Apple iPhone SE 2022 vs. Apple iPhone SE 2020: Which Budget Phone Is Best?

·7 min read

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Table of Contents


  • Specifications


  • Design


  • Display


  • Software


  • Chipset


  • Cameras


  • Battery


  • Price


  • The Verdict

Apple’s SE designation is used for models that contain all of the newest features in a smaller phone. The SE models also tend to be the least expensive iPhones in their product line. If you’re looking to update your iPhone, but perhaps you don’t want to spend a lot, or the phone is for a youngster, you might be in the market for the Apple iPhone SE edition.

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Apple recently announced its newest SE phone at a news conference in March, so today, we’ll look at the newest Apple SE edition, the iPhone SE 2022, and compare it to the previous model, the iPhone SE 2020. If you’re shopping for a new iPhone, the new SE 2022 is really the only one Apple is carrying. however, if you already own the 2020 version, you may be wondering if this new phone is worth an upgrade.

Below, we’ll pit the two phones head to head to see which is best. For more on the Apple iPhone SE 2022 vs. Apple iPhone SE 2020, continue reading.

Apple iPhone SE 2022 featured
Apple iPhone SE 2022 featured






Specifications

Sometimes smartphone improvements can seem incremental, but subtle changes to various specs can actually make a big difference in overall performance. Let’s see if that’s the case with the Apple iPhone SE 2022 vs. Apple iPhone SE 2020.

iPhone SE 2022

  • Dimensions: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches

  • Weight: 144 grams/ 5 ounces

  • Resistance: IP67 dust/water resistant 1 M for 30 mins

  • Memory: 4GB RAM, Apple A15 Bionic Chipset

  • Screen size: 4.7 inches

  • Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels

  • Battery: 1821mAh Li-Ion, Fast Charging 18W, charges 50% in 30 minutes

  • Front Camera: 7 MP (HDR, 1080p @30/120 fps)

  • Back Camera: 12 MP (has smart HDR, 4K @ 24/30/60 fps, 1080p @30/60/120/240 fps)

iPhone SE 2020

  • Dimensions: 5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 in

  • Weight: 148 grams / 5.2 ounces

  • Resistance: IP67 dust/water resistant 1 M for 30 mins

  • Memory: 3GB RAM, Apple A13 Bionic Chipset

  • Screen size: 4.7 inches

  • Resolution: 750 x 1334 pixels

  • Battery: 1821mAh Li-Ion, Fast Charging 18 W, 50% in 30 mins

  • Front Camera: 7MP (HDR, 1080p@30 fps)

  • Back Camera: 12 MP (HDR, 4K @24/30/60 fps, 1080p @30/60/120/240 fps)

From a straight comparison of the numbers, these two phones appear very similar. The new 2022 model will give you a bit more RAM, and the back camera will offer higher performance at faster frame rates, but apart from that, the two phones are almost identical in size, weight, display and resolution, albeit with the new model shaving a teeny bit off in terms of weight.






Design

The IP ratings on SE 2022 and SE 2020 are identical (IP67), meaning that they’re dustproof and waterproof up to 1 meter of depth for 30 minutes. Both versions have a home button, a stainless-steel frame and a glass back. Where they differ is that the SE 2022 uses a stronger, more durable glass for the back. They both have the same camera housings as well.

The Bottom Line: iPhone SE 2022 is our pick. The two phones are very similar design-wise, but the stronger glass is always a plus.






Display

The iPhone SE 2020 and the iPhone SE 2022 have a 4.7-inch display at a resolution of 750 x 1334 pixels. They both offer Ion-strengthened front glass with an oleophobic coating.

The Bottom Line: Things are so close here we’re calling it a tie.






Software

Both phones run off of Apple’s iOS and with the iPhone SE 2020 able to run iOS 15, the software options are near identical. Down the road, there’s a chance that the iPhone 2020 will become unable to run certain apps as the iOS versions increase, but that’s the danger with any phone: at some point, they brick out.

The Bottom Line: The SE 2022 will be able to run every program that the SE 2020 can run and likely do so for longer. At worst, it’s a tie.






Chipset

The previous-generation iPhone SE 2020 comes with iOS 13 installed and is upgradeable to iOS 15. It uses Apple’s A13 Bionic chipset, featuring Hexa-core 2×2.65 GHz Lightning and 4×1.8 GHz Thunder, and an Apple GPU (4-core graphics chip.

The new iPhone SE 2022 comes with iOS 15 installed. It uses Apple’s upgraded A15 Bionic chipset, featuring Hexa-core 2x Avalanche and 4x Blizzard, and an Apple GPU (4-core graphics chip.

The Bottom Line: iPhone SE 2022 reigns here. The newer A15 chipset is said to be notably faster than the A13 on the iPhone SE 2020.






Cameras

We all use our smartphone cameras to record our lives now, so cameras are an important factor when deciding which phone model to go with. The new iPhone SE 2022 has a 12 Megapixel rear camera and features a few new camera modes.

Deep Fusion, a neural image processing function, is one of the more interesting new photo features. When you take a picture, the camera actually takes nine copies of the picture, four before and four after the button is pressed, and a single longer exposure. Deep Focus then compares the images, selects the best versions and creates a composite shot.

The SE 2022 also comes with a feature called Photographic Styles, which essentially provides filters that the phone can apply to images as you take them in order to optimize the photo for warmth or coolness. The SE 2022 also has Night Mode for shooting in low-light conditions.

The iPhone SE 2020 also uses a 12MP back camera, but it doesn’t have Deep Focus or Photographic Styles capability.

The front camera of both models is a 7MP, and the iPhone SE 2022 also has the Deep Focus and Photographic Styles features on its front camera.

The Bottom Line: iPhone SE 2022’s added features are the difference here.

Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Apple iPhone SE (2022)






Battery

The older model iPhone SE 2020’s battery lasts around nine hours and charges back to 50% in 30 minutes with an 18W adapter.

The new iPhone 2022 offers an “enhanced” battery. While its specs are very similar to the iPhone SE 2020, Apple says the newer A15 chipset and “smarter” functions mean the 2022 model offers about two hours more video playback. This could translate into better battery life overall for the 2022.

The Bottom Line: iPhone SE 2022’s “enhanced battery” improvements will mean longer life than the SE 2020, though we’ll eventually want to test this to see if it lives up to its promises.






Price

The iPhone SE 2022 sells for $429 (64GB), $479 (128GB), and $579 (256GB).

You can still get the iPhone SE 2020 for $249 (64GB) (no other prices available). Apple no longer stocks this model in their stores or online. That said, you can find it from other retailers like Walmart.

The Bottom Line: For the slight price difference, you’re better off picking up a new phone that’s under warranty.






The Verdict

When comparing the Apple iPhone SE 2022 vs. Apple iPhone SE 2020, it’s clear that these two phones are very similar, making it difficult to separate them, but there are just enough differences for us to make a call. The biggest strike against the iPhone SE 2020 is that it’s difficult to find and out of production. The iPhone SE 2022 has the benefit of newer technology and is built off of the framework of the iPhone SE 2020. There isn’t anything on the SE 2022 that’s a step back from the SE 2020, so the iPhone SE 2022 comes out ahead from that standpoint. If you currently own the iPhone SE 2020 and are looking to upgrade, the camera improvements, speed and improved battery will probably be the biggest factors for you so we definitely recommend you do move up.

Winner: Apple iPhone SE 2022

Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Apple iPhone SE (2022)


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