroduction was a chip bumpy. I literally forgot how to use an iPhone with a home button to beginning with, although, it was a picayune like riding a bike, and I soon got dorsum in the Touch ID groove. I remembered how much I liked the manner the button felt as it read my fingerprint or faked a concrete button press with proficient haptics. It’southward time for the Affect ID button dice, simply it serves its purpose well here on the iPhone SE.
For what information technology’s worth, Apple’south Touch ID remains i of the well-nigh constructive biometric potency technologies I’ve e’er used. Register a finger once and the reader will run into it every fourth dimension, in well-nigh any position.
The iPhone SE (2022) is likewise water and dust resistant, with IP67 certification. I (accidentally) dropped the unabridged handset in water and it survived.
There is no three.5mm headphone jack on the phone, but it does have a Lightning charging port, which could arrange a pair of Lightning of earbuds. Those aren’t included, sadly, but the phone does work perfectly with wireless AirPods if you take them. In that location’due south also a USB-C to Lightning port charging cable in the box.
- 4.seven-inch screen
- Small compared to contemporaries
If you lot’re upgrading from an iPhone 5S the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch screen might feel like an upgrade, but in a world of monster-sized displays, ii,000,000:1 contrast ratios, and adaptive refresh rates, its 60Hz LCD luster might feel out of step.
Comparing the SE’s display to the best screens out at that place seemed pointless, though – if you desire more, you volition pay more (on any platform and from any handset manufacturer). In isolation though, the display looks good – across a wide variety of tasks from photography and videography, to spider web browsing, gameplay, and video, it looked good.
The screen can struggle in direct sunlight, but indoors, it’s still a winner.
I’ve seen iPhone 8 handsets drop to the floor and crack faster than you lot can say “screen protector,” and while yous might assume that the iPhone SE, which shares much of the 8’s DNA, would be similarly inclined, but might be wrong.
Both the front and back of the iPhone SE (2022) are congenital from the same drinking glass that’s on the back of all iPhone thirteen phones. Sadly though, the SE doesn’t get Apple’s Ceramic Shield engineering, so if you buy this phone, it still makes sense to jump for that silicone case.
- 12MP wide camera takes lovely photos
- The 7MP front camera is no slouch either
- Give thanks the A15 Bionic
Our phones are increasingly also our cameras these days, and whatsoever handset that skimps in this area is asking for trouble. Even though the iPhone SE (2022) is graced with just two lenses that are the same equally those on the SE 2020, information technology manages to take photos that are pleasing to the heart, colour-accurate, and often cute.
The rear 12MP, f/1/8 wide lens is now backed by the A15 Bionic’south epitome processing and supported past Smart HDR four and Deep Fusion (introduced with the A13 Bionic and present in the terminal iPhone SE).
I took the telephone out to test the cameras, and was pleased not only by the prototype quality they delivered just with the speed. There’s optical prototype stabilization which meant I didn’t always have to constitute my feet and stand perfectly however to grab a good-looking shot (video is supported by optical prototype stabilization, equally well).
In Portrait style y’all can adjust a faux-aperture setting to control the depth of field issue, throwing more of less of the background behind your bailiwick out of focus. I was a bit frustrated, however, that the iPhone SE Portrait Mode photography is still limited to people – you can’t shoot bokeh shots of dogs, plants, or annihilation else without a confront.
Apple iPhone SE 2022 Portrait Manner tests
The camera does support all the other expected photos styles. including panorama and time lapse – and new here is Night Timelapse, which you can use with a tripod, though there’s no support for Apple tree’s Nighttime Style withal photography.
On the video front, the iPhone SE can shoot all the way up to 4K 60fps. Footage looks good on the telephone’s screen, although, some resolution is plainly lost in the 1334×750 display.
The phone also shoots smooth 1080P, 240 fps slow movement. I chased some pigeons and got a truly cinematic shot.
Speaking of Cinematic, even with the A15 Bionic, there’s no support for the Cinematic mode video you’ll find on the entire iPhone 13 line.
The quality of Portrait Fashion for both the front and back camera is meliorate than what we experienced on the iPhone SE (2020). It’s at present capable of picking up tiny details, like wisps of hair, and carefully separating them from the blurred background. I found almost no anomalies – blurred details that should have been abrupt, and vice versa – that ruined the effect.
Overall, the photo quality on this mid-range phone can nonetheless rival that of competitors’ handsets selling for virtually twice as much.
Performance and specs
- iPhone 13 ability in a mid-range telephone
- Chipset is power efficient
- 5G is skilful if y’all tin can become it
Apple’southward total control over its manufacturing processes and component lines makes it easy to take one cutting-edge element from its newest products and fit it neatly into a design information technology cooked up more than than 3 years ago.
The A15 Bionic is Apple’s most powerful mobile processor, and putting it into the iPhone SE’southward tiny frame is akin to strapping rocket motors to a bicycle.
To be clear, this is not some stunted or throttled version of Apple’s flake. Geekbench 5 numbers put the iPhone SE (2022) on equal footing with the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 mini. Information technology’s worth noting that the telephone at present has 4GB of RAM, which will certainly help with performance.
Basically, everything that’south good or improve near this phone (4K video shooting and editing, panel-level gaming, AI-enhanced photography) is better because of the A15 Bionic. It pushes the boundaries of what’s possible within the confines that 2017 blueprint dictates.
The iPhone SE (2022) welcomes the SE line into the iPhone 5G family. Once again, the approach is total-gunkhole, with no skimping on power or operation. This meant we could plow off WiFi, download apps, play multi-player games similar Call of Duty, and stream HD Netflix without hesitation.
It was all and so much fun, it near made me forget about the too-small iv.7-inch display.
5G is withal unavailable in some areas and its operation tin can be wildly inconsistent. In the office, my download speeds varied from one place to another by over 60Mbps.
In some places, I had to console myself with just LTE speeds. Nevertheless, it’s kind of wild to have such an affordable iPhone with such impressive powers of connectivity.
- Battery life to survive most the twenty-four hour period
- Chipset efficiencies assist offset 5G ability suck
- Wireless charging is ever welcome
While I don’t know the size of the iPhone SE battery (Apple never announces mAh), information technology’s a off-white bet that information technology hasn’t changed much since the iPhone SE (2020). Nevertheless, I expected some serious bombardment autumn-off from the more than powerful A15 Bionic and that tasty new 5G.
The reality is, even with 5G running all day and non-stop activity across a wide range of functions, I got 12 hours of battery life. Apple claims fifteen hours of video playback (not streaming), and I tin can believe that, besides.
When it’s fourth dimension to recharge, you tin do and then with the included cable at 18W (go find your own USB-C ability adapter!) or by placing it on a Qi-compatible charging base. The telephone does not back up Apple’s new MagSafe chargers.
Should I buy the iPhone SE (2022)?
Buy information technology if…
Don’t purchase it if…
- Starting time reviewed March 2022