At its ‘Peek Performance’ event on Tuesday, Apple introduced the world to the third-generation iPhone SE, bringing the same A15 Bionic chip that powers its current flagships, the iPhone 13 series, to its most affordable iPhone.
The iPhone SE 3 took the stage almost two years after the second-generation iPhone SE, which debuted in April 2020. Let’s take a look at how the new iPhone SE stacks up against its predecessor…
2020’s iPhone SE launched in three colour options: Black, White, and (PRODUCT)RED. The 2022 iPhone SE switches the ‘White’ option out for Apple’s ‘Starlight’ colourway but is also available in Black and (PRODUCT)RED.
Despite it being an entire generation ahead of the 2020 iPhone SE, Apple chose to stick with the same display for this year’s iPhone SE. Both models still feature the aging 4.7-inch Retina HD displays with a 1334×750 resolution, pixel density of 326 ppi, and 625 nits max brightness. Good enough for your aunts Patty and Selma.
The 2022 iPhone SE leaps a couple of generations ahead from its predecessor’s A13 Bionic System-on-a-Chip (SoC) to the same A15 Bionic that’s found under the hood of Apple’s iPhone 13 series phones.
According to Apple, the A15 Bionic’s 6-core CPU and 4-core GPU make the new iPhone SE 1.8x faster than the iPhone 8 in raw CPU performance, and 2.2x faster in graphics performance. The A15 Bionic also features a 16-core Neural Engine capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second.
“This CPU is faster than all the competition, at any price,” said Francesca Sweet, Apple’s Product Line Manager for iPhone, at Tuesday’s launch event.
The iPhone SE 3 comes equipped with the same solitary 12MP wide-angle lens on the rear and a 7MP FaceTime HD camera on the front as its predecessor, along with similar photography and videography capabilities.
However, the new iPhone SE brings some camera improvements on the software side, adding Apple’s ‘Deep Fusion’ tech and ‘Photographic Styles’ feature to both the primary and front shooters, as well as Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps for the front camera.
Networking is where the 2022 iPhone SE gets another big upgrade with the addition of 5G support. The iPhone SE is now the cheapest iPhone to feature 5G capability.
Battery life on this year’s iPhone SE gets a slight bump over the 2020 model, with the phone delivering up to 15 hours of video playback (as opposed to 13 hours on its predecessor) and 10 hours of video streaming (as opposed to 8 hours on its predecessor).
The new iPhone SE carries over its predecessor’s design language, with both models sporting identical iPhone 8-inspired chassis along with Apple’s glass and aluminum design.
Both models feature Touch ID, with a second-generation fingerprint sensor built into the Home button.
While both the iPhone SE 3 and iPhone SE 2 are IP67 certified for dust and water resistance (at a maximum depth of 1m for up to 30 minutes), the newer model adds Ceramic Shield protection for both the front and back of its shell.
Apple pretty much just chucked a 5G modem and a new chip into its previous iPhone SE design to create the 2022 model, so it has the same dimensions as its predecessor, measuring 5.45″ in height, 2.65″ in width, and 0.29″ in depth.
But the iPhone SE 3 weighs slightly less than its predecessor at 144 grams (vs. 148 grams for iPhone SE 2).
Both models have 3GB of RAM and can be configured with 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB of internal storage.
Both the iPhone SE 3 and its predecessor feature Dual SIM functionality (one nano-SIM, and one eSIM).
The iPhone SE 3 starts at $579 CAD for the base model (64GB) and is actually $20 cheaper than the iPhone SE 2, which started at $599 when it launched back in 2020.
In what is a pretty rare occurrence, pricing has gone down in Canada while it went up in the U.S., where the new iPhone SE costs $30 more across the board than its predecessor did at launch. Stronger Canadian dollar anyone?
iPhone SE 3 vs. iPhone SE 2: Which One Should You Buy?
The A15 Bionic is a pretty significant upgrade over the 2020 iPhone SE’s A13 Bionic chip, and 5G becomes more and more viable with each passing day as coverage expands. However, it’s a shame that the new iPhone SE essentially boils down to a new processor and 5G support in the same body as the iPhone SE 2.
On the bright side, the sticker price remains pretty compelling, and Touch ID holds significant appeal. Apple discontinued the iPhone SE 2 as soon as it unveiled its successor on Tuesday, so you might not have much of a choice in the matter anyway.
If you’re looking for an entry-level iPhone or simply want to get your hands on a phone with that coveted Apple logo on the back without breaking the bank, the 2022 iPhone SE is definitely the way to go.
You can pre-order the iPhone SE 3 starting this Friday, March 11, with availability beginning Friday, March 18.