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iPhone SE 2022 & iPhone SE 2020 compared: Is it worth upgrading?

Apple iPhone SE 2020 2022
© chalrumpon onnongwa / Shutterstock.com

You can already place a pre-order for the new Apple iPhone SE 2022. However, what has actually changed since the iPhone SE 2020 was released? Is the upgrade to the new, affordable iPhone worth it? We will address such questions in our comparison here on NextPit!

As expected, Apple presented us with the brand-new iPhone SE 2022 among other things at its Peek Performance event this year. Visually, it could easily pass for a twin of its predecessor. In our article, we present the differences between the two and find out for whom the updated handset is for. Here is an overview of the most important technical specs:

  2022 model 2020 model
Product
Image Apple iPhone SE (2022) Apple iPhone SE 2020
Display 4.7 inch LCD, 60 Hz
1334 x 750 pixels (326 ppi)
SoC A15 Bionic A13 Bionic
Memory 64 / 128 / 256 GB 64 / 128 GB
Home button Yes
Software iOS 15
Rear camera 12 MP
Front camera 7 MP
Battery Video playback: up to 15 hours
Video playback (streamed): up to 10 hours
Audio playback: up to 50 hours

Video playback: up to 13 hours
Video playback (streamed): up to 8 hours
Audio playback: up to 40 hours

Connectivity 5G, LTE, NFC, WLAN 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0 LTE, NFC, WLAN 6 (802.11ax), Bluetooth 5.0
IP certification IP67
Colors Midnight, Polar Star,(PRODUCT)RED Black, White,(PRODUCT)RED
Dimensions and weight 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm, 144 g 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm, 148 g
Prices From $429 From $399
Check offer*

Buy now!

Buy now!

Those who have made a meticulous comparison will surely be able to confirm that Apple has only updated the new model in a few ways. We'll now go through the list point-by-point. Here we go!

Jump to:

Display and case

Let's first talk about everything that's new in the design of the device and the display:

via GIPHY

Well, that's how it really is: the iPhone SE 2022 relies on the identical design of its predecessor, which was already outdated in the iPhone SE (2020), since it is based on the iPhone 8 from 2017. So here, you are greeted by an aluminum case yet again in identical dimensions, IP67 certification, and a 4.7-inch display. Apple has only managed the feat of making the device four grams lighter this time around.

The display is again an LCD panel with HD resolution, up to 650 nits of brightness, and at only 60 Hertz. It is a pity that Apple did not improve on this aspect one bit.

Apple event peak performance 047
The new colors are the old ones ... / © Apple

Performance and connectivity

Anyone who wants to somehow justify to themselves as to why they need the new model instead of the second-generation iPhone SE: This is your category! That's because Apple is giving the iPhone SE 2022 the A15 Bionic chipset, which we also find in the iPhone 13. The SoC is still unmatched when compared to the Android competition, and thus the iPhone SE 2022 is a real powerhouse.

The whole thing is rounded off by the fact that you will also find a 5G modem in the new model. Thus, you are not only optimally positioned in terms of performance but also far ahead in terms of future-proofing. It remains unofficial banter that the new iPhone SE has a larger amount of RAM at 4 GB. The iPhone SE 2020 still had three GB RAM back then, and Apple itself does not share how much RAM their phone carries, so do bear this in mind.

Cameras

IMG 1544
Is a simple 12 MP cam enough for you? / © NextPit

We can be brief yet again here: A 7 MP shooter for selfies in the front, while there is a simple 12 MP snapper at the back, which means the camera system is almost unchanged. Nevertheless, there are minor, functional improvements elsewhere. Thanks to the new SoC, you will benefit from the Deep Fusion technology, and there is also Smart HDR 4 and Photographic Styles. So, while it is only a minor update, it is an update nonetheless.

Software

As you are used to all things Apple, you can use the current iOS 15 on both smartphones. Therefore, there is not really much to compare here, either. However, I would like to point out two things that play a role here: The 2022 will of course be supported longer in terms of new updates. So, if you plan to use the iPhone SE for far longer than the obligatory two years, this could play an important role for you.

In addition, more sophisticated software features also benefit from the better SoCs. What this means is you will be able to enjoy the same software features on both devices, but they'll also run smoother on the 2022 model.

Battery and Quick Charging

Apple does not really communicate any meaningful figures when it comes to the battery, either. Instead, the Cupertino-based company tells us just how long we can run certain functions. The new battery is supposed to last 15 hours for video playback and 10 hours for streaming videos. That is two hours more than the battery in the previous year's model.

Furthermore, it can be charged at speeds of up to 20 watts. According to Apple, you will reach 50 percent battery within half an hour of being plugged in. The predecessor could be charged at 18 watts and both generations support Qi wireless charging.

Price and availability

Apple has slightly increased the price here. As you can imagine, it moves in an unpleasant direction. While you could still buy the iPhone SE in 2020 for $399, you will now have to pay at least $429 for this year's model. It is a pity that Apple still offers a version with 64 GB of storage as an entry-level model. That is really no longer feasible in 2022.

Ben is also not very enthusiastic about this in his thoughts. He fears that the iPhone SE 2022 could become a poor purchase. The table below shows the prices of the new Apple device. The predecessor is no longer officially available from Apple, but third-party sellers currently offer the two-year-old phone for $239.

iPhone SE 2022: Prices at a glance

iPhone SE 2022 Price
64 GB $429
128 GB $479
256 GB $579

Conclusion

This much is certain: If you buy the iPhone SE 2022, you won't do it because you're in the mood for a head-turning design. In a direct comparison, very little has changed. The updates to the camera and the battery are hardly noticeable, and they are not even present in the display and the exterior.

Why is the purchase worthwhile? This is because you get a real performance boost with 5G for relatively little money. In terms of software, you can also look forward to long-term support. But do you really want to use this to the fullest in a smartphone whose design exudes the stale scent of 2017? And do you still want to use a smartphone with only 64 GB of storage in 2025 or later?

If you can answer these questions with "yes" because the retro look, price, and performance convince you: Feel free and go ahead to place an order! Everyone else should think about spending a bit more money on the iPhone 13 mini or even wait for the iPhone 14 and then treat themselves to a cheaper iPhone 13.

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Carsten Drees

Carsten Drees

Started blogging in 2008 and somehow got stuck in the tech circus. Already wrote for Mobilegeeks, Stadt Bremerhaven, Basic Thinking and Dr. Windows. Loves Depeche Mode and suffers with Schalke 04.

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