The iPhone SE 2022 is both a roaring success and a missed opportunity. Internally, this dinky phone makes a strong proposition with top-drawer performance and years of software updates ahead of it. It’s just a shame the same old design and tiny display is hard to get excited about.
- The fastest phone at this price (by some distance)
- Takes great daylight pictures
- IP rating and wireless charging
- iOS and all the benefits that come with it
- Small screen is cramped and restrictive
- Tired design
- No night mode in the camera
- UKRRP: £419
- USARRP: $429
- EuropeRRP: €529
- CanadaRRP: CA$579
- AustraliaRRP: AU$719
- High-end camera featuresMany of the camera software features from the iPhone 13 are included, like Smart HDR 4 and Deep Fusion
- Serious performance skillsThere’s the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13 Pro, making this the fastest phone at its price
- Dinky dimensionsThis is one of the smallest and lightest phones around
The iPhone SE 2022 is Apple’s most affordable 5G device, and it comes packing some of the same tech you’ll find in the far more expensive iPhone 13 Pro.
This is a phone aimed at people who are still using a previous generation iPhone SE, or anything older than an iPhone 8, and it offers notable upgrades on those ageing devices in multiple areas.
With an A15 Bionic chipset, many of the camera software features that make the iPhone 13 Pro one of the best camera phones and handy extras like wireless charging and water resistance, the iPhone SE 2022 could be seen as a bargain.
But does an old design and cramped display hamper the experience? Let’s have a deeper look and see how it performed during our lab and real world tests.
Design and Screen
- One of the smallest displays on a phone
- The design will be familiar to most
- Three colours: Midnight, Starlight and Product RED
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way first. The display is the new iPhone SE’s most disappointing feature. Measuring 4.7-inches, it’s small and I find it very cramped when using the on-screen keyboard. I know some people like smaller phones, but for me, this is just one step too far.
It’s also just a fairly mundane panel. There’s no OLED tech for best-in-class blacks, no fast refresh rate for smoother scrolling and thick, chunky bezels line it giving the phone a retro look and feel.
Watching videos on it isn’t a great experience and while it gets bright enough to combat a sunny day, it’s not a standout performer when it comes to immersiveness or contrast. Other phones in this price range have OLED panels for deeper and richer colours, many also have 90 or 120Hz tech. This is a cool feature that makes them smoother to use by increasing the number of images per second the screen renders. All-in-all the screen is the biggest area where the iPhone SE 2022 could have been so much more.