Apple’s iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 13: Which specs are better?

Here's how the great value of the new iPhone SE stacks up against the iPhone 13.

Screengrab via Apple

With the waters starting to calm down from Apple’s “Peek Performance” showcase on March 8, there’s new and exciting information about Apple’s upcoming launches for 2022. The event included a broad range of Apple’s different product lines. With updates to the iPad Air, information on the new M1 Ultra, and a stellar showing of Mac Studio, it’s clear that Apple will look to pack a punch this year in tech.

One showcased product, in particular, has sparked a lot of discussion within technology and cellular communities. Apple announced the new iPhone SE (2022). Set to launch on March 18, this is a long-awaited update to the previous, and now discontinued, second-generation SE model released in 2020. For those looking for the iPhone experience but not the current generation iPhone size or prices, the new SE is a great choice. SE models use the dimensions of previous iPhones but contain some of the inner hardware of the current generation Apple phone products. The smaller-sized SE 2022 is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB models starting at $429, rounding out Apple’s current phone line as a more budget and introductory iPhone option. 

Naturally, those interested in buying the iPhone SE want to know how this new and fresh update compares to the other phone models currently on Apple’s product line. Here, we’ll break down everything new to the SE model as well as how it compares to previous models and the current iPhone 13 models.

Image via Apple

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs. iPhone SE 2 (2020)

There isn’t much to comment about when physically comparing the two phones. The new iPhone SE matches the front and rear glass of the iPhone 13, but both devices use the iPhone 8 dimensions: a 4.7-inch display. 

The main differences between these two generations are the internals that are coming to the new 2022 version. The new iPhone SE contains the current generation A15 Bionic processor, a very welcomed upgrade to the previous iPhone SE’s A13 chip. With this new chip, the iPhone SE boasts speeds up to 1.8 times faster than the iPhone 8, and even faster speeds compared to older generations. But the camera hardware is the same as the 2020 model. It comes with a 7MP front-facing camera and 12MP rear-facing camera. On the bright side, due to the A15 Bionic chip, there are some new features available in the SE 3. These include support for Smart HDR 4, portrait mode, and more. The new SE model also has 5G sub-6 GHz support, giving the opportunity for even faster internet-related capabilities.

Image via Apple

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 13

The iPhone 13 is the more premium line while the iPhone SE is meant to be a low-cost and smaller device. When comparing these two products, it’s no surprise that the hardware and specs within the iPhone 13 are going to overtake the iPhone SE. The iPhone 13 lineup has a much larger screen—6.1-inches—with a higher quality OLED display than the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch LCD display. And when compared to iPhone 13 Pro, the gap only increases with a 120 Hz refresh rate, making the entire experience visually smoother. 

One possibly overlooked difference is the home button on the iPhone SE models. No other current-generation iPhone has a home button for TouchID, with the only options to unlock the phone being FaceID or a passcode. Many people prefer a physical home button, so this could be a selling point for those in the market for a new iPhone.

The iPhone 13 also has a powerhouse of a camera, whereas the camera hardware of the new iPhone SE is the same as the 2020 generation. The A15 Bionic does upgrade the camera options for the SE with access to Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting. But the base iPhone 13 models have dual-lens modules and the Pro versions extend that even more with a third lens. This upgraded camera system allows for a wide variety of photography options including Night Mode, Ultra Wide Mode, and Macro Mode in the Pro models. 

The new iPhone SE has an improved battery life compared to the previous generation iPhone SE. But when comparing battery life to the iPhone 13 models, the current premium phones take the cake as well. The iPhone SE does offer fast charging, like other iPhone 13 models, using the 20W+ power adapters to get roughly 50 percent battery charge in as quick as 30 minutes.

Here are the estimated battery life comparisons: 

Image via Dot Esports

So if the plan is to stay within a smaller budget, then the limited camera options are going to have to do. The iPhone SE comes in at a rather affordable price point of $429. But if those extra camera features and other performance upgrades are too enticing, then there’s quite a bump in price. The iPhone 13 mini starts at $699 and iPhone 13s start at $799. But with that jump in price comes a 6.1-inch OLED display, FaceID, additional camera features, and a much longer battery life just to name a few.

Here are some more comparisons between the two models:

Image via Dot Esports

The overall specs of the iPhone 13 are better than the new iPhone SE. That’s to be expected with the premium price point that the iPhone 13 starts at. But the iPhone SE will be a great intro model for those new to the Apple iPhone market as well as those looking for a more budget option to upgrade to. Many features that come with the iPhone SE have been long-awaited, especially when it comes to the A15 Bionic chip. The additional processing power will make the phone purely faster in all aspects of usage. The smaller phone size will be great for those not looking to carry around the larger current-generation iPhone 13s and could even be a great choice for kids. 

Image via Apple

The iPhone SE is available in 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB. It comes in midnight, starlight, and (PRODUCT) RED and starts at $429. Pre-orders in over 30 countries began on March 11, with availability starting March 18.

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