The iPhone SE 2022 (3rd generation) was recently released, and luckily, we were able to get our hands on one. What makes this iPhone stand out is its price and size. Starting at $429, this phone is compact with a screen size of 4.7 inches. This small phone is also quite powerful, using the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13. Apps and games run quickly and smoothly, and the camera takes high-quality photos. This is the first SE phone to have 5G capability. The iPhone SE is water and dust resistant and was given a rating of IP67, which means this phone can be submerged in water up to 1 meter for no longer than 30 minutes. The iPhone SE comes in three colors – Midnight, Starlight (the color in this review), and (PRODUCT)RED.
The product box comes with the phone, a USB-C to Lightning cable (power adapter not included), and a SIM card ejector tool. The volume buttons and ring/silent switch are on the left side of the phone and the power button is on the right side. There is a physical home button where you can use Touch ID (Face ID isn’t available), and there is no headphone jack. The front and back are glass, along with having a 7MP front and 12MP rear camera.
The iPhone SE has a Retina LCD screen with a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels. When looking at the screen, the display is crisp, and the colors are vibrant. If you are upgrading from a phone with a bigger screen, you may not prefer this phone’s smaller 4.7 inch screen size. Also, if you are upgrading from an edge-to-edge screen with a minimal bezel, this phone’s 1.5 cm bezel may be distracting.
Photos can be taken up to 1080p and videos can be taken up to 4K 60fps. There are different modes such as Time-Lapse, Slo-Mo, Portrait, and Panoramic. Unlike other recent iPhones, the SE doesn’t have a Night mode. Time-Lapse and Slo-Mo work well; you have the ability to change the duration of the slowness for Slo-Mo, which allows for customizing. Portrait Mode allows you to take professional photos of people; you can manually change the aperture from f/1.4 to f/16 to achieve your desired bokeh (blurred background). This phone has a great camera, but with the absence of Night mode, the camera doesn’t work well in low-light scenarios.
The A15 Bionic chip has a 6-core CPU and a 4-core GPU, which can handle numerous apps and games running simultaneously. I tested the performance by alternating between watching videos, playing games, checking social media, browsing the internet, and taking pictures. All apps ran fast and smoothly with no lag, and the display remained crisp when switching to other apps. When using more intensive apps, the phone does heat up and the battery does drain faster.
The iPhone SE 2022 comes with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and NFC; users transitioning from Android should know that NFC can’t be disabled in iOS. VoLTE and VoWiFi is also supported. Even though cellular networks up to 5G are supported, this iPhone doesn’t support 5G mmWave. This means that users won’t be able to use Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network and can only use sub-6 GHz 5G. Dual-SIM is supported, but you will have to use one physical SIM card and one eSIM; the SIM slot only has space for one physical SIM card.
The battery should last an entire day, but you may have to do a quick charge if you use more hardware-intensive apps. The battery charges quickly; I was able to charge from 0% to 100% in 1 hour and 30 minutes with a charger. Along with wired charging, Qi wireless charging is also supported.
Whether you want an iPhone at a cheaper price, or if you’re wanting to upgrade from a previous iPhone or Android phone, the iPhone SE 2022 may be the phone for you. Even though it’s a budget phone with great performance, certain features such as a smaller screen, home button, and bigger bezel may be unattractive for some. The iPhone SE 2022 is available at three different prices: $429 for 64GB, $479 for 128GB, and $579 for 256GB. It can be purchased from Apple and other retailers such as Best Buy.