Welcome to the ultimate iPhone SE 2022 review.
The iPhone SE 2022 is a smartphone that stuffs modern technology into a very small classic design (it’s almost tiny). Regardless of the classic vibes, the outcome is quite attractive for consumers on a budget.
For just $429 you get the same A15 Bionic processor available in the iPhone 13 and 5G connectivity. This means you have quality in-class performance and amazing-looking pictures. The tech giant also promises users 2 extra hours of battery life for the new iPhone SE 2022 in comparison to the previous model (iPhone SE 2020). And you even get a more durable design.
That said, there’s no face identification feature, though certain users prefer the traditional home button with touch identification for unlocking the device quickly. You’ll also have to deal with the lack of night mode, no Verizon ultra-wideband, and chunky bezels.
So you’d have to accept such trade-offs to have an iPhone as affordable as the SE 2022.
But as we will see in this iPhone SE 2022 review, there is a certain appeal in carrying around a smartphone this compact that is feature-packed and powerful. This is easily one of the cheapest quality phones available in the market currently.
iPhone SE 2022: At a Glance
The smartphone giant’s latest budget 4.7-inch iPhone looks just like the iPhone 8 but possesses the internals of the iPhone 13. Below is a quick look at its top features.
- Single-lens rear camera
- 4GB RAM
- 4.7-inch display
- 5G connectivity
- A15 Bionic chip
- Starting price of $429
- iPhone 8 design
Should I Buy the iPhone SE 2022?
The iPhone SE 2022 is Apple’s “entry-point” iPhone. The smartphone provides a budget-friendly entry-point to iPhones. It offers tons of crucial features like a high-quality camera with 4K video recording, haptic touch, dust and water resistance, powerful A-series chip, and much more.
The 2022 model included the A15 bionic chip from iPhone 13 and an upgraded rear camera with additional advanced computational photography functions, a stronger glass, enhanced battery life, and 5G connectivity.
This is the latest iPhone in Apple’s lineup and it’s quite early in its product cycle. The tech giant waited for 3 years to update the first iPhone SE before the 2020 version was released. This new model comes after two years of launching the previous one.
Though the third-generation iPhone SE is quite new, there are a couple of signs indicating that a new version is in the works with a bigger display.
Granted, Apple’s iPhone SE is currently their most budget-friendly iPhone. But if you’re looking for multiple inexpensive iPhone options, the iPhone 11 (which starts at $499) is a great pick.
For the additional cost, the iPhone 11 provides a bigger display with a face ID function, an all-screen design, night mode, and a wide camera. Another budget-friendly option is the iPhone 12 Mini (which starts at $599) and for the extra cost, it includes an OLED display and a more contemporary design.
So depending on how budget-friendly you want the iPhone for and the features you’re willing to give up, the iPhone SE is a good buy. But there are other affordable options if you’re looking for more contemporary functions.
iPhone SE 2022: Overview
The iPhone SE model was built to be an affordable option for Apple’s flagship devices. The SE models have been available since 2016 and in March 2022 Apple revealed the third generation version. The major difference in the iPhone SE 2022 from the previous versions is the updated price point, 5G connectivity, and enhanced A-series chip.
At the current starting price of $429, the iPhone SE 2022 is $30 more expensive than the previous generation model. That said, it is still Apple’s most budget-friendly iPhone with 5G connectivity and a contemporary A15 chip.
With regards to design, there are no changes to the iPhone SE. In fact, the 2022 version looks identical to the 2020 SE model, which was built to look like the iPhone 8.
The iPhone SE offers a 4.7-inch retina HD LCD, as well as, True Tone to match the user’s room ambient lighting. There is also Dolby Vision, HDR10, and wide color available.
It is available in product red, midnight, and starlight. The smartphone is manufactured with a glass front and back with a matching color aluminum band. It also features IP67 water and dust resistance. This means it can resist accidental spills, brief submissions in water, and splashes.
Standout Features Overview
Wireless charging is supported and it features an additional durable front and black glass, which makes it less prone to breakage, unlike the second-generation iPhone SE.
Since it is modeled after the prior iPhone SE and the iPhone 8, the current iPhone SE 2022 maintains the thick top and bottom display bezels. And it is the only new iPhone version to do so currently.
The top bezel features a microphone and a 7-megapixel f/2.2 front-facing camera, while the bezel at the bottom includes a Touch ID home button. This enables fingerprint biometric authentication.
