iPhone SE 3 v iPhone SE 2: Should you look at upgrading?



Apple has unveiled its latest affordable iPhone SE and whether you’re calling it the iPhone SE 3 or the new iPhone SE, you’re probably wanting to know how it differs from the outgoing model.

While we haven’t had the chance to properly put the new iPhone SE through its paces for one of our in-depth reviews, we do know what the big changes are and which areas of the phone they revolve around.

From the processor to the camera, here are all the big updates for the new iPhone SE 3.

Performance

The biggest upgrade for the new iPhone SE model for 2022 is the bump in performance. While the A13 Bionic chipset inside of the older iPhone SE was far from a slouch, it’ll be left in the dust by the A15 Bionic that Apple has included in the new model.

This is the same chipset you’ll find inside all the iPhone 13 models and it remains the fastest mobile chip on the market in our testing. If you’re coming from the iPhone SE 2 (or an older model for that matter) then you should notice smoother performance everywhere, from the time it takes games take to load to how long apps take to open.

5G and Battery Life

The benefits of the A15 Bionic are felt through more than just performance though. Apple claims the more efficient chipset (along with a few other factors, like battery design) aids battery life and considering we’re weren’t impressed with the stamina of the iPhone SE 2, that could be a huge improvement. Of course, as it looks like battery size is going to be the same we’ll need to properly test the new SE to see how obvious those improvements are.

Finally, the iPhone SE 3 packs 5G support. If you have a 5G plan and are in a supported area then you might see improved speeds for your data connection. The outgoing SE was a 4G device.

Camera

Both the new and old versions of the iPhone SE have a single 12-megapixel rear-facing camera – however, the snaps from the 2022 model should be much improved.

Apple has bolstered the sensor and added software features like Smart HDR 4 and Deep Fusion, both of which are improved by the A15 Bionic chipset.

We will, of course, need to properly test the camera when we get a review sample to see what the most obvious differences are.

Design and Screen

If you were hoping the new iPhone SE would signal a huge shift in design then prepare to be disappointed. While it’s a little lighter, the overall look is virtually the same. The home button remains, as does the hefty display bezel and it comes in three fairly standard colours: red, black and white.

UK RRP

USA RRP

EU RRP

CA RRP

AUD RRP

Manufacturer

Screen Size

Storage Capacity

Rear Camera

Front Camera

Video Recording

IP rating

Battery

Wirless charging

Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Resolution

HDR

Refresh Rate

Ports

Chipset

RAM

Colours

iPhone SE 2

£419

$399

€489

AU$749

Apple

4.7 Inches

128GB, 256GB, 64GB

12MP

7MP

Yes

IP67

1821 mAh

Yes

Yes

67.3 x 7.3 x 138.4 MM

148 G

iOS

April 2020

01/05/2020

750 x 1334

Yes

60 Hz

Lightning Connector

A13 Bionic chip Third‑generation Neural Engine

3GB

Black, White, Red

iPhone SE 3

£419

$429

€529

CA$579

AU$719

Apple

4.7 inches

64GB

12-megapixels

7-megapixels

Yes

IP67

Yes

67.3 x 7.3 x 138.4 MM

144 G

iOS 15

2022

1334 x 750

60 Hz

Lightning

A15 Bionic

3GB

Midnight, Starlight, (Product)Red

The display remains the same across both phones too. There’s no OLED here, just a Retina HD (1334 x 750) panel measuring a fairly minuscule 4.7-inches. Both phones feature screen benefits like True Tone for adaptive colours and coverage of the P3 colour gamut.

While both phones have an IP67 rating for some form of water resistance, only the new iPhone SE has tougher glass for extra protection against drops.

Early Verdict

While the lack of a design refresh is disappointing, there are some notable jumps here. The performance will be great – and we know this because we’ve already reviewed multiple devices with the same chipset. That improved A15 Bionic silicon should help with battery life and camera improvements too.

Trusted Take

The iPhone SE doesn’t make the same impact as a big iPhone numbered launch, however, for the audience it is aimed at this feels like a good upgrade. An updated design would have been nice though,



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