The iPhone SE 3rd Gen was released in early 2022 and is a simple upgrade from the identical second generation SE.The SE has an older design with a home button and looks no different from the 2014 iPhone 6.
At roundabout $430, the SE stands out as a budget phone, but the base hardware has been around in some form since 2017.The SE is blazing fast and future-proof, but many intrinsic features that people expect to be up to par just don’t quite hit them.
The 2022 iPhone SE had potential to be a great phone, but Apple didn’t put in even a modicum of effort, and they haven’t adjusted the price to reflect that.
Review of the iPhone SE 3rd gen
The iPhone SE is a solid device in terms of hardware and performance.Depending on the deal and context, there are situations where buying the final home button iPhone might be a good move.However, the SE is priced at roundabout $430, and the iPhone 12 is the next step up but is also bad value at $600.
The iPhone 13 and Mini have 128 gigabytes of storage and come in at six or seven hundred dollars, respectively.The SE is a powerful and pretty awesome smartphone in that older design, but it’s not worth purchasing at its current price.
|Model||iPhone SE (3rd generation)|
|Finish||(PRODUCT)RED, Starlight, Midnight|
|Capacity||64GB, 128GB, 256GB|
|Size and Weight||Width: 2.65 inches (67.3 mm)<br>Height: 5.45 inches (138.4 mm)<br>Depth: 0.29 inch (7.3 mm)<br>Weight: 5.09 ounces (144 grams)|
|Display||Retina HD display<br>4.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD Multi-Touch display with IPS technology|
|Resolution||1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi|
|Chip||A15 Bionic chip with 6-core CPU|
|Rear Camera||12MP Wide camera|
|Front Camera||7MP FaceTime HD camera|
|Video Recording||4K Dolby Vision HDR recording at 60 fps|
|Battery||Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery|
|Charging||MagSafe wireless charging up to 15W<br>Qi wireless charging up to 7.5W<br>Lightning connector|
|Water and Dust Resistance||Rated IP67 (maximum depth of 1 meter up to 30 minutes)|
|Biometric Authentication||Touch ID fingerprint sensor|
Comparing to Other iPhones
The SE is the lowest tier iPhone, and it’s priced by a good margin the lowest.It’ll see the most attention when it comes to sales and discounts, and if you really like the SE and want that old design home button, find a deal that works for you.
The SE is still a very impressive device, but if pictures are really important to you, it’s better to look at the iPhone 13 or even something like the 14 Pro with its awesome three camera lenses.
Screen quality and size
The colors on the iPhone SE screen look good and provide a pretty neutral but accurate experience.However, the quality of the screen is significantly worse than more expensive iPhones because it uses an LCD rather than an OLED screen.
The difference between the two is that OLED screens can turn individual pixels off or on which leads to a more vibrant image with true blacks.Turning on an iPhone 13 next to an iPhone SE shows that only the Apple logo lights up on the 13 while the entire screen lights up on the SE.
For the majority of people, the SE screen will be perfectly fine and more than enough to accomplish whatever they want.However, some people might find it too small, in which case they should consider the iPhone 13 mini or the 12 mini.
Features and accessories
The iPhone SE 3rd Gen is not compatible with MagSafe, a feature that allows you to magnetically snap things like specific chargers onto the back of your phone.It’s unclear why Apple didn’t include MagSafe on the SE because it’s a handy feature and wouldn’t have been difficult to implement.
The iPhone SE is compatible with both wireless and fast charging, although you’ll need to buy the accessories separately.The phone is also water-resistant, so a quick drop in the toilet shouldn’t be too big of a tragedy as long as you don’t flush it.
The battery life on the iPhone SE 3rd Gen is rough and not much better than what the iPhone 8 was like back in its heyday.The small size of the phone means a small battery, and while the iPhone SE 2022 has optimized things better with battery life getting to about the equivalent of what the iPhone 12 mini can do, heavy usage or power-hungry tasks like streaming using 5G or gaming will drain the power pretty quickly.
Moderate usage should be okay to get you a day of life, but you may want to keep a lightning charger nearby.The phone is okay for battery life, but it should be a lot better.
Design and form factor
For those who prefer the old form factor, the iPhone SE is the ultimate smartphone and it’s not even remotely close as home buttons, bezels, and the old style has gone the way of the dodo in recent years.The phone puts function over form and practicality at the forefront.
The capacitive home button features a very fast Touch ID that’s still comparable to face ID overall.The curved, rounded feel, and compact form factor make the SE ideal for one-handed usage, which many people can appreciate.
The SC is a very simple but practical design best suited for someone who really just doesn’t care about the new stuff or just prefers the old.
The iPhone SE 3rd Gen features a single 12-megapixel camera sensor on the back of the device with quad flash and optical image stabilization being there as well.The camera is the exact same one used in 2017, but now there’s Apple’s software magic to take some pretty nice photos.
While there’s only so much software can do to make up for the aging hardware, the iPhone SE can still take some pretty darn nice photos all things considered.The best and ideal situation for pictures will be outdoors or anywhere with a ton of bright lighting where the SE can really capture an impressive shot.
However, as soon as the lighting is less than perfect, the age of the camera gets brought out with noisy, blurry, or grainy images often being a result.
The video quality of the iPhone SE 3rd Gen is standard 4K with 60 frames per second.Apple manages to pump out some of the best video quality even with the over five-year-old camera.
The video quality is solid and there is nothing bad to say about it.
The selfie camera is 7 megapixels, which is the same as the iPhone 8.It is not great and can only film 1080p, but it is good enough for FaceTime or Snapchat.
If the selfie camera is important to you, then you might want to consider a better smartphone.
The older screen and mediocre battery still provide a satisfactory iOS experience.The phone performs for the most part the same as an iPhone 14 Pro, and it’s not even really slower.
The phone has an A15 chipset and 4 gigabytes of RAM, making it fast.