iPhone SE (2022) review - IGN (2023)

About 4 years ago, Apple introduced the iPhone X, an all-new design introduced alongside the iPhone 8, that completely changed the status quo. Since then, it's been sporting a new design, but the second-generation iPhone SE for 2020 brings back the old model as a more affordable alternative to the iPhone 11 series. Now Apple has done it again with the iPhone SE 2022, with an asking price of just $429. But how long can Apple keep releasing the same old models?cell phoneIs there just a new processor inside? Let's take a closer look at what value Apple brings this time around.

iPhone SE (2022) – Photos

iPhone SE 2022 - Design and Features

To anyone who has used an iPhone in the past eight years, the iPhone SE 2022 will look very familiar. The design was first introduced on the iPhone 6, with some tweaks and tweaks on the iPhone 8, and now the iPhone SE 2022 is almost identical to it. For better or worse, it's an aluminum-framed phone with a glass sandwich design we've seen for years.

(Video) iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 11 SPEED Test - Battle of the Cheapest!

The "better" aspect of the design is that it's comfortable to hold, and many people are familiar with it. It has a Touch ID home button on the bottom that's quick to use and easy to reach, though of course that means you might not have Face ID when you're wearing gloves during the colder months. Apple may be touting "tougher glass in smartphones" here, but oddly, it doesn't mention the ceramic shield that protects the latest flagship iPhone from drops, which the company claims is "tougher than any smartphone glass." - So what, Apple? Isn't Ceramic Shield technically glass? Technical details aside, the design is thankfully easy to hold and operate with one hand, and it fits nicely in your pocket, so the risk of a fall is perhaps lessened.

iPhone SE (2022) review - IGN (1)

"Worse" is that Apple's design is outdated and will never cross the boundaries of Android. If an Android smartphone maker tried to release this design on a $429 device, it would be laughed at by the world. Even the cheapest Android phones today have done away with the thick bezels of the iPhone SE 2022. For $429, I can use a large, pixel-dense OLED display on Android. Meanwhile, Apple is shipping its nearly eight-year-old 4.7-inch 1334 x 750 Retina IPS display. Even the iPhone 7 offered 625 nits of brightness (good, but not stunning), and it still delivers here. The newer screens are much better, and the slow pixel response times here are actually a bit noticeable in some situations, such as scrolling. The iPhone SE 2022 looks even less attractive when you realize that both the iPhone 12 mini and 13 mini are smaller (and the 12 mini would be cheaper if refurbished). Even compared to my nearly five-year-old OnePlus 5, the iPhone SE 2022's display isn't quite as good.

The screen is the core component of the mobile phone, which is a bit like a double-edged knife. It's actually kind of refreshing to have a screen that can be easily navigated with one hand. But I do feel the pressure of a lot of content. The keyboard is cramped both vertically and horizontally, and it's difficult for web pages to display a lot of content at once. If there's a video or popup on the screen, it's almost game over before it shuts down, and the small buttons can be hard to reach.

iPhone SE (2022) review - IGN (2)

For people who prioritize small phones, maybe this is it. For those who prioritize value and a good screen is a big part of that, the iPhone SE 2022 is definitely not. Streaming video on a phone feels cramped, with little detail and none of the allure of OLED's infinite contrast. While the speakers offer decent sound, they're a bit harsh at higher volumes, and are even easier to accidentally cover with your hands.

(Video) iPhone SE (2020) vs iPhone SE (2022) Speed Test, Speakers, Battery & Cameras!

In addition to the appearance and screen, the Lightning port of the iPhone SE 2022 is still in the same place, supports wireless charging (thanks again to the iPhone 8), can stay in one meter of water for 30 minutes (good, but the distance reaches the iPhone 12 and 13's six meters or the two meters that the iPhone 11 boasts).

The really big new addition to the iPhone SE 2022 is 5G support. This new model can connect to the Sub-6 5G networks carriers are rolling out everywhere, but not millimeter wave. Perhaps the most important benefit here is that the iPhone SE 2022 will be better supported as it gets older. It doesn't need the high bandwidth of 5G to stream 4K video or anything like that.

iPhone SE 2022 - Software

The iPhone SE 2022 is powered by the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS 15. That makes it a no-brainer if it doesn't feature the software on par with the most expensive iPhones. Apple's long-term support for its devices helps customers use their phones for a long time without needing to upgrade, simply because software updates -- and security updates -- stop coming to devices. The phone also supports Focus Mode to eliminate distractions (though a hardware switch for Silent Mode can help too), as well as handy Siri dictation and on-device processing. That last feature is reasonably fast and accurate, but pales in comparison to Google's recent dictation offerings on the Pixel 6 series. Apple's dictation is as lacking in punctuation as its touchscreen keyboard, and Google imitated it impressively at this point.

iPhone SE 2022 - Gaming and Performance

Even though the design of the 2022 iPhone SE is definitely a 2006 Honda Civic, the A15 Bionic chip inside it is an all-new turbocharged V8, just a little frugal in that metaphor. Unfortunately, there isn't much trunk space, starting at 64 GB