This iPhone SE model is the only recent Apple device that features a Touch ID home button. Every other iPhone currently features the face ID function. The Touch identification function works just like the Face ID for authentication. However, it utilizes fingerprint scans rather than facial scans for password replacement, Apple Pay purchases, and much more. The iPhone SE like all other iPhones features Haptic Touch as well, for contextual menus and quick actions.
Then there’s the single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera. It comes with an f/1.8 aperture, portrait lighting, support for portrait mode, and stabilization. The iPhone SE 2022 does not support night mode, however, there is LED True Tone flash alongside slow sync capabilities, wide color support, and much more.
This iPhone SE version also provides smart HDR 4 for enhanced skin tones contrast, photographic styles for a custom look on all pictures, and Deep Fusion for improved textures.
What’s more, the iPhone SE camera is capable of recording 4K video at up to 60 frames per second. There is even support for slow-motion video, optical image stabilization, and time-lapse video.
With the front-facing camera, you also get support for portrait mode and utilization of the image signal processor, as well as, the Neural Engine of the A15 bionic.
iPhone SE 2022: Performance
Concerning performance, the iPhone SE is on the same page as the iPhone 13. This is primarily because it utilizes the same A15 Bionic chip used in Apple’s flagship iPhones.
The A15 Bionic chip possesses a 16-core Neural Engine, 4-core GPU, and 6-core GPU. Based on statements from Apple, the A15 Bionic chip provides up to 1.2 times faster graphics performance in comparison to the A13 in the previous model.
Additionally, it features 4GB RAM. This is up from 3 GB in the previous version.
Besides the new A15 chip, the 5G connectivity is the other major upgrade to the 2022 iPhone SE. So the iPhone SE is currently compatible with the 5G network. However, unlike the other iPhone models, it doesn’t have support for the fast mmWave 5G networks. It is instead restricted to the much slower broader Sub-6ghz 5G networks.
With regards to battery life, the iPhone SE 2022 offers improved battery performance than the previous model due to the A15 chip. The model’s battery can last for up to 15 hours when watching videos, 50 hours when listening to audio, 10 hours when streaming videos online.
It also has fast charging capabilities and is able to charge to 50% under 30 minutes if you use a 20W power adapter or higher. It even supports Qi wireless charging without MagSafe compatibility.
The iPhone SE does not come with a U1 chip, however, it does offer Bluetooth 5 and Wi-Fi 6 support. This is the most recent and quickest Wi-Fi protocol. It even supports Express Mode transit cards that have a power reserve function enabling cards to be accessed even if the battery is dead.
The average iPhone SE comes with 64GB storage at the starting price point of $429 but you can also get 128GB for $479 as well as 256 GB of storage for just $579.
iPhone SE Review: The Design
Concerning design, the new version of the iPhone SE maintains the design features of the second generation version from 2020. And the prior model is identical to iPhone 8.
That said, the iPhone SE comes with a 4.7-inch display and fat bezels at the head and bottom of the phone.
On the top bezel, there is a cut-out for the front camera, accompanying sensors, and a speaker. The Touch ID home button is featured at the bottom of the iPhone and is covered in sapphire crystal.
Very much like the iPhone 8, 2022 iPhone SE features an all-glass body that utilizes a 7-layer ink process to include color to the glass. This results in quality color depth. The glass body and glass display are held in position by an aluminum band similar in color to each iPhone for a sleek look. It is also much smaller in size.
Apple also states that the iPhone SE 2022 utilizes a deeper durable glass material, which makes it a lot more resistant to scratches and drops. The device is equipped with one of the “toughest glass” in smartphone history.
On the back of the phone, you will find a single-lens rear camera, an LED flash, and a microphone.
On the right side of the device, there are the wake/sleep buttons, while the left side has the volume and mute buttons.
At the bottom of the phone you’ll find speaker holes and a Lightning Port. And just like previous iPhones, there is no headphone jack, so Lightning headphones or Bluetooth headphones are required.
The 2022 model, with regards to height and width measures 138.4 mm tall by 67.3 mm wide. It also weighs 5.09 ounces which is a bit lighter than the previous model.
Though it features the tiniest display of any current iPhone model, it is physically bigger than the iPhone 13 mini.
