Apple has recently launched the next generation of the iPhone SE with an A15 Bionic chip and 5G connectivity, but how does it stand against the second-generation iPhone SE launched in 2020. Find out here in this brief comparison of iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs iPhone SE 2 (2020).
Apple’s iPhone SE has always been an entry-level smartphone carrying a compact design, value-for-money specs, and an affordable price tag to let the new users have the iPhone experience.
The latest iPhone SE retains the gimmick but gets a powerful upgrade with the processor that is also powering the iPhone 13 lineup. There are also other improvements in terms of camera, battery, performance, and introduction of 5G connectivity.
Apple has also discontinued the iPhone SE 2020 with the launch of its next generation. But, are the upgrades enough for users to start using iPhone SE Gen 3 instead of the iPhone SE Gen 2? Let’s find out.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone SE (2020): Comparing Specs & Features
Here’s a quick overview of the specs of the iPhone SE (2022) against the iPhone SE (2020):
|Aspect||iPhone SE (2022)||iPhone SE (2020)|
|Dimensions (inches)||5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29||5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29|
|Processor||A15 Bionic||A13 Bionic|
|Display type||4.7-inch Retina HD||4.7-inch Retina HD|
|Resolution||1,334 x 750 at 326ppi||1,334 x 750 at 326ppi|
|Biometrics||Touch ID||Touch ID|
|Rear Camera||Single-lens 12MP Wide camera||Single-lens 12MP Wide camera|
|Front Camera||7MP FaceTime HD||7MP FaceTime HD|
|Battery Size (Video playback time)||Up to 15 hours||Up to 13 hours|
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone SE (2020): Performance & Efficiency
The iPhone SE 2020 was powered by the Apple A13 Bionic, which is the same chip that powered the then-current-generation iPhone 11. It was a 7nm Hexa-core processor with two high-performance cores combined with four energy-efficient cores. It also had the Apple-built four-core GPU and eight-core Neural engine with a total of 8.5 billion transistors.
Now, the iPhone SE 2022 uses the latest Apple A15 Bionic chip that powers the current-generation iPhone 13 series. It also has a total of six cores, with two high-performance and four energy-efficient cores. However, it has a 16-core Neural Engine capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second.
There’s a good performance upgrade as the A15 is obviously faster than A13. The Geekbench scores of the two processors prove the same. The iPhone SE has a single-core score of 1,312, whereas the iPhone 13 featuring the A15 Bionic gets a single-core score of 1,671.
Despite using a more powerful processor and incorporating the latest technologies, the new iPhone SE has a better battery and playback time than its predecessor. Apple claims that the iPhone SE Gen 3 can provide up to 15 hours of video playback, which is two more hours than the iPhone SE Gen 2.
Package contents and packaging of iPhone SE 2022: what's new? There is no charger, no headphones, no adapter with 3.5 mm and Lightning connectors included. The iPhone SE 2022 can be charged at up to 18 watts, just like its predecessor.
The packaging itself is different now: Apple
— Yaroslav Gavrilov (@appletesterrus) March 9, 2022
Apple introduced wireless charging compatibility via Qi chargers with iPhone SE 2020, and fast charging was supported up to 18W. This stat hasn’t changed with the latest iPhone SE 2022. There were speculations of the new device getting MagSafe support, but that didn’t happen.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone SE (2020): Camera & Video Recording
The new iPhone SE is using the same camera specifications that were seen in the previous generation. There is a 12MP Wide camera with f/1.8 aperture on the rear, and a 7MP camera with f/2.2 aperture, just like iPhone SE 2020.
However, there’s an improvement with the latest using the A15 Bionic chip to offer an enhanced image signal processing. The iPhone SE 2022′ rear camera supports Deep Fusion computational photography improvements and an upgrade to Smart HDR 4 and Photographic Styles.
Whereas, the second-generation iPhone SE only had support for 5x digital zoom, True Tone Flash, Smart HDR photos, and, Portrait mode with Depth Control and Portrait Lighting. All of these are also available on the newly launched iPhone SE 5G.
For the front camera, iPhone SE already had Retina Flash, FaceTime HD support, and 1080p30 video recording. The latest iPhone SE is introducing support for Smart HDR for photos, Photographic Styles, a 120fps 1080p Slo-mo, and Deep Fusion, courtesy of the A15.