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Apple's latest chip is a formidable force, even if it's not a huge leap from its predecessor, the A14 Bionic. The A15 is a powerful chip with a six-core CPU, a quad-core GPU, and a 16-core Neural Engine. it blows through everything in the worldiPhone 13, which requires less heavy lifting on the iPhone SE 2022. Of course, this begs the question: why include it? It doesn't mind blending between multiple cameras, but can handle high-quality gaming at high resolutions and frame rates. Sure, it makes the phone snappy, but so does the A13 Bionic in the iPhone SE 2020.

iPhone SE (2022) review - IGN (3)

This performance is well represented in Thatgamecompany's Sky, which runs flawlessly in high performance mode. That's not surprising though, as it hardly ever displays anything above 720p. However, the phone does get a little hot from all that processing, and there's just too little mass to dissipate that heat. It's also hard to hype this kind of performance when performing on such a standard screen. I've had more impressive results using the less powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 chipset on relatively inexpensive phones like the $499 Black Shark 4 and the ~$300 Poco F3, which are big and fast AMOLED options There are advantages in terms of displays, and neither phone is new.

The small battery also takes a hit if it's actually challenged by a workload. Using Sky playback for just 30 minutes with the screen at 50% brightness drained 20% of the battery. Streaming TV shows aren't nearly as taxing on the battery, as a 35-minute episode of "Our Flag Means Death" only used up 5 percent, with the screen and volume set to around 50 percent. With normal use, a full day of texting and browsing, the phone can easily last a full day or even two, so there won't be anything short of it for the casual phone user.

iPhone SE (2022) review - IGN (4)

iPhone SE 2022 - Camera

Normally, the new iPhone's camera is something to get excited about. After all, they're getting some of the latest software upgrades powered by Apple's impressive processors. Things are different here. The iPhone SE 2022 has a basic camera on the back and one on the front.

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Clarity is certainly on offer, as both the front and rear cameras capture sharp images and rich details. The rear camera captures them at 12 MP, while the front camera is a more modest but acceptable 7 MP. There's no extra zoom or ultra-wide-angle lens on offer here, so the iPhone SE 2022's shooting options are particularly limited. With no different lenses to mix and match, the iPhone SE 2022 won't let the A15 Bionic do much for fancy camera features like movie mode.

Instead, most of what the camera does is make details stand out by applying SmartHDR4 (although I haven't found it brightens my images yet) or by applying Apple's Photography Style to do some deep blending. Than interchangeable, customizable photo filters. Sometimes these fine details seem to be over-processed, as all the edges in one of my swamp photos seem to have their contrast turned up.

iPhone SE (2022) - Camera preview

(Video) iPhone SE 3宣傳影片 The new iPhone SE Trailer

The best thing the iPhone SE 2022's main camera offers is strong low-light performance, and you don't usually find that on cheap Android phones. Apple's wide sharpness and powerful image processing ensure this, avoiding noisy images with a lot of blur from long exposures. This helps avoid being absolutely defeatedPixel 5a 5GIt still underperforms in the camera department (although the upcoming Pixel 6a may be a different story). After years of releasing phones with this design, Apple really can't figure out how to get a second rear camera on the Plus model?

Video recording is another plus here. While options are still limited by the single rear sensor, the A15 Bionic has no trouble capturing 4K60 footage. I usually see cheap phones occasionally glitching and trying to record at a higher quality, but not the iPhone SE 2022. So if you want to capture your pet doing something cute or a friend doing something crazy, video will keep up.


IPhone SE (2022) review - IGN? ›

Even next to my almost five-year-old OnePlus 5, the iPhone SE 2022 display falls short. The screen is the centerpiece of the phone, and it's a bit of a double-edged blade. It's actually a bit refreshing to have a display that's so easy to navigate with one hand. But I really feel the squeeze for a lot of content.

Is iPhone SE still good in 2022? ›

Apple supports its phones with software updates for many years, and the processing power inside the iPhone SE (2022) means it'll have no problems with apps or general performance for a significant length of time. It's highly advisable to buy a model with as much storage as you can afford, though.

What's better about the iPhone SE 2022? ›

So... the iPhone SE (2022) is fundamentally the same package. The looks haven't changed, but you now get 5G connectivity, a faster processor and an improved camera. It also retains the familiar "iPhone with button" design. Put simply, it's a classic that Apple sticks around with.

How long will iPhone SE 2022 be supported? ›

How long will my iPhone be supported?
ModelRelease dateSupported
iPhone 13 / 13 miniSep 24, 2021Yes – Until 2028
iPhone 13 Pro / Pro MaxSep 24, 2021Yes – Until 2028
iPhone SE (3rd generation)Mar 18, 2022Yes – Until 2029
iPhone 14Sep 16, 2022Yes – Until 2029
24 more rows
Sep 30, 2022

Is iPhone SE 2022 different? ›

At $429, the 2022 iPhone SE is $30 more expensive than the prior-generation version, but it is still Apple's most affordable iPhone with a modern A15 chip and 5G. There have been no design changes to the iPhone SE, and the 2022 model looks identical to the 2020 model, which was in turn based on the iPhone 8.


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