Apple iPhone SE (2022) review: Small dimension, large value

iPhone SE (2022)

MSRP $429.00

“The Apple iPhone SE (2022)’s compact design and extreme effectivity processor impresses, as does the software program program and its help, nevertheless the cellphone is let down by its battery life and storage functionality.”


  • Compact and lightweight
  • Very extremely efficient
  • Contact ID works slightly nicely
  • Wi-fi charging
  • IP67 water resistance


  • Poor battery life
  • 60Hz show
  • 64GB is not going to be ample

The iPhone SE (2022) is the smallest and least costly mannequin new iPhone you should buy. No matter its low worth and cutely anachronistic dimension, the SE has the equivalent processor inside as a result of the slightly extra expensive iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Skilled, making it a temptation for anyone wanting to avoid wasting money nevertheless not compromise on effectivity.

We revisited the little iPhone after it’s been obtainable for just some months to see if it nonetheless meets that transient, or if the compromises you will unavoidably ought to make put it out of rivalry.


For those who occur to’re someone who desires all people spherical you to know that you’ve got the newest and largest cellphone, then the design of the iPhone SE (2022) should not be going to do you any favors. Apple’s technique for funds telephones is to take an outdated cellphone — on this case, the iPhone 8 — and fill it with updated internals. The glass once more and rounded aluminum sides are there, there’s solely a single-camera system on the once more, and it has a Contact ID fingerprint sensor on the doorway. Briefly, the cellphone seems like an iPhone from 5 years previously.

The back of the Apple iPhone SE (2022).Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

It’s not the worst issue. The iPhone SE (2022) has just some advantages over further stylish iPhone fashions, and the plain is the dimensions. That is doubtless one of many smallest smartphones you should buy at current, and as such, it might be used with one hand very merely. It slips into most pockets, and because it’s merely 7.3mm thick and 144 grams, you barely uncover it’s there. For portability and luxury, there’s no completely different cellphone similar to the iPhone SE obtainable at current. I actually just like the curved chassis too; it’s in order that cosy to grip, not just like the iPhone 13’s sq., flat chassis.

Many people lament Apple’s swap from Contact ID to Face ID technology, and using the iPhone SE (2022) reminds you why. The fingerprint sensor may very well be very fast and reliable, even with damp or greasy fingers, and is usable in all lighting circumstances. It’s very simple to seek out with out attempting and even adjusting your grip on the cellphone. It’s wonderful and stays a pleasure to utilize. Nonetheless, its presence comes with a caveat — bezels. Good, large bezels.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) Touch ID button being used.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

It’s the side of the iPhone SE (2022) I’ve found hardest to beat, as a result of the unused space above and below the show feels absolutely pointless in 2022. The show’s small because it’s, nevertheless the bezels make it actually really feel constrictive when typing, and watching video is method from the immersive, gratifying experience it is on a full-screen cellphone. You get used to it, nevertheless given there are dozens of various telephones available on the market which don’t have massive bezels, there’s always the thought that you just simply don’t truly ought to put up with it the least bit.

The lineup this 12 months choices three colors — the extreme Product Pink shade, Midnight, and Starlight (the good and comfy silver shade you see on the cellphone in our review).


The iPhone SE (2022) has a 4.7-inch Retina HD show, with a 1334 x 750 determination and Apple’s True Tone shade technology. The small dimension and modest determination give it a pixel density of 326ppi, which matches the pixel density of Apple’s subsequent least costly new iPhone, the iPhone 11. Nonetheless, it is method down on any of the newest fashions, and even the iPhone 13 Mini has a so much sharper 476ppi pixel density.

The Apple iPhone SE (2022) being held in a mans hand.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

It’ll come as no shock that the show feels small do you have to’re used to just about one other stylish smartphone, nevertheless the top quality and wonderful shade accuracy of the iPhone SE (2022)’s show assure it not at all seems outright harmful. It’s considerably increased than screens you’ll uncover on many low-cost Android telephones. I was moreover shocked to hunt out it was good for having fun with video video games, while you found to ignore the show’s dimension.

