iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 11

When it comes to budget iPhones, the SE is the name that comes to mind first, but if you are willing to spend less than a Benjamin more, you can actually have something with a much larger screen, bigger battery, a secondary camera, Face ID, swipe navigation and a few extras on top of that.

Yes, the device we have in mind is the iPhone 11, with a retail price of $500 in 2022, compared to the $430 MSRP on the iPhone SE 2022 edition. And don’t be scared that the iPhone 11 has an older and not quite as fast processor, but at the same time, it will never be as compact as an SE.

So… in this article, we go over the differences in detail and try to give you a sense of the pros and cons of each of these two models, and ultimately, help you decide which of these two would fit you better.

Let’s waste no time and take a closer look!

This article is based on official information provided by Apple, but we have not yet had hands-on experience with the iPhone SE (2022).

iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 11 differences:

  • SE is more compact and has lighter weight
  • iPhone 11 has larger screen
  • iPhone 11 has Face ID vs Touch ID on SE
  • iPhone 11 has an additional ultra-wide camera
  • iPhone 11 has swipe nav vs button nav on SE
  • SE is $70 cheaper ($430 for SE vs $500 for 11)
  • SE is newer, will receive software updates longer

Read more:

Design and Display Quality

Small and compact, the SE is easier to carry in a pocket, but its smaller screen makes it less practical 

The first and probably most notable difference is just in the size of these two: the iPhone SE with its 4.7-inch screen looks tiny in comparison to the bigger, thicker and overall bulkier iPhone 11 with its 6.1-inch display.

Just take a look at our size comparison tool, compact phone lovers would be super pleased with the SE:

That’s quite the difference in size and weight, don’t you think?

In terms of practicality, though, both have water and dust protection, but the iPhone 11 actually has a higher IP68 certification vs IP67 rating on the SE (meaning the 11 can survive a drop in deeper water, theoretically).

But if you don’t mind a bigger phone, the iPhone 11 rewards with a far more useful 6.1-inch screen compared to the smallish, 4.7-inch one on the SE. And for those who do stuff on their phone, this matters a lot.

Unfortunately, both phones use LCD screens, one compromise of budget iPhones. Both are also quite low-res, so if you look closer you’d notice a bit of pixelation. And of course, don’t expect anything beyond the traditional 60Hz refresh rate here.

On the biometrics front, having the older Touch ID technology on the SE might actually prove more popular in these Covid times when wearing a mask is still a must in many places, while the iPhone 11 relies on Face ID.

Performance and Software

Strangely, the SE has faster performance than the bigger iPhone 11

Apple has a bit of an obsession with speed and performance, and that’s great because this cheaper and newer SE actually has faster performance than the iPhone 11.

That’s of course because of the age of the phones: the SE, out of 2022, vs the iPhone 11 released way back in 2019.


And this A15 chip is no joke: it will be relevant for years to come, but it’s also not to be overestimated. In real life, with regular tasks, you should not expect to see a huge difference in performance and both these phones run just fine with whatever you throw at them.

We will be updating this article with detailed benchmarks, though, so stay tuned for that.

In terms of software, the SE (2022) being the newer phone compared to a 2 and a half year old iPhone 11, also means you get 2.5 years more software updates, so the device is mure future proof.


How much do you care about that ultra-wide camera?

The SE sticks with a single rear camera compared to a dual camera system on the iPhone 11 where the secondary one is an ultra-wide camera. So… how much do you need that?

I know many people who do, but if you can make do with just the main camera, well… the SE actually gives you better quality than the 11 with just the main snapper.

That’s all thanks to the faster A15 chip inside it, which allows the SE to borrow most of the tricks you see on the iPhone 13: computational photography, optimizing pictures for color and detail; and the Smart HDR 4 engine that also enhances color, contrast and noise. Plus, you get support for Photographic Styles to tweak the color of your photos, something you don’t get on the iPhone 11.

Additiaonlly, the ISP in the A15 brings significant improvements in video quality, reducing noise and especially so in lower light.

We will be updating this article with side-by-side comparison photos out of the SE and iPhone 11 soon, so stay tuned.

Audio Quality and Haptics

We cannot comment yet on audio quality, except to point the obvious: you get a dual speaker system with a bottom firing main speaker and a helper speaker built in the earpiece, but that’s been the case on iPhones in the past too.

The smaller form factor of the SE does limit how loud it can get though.

No headphone jack is present on either phone, again, not a surprise.

Battery Life and Charging

iPhone 11 has the edge

One of the main limitations of the iPhone SE design is that it is just so slim and miniature that you cannot fit a large battery inside.

No such issue on the iPhone 11.

Apple officially measures battery life in hours of continuous video playback, and here are the battery numbers for the new iPhone SE vs the iPhone 11.

*all values above are measured in hours.

As you can see, the SE is not that far behind, but it is behind, and especially so with audio playback time, which usually corresponds with lighter use too.

The maximum charging speeds on both phones are at about 18 watts, and we’d recommend getting the 20W official Apple charger. It’s always wise to stick with official charger or proven alternatives.

Both the SE and the 11 also support wireless charging, and neither has the newer magnetic MagSafe standard.

Summary and Final Verdict

So… which one would it be: the iPhone SE (2022) or the iPhone 11?

For someone who spends a lot of time on their phone, the iPhone 11 seems like the more rational choice, if only for the longer battery life, but it also has other advantages like a larger screen, gesture nav and the ultra-wide camera.

However, if you ask on a purely emotional level, you’d probably hear many people wishing for a truly compact phone and the SE is just that. Plus, it’s cheaper. Plus, its battery life is no longer all that bad. And it has a button. It’s nostalgic. 

So… which one would you pick?

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