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Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review: Powerful but not the best 2022 budget phone

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review: At the starting price of $429, the Apple iPhone SE 2022 is the cheapest Apple iPhone you can buy in 2022. And even though it is a cheap iPhone and comes with a very powerful chipset, the iPhone SE 2022 is still not the best budget phone you can buy in 2022.

Not to spoil this review for you, but a careful look into the iPhone SE 2022 shows that it fell short of the budget phone standard in 2022 (in some key areas). So, in this Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review, I’ll be explaining in detail key improvements and the drawbacks of this device.

Note: The iPhone SE 2022 is also known as iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE 3rd generation. But for this article, I’ll be calling it by the year of its release (iPhone SE 2022).

See Also: Apple iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13 Mini: Which should you buy

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review

Display, Design and Build

The Apple iPhone SE 2022 has the same display and design as the iPhone SE 2020. It has a 4.7-inch display, 750 x 1334 resolution, IPS LCD panel, and up to 625 nits of peak brightness. It also maintains the big notch and big chin with the Touch ID button. At the rear, you also get that same old single camera from the iPhone 8.

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review

While the design and display might not be all that exciting, the build quality is (to some extent). The build materials of the iPhone SE 2022 are Glass front, glass back, and aluminum frame (solid materials). The iPhone is also rated to be IP67 dust and water-resistant. It also features an Ion-strengthened glass and an oleophobic coating. Durability is not much of an issue with the 2022 iPhone SE.

See Also: Apple iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone SE 2020: Should you upgrade

But, changing the design of the 2022 iPhone SE would have made more sense (to be honest). Apple just decided to stick to the iPhone 8 design from 2017 which looks outdated. And placed side by side with other Android phones in the same price range, the iPhone SE 2022 looks really ancient no thanks to the design.


When it comes to photography and videography, Apple is always at the top of the game. But how well-grounded is the camera of the 2022 iPhone SE? The iPhone SE 2022 uses the same 12MP main camera from the 2020 iPhone SE and also has the same 7MP front camera. The rear camera has OIS stabilization and can record steady videos in 4K resolution but is that enough?

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review

We tested the cameras of the 2022 iPhone SE and it gives mixed feelings. Yes, the new ISP inside the powerful chipset that powers the device makes the quality of photography better than that of the 2020 iPhone SE but it didn’t quite level up. For instance, the photo quality is a little darker compared to the photos from the 50MP camera of the Realme 9 Pro+. The iPhone SE 2022 also does not have support for night photography in 2022 which is a bummer.

See Also: Apple iPad Air 2022 vs Samsung Galaxy Tab S8: Which is better

Don’t get it twisted, the photography and videography experience of the iPhone SE 2022 is good. But pairing old camera hardware with a new powerful ISP will not blend well that much (it is expected). Also, a single camera at the rear is not a 2022 thing but hey it’s Apple and it can decide to do whatever. Point is, with a few extra bucks, the Apple iPhone 11 and iPhone 12 will give you better photography and videography experience.

Chipset and Performance

The performance of the iPhone SE 2022 is never in question. It uses the Apple A15 Bionic chip which is the same chipset used in the iPhone 13 series. It has a 6-core CPU and a 4-core Apple GPU. The chipset is well optimized for performance and battery life.

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review

The 2022 iPhone SE has support for 5G which is a good thing. When it comes to playing games and rendering graphics, the iPhone SE 2022 just slides through without hiccups. Sometimes you do feel the lack of a high refresh rate as the screen is slow when playing some games. But, this has nothing to do with the chipset inside.

See Also: Apple iPad Air 2022 vs iPad Pro 2021: Which should you buy

To be clear, the iPhone SE 2022 has insane performance. Its performance is as good as what you’ll get inside an iPhone 13 and better than what you’ll get inside an iPhone 12. This means, no android phone within a similar price range comes close in terms of performance (even the Samsung Galaxy S22 can not beat it when it comes to performance).

RAM and Storage

The iPhone SE 2022 comes with 4GB of RAM paired with three storage options. Its base model has 64GB of storage while the highest model has 256GB of storage. There is no room for storage expansion via a microSD card and there is no 3.5mm jack port also.

The RAM is enough for multi-tasking but the 64GB base model might not be enough storage for most users. So, you might want to add some extra bucks and buy the 128GB storage model.

See Also: Apple Studio Display Price, Specs, and Release Date


The iPhone SE 2022 is powered by a 1,821mAh battery with support for an 18W charge and Qi wireless charging. You can charge the iPhone SE 2022 from 0 to 100% in a little above one hour. The battery life is not that great as most time under heavy usage you might have to charge the battery twice a day.

For normal users, the battery inside the iPhone SE 2022 can last you the whole day but when you start playing games and constantly using the iPhone SE 3, the battery drops. For example, our team noticed that the battery drops 6% every 10 minutes while playing a car racing game.


The Apple iPhone SE 2022 boots Apple iOS 15 out of the box. Apple is promising years of major software updates and years of monthly security patches for this phone. You can download updates, apps, and games from the Apple App Store.

Other sensor features such are Fingerprint or Touch ID (front-mounted on the home button), NFC, A-GPS, proximity, etc. Apple iPhone SE 2022 comes in the following colors: Black, White, and Red.

See Also: Apple iPad Air 5 2022 Price, Specs, and Release Date

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review: Conclusion

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review

The Apple iPhone SE 2022 is no doubt powerful but I won’t say it’s the best budget phone to buy in 2022. This is because the chipset alone does not make a smartphone.

Why some won’t like to buy the iPhone SE 2022
  1. Old design and old camera hardware
  2. Not the best display quality
  3. No high refresh rate for the display
  4. Limited camera features
  5. Not the best battery life
  6. No microSD card and no 3.5mm jack port
Why you should buy the iPhone SE 2022
  1. Powerful chipset with fast CPU and GPU cores
  2. Has very durable build quality
  3. Good software update plan

Alternatives of the Apple iPhone SE 2022

The iPhone SE 2022 is still a good smartphone to buy but the fact that in 2022 Apple still decided to use a design from 2017 makes it hard to recommend. It also does not have the best display quality and battery life. But for its performance alone, the iPhone SE 2022 is a very good phone to buy. However, I’ll recommend the following phones as alternatives for the iPhone SE 2022

  1. Apple iPhone 12 Mini
  2. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
  3. Realme 9 Pro+

Apple iPhone SE 2022 Review: Price

The starting price of the Apple iPhone SE 2022 is $429 for the 4GB + 64GB storage. The models with 4GB + 128GB and 4GB + 256GB are slightly more expensive. You can buy the device using any of the links in the table below.

Where to buy the Apple iPhone SE 2022
iPhone SE 2022Price
Buy from Apple$429

Images: MKBHD






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