The 60Hz refresh price is perhaps basically essentially the most disappointing side. Many Android telephones throughout the equivalent worth as a result of the iPhone SE (2022) have a greater refresh price, resulting in smoother scrolling and fewer eye fatigue. It makes a distinction, and do you have to’ve been used to a greater refresh price, going once more to a lower one is jarring. Nonetheless, do you have to’ve not had the pleasure of using a 90Hz or 120Hz show, this gained’t be a problem. Lastly, the show doesn’t get very vibrant and struggles outside in daylight. It’s constructive indoors, though.

Effectivity and software program program

The iPhone SE (2022) is fast. It has Apple’s A15 Bionic chip with a six-core CPU and a four-core GPU inside, the equivalent as a result of the iPhone 13 Skilled. It’s as snappy and responsive as you’d depend on, and it makes iOS fully fly. You truly gained’t be left wanting further tempo from the small iPhone SE, and it’ll in all probability handle all the duties its larger, costlier siblings can. For those who occur to’re questioning how the iPhone SE (2022)’s small show is for having fun with video video games, I carried out Diablo Immortal extensively, and was impressed with its potential to cope with the game’s requirements.

The Apple iPhone SE (2022)'s screen showing the browser.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The Apple iPhone SE (2022) screen showing the keyboard.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The Apple iPhone SE (2022)'s storage screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The Apple iPhone SE (2022)'s screen.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The alternative benefit of the A15 chip is that this cellphone will closing for years, an infinite selling stage for a funds cellphone, and it goes hand-in-hand with the fantastic software program program. The iPhone SE (2022) should acquire fundamental updates for the next 4 or 5 years, equivalent to the iPhone 13 sequence, which suggests you’ll get most of the new choices (supplied they don’t require new {{hardware}} to work), security updates, and design modifications for longer than most people would even take into consideration sustaining a cellphone.

Using iOS is a breeze. Organize is straightforward and quick (even do you have to’re coming from an present iPhone), the icons are all uniform and logical, there are widgets to make the a lot of dwelling screens further useful, and likewise you get good choices like Apple Pay and iCloud. I uncover iOS reliable, notifications arrive as they should, and even the pre-installed apps are fully passable for most people — such as a result of the Local weather app, Voice Recorder, and Apple’s Music and Podcasts apps. It’s a lot much less customizable than Android, though, do you need to like altering the entire look of the software program program regularly.

The iPhone SE (2022) connects to 5G networks, although it doesn’t help mmWave alerts. I’ve had no factors with connectivity (whether or not or not it’s Wi-Fi, 4G, or 5G), and identify top quality is excellent. The cellphone’s Bluetooth is strong and reliable, and it connects instantly to Apple headphones using a quick and straightforward system the place the cellphone is conscious of when a device is shut by. It makes residing with the cellphone very useful, as does the software program program and common effectivity.

Battery and storage

There’s no method spherical one simple actuality: The iPhone SE (2022)’s battery is just too small to keep up up with the A15 Bionic chip. It’s by far crucial consideration for potential shoppers. For those who occur to need the cellphone to closing a complete day with elevated than frequent use (which suggests apps, video, video video games, images, and calls, completely on 4G or 5G), then the iPhone SE (2022) isn’t going to closing. Video video games can rob the battery of 20% in decrease than an hour, and even with cheap use on Wi-Fi, don’t depend on any larger than a day from the iPhone SE’s battery.

Apple iPhone SE (2020) being plugged in to charge.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

You don’t get a charger inside the area, and the cellphone helps as a lot as 20W wired charging. Apple says its private acceptable chargers prime the battery as a lot as 50% in half-hour, nevertheless you’re going to want as a lot as 75 minutes for a full price. There’s wi-fi charging using the Qi customary, nevertheless no MagSafe, and wi-fi charging runs further slowly than the wired charging.

House for storing might be one different fundamental consideration. Essentially the most inexpensive iPhone SE (2022) comes with 64GB of inside storage space, and that’s very small by stylish necessities. iOS takes up not lower than 10GB by itself, and video video games like Diablo Immortal can do the equivalent, so it’s easy to see how shortly 64G would disappear. It’s increased to buy one with further storage space, or be able to pay for iCloud storage in the end and delete apps, images, and completely different content material materials generally.