Since the iPhone SE 2022 has a similar design to the iPhone 8, cases manufactured for the iPhone 8 are compatible with iPhone SE. This is also true for cases for the 2020 model of the iPhone SE.
iPhone SE Design Features In-depth
Dust and Water Resistance
This device comes with an IP67 water and dust resistance rating. This means it is completely dustproof and capable of withstanding a meter of water above 3.3 feet for approximately 30 minutes.
The 2022 iPhone SE also resists rain, brief accidental water exposure, and splashes. That said, intentional water exposure must be avoided. This is because Apple states that dust and water resistance are not permanent conditions and can decrease due to normal wear. In addition, Apple’s warranty does not extend to water damage.
You can get the iPhone SE in midnight (deep dark blue), starlight (pure white color), and red (PRODUCT) color. The 3 colors come with black front panels.
The current Apple iPhones come with an all-glass design utilizing Face ID. But since the goal of the iPhone SE 2022 is to keep things budget-friendly, the model maintains a home button alongside a Touch ID fingerprint sensor.
This is the only iPhone currently that utilizes Touch ID as every other model uses face ID for authentication.
The device’s Touch ID home button is layered with a durable sapphire crystal that safeguards the Touch ID sensor, as well as, a steel ring capable of detecting the user’s fingerprint. You can use the Touch ID to unlock the iPhone, open passcode-protected applications, confirm Apple Pay transactions, fill passwords with an iCloud keychain, and confirm App Store purchases.
iPhone SE Battery Duration Features
The iPhone SE 2022 battery provides up to 15 hours of video playback. This is an additional 2 hours than the previous iPhone SE.
The battery has a duration of up to 10 hours when streaming videos online and up to 50 hours with audio.
The 2022 iPhone SE features a glass body with a built-in wireless charging cord that supports Qi-based wireless charging. It also works with any 7.5w of 5w Qi wireless charging tool.
This third-generation iPhone SE model supports fast charging. This means you can charge up to 50% battery life in under 30 minutes. But for this function to work effectively, it requires a USB-C power adapter that provides a minimum of 20watts and includes 29/30W adapters which cost $49 from Apple.
Keep in mind that the USB-C power adapter required for fast charging is purchased differently as the iPhone SE 2022 is delivered with just a USB-C lightning cable.
That said, the iPhone model comes with a 5W power adapter and a USB-A to Lightning cable. However, Apple took out the power adapter in a cost-saving and environmental preservation move.
iPhone SE 2022 Display Features
The new iPhone SE utilizes a 4.7-inch retina HD LCD and has a resolution of 1334 by 750. It also features 326 pixels per inch, as well as, a 1,400:1 contrast ratio.
Since the iPhone 8 Apple has not enhanced this display. And the iPhone SE is the only model that utilizes the LCD. All other Apple iPhone models have been upgraded to OLED.
The device features P3 wide color support for true-to-life colors, 625 nits max brightness, a fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, and multitouch capabilities.
You get the same Haptic Touch functionality on the iPhone SE that is available for every other iPhone model. Haptic touch functionality is quite similar to 3D touch and provides a lot of the same functionality. However, it isn’t pressure-sensitive and does not cater to multiple functions per press.
It is rather described as a press and hold or long-press gesture with haptic feedback.
Haptic touch is used in the phone’s operating system for numerous tasks such as previewing links in the Safari browser, accessing Quick Actions on your home screen, accessing additional features in Control Center, and activating the flash on the device’s lock screen.
This iPhone SE model supports True Tone. The feature has been added to iPhone and iPad models for a couple of years now.
The feature takes advantage of the ambient light sensor to detect lighting in a location, adjust the color intensity and temperature to match the light for a natural viewing experience that reduces eye strain.
iPhone SE 2022 5G Connectivity
5G connectivity support is available with the iPhone SE 2022. So this comes out as Apple’s most cost-effective 5G iPhone.
That said, this model does not support mmwave 5G networks as the other expensive iPhone options do. Rather, it is restricted to slower but broader sub-6GHz networks.
The fastest 5G networks are the mmWave 5G networks. But they are short-range and can be obscured by trees, buildings, and other obstacles. This restricts its use to urban areas and major cities, as well as, venues like airports and concerts. Basically, where there’s a large crowd of people.
That said, sub-6GHz is available in suburban, urban, and rural areas across various nations and the United States. So currently when you use the 5G network it’s the Sub-6GHz you’ll be using. So the lack of mmWave connectivity won’t be an issue.
Below are the 5G bands the iPhone SE is compatible with:
1, n2, n3, n5, n7, n8, n12, n20, n25, n28, n29, n30, n38, n40, n41, n48, n66, n71, n77, n78, n79.
