The iPhone SE is back in a third version. After 2016 and 2020, Apple launched Friday a new upgrade of the most affordable smartphone in its catalog. Sold from 529 euros, or 40 euros more than its predecessor, it embeds several components of the latest generation iPhones but still displays the old design of the iPhone launched in 2014. We tried it a few days before its release to tell you if it is a good deal at the start of spring 2022.
The same power as the iPhone 13
The great thing about this new iPhone is that it comes with the Apple A15 Bionic chip of the latest iPhone 13 and benefits on paper from the same power as the models sold between 800 and 1,200 euros. The theory is confirmed from the first grip. The iPhone SE (2022) is as smooth as the best iPhones. Despite its small size, it displays unfailing responsivenesssupports all uses and allows you to enjoy the most demanding apps and games from the App Store.
This processor is also a guarantee of longevity. The iPhone SE stands out as one of the most durable smartphones on the market. It is the assurance of being able to receive the next iOS updates and security patches for at least five years. It is also equipped for the first time with a 5G modem to be able to connect to the new generation of mobile network.
A very practical compact format
With the iPhone SE (2022), Apple is once again recycling the body of its old iPhones. There is a small 4.7-inch screen framed by two thick borders and a navigation mode centered on a physical button that is easier to understand than the touch gestures of the new models. A compact format that goes against the XXL market standards that we find ourselves regretting as it was so practical to use on a daily basis. This bias also implies the return of the fingerprint sensor instead of the facial recognition system without losing efficiency.
The new iPhone SE isn’t the best phone for reading with its 4.7-inch screen
That said, this format also has its limitations. People accustomed to consuming media on diagonals larger than 5 inches will find it difficult to get back to reading on 4.7 inches. The LCD technology used for the screen is also more difficult in conditions of strong sunlight than the OLED screens of the latest iPhones.
A limited camera
To offer such a powerful iPhone at a tight price, Apple also makes concessions on the photo part. The iPhone SE is still shipping only one sensor on the backa real exception at a time when most models are multiplying the optics to offer more versatility in use.
This status quo is however compensated by the great capacities of the A15 chip in the processing of images which allow it to offer photos a little more successful in the evening without having a night mode strictly speaking like on the latest iPhones. No problem during the day, where the device shines with its responsiveness and its complete interface despite the absence of wide-angle and a somewhat dated digital zoom. Nothing new on the front, where Apple keeps the 7 megapixels for selfies.
The new iPhone SE is a bit behind on the photo part
Finally, there remains the question of autonomy. If we refer to market standards, that of the iPhone SE can be considered a defect because you should not hope to end a day without having to recharge it if you use it intensively. But Apple has made efforts on this point, with two additional hours announced compared to the old model, and we must recognize some progress.
In the end, the iPhone SE is an interesting gateway into the Apple catalog with the assurance of having a high-performance and 5G-compatible smartphone for several years. Its compact format will delight people who have not switched to the latest generation all-touch mobiles and small hands. But the increase in its price seems difficult to justify given the limits it continues to display in terms of screen technology, photos and autonomy. So much so that some will consider with interest the iPhone 11 proposal, equipped with a large OLED screen, a modern photo configuration and better autonomy for around fifty euros more. Among the competition, Samsung’s Galaxy A52 and Google’s Pixel 5A also offer more up-to-date standards. Except in terms of performance where the iPhone SE (2022) has nothing to envy anyone.