iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 12 mini: How should you choose?

Xiaobai Software  2022-04-17 11: 11  read 612 views

iPhone SE 3 (released in 2022) andiPhone 12miniThe two smallest and most affordable iPhones currently available from Apple.However, the two devices are very different in many ways, from the internal hardware to the design.

If you're looking at sub-$600 iPhones, your options are limited to these two models.But which one will give you better value for your money?Next, we will putiPhone SE 3 andiPhone 12miniCompare and try to help you find out:

1. Price

Let's get the most important factor out of the way: price.As mentioned, both smartphones are priced under $600, but the iPhone SE (2022) is significantly cheaper than the iPhone 12 mini. The base 2022GB version of the iPhone SE (64) costs $429, while the equivalent version of the iPhone 12 mini will set you back $599.

Now, that's a $170 price difference, and that's a big deal for most people looking to buy a budget iPhone.So if you're looking for the most affordable iPhone, the iPhone SE is the clear winner here.However, the iPhone 12 mini makes up for this price difference with its feature set and design language, which we discuss in the following sections.

2. Performance


Performance is another area where the iPhone SE (2022) outperforms the iPhone 12 mini.Although the iPhone SE is a lot cheaper than the 12 mini, it packs Apple's flagship A15 Bionic chip, which launched at the same time as the iPhone 13 series.And because the iPhone 12 mini is a full year earlier than the iPhone 13 series, it is powered by an inferior A14 Bionic processor.

Now, the real question is whether you'll notice a performance difference between the two devices in real-world use.The answer is no, as both processors are very capable of handling almost any task you throw at them.However, if you plan to use your iPhone for a few years, the iPhone SE may have the upper hand in terms of software support, as it comes with a newer chip.

At this point, you might be leaning toward the iPhone SE 3, but we're not talking about the strengths of the iPhone 12 mini yet.This is the next question.

3. Design


Apple's decision to use 3's iPhone 2018 design on the iPhone SE 8 disappointed many fans.It's not the design one would expect a 2022 smartphone to use, even if it costs around $400.

So if you thought the iPhone SE's archaic design was a deal breaker, the iPhone 12 mini is just the budget iPhone you're looking for.You can see a modern iPhone design with a Face ID notch and a nearly bezel-less screen.It has squared-off edges, lacks a physical home button, and is more visually appealing overall.

One thing to note here is that the iPhone SE (2022) is slightly smaller than the iPhone 12 mini.But while the SE is bigger, it still has a smaller display, which can be blamed on the bulky bezels on the top and bottom.

4. Display


Not only does the iPhone SE (2022) have a smaller 4.7-inch display, but it also uses an inferior IPS LCD panel, which is no longer the industry standard for smartphones.Other than that, the resolution of this display is closer to 720p than 1080p. At 750x1334 pixels, you get a mediocre 326ppi pixel density, while most smartphone displays today have 450ppi or more.

The iPhone 12 mini, on the other hand, features a 5.4-inch OLED display, which Apple calls a Super Retina XDR display. OLED displays are much better than LCDs in terms of color accuracy, viewing angles and black levels.The screen resolution is also higher at 1080x2340 pixels, which equates to a pixel density of 476ppi.

Plus, since the iPhone 12 mini's OLED display can hit a peak brightness of 1200 nits, you can use Dolby Vision and HDR10 content.

5. Face ID and Touch ID


To achieve a near-bezel-less screen, Apple had to ditch the Home button, which meant it had to sacrifice Touch ID on the 12 mini.However, Face ID has improved to the point where it works even if you're wearing a mask.

Anyway, this comes down to personal preference.Some users prefer Touch ID, while others prefer Face ID.Most fans want both technologies in future iPhones, integrating the fingerprint scanner into the power key, just like the iPad Air.

So if you're a big Touch ID fan, you'll probably lean towards the iPhone SE 3.But if you want to keep up with the times, you'll be happy with the iPhone 12 mini's Face ID sensor.Either way, they offer top-notch security.

6. Camera


If taking photos with your iPhone is one of your top priorities, you should go for the iPhone 12 mini.It features a more advanced dual-camera setup with a 12MP f/1.6 wide camera and a 12MP f/2.4 ultra-wide camera for a variety of scenarios.

On the other hand, the iPhone SE 3 features the same single 2020MP f/12 wide camera as the 1.8 SE.For the price, the iPhone SE still takes great photos that most other smartphones in its price range struggle to match.

As for the selfie camera, the iPhone SE 3 has a 7MP sensor, while the iPhone 12 mini has a 12MP sensor that can even shoot 60K video at 4 frames per second.

7. Battery

Considering these two phones are compact smartphones, battery performance is not their strong suit.That said, Apple has managed to improve the battery performance of the iPhone SE 3, packing in a slightly larger 2018mAh battery than the previous generation.That's still not great, but coupled with the efficiency of the A15 Bionic, the iPhone SE (2022) can last an hour longer on average than older models.

In comparison, the iPhone 12 mini has a larger battery at 2227mAh, which can last an hour longer than the iPhone SE (2022) despite its smaller footprint.While the A14 Bionic chip isn't as efficient as the newer A15 chip, the energy efficiency of the OLED display makes up for it.

Which budget iPhone should you buy?

The iPhone SE 3 offers Apple's flagship mobile chip at an affordable price.However, this flagship-level performance comes at the cost of an outdated body, display, and camera. At $429, it's still a good buy; but it's simply not the smartphone people expect in 2022.

However, if you're willing to shell out an extra $170 for the iPhone 12 mini, you'll get a better experience -- from a better camera to an OLED display -- although you'll be content with a slightly older processor.But don't forget its other key features, like MagSafe, which opens the door to a range of MagSafe-compatible accessories.

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