The mind is willing, but the body is weak

The iPhone SE (2022) remains to be essentially the most inexpensive solution to decide up an iPhone, nevertheless it’s actually exhibiting its age. It is as highly effective as a number of the best telephones round, however the lone digicam, tiny low-res show, and stingy storage maintain it again like a super-charged bike strapped to a pair of coaching wheels.

In 2020, Apple turned one thing outdated into one thing new with the second-generation iPhone SE. The corporate trotted out a well-known, circa 2017-era design boosted by a brand new flagship processor beneath the hood and some surprising extras sometimes reserved for costlier telephones. It labored like a attraction, incomes our Editor’s Selection badge within the course of. Now, the minds in Cupertino are hoping lightning can strike twice, however the budget-to-mid-range telephone market isn’t what it was again then — at this time’s competitors is fierce. Does an engine swap add sufficient of a punch at $429? Discover out in our Apple iPhone SE (2022) assessment.

About this Apple iPhone SE (2022) assessment: I examined the iPhone SE (2022) over a interval of seven days. It was working iOS 15.4 in the course of my testing. The unit was bought by Android Authority for this assessment.

What you might want to know in regards to the Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

  • Apple iPhone SE (64GB): $429 / £419 / €529 / Rs. 43,900
  • Apple iPhone SE (128GB): $479 / £469 / €579 / Rs. 48,900
  • Apple iPhone SE (256GB): $579 / £569 / €699 / Rs. 58,900

The iPhone SE (2022) is a direct successor to the 2020 mannequin of the identical identify. It nonetheless stands for Particular Version, however evaluating the 2 you’d be hard-pressed to see what’s so particular in regards to the newest mannequin. Apple’s finances gadget looks like a case of déjà vu, nevertheless it’s nonetheless essentially the most inexpensive solution to get your arms on the flagship iOS expertise. It brings the identical physique because the iPhone SE (2020) — itself a close to carbon copy of the iPhone 8 — but it’s now infused with an A15 Bionic processor and iOS 15.4 out of the field.

The brand new iPhone SE shares most of its inside DNA, together with the 4GB of RAM, with 2021’s vanilla iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Mini, however the exterior is way additional away from the leading edge. From the one entrance and rear cameras to the spherical house button and chunky bezels, it seems to be and looks like a telephone from a bygone period. It additionally packs 64GB of base storage — one other holdover from earlier SE fashions. Should you want extra storage, you may go for both 128 or 256GB, however the enhance comes at a worth.

It’s going to take some critical looking to discover a smaller telephone packing a flagship processor in 2022.

One of many few modifications from the 2020 mannequin is the colour choices, or at the very least their names. W. the earlier model got here in black, white, or purple, now you can seize your iPhone SE in Starlight, Midnight, or (Product) Pink. The colour modifications aren’t evening and day, however the (Product) Pink model we examined is a noticeably darker shade than earlier than. You additionally now not get a charger within the field, only a USB-C to Lightning cable and a few important paperwork.

Want a charger? Listed here are a few of our favorites

The iPhone SE (2022) goes face to face with harder competitors than ever earlier than. It’s positioned proper across the Google Pixel 5a and Samsung Galaxy A53 5G when it comes to price, however the Android rivals have loads of benefits. From further cameras to bigger batteries and shows, at the very least on the floor, it appears far simpler to get extra bang on your buck for those who’re keen to half with iOS. We’ll see if that’s the case in the remainder of the assessment.

Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) is in the stores from nearly anyw., although the bottom worth has climbed a couple of dollars to $429 in comparison with its $399 predecessor. It was launched on March 18 and is now out there from main retailers like Amazon and Finest Purchase, or your cellular service. It’s also possible to seize it straight from Apple, each in the US and worldwide. Apple has some fairly good trade-in presents on the time of this writing, providing as much as $650 off while you hand over an iPhone 8 or later.

Has the design modified in any respect?

iPhone SE rear close up

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

In a phrase, no. The design of the Apple iPhone SE (2022) is precisely the identical as that of the 2020 model, proper all the way down to the final millimeter. Should you laid them on a desk subsequent to one another, you’d solely know them aside due to slight coloration variations. Every part is correct w. it was earlier than — the amount buttons and mute change are on the left whereas the facility button occupies the fitting aspect. Apple’s Lightning port (one thing that actually must go) sits on the underside edge, proper beneath the house button with a Contact ID sensor. That house button is similar capacitive sensor as earlier than, however Apple has just about nailed the vibration to let you realize you’ve pressed the button.

