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iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Which budget iPhone should you buy

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© Pongsakorn Chaina/Shutterstock

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Apple currently offers two very different iPhone models under the $500 price range. The iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 11 are the culmination of completely different generations of Apple's phone range, with few things in common. In this article we will show where the two smartphones differ and help you find which is the best entry-level iPhone for you.

  "Budget" iPhones face-to-face
Picture Apple iPhone SE (2022) Apple iPhone 11
Display 4.7-inch IPS LCD
750 x 1334 pixels (326 PPI)
6.1-inch IPS LCD
828 x 1792 pixels (326 PPI)
Processor Apple A15 Apple A13
Camera(s) Wide-angle: 12 MP | f/1.8 | PDAF | OIS
Wide-angle: 12 MP | f/1.8 | PDAF | OIS
Ultra-wide-angle: 12 MP | f/2.4 | 120˚
Selfie 7 MP | f/2.2 12 MP | f/2.2
Software iOS 15
Battery 2018 mAh
Up to 15 hours of video playback
Up to 50% charge in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter
Charger not included
3110 mAh
Up to 17 hours of video playback
Up to 50% charge in 30 minutes with a 20W adapter
Charger not included
Connectivity 5G, 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with Apple Pay 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC with Apple Pay
Resistance IP67
Water-resistant up to 1m deep for 30 minutes
Water-resistant up to 2m deep for 30 minutes
Authentication Touch ID Face ID
Dimensions and weight 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches
(138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm)
5.09 ounces (144 grams)
5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches
(150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3)
6.84 ounces (194 grams)
  • Insane performance level
  • High-quality workmanship
  • Solid camera quality thanks to the A15 SoC
  • Promising battery life
  • Build quality
  • Software optimization
  • Performance
  • Camera
  • Battery life
  • Display is too dark and small
  • Really inflexible camera setup
  • Base model comes with only 64 GB memory
  • Increased price
  • Old-fashioned design
  • No charger included (as of 2020)
  • No USB-C
  • 64 GB entry-level storage
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Storage options & MSRPs
  • 64 GB: $429
  • 128 GB: $479
  • 256 GB: $579
  • 64 GB: $499
  • 128 GB: $549

Both the SE and 11 iPhones are as of 2022 the cheapest options to update or join the iOS ecosystem, with base prices starting under $500. While the iPhone 11 is the oldest phone in Apple's current catalog, launched in September 2019, the SE (2022) is the newest one, released in March 2022. But at first glance it may not look that way, as we explain below:

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iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Display and design

AndroidPIT Apple iphone 8 0074
The iPhone SE 2022 uses the same design as the iPhone 8, which dates back to 2014's iPhone 6 / © NextPit

For most buyers, the biggest difference between the two models is easy to spot. Besides being slightly bigger, the iPhone 11 uses Apple's notched design, which debuted with the iPhone X, and is still in use with the iPhone 13. The iPhone SE 2022, on the other hand, uses the same dated design as the iPhone 8, which is very similar to the iPhone 6/6S/7.

That results in big bezels around the iPhone SE screen, which uses around 65% of the total front area for its IPS display, while the iPhone 11 uses just a hair short of 80%. In practical terms, that means not only more screen real-state to watch movies, but also two different techniques for biometric authentication: Face ID on the iPhone 11, and Touch ID on the iPhone SE home button.

iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Performance and connectivity

Besides the design, the biggest difference between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11 is in the main internal components and connectivity. While the iPhone 11 is powered by the Apple A13 SoC, both of which debuted in Sep/2019, the SE 2022 uses the latest Apple A15 processor, which launched in Sep/2021 and is the same SoC used in the iPhone 13.

As always, Apple is super secretive regarding performance differences, but in practice, the result is a faster phone and more efficient battery usage - which is balanced by the battery specifications we will cover later.

AndroidPIT iPhone11pro front
The iPhone 11 is still a very capable smartphone, but all signs indicate it will be discontinued this year / © NextPit

And while the iPhone SE is the last phone in Apple's range with Touch ID, the iPhone 11 is the last model which supports only 4G networks. The iPhone SE, on the other hand, can be used with the shiny new 5G networks, but not the ultra-fast and ultra-short-range mmWave.

iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Camera(s)

In the back, another big generational change. The 3rd generation iPhone SE still packs a single 12-megapixel camera, while the iPhone 11 follows the current trend with multiple cameras. Besides the wide-angle lens for the 12 MP sensor used in the SE, the iPhone 11 also packs another 12 MP sensor for an ultra-wide-angle lens, with a 120-degree field of view (FoV).

But while the iPhone 11 is more versatile, with 2x optical zoom in practice, and offers Animoji and Memoji support using the front camera array,  the iPhone SE uses the A15 processor power to deliver exclusive features like Photographic styles, night mode time-lapse, and front-camera Deep Fusion.

Both are very capable shooters, but the iPhone 11 comes on top when it comes to specifications, while the SE tries to compensate for that with the power of computational photography.

NextPit Apple iPhone SE 2022 Camera
2015 called and asked for its single-camera back  / © NextPit

iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Software

Although both phones are compatible with the current iOS 15 operating system and offer more than enough performance for tasks and apps, the iPhone 11 is not expected to be supported for as long as the iPhone SE 2022. If Apple keeps its recent launch schedules, the iPhone 11 should be discontinued from production this year.

The iPhone SE, meanwhile, since it uses the same SoC as the iPhone 13 - which should be in the market for at least two more years -, should be updated for a little bit longer, but that is something that Apple does not disclose officially.

iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Battery and charging

In the battery department, the slightly bigger dimensions for the iPhone 11 result in an almost 50% increase in battery capacity - which is again, not officially disclosed by Apple. Even so, the more modern SoC in the iPhone SE, with its considerably smaller screen, results in similar battery life, according to Apple: Up to 17 and 15 hours of video playback on the 11 and SE, respectively.

Both iPhones support wireless charging - compatible with the Qi standard - and neither comes with a charger in the box.

Bildschirmfoto 2020 04 16 um 13.46.50
The phone on the left is the 2020's SE, but the 2022 model is identical design-wise / © Apple

iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11: Price and availability

As with most old-generation iPhones, the 11 is offered in smaller storage capacities, in this case, 64 and 128 GB. The iPhone SE adds a 256 GB variant, which costs slightly more than the top iPhone 11. Just remember that the storage cannot be upgraded, which can become quite restrictive in the near future.

  Entry-level iPhone pricing in 2022
64 GB $429 $499
128 GB $479 $549
256 GB $579 n/a


With the iPhone SE 2022 and the iPhone 11, Apple targets two completely different customers, which makes it easy to identify who should buy which model:

  • For those who prefer a more modern design: go with the iPhone 11.
  • For those who prefer a little bit more "future-proofing": choose the iPhone SE (but avoid the 64 GB option).

Anyone who is looking for a combination of both should be looking at least at the iPhone 12, but that phone is at least $200 more expensive than the two models we covered in this article.

That's it for this face-off. Do you agree with the points raised? Did we forget to cover a specific topic you think is important? Don't forget to use the comment section below.

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Rubens Eishima

Rubens Eishima

Having written about technology since 2008 for a number of websites in Brazil, Spain, Denmark, and Germany, I specialize in the mobile ecosystem, including various models, components, and apps. I tend to not only value performance and specifications, but also things like repairability, durability, and manufacturer support. I tend to prioritize the end-user's point of view whenever possible.

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  • Andre Crespo 4
    Andre Crespo Mar 29, 2022 Link to comment

    Don't buy either. iPhone exists just to get your money.