GPS and NFC Support
The iPhone SE 2022 includes support for Galileo, QZSS, GPS, and GLONASS.
Also available is NFC with reader mode. And there’s a background tag feature that enables the iPhone to scan through NFC tags without having to open any up first.
There’s also support for Express Mode with power reserve. This means they can be operated instead of a transit card for public transit. It even continues to work after the battery is dead.
The iPhone SE offers dual-sim support. This enables 2 phone numbers to be used on 1 device. The function is possible via the inclusion of a single physical Nano-SIM slot, as well as, an eSIM.
The eSIM functionality is supported in numerous countries around the globe. Here’s a complete list of carriers that support eSIM.
The new SE model features Bluetooth 5.0. This provides faster speed, better interoperability, larger broadcast message capability, and a longer range with other wireless technologies in comparison to Bluetooth 4.2.
iPhone SE 2022 also supports Wi-Fi 6 with 2×2 MIMO. This is the recent WiFi protocol and enables you to download 38% times quicker than Wi-Fi 5.
iPhone SE Camera Features
To maintain the iPhone SE 2022 budget-friendly purpose, the device comes with a single-lens rear camera. However, it uses technology from the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro. All thanks to the image signal processor within the A15 Bionic chip.
There’s a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera that comes with an f/1.8 aperture featuring optical image stabilization, Deep Fusion for enhanced texture, wide color capture, as well as, a next-generation smart HDR 4 for enhanced shadow details and highlights.
The 2022 iPhone SE captures 4K video at up to 60 frames per second. This is with 30 and 24 frames as available options, alongside 720p and 1080p shooting modes.
There’s also extended dynamic range support available for videos up to 30 frames per second, as well as, optical image stabilization.
This model also includes the QuickTake video feature. This function was first introduced in 2019 iPhones, allowing you to shoot quick videos by pushing down the camera button when you are in photo mode.
Modes like time-lapse and slow-motion (1080p at 240 or 120 fps) are also available.
Portrait Lighting and Portrait Mode
While the iPhone SE 2022 does not have 2 cameras, it does support depth control, portrait mode, and portrait lighting using the Neural Engine for computational photography and the image signal processor.
The 2020 iPhone SE was the first model to use a complete software solution for Portrait Mode capability.
Portrait Mode enables aesthetically appealing blurring of the background in a picture when snapping a portrait photo of an individual, object, or pet.
Portrait Lighting, on the other hand, allows studio-quality lighting effects (up to 6) to be included in photos. Depth Control enables the amount of blur in a photo taken in Portrait Mode to be manipulated for the best possible blend of detail and blurring.
The third-generation iPhone SE features a 7-megapixel front camera that comes with f/2.2 aperture with Depth Control and Portrait Mode capabilities despite the presence of TrueDepth camera functionality. Apple uses monocular depth estimation and machine learning to enable this function. You can record 1080p HD video at 30 frames per second, alongside other features such as automatic image stabilization, automatic HDR, Retina Flash, and wide color capture.
The front camera also supports QuickTake and the iPhone SE is the first model to offer the function.
Night Mode is not Available
The current iPhone SE does not offer the same features as regular flagship expensive iPhones with many lenses. So it does not offer support for optical zoom or night mode.
A15 Bionic Chip
This third-generation iPhone SE is equipped with a similar A15 Bionic chip included in iPhone 13 models. It also comes with a 6 core CPU that possesses 2performance and 4 efficiency cores, a 16-core Neural Engine, and a 4-core GPU.
Based on statements from Apple the A15 chip provides up to 1.2 times faster graphics performance than the previous iPhone SE.
The iPhone SE 2022 offers 4GB RAM.
The available storage options include 256GB, 64GB, and 128GB.
How Do I Buy the iPhone SE 2022?
You can buy iPhone SE 2022 model from Apple’s retail stores, the online Apple Store, and partner stores. As already mentioned the starting price is $429. But we should go to the storage which can be 64 GB, 125GB, and 256GB based on your preference the price changes.
The iPhone SE 2022 offers an entry point to the iPhone. It is the most budget-friendly iPhone model. However, there are a lot of trade-offs (like Touch ID instead of Face ID) with regards to performance and design that you’ll miss out on for going with this option. But if you simply want an iPhone that does the basic things a smartphone is expected to do this is a good buy.