I’ve moreover noticed when the iPhone SE (2022) is close to its storage prohibit, the battery life suffers far more. There are literally no downsides to picking the 128GB or 256GB mannequin, outside of the higher preliminary worth.


The iPhone SE (2022) has a single 12-megapixel, f/1.8 wide-angle camera, full with Apple’s Wise HDR 4 and Deep Fusion technology — plus optical image stabilization. You’ll file at 4K determination at as a lot as 60 frames per second, and there’s an risk to extend the dynamic fluctuate at lower physique costs. There’s no night mode, though, and the portrait mode is restricted to together with a blurred background to images of people. The selfie camera has 7MP and a portrait mode, plus 1080p video recording.

The Apple iPhone SE (2022)'s camera module.Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

It’s occasion of what a elementary smartphone camera have to be, as a result of it takes good images in frequent circumstances and respectable images in low delicate. It doesn’t have specific choices like a wide-angle camera or an optical zoom, so there’s a prohibit to the ingenious pleasurable you’ll have with it. Nonetheless, we’ve put the camera up in direction of equally priced Android telephones with a lot of cameras, and the iPhone SE (2022) larger than holds its private.

Smartphone camera technology and expertise have moved on masses given that single-camera setup found on the iPhone 8, and whereas the iPhone SE (2022) is acceptable for sharing images on-line and taking images on days out and on journey, it’s not designed to compete with the iPhone 13 or iPhone 13 Skilled. Provided a versatile, feature-packed camera should not be your main requirement from a cellphone, it have to be ample. Merely don’t depend on it to meet in case your requirements change.

Worth and availability

The Apple iPhone SE (2022) is on the market now by Apple’s on-line and retail outlets and most carriers. The 64GB mannequin costs $429, the 128GB mannequin is $479, and the best 256GB model is $579. There will not be any variations between them other than the amount of inside storage space.

Our take

For some, the iPhone SE (2022) is the right smartphone as a result of it’s compact, extremely efficient, and fairly priced. These are some severely fascinating qualities. Plus, whilst you add in Apple’s wonderful assemble top quality, long-term software program program help, and what’s nonetheless a clean design, the little cellphone makes numerous sense.

It’s merely not a cellphone for power clients. The battery doesn’t have the stamina to match the processing power, and the camera (although acceptable) is prime. Furthermore, the small show dimension and 60Hz refresh price don’t make it a multimedia celeb each. For those who occur to’re not nervous about these factors and choose accurately with the storage functionality, the iPhone SE (2022) is sweet value — and ideally suited to people who prolonged for a strong cellphone that could be comfortably held and used with one hand.

Is there a larger completely different?

To ensure that you an iPhone for decrease than $500, the iPhone 11 continues to be supplied new by Apple for $499. It offers you an even bigger, full-screen experience with Face ID barely than Contact ID. The iPhone 12 is the subsequent step up at $599. In case you might be keen about an iPhone with a further succesful camera and an even bigger show, we advocate attempting on the iPhone 13, nevertheless it begins at $799.

Choose an Android cellphone, and the choice at decrease than $500 is larger. We advocate the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, the Google Pixel 6a, or the Nothing Cellphone 1 (do you have to dwell in a space the place it’s supplied). Each gives you an even bigger show, nevertheless the processor gained’t be as fast as a result of the iPhone SE’s. No matter having further cameras, the effectivity of these telephones won’t always be superior.

How prolonged will it closing?

The iPhone SE (2022) is product of glass, so it is potential you will want to make use of a case to protect it in direction of drop harm. The good news is it has an IP67 water resistance rating, so it should survive a dunk in water for a short time, and have no downside with rain or sweat.

Apple helps its telephones with software program program updates for just a few years, and the processing power contained within the iPhone SE (2022) means it’ll have no points with apps or regular effectivity for a significant dimension of time. It’s extraordinarily advisable to buy a model with as so much storage as you could afford, though. Do this, and the iPhone SE (2022) will luckily closing for two or three years. Merely keep in mind the design seems dated now and may look even older by that time.

Should you buy it?

Certain. The iPhone SE (2022) has the effectivity and lastability of costlier iPhone fashions, an sincere camera, and is the smallest, most transportable iPhone you should buy.

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