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Here’s how the new iPhone SE compares to Apple’s iPhone 13 lineup

Apple’s low-cost phone offers a lot in a refreshed (old) design

The new iPhone SE for 2022 maintains the longstanding home button with Touch ID.
Image: Apple

Now that the dust has settled from Apple’s “Peek Performance” event, we know that the latest entry in the iPhone lineup is the iPhone SE (2022). It’s a new iteration of the budget model from 2020, and it’s set to launch March 18th with preorders opening on March 11th. This new iPhone SE rounds out the entry-level offering from Apple, coming in at a slightly higher price of $429 (an increase of $30) and equipped with the latest A15 Bionic CPU, 5G compatibility, a slightly larger battery, and more durable glass on the front and rear.

There’s a lot to like in the 2022 iPhone SE — especially if you love a Touch ID fingerprint sensor and home button — even if it still has a dated design with a smaller 4.7-inch screen and big bezels. So how does it stack up to the iPhone 13 line? Can the budget darling compete with the big guns at the flagship level that share its processor? Let’s dive into what specs the new iPhone SE has and compare it to each model in the iPhone 13 lineup, specifically the iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

iPhone SE (2022): what’s new, what’s the same

I assure you, your eyes do not deceive you. The new iPhone SE does indeed look just like the iPhone SE of 2020, which pretty much looked like the iPhone 8 of 2017. It’s got that familiar, 4.7-inch Retina LCD display with 1334 x 750 resolution, chunky bezels, glass rear that allows Qi-compatible wireless charging, and it comes in three colors (midnight, starlight, and red).

In addition to sharing the same A15 Bionic CPU as all of the iPhone 13 models, Apple managed to squeeze in a bigger battery, a 5G sub-6GHz modem, and stronger glass coverings. The front and rear glass of the SE is said to match the rear glass of the iPhone 13, so while it’s not Ceramic Shield for better drop resistance, Apple claims it’s “the toughest glass in a smartphone on the front and back.” The 2022 iPhone SE may be tougher, but it only maintains the IP67-rated water and dust resistance of the previous model.

Another holdover from the 2020 SE is camera hardware. The lenses and sensors are the same, but the inclusion of the A15 enables a newer software generation of computational photography with Smart HDR 4. We’ll have to see how much of a difference that makes in real-world use once we review the phone. But in the meantime, it’s all sounding pretty familiar.

The iPhone SE (2022) in its three colors: starlight, midnight, and Product (Red).

iPhone SE (2022) versus iPhone 13

Compared to all that, what do you get by opting for a more premium device in the iPhone 13 line? Each model of iPhone 13 has a larger screen than the iPhone SE (yes, even the iPhone 13 Mini) as well as better quality displays with OLED panels across the line. The Pro models even step up the viewing experience with faster screens that support up to 120Hz, allowing for extra-smooth scrolling and animations. The biggest changes aside from the displays are how you interact with them, as all iPhone 13 models use Face ID and gesture controls as opposed to the SE’s Touch ID and home button. The iPhone 13 line also boasts newer camera hardware, with dual-lens modules in the base 13 and Mini while the Pros have triple-camera arrays with a macro mode for close-up shots.

So if you prefer the budget-friendliness of the iPhone SE, you have to be okay with a single wide-angle camera and lens. But all the extras and accouterments of the iPhone 13 line come at much steeper costs, each starting at 128GB of storage with the option to go up from there for more money. The 6.1-inch iPhone 13 starts at $829, while the iPhone 13 Mini dips lower to $729, thanks in part to its smaller 5.4-inch screen and lower-capacity battery.

Stepping up to the Pros means spending $999 on a 6.1-inch iPhone 13 Pro or $1,099 on a chunky, 6.7-inch iPhone 13 Pro Max. The new iPhone SE? While it’s gotten more expensive, it’s still cheaper than the base iPhone 13 and the higher-end models, with the 64GB variant starting at $429. You can opt for 128GB or 256GB, but it will cost you $479 and $579, respectively. It all comes down to what you value in your iPhone decision and what works with your budget.

Take a look at our detailed, spec-to-spec comparison below to see how the new iPhone SE stacks up against Apple’s iPhone 13 line.

iPhone SE (2022) vs the iPhone 13 lineup

Specification iPhone SE (2022) iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Mini iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
Specification iPhone SE (2022) iPhone 13 iPhone 13 Mini iPhone 13 Pro iPhone 13 Pro Max
OS iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15 iOS 15
Display 4.7-inch LCD 6.1-inch OLED 5.4-inch OLED 6.1-inch OLED 6.7-inch OLED
Resolution 1334 x 750 2532 x 1170 2340 x 1080 2532 x 1170 2778 x 1284
Max. refresh rate 60Hz 60Hz 60Hz up to 120Hz up to 120Hz
Dimensions(mm) 67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.65 64.2 x 131.5 x 7.65 71.5 x 146.7 x 7.65 78.1 x 160.8 x 7.65
Weight 144g 174g 141g 204g 240g
Battery Capacity TBD 3,227 mAh 2,406 mAh 3,095 mAh 4,352 mAh
Processor A15 Bionic A15 Bionic A15 Bionic A15 Bionic A15 Bionic
RAM TBD 4GB 4GB 6GB 6GB
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Ports Lightning port Lightning port Lightning port Lightning Port Lightning Port
Rear camera 12MP (f/1.8, OIS) wide 12MP (f/1.6, sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide 12MP (f/1.6, sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide 12MP (f/1.5 sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.8 OIS) 3x telephoto, 12MP (f/1.8) ultrawide 12MP (f/1.5 sensor-shift OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.8 OIS) 3x telephoto, 12MP (f/1.8) ultrawide
Front camera 7MP (f/2.2) 12MP (f/2.2) 12MP (f/2.2) 12MP (f/2.2) 12MP (f/2.2)
Photo Modes Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting, Photographic Styles Night Mode, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting Photographic Styles Night Mode, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting Photographic Styles Macro Mode, Night Mode, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting Photographic Styles Macro Mode, Night Mode, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting Photographic Styles
Video modes N/A Cinematic Mode, Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K at 60 fps Cinematic Mode, Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K at 60 fps Cinematic Mode, ProRes up to 4K at 30 fps, Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K at 60 fps Cinematic Mode, ProRes up to 4K at 30 fps, Dolby Vision HDR up to 4K at 60 fps
Video recording 4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps. 1080p HD at 25, 30, or 60 fps with 120 and 240 fps Slow-Mo. 4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps. 1080p HD at 25, 30, or 60 fps with 120 and 240 fps Slow-Mo. 4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps. 1080p HD at 25, 30, or 60 fps with 120 and 240 fps Slow-Mo. 4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps. 1080p HD at 25, 30, or 60 fps with 120 and 240 fps Slow-Mo. 4K at 24, 25, 30, or 60 fps. 1080p HD at 25, 30, or 60 fps with 120 and 240 fps Slow-Mo.
Biometrics Touch ID Face ID Face ID Face ID Face ID
Water and dust protection IP67 IP68 IP68 IP68 IP68
Wireless charging? Yes Yes, MagSafe Yes, MagSafe Yes, MagSafe Yes, MagSafe
5G support sub-6 GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz mmWave and sub-6GHz
Starting price $429 $829 $729 $999 $1,099