Apple’s iPhone SE is the small, low-cost phone that’s so good it makes us question the entire concept of $1,000 phones, and it’s getting a refresh for 2022. This third-generation SE updates 2020’s model by adding sub-6GHz 5G, along with the A15 Bionic in the iPhone 13 series.
The 2022 iPhone SE keeps its small form factor and 4.7-inch screen, along with some chunky bezels that are straight out of 2017. It’s priced at $429 for the base 64GB model, a bump over the previous model’s MSRP of $399. The SE sticks with just one 12-megapixel f/1.8 camera on the rear panel, but it gains some software-based photography improvements, thanks to the newer processor. Deep Fusion and HDR 4 are now included, which offer better handling of high-contrast scenes and noise reduction, and they are both included on the iPhone 13.
Apple also says the A15 chipset helps improve battery life — not one of the previous SE’s strengths — and in a group briefing it insisted on keeping “on background,” confirmed that the phone has a larger battery. Apple promises the new phone will get up to 15 hours of video playback, up to 10 hours of streaming video playback, and up to 50 hours of audio playback. Those are all up from the previous generation SE; according to Apple’s now-removed tech specs page for that phone (which we took a screenshot of before Tuesday’s event), that phone could get up to 13 hours of video playback, up to 8 hours of streaming video playback, and up to 40 hours of audio playback.
This latest iPhone SE maintains the IP67 rating for water resistance and still includes a Touch ID sensor for biometric unlocking. Apple calls the phone’s front and back panel glass the “toughest glass in a smartphone.” Qi wireless charging is still supported, though it doesn’t have MagSafe. Preorders start this Friday, March 11th, and the iPhone SE will ship on March 18th.
Update March 8th, 3:53PM ET: Added details about the iPhone SE’s battery life