Contemplating the 2020 mannequin was already a rehash of the iPhone 8, it’s no shock that the design is beginning to really feel extraordinarily dated. W. the earlier mannequin felt like an affordable remaster of the unique iPhone SE with some reliance on outdated flagship components, this new model looks like a rerun of a rerun that’s been aired one too many occasions.

You’ll be hard-pressed to discover a smaller or lighter telephone available on the market as of late, although. The iPhone SE (2022) stands simply 138.4mm tall and weighs a feather-light 144g. This makes the iPhone SE (2022) one of many final bastions for small telephone lovers, however as with so many issues about this telephone, t. are some caveats.

Its 4.7-inch show is a full 0.7-inches smaller than the iPhone 13 Mini. Nevertheless, the thick brow and chin depart the iPhone SE standing barely taller and wider than the iPhone 13 Mini. Notch haters would possibly benefit from the easy, rectangular show, nevertheless it’s arduous to say that these monumental bezels are any extra satisfying.

The iPhone SE’s restricted, sub-Full HD decision can also be noticeably softer when streaming video, and a few small textual content loses its readability. The colour recreation is superb, however I can’t think about watching a film on the iPhone SE, particularly one shot in widescreen. After you add within the black bars on high and backside, your image could be about an inch and a half tall. I loaded up the trailer for Obi-Wan Kenobi, however Ewan McGregor hardly ever confirmed up a lot bigger than my fingernail.

The iPhone SE (2022) is an identical to the 2020 mannequin earlier than it — and the iPhone 8 — all the way down to the final millimeter.

Whereas the 4.7-inch show would possibly sound good to some, we dwell in a world w. the typical small show is sort of six inches and Full HD resolutions are the usual. By comparability, the iPhone SE (2022) feels nearly comical to work together with at occasions. It’s understandably straightforward to make use of with one hand, however the keyboard feels cramped even in comparison with one other (fairly) small telephone just like the Samsung Galaxy S22.

It’s additionally a Retina LCD — that’s proper, no Tremendous Retina, no OLED, only a basic 60Hz rectangular panel. The low refresh charge doesn’t really feel excessively uneven when scrolling, however we’ve seen most units at this worth level transfer to extra fluid shows.

See additionally: The most effective small telephones you should purchase

Regardless of its small measurement and replayed design, Apple hasn’t let the iPhone SE (2022) slip from its premium materials requirements. It sports activities “ion-strengthened glass” on each the back and front with an aluminum body to carry all of it collectively. You additionally get an IP67 score for each water and dirt resistance — a pleasant characteristic on the second-generation iPhone SE and nonetheless very welcome ., however because it’s extra commonplace now it’s not the killer promoting level it as soon as was.

How does the one digicam maintain up?

iPhone SE rear showing camera with a green plant in the foreground

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The iPhone SE (2022) carries a single 12MP huge shooter on the again with all the identical specs because the final iPhone SE, and it’s simply nice for fundamental photographs. It could actually seize loads of particulars that don’t disintegrate instantly while you crop in — given that you’ve got good lighting. Apple’s coloration recreation is spot on throughout the board in my pattern photographs and the one rear digicam is able to some fairly good pure bokeh, as you may see with the assorted photographs of flowers beneath.

The straightforward setup as soon as once more comes all the way down to repurposing the iPhone 8 physique, nevertheless it’s effectively behind the competitors in terms of flexibility. Most telephones, regardless of the worth level, now supply ultrawide cameras, and you’ll often discover a third lens of some form, too. Whether or not it’s a devoted zoom lens, a macro digicam, or depth sensor, different OEMs are offering extra taking pictures choices whereas Apple continues to stay to its weapons.

See additionally: The most effective digicam telephones you should purchase

This single-lens, identical {hardware} method exhibits its age when you attempt to get remotely fancy along with your pictures. For starters, portrait mode is proscribed to people solely. Meaning you gained’t be capable of seize photographs of your pets or different objects round the home with Apple’s highly effective processing options. The iPhone SE (2020) had this situation, too, however we hoped Apple would repair it this time round.

On the whole, the dearth of any optical zoom makes photos of animals harder anyway. You’ll in all probability scare birds away for those who get too shut, and the digital zoom is simply helpful as much as a sure level. The iPhone SE doesn’t specify the magnification, however particulars begin to soften about midway alongside the zoom slider. Each the usual zoom and half-zoom photographs of the soccer ball look alright contemplating that is all digital (with some help from Apple’s computational pictures). T.’s ok readability and coloration, however the full-zoom shot picks up vital grain and a smudging within the particulars.

