Apple released its latest iPhone in March 2022 in the form of nothing more than the iPhone SE (third generation).It's the cheapest phone in Apple's lineup right now, and depending on how you look at it, it's also one of the most interesting.It even supports 3G, which will be handy as 5G spreads around the world.But it also drew some divided opinion.Some people love it, while others wish Apple would do more with it.
The new iPhone SE also faces tougher competition than ever from Android alternatives.So here comes the question - is the new iPhone SE really worth your money?
Pros: Top performance
The iPhone SE (third generation) has one big trump card: performance.Since the SE series was originally conceived, its entire purpose has been to transport old designs with new interiors.While the original iPhone SE was basically an iPhone 6S with a 5S internals, the 2020 iPhone SE (11nd generation) is essentially an iPhone 8 with an XNUMX innards.
This is also an essential feature of the 2022 iPhone SE.
It takes the internals of the iPhone 13, including its A15 Bionic chip, and puts it in the case of the iPhone 8.The result is a relatively low-cost device that performs as well as newer iPhones in terms of raw horsepower.That makes the new SE just as powerful and has the same great software support as a high-end phone.It also allows the camera to be improved by taking advantage of features like Deep Fusion.
Essentially, it's the exact opposite of the approach most Android mid-range phones take, with a modern-looking design that adds new hardware and software features, but leaves out some internal hardware.Here we have a smartphone that may look a little old, but the internals are state-of-the-art and last as long as the new iPhone 13 series.
This leads to the next point.
Cons: Looks old and feels old
The SE's design played a big role in how the public felt about the phone. The A15 chip gives it a much-needed boost, but it doesn't address the fact that it looks dated compared to current iPhones and other Android smartphones.
iPhone SE 2022It adopts the exact same design as the SE 2020.The latter's design borrows from the iPhone 8's design.The phone's design borrows from the iPhone 7's design.This is a slight iteration of the iPhone 6 design.And that phone was launched in 2014 -- exactly eight years ago.
The 4.7-inch 16:9 display, thick bezels and Home button, and Touch ID didn't quite age like a fine wine either.16:9 displays and bezels are almost unheard of these days, unless you dig deep into the bottom of an Android phone under $100.Even so, many of these phones offer 18:9 aspect ratios and even fully-open notched displays.Unless you haven't bought a new phone since 2017, you probably also have a phone with a notch display.
It's a duplicate design, which also means we won't get Apple's new MagSafe, Face ID, or gesture navigation on this phone.The phone has a decidedly old-school feel to it.
But it's not the design itself that's really divisive, it's how it feels like a lack of novelty.Apple stands out with the iPhone SE (11nd generation) because it's the first time the company has remade the old iPhone 8 after two years in a row of only making full-screen phones like the iPhone XR, XS, and XNUMX. design.This time around, it's basically just the same iPhone SE, with a new chip and a bigger battery.This is pretty much the end of the change.
How does it compare to other mid-range phones?
As we mentioned earlier, the iPhone SE takes a radically different approach from the typical Android mid-range offering, which makes comparisons between the iPhone SE and a Samsung device or any other competitor more intriguing and less direct.
The Samsung Galaxy A53 5G is our prime example.The phone costs essentially the same price as the new iPhone SE.But it looks as modern and sleek as the Samsung Galaxy S22 (the company's flagship) launched earlier this year.It integrates many of the same features, including a multi-lens camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor, and more.
But it doesn't come with the same chip. The Galaxy S22 is powered by the Snapdragon 8 (or Exynos 2200 in some markets), while the A53 is powered by the Exynos 1280 chip.In contrast,iPhone SE 2022It has the look and functionality of an older phone, but with the insides of a high-end iPhone 13.
By comparison, the iPhone SE will beat the Galaxy A53 in performance and raw horsepower.But when it comes to actual features and design, the Galaxy A53 may have the upper hand in this battle.
Should you buy the 2022 iPhone SE?
It's a complicated answer, but it mostly boils down to what you want in a phone -- and whether the iPhone SE does what you want.
On the one hand, the iPhone SE 2022 offers a phone with flagship performance at a fraction of the price of the usual flagship phones.You get amazing software support, an improved camera experience, and a bigger battery.But it also has an outdated Home button with Touch ID, an outdated look, and a camera with less functionality.
At its $429 price point, some people might be more willing to buy the iPhone 11 instead.The phone has an older A13 processor, but it offers Face ID and a more modern design for just $70 more than the iPhone SE.
That said, the A15 Bionic chip in the iPhone SE isn't something to be laughed at.It implements a number of improvements that make this 4.7-inch iPhone a magical device from obscurity.Many call it the "sleeping iPhone" -- it may look old at first glance, but it can go head-to-head with the most expensive smartphones on the market.If you're coming from an iPhone 6, 7, or 8, and you don't care about a full-screen iPhone, this might be the perfect upgrade for you.
But if you're coming from a full-screen iPhone, like the iPhone X or iPhone XR, you might find this rather unsatisfactory -- a phone that's more than just a chipset.This also applies to Android phones.Unless you've used an older smartphone, or this form factor happens to be your liking, it might be worth looking at higher-end alternatives.
Then, it all comes down to your budget and how much you want your new phone.If that's the highest you can get, it's still going to be an amazing phone.However, the full iPhone experience that Apple has come to expect is certainly achieved in the full-screen model.
It's a good upgrade, but only for some users
The iPhone SE 2022 is an amazing device for the right people.If you're used to the classic, retro iPhone look and you want a phone that's just as powerful as the iPhone 13, this is definitely a phone to buy.
However, for those who are used to a larger display, Face ID and a notch, this may feel like a step backward, no matter what chip it comes with.
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