The iPhone SE is Apple’s lowest-priced iPhone, meant to be an affordable alternative to the flagship devices. It has been around since 2016, and in 2022, Apple introduced the third-generation version, with an updated $429 price point, improved A-series chip, and 5G connectivity.
At $429, the 2022 iPhone SE is $30 more expensive than the prior-generation version, but it is still Apple’s most affordable iPhone with a modern A15 chip and 5G. There have been no design changes to the iPhone SE, and the 2022 model looks identical to the 2020 model, which was in turn based on the iPhone 8.
The iPhone SE features a 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display, with True Tone to match the ambient lighting in a room, Wide color, Dolby Vision, and HDR10.
Available in Starlight, Midnight, and (PRODUCT)RED, the iPhone SE is built with a glass front and back with a color-matched aluminum band. Wireless charging is supported and it features IP67 water and dust resistance so it can hold up to splashes, accidental spills, and even brief submersions in water. It also features more durable front and back glass, making it less prone to breakage than the second-generation iPhone SE.
As it is modeled after the iPhone 8 and prior iPhone SE, the 2022 iPhone SE continues to feature thick top and bottom display bezels and is the sole remaining iPhone model to do so. The top bezel houses the 7-megapixel ƒ/2.2 front-facing camera and microphone while the bottom bezel includes a Touch ID Home button for fingerprint-based biometric authentication.
The iPhone SE is Apple’s only iPhone that comes with a Touch ID Home button, as all other iPhones now feature Face ID. Touch ID works similarly to Face ID as far as authentication, but uses a fingerprint scan instead of a facial scan for Apple Pay purchases, password replacement, and more. Like other iPhones, it uses Haptic Touch for Quick Actions and contextual menus.
There’s a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera in the iPhone SE with an ƒ/1.8 aperture, optical image stabilization, and support for Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting. The iPhone SE does not have Night Mode, but there is Wide color support, and more, plus an LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync capabilities. The 2022 model gains Smart HDR 4 for improved contrast and skin tones, Deep Fusion for better textures, and Photographic Styles for a custom look for all your photos.
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The iPhone SE’s camera can record 4K video at up to 60 frames per second with optical image stabilization and support for slo-mo video and time-lapse video. The front-facing camera supports Portrait Mode as well using the image signal processor and Neural Engine of the A15 Bionic.
In terms of performance, the iPhone SE is on par with the iPhone 13 because it uses the same A15 Bionic chip as Apple’s flagship iPhones. The A15 features a 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. According to Apple, the A15 offers up to 1.2x faster graphics performance compared to the A13 in the prior model, plus it has 4GB RAM, up from 3GB in the prior model.
Along with the new A15 chip, the other major upgrade to the iPhone SE is 5G connectivity. The iPhone SE is now compatible with 5G networks, but unlike the flagship iPhone models, it does not support the fastest mmWave 5G networks. Instead, it is limited to the slower but more widespread Sub-6GHz 5G networks.
When it comes to battery life, the iPhone SE has better battery performance than the prior model because of the A15 chip. The battery lasts for 15 hours when watching videos, 10 hours when streaming videos, and 50 hours when listening to audio. It is capable of fast charging and can charge to 50 percent in 30 minutes when using a 20W power adapter or higher. It does support Qi wireless charging but there is no MagSafe compatibility.
There’s no U1 chip inside the iPhone SE, but it does feature WiFi 6 support, which is the latest and fastest WiFi protocol, along with Bluetooth 5. It also has NFC with reader mode and supports Express Mode transit cards with a power reserve feature that allows cards to be accessible even when the battery is dead.
The base iPhone SE is available with 64GB storage at the $429 price point, but 128GB is available for $479 and 256GB of storage is available for $579.
Preorders for the 2022 iPhone SE began on Friday, March 11, with the device officially launching on Friday, March 18.
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