T.’s additionally no official evening mode of any form. As such, you need to be very cautious to realize a transparent nighttime end result. The picture processing performs effectively — photographs often prove higher than they appear within the Digital camera app — nevertheless it’s far behind what you may obtain with Apple’s flagships, and even different finances telephones with devoted evening modes. My picture of a rooster statue, for instance, was taken with porch lighting shut behind me, whereas the mural on a constructing solely had just a few streetlights to attract from.

The iPhone SE’s single digicam performs effectively in good-to-dim lighting, nevertheless it’s painfully rigid.

Whereas evening photographs are a bust, Apple’s Deep Fusion tech helps the iPhone SE take advantage of out of dim lighting. My image of an Obi-Wan Kenobi Funko Pop is from a dimly lit room in the course of the day. It’s not closely processed, and nearly matches what my eye might see.

One of many extra attention-grabbing digicam options is the power to alter between Photographic Types. These work considerably like presets in Lightroom, mechanically adjusting the tone and heat you see in your digicam. I caught with the usual profile, however you may as well select Wealthy Distinction (Tone -50), Vibrant (Tone +50), Heat (Heat +50), or Cool (Heat -50).

With a decision of simply 7MP, the selfie digicam performs fairly effectively. It once more prefers plenty of gentle, however I discovered that it captured good element and didn’t instantly turn into muddy for those who crop in on a picture. Portrait photographs are nonetheless restricted to people, and the angle isn’t as huge as some that we’ve seen. That mentioned, the sting detection appears to have taken a step ahead — just a few of my hairs are out of focus.

Video stays one in all Apple’s strengths on the iPhone SE, even with the single-lens setup. It’s able to 4K recording at as much as 60fps or 1080p at 240fps, which matches the iPhone 13’s commonplace. I had no issues capturing clean, clear ends in my testing. Nevertheless, it doesn’t supply Cinematic Mode, which suggests you may’t simply change your focus between topics whereas recording.

How is the battery life?

iPhone SE propped on chair showing screen

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Apple retains its actual cell sizes near its chest, nevertheless it reportedly sits at round 2,000mAh — downright tiny in comparison with most Android units, although barely bigger than the 2020 mannequin.

The iPhone SE stretches that tiny tank to a formidable size. I might often make it via a couple of full day on a single cost on lighter days. Apple’s low decision, 60Hz show in all probability works within the iPhone SE’s favor. It additionally doesn’t sap an excessive amount of energy with fundamental duties due to Apple’s tightly optimized silicon and software program.

Sadly, the iPhone SE (2022) does are inclined to run a bit heat beneath stress, although a minute or two of inactivity is often sufficient to chill it again down. Because of this, for those who’re notably energetic with the digicam, navigation, or plenty of gaming, you’re going to be reaching for a charger earlier than you crawl into mattress.

You possibly can stretch the small battery surprisingly far for those who do not push it, and 18W charging retains your time spent plugged in to a minimal.

When you drain the battery, you will get the iPhone SE (2022) again up and working with 18W USB Energy Supply — so be sure that to verify your charger’s compatibility before you purchase. That may appear low, however given the small measurement of the battery, the outcomes are simply nice. I reached a full cost after just below an hour.

T.’s no MagSafe on the iPhone SE, so that you gained’t get near the 15W wi-fi speeds of the iPhone 13 collection. Nevertheless, the telephone is Qi wi-fi charging suitable, which is nice for about 7.5W speeds. It’s noticeably slower and, in my expertise, causes the iPhone SE (2022) to heat up rather a lot, however you continue to can’t discover many different telephones at this worth that even help wi-fi charging, so it’s a pleasant bonus.

See additionally: The most effective wi-fi chargers

How highly effective is the Apple iPhone SE (2022)?

Apple’s flagship A15 Bionic chip — the identical processor that powers the iPhone 13 collection — offers the iPhone SE (2022) the center to compete with the large weapons. Unsurprisingly for a chip of this caliber, it ran via every thing I requested of it with out breaking a sweat or slowing down. The battery wasn’t at all times joyful when put beneath heavy stress, nevertheless it continued to energy via. I fired up Genshin Affect, and the iPhone SE was joyful to oblige. Whereas the obtain made the telephone warmth up, the sport itself felt clean and responsive all through my play. I didn’t discover any dropped frames or lag, regardless of how a lot digital button-mashing I needed to do.

