Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

GSMArena Team, 06 April 2022.

Design, build, handling

The Apple iPhone SE (2022) is the only current iPhone model you can get today with the 'old-school' rounded frame. It is also one of the very few phones on the market that is both compact and curvy.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

Of course, the iPhone SE (2022)'s design isn't new. It uses identical design, shape and even footprint to the iPhone 8 from 2017. The iPhone 8 in turn is a mixture of the iPhone 6 from 2014 with the dual glass sandwich of the iPhone 4 from 2010.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The third-generation iPhone SE has two Corning-made glass panels on both sides with 2.5D-rounded edges. The thin aluminum frame is also rounded, nicely matching the subtle curves of the glass panels for one beautiful seamless transition.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The iPhone SE (2022) is IP67-rated for dust and water resistance, meaning it can last up to 30 minutes when submerged in clean water up to a meter of depth. That's not as impressive as the flagship iPhones, but enough for most purposes practical.

It's good to know that the glass panels aren't Ceramic Shield, but they are Corning made and are versions of the famous Gorilla Glass series.

Along with its lightweight body the iPhone SE (2022) will be well loved by fans of compact devices. But it isn't the most compact phone Apple has. Indeed, the iPhone 13 mini and the iPhone 12 mini before it are even smaller and yet with a much larger screen.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) reviewiPhone SE and iPhone 12 mini

The iPhone SE (2022) measures 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm, which is 7mm taller and 3mm wider than the mini model. It weighs 144g, 3g heavier than the iPhone 13 mini.

The iPhone 13 mini provides more secure grip thanks to its flat frame and panels, but the iPhone SE has a thinner profile. And it doesn't have a camera island to make it wobble on a desk.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) reviewiPhone SE and iPhone 12 mini

Of course, the thick black bezels above and below the iPhone SE display won't be everyone's cup of tea. But that is the price to pay for a cheaper yet powerful iPhone. After all, it is nearly €300 cheaper than the cheapest iPhone 13 mini.

The 4.7-inch LCD screen is carried over from the iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone 8. It is a 16:9 panel with 326ppi sharpness and bog-standard 60Hz refresh rate (but then again, the 13 mini isn't any faster).

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

On top of the screen is the earpiece behind a thin grille, the 7MP front camera, and a bunch of sensors including a real proximity one. The earpiece also doubles as a stereo speaker and it is quite powerful, especially when put on a such small device.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

Below the screen is the Home key with the integrated Touch ID fingerprint scanner. It's not a real key, but it is pressure-sensitive, and both the key and the scanner work incredibly quickly and accurately.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The back of the iPhone SE (2022) is simple, all glossy and specular. The single 12MP camera is in the top left corner, slightly jutting out of the back. Next to the camera you can spot a secondary microphone and the quad-LED dual-tone flash.

The camera seems to be the same since, well, probably iPhone 8, with OIS, of course, but it has been improved with the latest Smart HDR and Deep Fusion.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The aluminum frame is slightly curved and with matte finish. It makes for a good-enough grip.

You can see the Lightning port, the primary microphone and the other stereo speaker at the bottom of the iPhone.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The top is completely bare.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The left side of the iPhone SE houses the volume keys and the iconic mute toggle.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

And finally, the Side key (power/lock/Siri) is on the right, next to the nanoSIM slot.

The two glass panels of the iPhone SE (2022) are smudge magnets, but Apple has applied oleophobic coating which makes for two things - fingerprints are not as visible and it takes more time for everything to get smudgy, and then - it is easier to clean all unpleasantries with a single wipe with your palm or shirt.

Apple iPhone SE (2022) review

The iPhone SE and its solid build provide hassle-free handling. It is one impressively thin and lightweight smartphone, and we could barely feel it when carrying it in our pockets. It sure isn't the most modern-looking smartphone out there, but it has the Apple's attention to detail and build quality we have enjoyed over the years.

Reader comments

  • GEORGEKKS
  • 28 Jun 2022
  • M}J

You mean the widget?

  • Sin
  • 23 Jun 2022
  • AAq

Why the hell no Nubia red magic 7 pro or Lenovo legion y90 in the performance compared charts here Samsung galaxy phones are really slow I come here too see if iPhone se 3 is faster and better at gaming than the very best Android has too ofte...

  • Anonymous
  • 20 Jun 2022
  • 7kp

the main reason for hate is a 720p 60hz lcd display in a $429 phone with a base of 64gb storage and 2018mah battery which is absolutely unacceptable, also the lack of basic features like a ultra wide camera and a high refresh rate amoled display.