The video-recording capabilities have remained the same. The iPhone SE 2022 can record video in 4K at up to 60fps, with 1080p slo-mo support at 240fps, just like the 2020 model. The Cinematic Mode is not here, as previously rumored.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone SE (2020): Design & Display
The latest iPhone SE 2022 retains the classic-old design that we first got to see with the iPhone 7 lineup in September 2016. The Home button has also lived to see another iPhone SE generation.
Just like the 2020 model, the iPhone SE Gen 3 is 5.45 inches tall, 2.65 inches wide, and 0.29 inches thick. The weight of the new device is lighter at 5.09 ounces as compared to the weight of the second-generation iPhone SE which was 5.22 ounces.
There are the same thicker bezels and the top and base as the new device didn’t get an edge-to-edge screen. The material also remains the same with an aluminum finish along with glass panels on the front and back. There are no surprises here considering the entry-level price point.
The display is also the same as the new iPhone SE uses a 4.7-inch IPC LCD Panel with Retina HD display, just like iPhone SE 2020. So, there are similar or almost the same display specifications across both models.
This includes the resolution of 1,334 by 750, a pixel density of 326ppi, a 1,400:1 contrast ratio, and 625 nits of brightness. The features such as True Tone and Wide Color (P3) support are available on both models.
The main design differentiating factor for iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 2020 is the color options. The iPhone SE 2 was available in Black and White color while the SE 3 is available in Midnight and Starlight. The (Product) Red color remains unchanged on both models.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone SE (2020): 5G Connectivity
The biggest upgrade that iPhone SE 2022 is bringing is the support for 5G connectivity. However, it will only provide support for sub-6GHz bands, and not for mmWave 5G. So, technically it is a 5G compatible device but you won’t experience lighting fast mega-Gbps speeds.
In Contrast, the iPhone SE 2020 lacked 5G support and was only compatible with LTE. The good thing is that the latest iPhone SE offers support for Advanced LTE. This would benefit the users who do not have access to the new-age 5G connectivity in their region.
Apple is marketing the 5G connectivity on the new iPhone SE as the key motivation for users to upgrade. It indeed makes the device future-proof to an extent but we don’t find it essential yet considering the 5G rollouts.
— Mukul Sharma (@stufflistings) March 8, 2022
Apart from wireless connectivity, both iPhone SE models support Wi-Fi 6 with MIMO, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC for Apple Pay. The iPhone SE 3 also extends GPS support to GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou while the iPhone SE only extended it to GPS/GNSS.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone SE (2020): Variants & Price
The price is one of the key differences between the iPhone SE (2022) and the iPhone SE (2020). Apple has upped the price for the latest model by $30 while also introducing a larger capacity variant.
The iPhone SE Gen 2 was only available in two options- 64GB costing $399 and 128GB costing $449. On the other side, the iPhone SE Gen 3 is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB variants. They are priced at $429, $479, and $579, respectively.
iPhone SE 3 starts at $429. Goodbye, sub-$400 price.
— Quinn Nelson (@SnazzyQ) March 8, 2022
Is it Worth Upgrading to iPhone SE 3 from iPhone SE 2?
The Apple iPhone SE Gen 3 launched in 2022 is slightly better than its predecessor, iPhone SE Gen 2 launched in 2020. You get the powerful A15 Bionic chip in the latest model while the previous one used the A13 Bionic. There are also other notable improvements revolving around the camera, battery, and 5G connectivity.
However, if you have bought the iPhone SE 2020 a year or two ago, we don’t find any credible reason to essentially upgrade to the iPhone SE 2022, unless you are conscious of 5G connectivity, and do not wish to use the device that only supports LTE anymore.
The new iPhone SE ain’t worth the upgrade from my current SE
— Martin Cole (@EngrJurilla) March 9, 2022
You can still upgrade to the latest iPhone SE if you want more power, efficiency, and enhanced camera performance. Apart from that, there’s no solid cause to upgrade.
What do you think about it? Do you find the iPhone SE 3 better enough to upgrade from its previous generation? Pour down your thoughts in the comments below.