The iPhone SE (2022) performs simply in addition to its iPhone 13 counterparts in our Geekbench 5 exams, thanks partly to its matching CPU cores. Nevertheless, it packs 4 GPU cores in comparison with the 5 you’ll get on an iPhone 13 Professional gadget, and comes up barely decrease in 3DMark exams because of this. It scored 8,706, which is decrease than the 9,609 we managed with an iPhone 13 Professional Max. It’s decrease than the usual iPhone 13, too, which pushed its four-core setup for 9,181.

All of those benchmark scores are exceptional for a $429 gadget, although. It completely trounces different finances choices and is a stone’s throw away from the very best flagships. Whereas benchmark scores don’t essentially paint the whole image, Apple’s newest chipset has no downside placing up gaudy numbers.

The iPhone SE (2022) runs like a Vespa with a V12 engine.

Sadly, the iPhone SE solely presents 64GB of base storage. You possibly can improve to 128GB or 256GB for a price, however this is similar firm that lately dropped 64GB from the iPhone 13 lineup after deciding it wasn’t sufficient. I gained’t linger on this level as I’ve already written about my gripes with such restricted storage. Even on a telephone that’s this low cost, it’s not acceptable as movies, photographs, apps, video games, and even fundamental software program updates chew via your storage at such a charge as of late. Apple did pack 4GB of RAM into its pocket-friendly gadget, which matches the iPhone 13 Mini and commonplace iPhone 13.

The iPhone SE (2022) additionally follows the iPhone 13 household’s lead in skipping the most recent networking choices. It nonetheless ships with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 slightly than the Bluetooth 5.2 and Wi-Fi 6E requirements, although don’t neglect this can be a $429 telephone, not flagships, so it’s all truthful recreation. The iPhone SE (2022) does, nonetheless, supply NFC help so you can also make funds with Apple Pay.

Except the stingy base storage, the small telephone’s efficiency far outmatches its bodily construct. When you get it going, it runs like a Vespa with a V12 engine.

The rest?

iPhone SE Touch ID

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

  • Audio: The iPhone SE (2022) has stereo audio system, and the outcomes are fairly good. It combines a single down-firing unit with the earpiece, and I didn’t discover any distortion even once I raised the amount. T.’s no headphone jack, so that you’ll want Lightning headphones (not included) or a trusty pair of Bluetooth ones.
  • Biometrics: Contact ID. On an iPhone. In 2022. The iPhone SE carries the basic spherical house button into a brand new period, full with a fingerprint scanner. You gained’t get Face ID, regardless of the large brow bezel, however the characteristic wasn’t current on the earlier model or the iPhone 8, both. Truthfully, it’s nonetheless nice to make use of, nevertheless it comes at the price of a large bezel.
  • SIM help: The iPhone SE (2022) helps dual-SIM in a single nano-SIM tray and non-obligatory eSIM obtain. It appears to choose eSIM, as I needed to go to Verizon for the telephone to play properly with my bodily SIM card. Should you plan to stay with the iPhone SE (or an iPhone on the whole) for a very long time, you’re in all probability higher off downloading an eSIM.
  • 5G: Due to its A15 Bionic chipset, the iPhone SE (2022) is prepared for quick 5G connectivity. Nevertheless, it’s solely suitable with sub-6GHz networks. T.’s no mmWave help to talk of. After all, this isn’t a shock for a finances telephone, and for those who dwell outdoors of a serious metropolis (or dwell outdoors the US), t.’s a very good likelihood you don’t have mmWave protection as it’s.
  • Updates: Google and Samsung might have improved their replace guarantees in the previous couple of years, however Apple remains to be the king. The iPhone SE (2022) ought to see common iOS updates for a very very long time. We are inclined to see about 5 to seven years of updates for iPhones, with units as outdated because the iPhone 6s collection receiving iOS 15. That is w. the overkill A15 chip actually is smart too, because the iPhone SE ought to nonetheless carry out effectively even in the direction of the tip of its replace lifecycle.
  • Software program: The iPhone SE (2022) ran on iOS 15.4 in the course of my testing. It’s properly refined with widgets and an app library, but it nonetheless feels as acquainted as iOS ever has. Should you’ve used an iPhone earlier than, you’ll know precisely w. every thing is (typically for higher, typically for worse). It’s additionally a breeze to arrange a brand new iPhone from a earlier mannequin. I used to be in a position so as to add my Apple Watch and AirPods in just a few seconds and the battery widget retains me on high of all of them. Nevertheless, the Management Middle doesn’t appear optimized for the older show — the flashlight toggle will get lower off on the backside and you need to scroll as much as entry it.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) specs

