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iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 13: Which is better?
Apple’s most affordable iPhone features the same processor as the standard iPhone 13 but does that alone mean it's worth going the cheaper route?
The smartphone landscape has changed in major ways since Apple last updated its most affordable smartphone: the iPhone SE.
One of the biggest shifts here is that 5G is now more of a practical matter than it was prior to the pandemic. Coverage is still far from universal, but it is a lot more common to have 5G connectivity in your area than it was back in 2020.
The arrival of the new iPhone SE in 2022 may mean that the iPhone 13 is no longer the default cheap option on Apple’s 5G-enabled menu. With that in mind, we decided to take a closer look and see how the two devices compare to one another ahead of our full review.
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13: Price
Australian pricing for the third generation iPhone SE is more or less identical to that of its 2022 counterpart, though it starts slightly higher. The 64GB version of the device retails for $719, while the 128GB version lists for $799. Finally, the 256GB model caps out the range at $969.
Naturally, the iPhone 13 is a bit more expensive. The 128GB version of Apple’s latest flagship starts at $1,349. Opting for 256GB of storage bumps that up to $1,519. There’s also a 512GB model that retails for $1,869.
Winner: iPhone SE 2022
Below is a pricing table that breaks down the difference in cost between the new iPhone SE and last year's iPhone 13.
|iPhone SE (2022)||$719||$799||$969|
iPhone SE 2022 plans
Much like the previous model, the new iPhone SE is likely to be available on a post-paid plan through Telstra, Vodafone and Optus. You can check out the widget below for the top five most popular plans for its predecessor below.
iPhone 13 plans
Australia’s three big telcos all carry the iPhone 13. You can check out the widget below for the top five most popular plans for the new device.
iPhone SE (2022)
|Price (RRP)||From $679||From $1,349|
|Display||4.7-inch LCD Multi‑Touch||6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, HDR10|
|Refresh rate (max)||60Hz||60Hz|
|Max brightness (nits)||625||1200|
|Battery capacity||1,821mAh||3,227 mAh|
|Charging||Fast Charging 20W, Qi 7.5W||Fast Charging 20W, MagSafe 15W Qi 7.5W|
|Front (selfie) camera||7-MP (f/2.2)||12MP (f/2.2)|
|Rear cameras||12MP, f/1.8 (wide)||12MP, f/1.6 (wide), 12MP, f2.4 (ultra-wide)|
|Memory (RAM)||4GB RAM||4GB RAM|
|Internal storage||64 GB / 128 GB||128GB / 256GB / 512GB|
|Processor||Apple A15 Bionic||Apple A15 Bionic|
|Operating System||iOS 15||iOS 15|
|Wireless||WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1||WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1|
|Water and dust resistance||IP67||IP68|
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13: Camera
The 2020 iPhone SE used software trickery to eke out more from modest camera hardware. The device featured a single-lens 12-megapixel rear camera and a 7-megapixel selfie shooter.
The hardware setup on the new iPhone SE is remain more or less unchanged, though improvements on the software and image processing side it to inherit more of the iPhone 13's camera magic than its predecessor. The new device supports Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4 and the new photographic styles feature.
For the most part though, new iPhone SE 2022 doesn’t tinker too much with this formula. That complacency leaves it wide open when matched up against the iPhone 13.
Apple's 2021 flagship features a dual-lens rear camera that combines a matching set of 12-megapixel wide and ultra wide lenses. To round things out, there’s a third 12-megapixel camera on the front of the device.
Winner: iPhone 13
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13: Design
The new iPhone SE 2022 recycles the design of the older iPhone SE 2020. It’s got the same ports, the same 4.7-inch LCD screen and the same Touch ID-enabled Home Button perched at the bottom end of the device. These qualities might come sweetened by nostalgia for the smartphones of yesteryear, but they do leave the new iPhone SE 2022 outgunned by the iPhone 13.
While both devices feature the traditional perks that usually come with a premium device such as water resistance, 5G connectivity and support for wireless charging, only the iPhone 13 has support for Face ID.
Winner: iPhone 13
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13: Display
Apple’s latest flagship smartphone comes outfitted with a gorgeous 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display and easily takes the crown here. That gives it a significant lead in both fidelity and physical size on the iPhone SE 2022’s smaller 4.7-inch LCD panel.
Winner: iPhone 13
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13: Battery life
While the iPhone SE 2022 has a clear advantage over the iPhone 13 when it comes to price, battery life gives Apple’s latest flagship the chance to turn the tables on its more affordable rival. The battery inside the new iPhone SE is exactly the same as its predecessor: 1821mAh.
In contrast, the iPhone 13 has a whopping 3227mAh battery inside to offer. Even if the A15 Bionic processor inside the new iPhone SE offers some gains superior power efficiency, the reality is that bigger is better when it comes to batteries.
With a difference in battery size this wide, the iPhone 13 is a clear victor here.
Winner: iPhone 13
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13: Which should I buy?
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, then the performance gains and 5G connectivity of the new iPhone SE 2022 is going to be hard to pass up. Compared to other Android handsets operating in the same price range, the advantages of going with Apple’s most affordable iPhone are hard to pass up.
However, if you can afford to spend a little bit more, then the standard iPhone 13 is going to be worth the additional cost. On every front bar the price-tag, Apple’s flagship iPhone has the advantage here. You get more premium perks and a much more modern design with conveniences like Face ID and longer-lasting battery life.