iPhone SE 3 is official: same clothes, new beating heart
It’s about that time folks — the cheapest iPhone gets its own refresh, bringing it into the 5G era and keeping its performance ever fresh.
We are talking about the iPhone SE, of course — the line for “classic phone” enthusiasts. The iPhone SE carries the spirit of being a no-nonsense smartphone — thin, pocketable, and with an actual physical home button and Touch ID.
It’s a niche device, sure, but obviously popular enough for Apple to want to update it over and over. So, what’s new with the iPhone SE 3 a.k.a. iPhone SE (2022)? Let’s take a look!
iPhone SE (2022) price and release date
The iPhone SE (2022) was just announced on stage by Apple and is up for pre-order immediately.
It starts at $429 for the base 64 GB model, completely replacing the iPhone SE (2020).
iPhone SE (2022) design and display
There’s hardly a surprise here — the iPhone SE (2022) looks exactly like the iPhone SE (2020), which in turn looks just like the iPhone 8, which is pretty much a rehash of the iPhone 6 design.
You get the picture. The iPhone SE (2022) is meant for those that don’t care about a fresh design and just want a smartphone in their pocket. Added bonus — your old cases and accessories will work and fit just right with it, since it’s the same shape and size.
Another added bonus — Apple needs to make absolutely zero adjustments to the production line, which is why the SE series is always the most affordable iPhone around.
As before, we don’t get a whole lot of colors to pick from, but the classic black, white, and red combo.
The screen is the same old 4.7-inch LCD panel. No OLED, no crazy refresh rates — it’s a tiny screen (by today’s standards) with a classic 16:9 aspect ratio that’s just there to get the job done. View your emails, browse your social media, done and done.
That’s not to say the iPhone SE 3 wouldn’t be able to run the latest games, but nowadays there are more convenient devices for gamers out there. Plus, its battery may not be able to take it — more on that later.
iPhone SE (2022) processor and memory
We have good news and bad news here.
The good news is that the new iPhone SE 3 comes with a contemporary processor — the Apple A15 Bionic that powers the iPhone 13 series now also hums inside the $400 iPhone SE. That’s pretty cool to imagine, the A15 is an absolute beast of a processor and having it in such a tiny phone is mindblowing (same as the iPhone 13 mini, though the latter is quite more expensive).
The A15 Bionic also brings the iPhone SE 3 into the era of 5G connectivity. Well… almost. The iPhone SE (2022) only supports sub-6 connectivity and not the mmWave that Verizon heavily relies on. Still, rest assured that Verizon does also support sub-6 bands.
iPhone SE (2022) camera
On paper, nothing seems to be new about the main camera. It’s a 12 MP sensor, just as before, and the sensor itself hasn’t increased in physical size to accommodate bigger pixels (like the iPhone 13 did). So, if there are any improvements — we have to rely on the image processing with the new silicon, not the hardware of the camera.
But, thanks to the A15 processor, the iPhone SE also has access to Deep Fusion, which uses software and machine learning to make impressive, dynamic, and detailed photos. It also supports the new Photographic Styles feature from the iPhone 13 series, allowing you to impact how photo post-processing works. It lets you fine-tune how the camera reproduces colors, contrast, and warmth.
No update for the selfie camera, too, which is a shame. The 7 MP front-facing snapper of the SE line is kind of showing its age nowadays…
iPhone SE (2022) battery
Apple doesn’t like to talk about actual numbers, so we won’t know what the capacity of the iPhone SE 3 battery is until someone does a teardown. However, the iPhone SE (2020) had an 1,821 mAh cell and, considering the iPhone SE (2022) has the same body, we can’t imagine there’s room for a much bigger battery in there.
And this here is a bit of a problem — the iPhone (2020) wasn’t doing great in real life. A powerful processor needs juice.
iPhone SE (2022) expectations
By all accounts, it looks like “just another iPhone SE”. A tiny body and a run-of-the-mill LCD screen . It’s not a phone that’s meant to wow you, it’s a phone that’s meant to be accessible and instantly familiar.
As such, we expect it will do well, though we are a bit worried about how the new 5G connectivity will affect an already frail battery endurance.
Apple did state its commitment to reducing its carbon footprint and building and shipping the iPhone SE with sustainable materials. Also, translation — will ship without a charger.