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Show

4.7-inch Retina LCD
60Hz refresh charge
1,334 x 750 decision
16:9 ratio

Chipset

Apple A15 Bionic

GPU

4-core Apple GPU

RAM

4GB

Storage

64/128/256GB
NVMe

Battery

~2,018mAh
Lightning
18W wired charging
Qi wi-fi charging

Cameras

Rear:
12MP (f/1.8)

Entrance:
7MP (f/2.2)

Audio

Stereo audio system

Video

Rear:
4K at 24/25/30/60 fps
1080p at 25/30/60 fps

Entrance:
1080p at 25/30 fps

SIM help

Twin SIM (nano-SIM and eSIM)

Connectivity

5G (sub-6)
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
NFC

Software program

iOS 15.4

Sturdiness

IP67

Colours

Starlight
Midnight
Product Pink

Dimensions and weight

138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
144g

Worth and competitors

iphone se rear upright

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple’s most inexpensive iPhone is again. You shouldn’t have any issues maintaining due to the A15 Bionic chip onboard, and the acquainted design brings again Contact ID as soon as extra.

Beginning at $429 within the US, the Apple iPhone SE (2022) is positioned in opposition to a number of the greatest finances telephones we’ve ever seen. It’s solely marginally cheaper than a number of the greatest inexpensive Android telephones, nevertheless it lacks loads of the options which have turn into commonplace. With a small, low-res display screen, a single rear digicam, and a dated general design, it’s not arduous to see the iPhone SE (2022) falling behind a few of its closest rivals.

For instance, Google’s Pixel 5a ($449) presents a 6.34-inch OLED show that dwarfs the iPhone SE, together with 6GB of base RAM and 128GB of storage proper from the field. It packs two rear cameras, full with Google’s spectacular picture processing — and sure, it will possibly take portrait mode photographs of your pets. Google’s 18W wired charging is a wash, however the 4,680mAh battery can stretch past a single day of utilization. Apple’s principal benefits are restricted to the huge availability of its iPhone SE and the A15 Bionic processor.

Don’t miss: The most effective telephone offers

If we flip to Samsung, the Galaxy A53 5G ($449) tells an identical story. It stars a 6.5-inch Tremendous AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh charge. Samsung moved its mid-range gadget to the in-house Exynos 1280 processor, and you’ll pair it with as much as 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The A53 5G packs 4 rear cameras, most notably a 64MP huge lens and a 32MP selfie shooter on the entrance. Its 5,000mAh battery is the most important of the bunch, and the 25W wired charging is quicker, too.

Inside Apple’s ecosystem, you could have just a few extra choices to think about, too. The iPhone 13 Mini ($699) presents the closest kind issue, although it swaps the hefty bezels for a notched entrance panel. You additionally get two rear cameras to work with, however you’ll should spend just a few hundred further {dollars}. Apple nonetheless sells the iPhone 11 ($499), too, now at a lowered worth. It predates 5G connectivity, however you get two rear cameras and a a lot bigger show for across the identical worth as a 128GB iPhone SE (2022).

Apple iPhone SE (2022) assessment: The decision

iPhone SE face down showing rear with camera and Apple logo, on a white and red patterned background.

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Apple iPhone SE (2022) stays essentially the most inexpensive solution to get iOS in your pocket. Nevertheless, it suffers from a extreme lack of innovation. Its iPhone 8-copy design was starting to really feel dated with the iPhone SE (2020), and two further years haven’t been form to the thick bezels or the one digicam. The blazing-fast A15 Bionic chip offers this small iPhone the engine to run with the very best units available on the market, however the cramped, low-resolution show and meager base storage holds it again like a pair of coaching wheels.

The iPhone SE is presented with a formidable engine, however the general design holds it again like a super-charged bike strapped to a pair of coaching wheels.

Should you desperately need an iPhone that gained’t damage your pockets an excessive amount of, the iPhone SE (2022) is for you. It’ll obtain software program updates for a very long time, and 5G help offers it a level of futureproofing. Contact ID remains to be good, too, although it’s maybe not sufficient of a purpose to place this one in your pocket. Apple’s lone rear digicam presents good outcomes as ordinary, nevertheless it comes stripped of now-common options.

The finances telephone market was completely different when the final iPhone SE dropped in 2020. Now, Google and Samsung have raised their recreation to a completely new stage, and other than uncooked energy, Apple isn’t maintaining. You’re sure to search out higher worth down a number of different avenues, however it is going to imply parting methods with the consolation of iOS.

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