The special edition of the iPhone was revived with the announcement and introduction of the third-generation iPhone SE or the iPhone SE 2022 or iPhone SE 3 in the Apple Event held on 8 March 2022 alongside the announcement of the 5th-generation iPad Air or iPad Air 5, the all-new Mac Studio and Studio Display, and the Apple M1 Ultra chip.
Pros of iPhone SE 2022: Main Selling Points, Features, and Reasons Why You Should Buy
Similar to the previous generations, this new smartphone from Apple features a nostalgic design reminiscent of previous iPhones before the iPhone X. But this new device packs a more powerful chipset and boasts new features that can rival mid-range smartphones running on Android and even the iPhone 11 and iPhone 12.
Below are the key features and advantages of this new device:
• Better CPU and GPU: One of the selling points of the iPhone SE 2022 is the Apple A15 Bionic chip that is also found in the iPhone 13 and the iPad Mini 6. The chip specifically has a 6-core CPU with 2 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, as well as a 4-core integrated GPU. The graphics performance is up to 1.2x faster than the second-generation iPhone SE and 2.2x faster than the iPhone 8.
• Neural Engine: The integration chip also has 16-core Neural Engine for in-house machine learning capabilities that can perform 15.8 trillion operations per second. Note that the Apple 15 Bionic chip found in the iPhone 12 line of smartphones can only perform 11 trillion operations per second.
• Based on 5nm Process: Similar to the A14 Bionic and the Apple M1 SoCs, the A15 Bionic chip is based on a 5nm process node. The performance improvements of the A15 come from its 15 billion transistors that allow faster and more energy-efficient data processing in a small form factor. Hence, another advantage of the iPhone SE 2022 is better processing capabilities on top of power efficiency.
• Liquid Retina Display: Apple skipped equipping a Super Retina display on this new device for a Liquid Retina display. This display technology based on in-plane switching LCD has notable advantages compared to an OLED display to include longer lifespan and durability, and less susceptibility to screen burn-ins. The specific 4.7-inch display found on this device has 326 PPI, up to 625 nits of maximum brightness, True Tone technology, and P3 wide color output.
• IP67 Rating: Another notable selling point of this device is that it is resistant to splash, water submersion, and dust with its IP67 rating based on the IEC Standard 60529. It can be submerged in water with a depth of up to 1 meter for up to 30 minutes.
• Better Back Camera: The back camera is a 12-megapixel wide shooter with 1.8 aperture and 5x digital zoom that can also use the Portrait Mode feature of previous iPhone models with advanced depth control and bokeh effect, Portrait Lighting, up to 63 megapixels panorama shot, optical and automatic image stabilization, Deep Fusion, and Photographic Style feature. It can also record 4K video between 24 fps to 60 fps or 720p HD video at 30 fps with additional features such as Night Mode time-lapse, time-lapse video stabilization, cinematic video stabilization, and continuous autofocus.
• Front Camera Features: The front camera can take 7-megapixel photos and record 1080 HD video at 24 fps or 30 fps. It also has the Portrait Mode with advanced depth control and bokeh effect, Portrait Lighting, time-lapse video stabilization, Night Mode time-lapse, automatic image stabilization, Deep Fusion, automatic HDR and Smartt HDR 4 for photos, and cinematic video stabilization.
• 5G Connectivity: Fifth-generation network connectivity is another highlight and advantage of the iPhone SE 2022. The specific 5G technology used in this device is based on the sub-6 GHz radio technology with 2×2 MIMO. It also has LTE Advanced connectivity with 2×2 MIMO and LAA to maximize available network coverage in different areas.
• Other Connectivity Technology: Similar to newer iPhone models and generations, this device is compatible with Wi-Fi 6 standard with 2×2 MIMO, thereby enabling it to connect either to 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz wireless LAN. It also has Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology and NFC connectivity, and supports geolocation services using GPS, GLONASS, Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou technologies.
Cons of iPhone SE 2022: Limitations, Key Issues, and Reasons Why You Should Not Buy
The most notable advantages of the iPhone SE 2022 are its A15 Bionic chip that delivers better performance than the previous generation and can compete head-on with iPhone 11 and even the iPhone 12, as well as the support for 5G connectivity that is not found in both the iPhone SE 2 and the iPhone 12. However, it also has notable disadvantages.
Below are the key issues and disadvantages of this device:
• High Retail Price: Just like in other Apple devices, a key disadvantage of the iPhone SE 2022 that might discourage buyers or those switching from Android to an iOS device is price. The base 64GB model retails at USD 429.00 while the 128GB variant is priced at USD 479.00 and the 256GB variant retails at USD 579.00. Note that the 64GB variant of the iPhone 11 retails at USD 499.00—a USD 70.00 difference.
• Limited 5G Connectivity: The 5G connectivity based on the sub-6 5G GHz technology is a welcome addition to this device. However, note that the mmWave 5G technology is superior. There are notable differences between these two specific 5G technologies. However, it is also worth mentioning that the iPhone 13 and the iPhone 13 Pro are also based on sub-6 technology.
• No Face ID: Seasoned users of top-tier iPhone products have definitely grown accustomed to Face ID. It is fast and convenient. The third-generation iPhone SE only has a Touch ID. It is still an effective biometrics implementation. However, the fact remains that Face ID is considerably a fan favorite.
• Cons of Liquid Retina: Remember that an LCD based on IPS technology has advantages over OLED displays. However, it also lacks the notable advantages of OLEDs. These include wider viewing angles, deeper blacks, and a wider contrast ratio. The specific Liquid Retina display used on iPhone SE 2022 is also not as bright and as crisp as the Super Retina displays used on iPhone 11 to iPhone 13.
• Outdated Design: The design philosophy used in this device is more than 8 years old. Modern smartphones now feature a smaller screen-to-body ratio or edge-to-edge displays. Even the screen size is too small and can feel cramped. It would be harder to read texts on a 4.7-inch display. Entry-level or budget-level smartphones now sport thin bezels and larger screens. The phone essentially looks and feels outdated based on current design standards and trends.
• Questionable Batter Life: Apple claims that the battery life of this special edition iPhone is better than the previous iPhone SE. However, considering that the physical characteristics have not changed, especially the thinness and weight, and in consideration of 5G capability, powerful chipset, and advanced camera features, the phone might not last an entire on a single charge under moderate-to-heavy usage.
Apple iPhone SE 3 Review Verdict: Reasons Why You Should or Should Not Buy
Without a doubt, the third-generation iPhone SE or the iPhone SE 2022 is a welcome addition to the iPhone product line. The considerably more affordable price point allows consumers with budget constraints to switch from a mid-range Android device to a mid-range iOS device. But there are flagship-grade Android devices that are within the same price range.
For comparison, the Vivo X60 Pro+ retails at the same price as the third-generation iPhone SE while the Vivo X70 has a slightly higher price tag of around USD 100.00. Both phones are flagship-grade and have received positive responses from both technology reviewers and consumers due to their performance and camera capabilities.
Another alternative is the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G that is priced around USD 500.00 It sports a better display. The edge-to-edge OLED panel is larger at 6.5 inches with FHD+ resolution, 405 PPI pixel density, and 800 nits peak brightness. This device also comes with a bigger battery with a technical capacity of 5000 mAh.
The iPhone SE 2022 is still a considerably capable device suited for those who want to switch from Android to iOS. Furthermore, it is also ideal for budget-constraint consumers who have been loyal to Apple or those who want an iPhone that is reminiscent of the iPhone 8 and the previous generations of the entire iPhone line.