Do Not Buy The iPhone SE 3 Without Reading This!

Is the iPhone SE 'the' one for you?

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iPhone SE 3
Image: Apple

Apple launched the iPhone SE (3rd Generation) at the Peek Performance Event. Priced at $429, this is Apple’s value for money offering that strips it off of a modern design but makes it a phone that’ll last a long haul. But should you buy the iPhone Se 3, or is there anything better you can get?

There are several ways to justify any iPhone’s value for money factor. You can buy a used or refurbished iPhone for good value or buy last year’s iPhone from Amazon and save some money. However, with the iPhone SE, Apple makes sure that the iPhone is inexpensive, has good performance, and gets updates for a long time.

When you look at it this way, the iPhone SE 3 starts making sense. Because with other options, it is more of a trade that you’re making. Let’s compare some of these trades to see if they make sense. We can compare the iPhone SE 2022 with the iPhone 12 Mini and the older iPhone 11.

iPhone SE 3 Vs iPhone 12 Mini Vs iPhone 11

SpecificationsiPhone SE (3rdGenerationn)iPhone 12 MiniiPhone 11
BuildGlass front and back
Aerospace-grade aluminum
Ceramic Shield front
Aerospace-grade aluminum
Glass front and back
Aerospace-grade aluminum
Display4.7-inch Retina HD display
625 nits brightness
5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display
625 nits brightness (typical)
1,200 nits max brightness (HDR)
6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD display
625 nits brightness
CamerasRear: 12MP Wide
Front: 7MP FaceTime HD camera
Rear: 12MP Wide + 12MP Ultrawide
Front: 12MP TrueDepth camera
Rear: 12MP Wide + 12MP Ultrawide
Front: 12MP TrueDepth camera
OSLaunched with iOS 15Launched with iOS 14Launched with iOS 13
ProcessorApple A15 BionicApple A14 BionicApple A13 Bionic
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
SecurityTouch IDFace IDFace ID
BatteryUp to 15 hours of video playbackUp to 15 hours of video playbackUp to 17 hours of video playback
Charging20W fast wired charging
Qi wireless charging
20W fast wired charging
MagSafe wireless charging
20W fast wired charging
Qi wireless charging
In-the-boxiPhone, USB-C to Lightning cableiPhone, USB-C to Lightning cableiPhone, USB-C to Lightning cable
Supported AccessoriesMagSafe cases, wallets, charging docks
ColorsMidnight, Starlight, (Product) RedPurple, Blue, Green, (Product) Red, White, BlackPurple, Blue, Green, (Product) Red, White, Black
Price$429$599 (available cheaper at other retailers)$699 (available cheaper at other retailers)

Look at the table above, and you won’t see more than one or two reasons to spend more on the iPhone 12 Mini or the iPhone 11. We included the iPhone 11 because it will likely be heavily discounted in the coming days. However, the iPhone 11 was a bad decision ever since the iPhone 12 came out. We can leave that one out of the equation entirely.

Devil in the Details

The iPhone SE 3 and the iPhone 12 Mini go neck and neck. Both have a compact form factor, 5G, and even similar battery backup. The iPhone SE beats the iPhone 12 when it comes to performance. Despite the older design, the SE has the more recent A15 Bionic. But that’s all about the iPhone SE. It has a modern processor, but everything else is dated, and we can see that.

Let’s go into the details now. The phone isn’t just a phone now. It has to be good for media consumption, gaming, photography, and more. In this regard, the iPhone SE is a hit-and-miss case. For instance, it has good gaming performance but lacks the display to bring that to life.

It has an A15 bionic chip that brings computational photography to the phone but is paired with a camera setup from 2017. Even the front-facing camera is a 7MP shooter that’s barely passable today. There’s no ultra-wide camera or audio zoom either.

So if you want a stripped-down iPhone that’ll run for years but costs less, the iPhone SE is the one for you. However, be mindful that you’re going to miss out on a whole set of hardware features that make for a premium iPhone experience.

Should you buy the iPhone SE?

Should you buy the iPhone SE 3
Image: Apple

So who is it for? Should you buy the iPhone SE? And will it make for a daily driver that can keep up with your usage? These are some questions you need to ask yourself before you go for it. If you ask me, the iPhone SE 3 is one of the best phones for children, older people, and users on a budget.

The inexpensive cost and simpler design make it a good option for children and the elderly. However, if you’re on a budget and looking for a performance packing phone, you should go for the iPhone 12 Mini instead. It may be two years old at this point, but it will last you a fairly long time too.

The Mini packs a bigger display with a similar footprint to the SE. You can also get a host of MagSafe accessories down the line, including the MagSafe power bank. You’ll also get a better display, better cameras, and a more modern design.

What do you think about the iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 12 Mini? Will you save $100 and buy the iPhone SE, or spend the extra cash and get a 12 Mini? Do let us know in the comments.

Manik Berry

Manik Berry

With a Master’s degree in journalism, Manik writes about big tech and has a keen eye for political-tech news. In his free time, he’s browsing the Kindle store for new stuff read. Manik also adores his motorcycle and is looking for new routes on weekends. He likes tea and cat memes. You can reach him at [email protected]