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?

Best iPhone SE (2022) plan overall
Vodaphone
Vodafone $40 Lite Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
24-month plans from
$69.95
/mo
Monthly data allowance
40GB
Model
iPhone SE 64GB
Bonus
Get 30GB bonus data + 3 months of Amazon Prime Music
Best for big data
Optus
Optus $115 Plus Promo Plan
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
36-month plans from
$84.96
/mo
Monthly data allowance
500GB
Model
iPhone SE 64GB
Bonus
$115 reduced to $65 for first 12 months
Best iPhone SE plan for 5G
Telstra
Telstra $115 XL Upfront Mobile Plan
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
36-month plans from
$85
/mo
Monthly data allowance
180GB
Model
iPhone SE 64GB
Bonus
$115 reduced to $65/mo for first 12 months. Bonus 12-month Disney+ subscription
Best iPhone SE (2022) plan overall
Vodaphone
Vodafone $40 Lite Plan
4 out of 5 stars
4
36-month plans from
$59.97
/mo
Monthly data allowance
40GB
Model
iPhone SE 64GB
Bonus
Get 30GB bonus data + 3 months of Amazon Prime Music
Fergus Halliday
Digital Content Editor
Read More
March 08, 2022
4 min read

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.

64GB
128GB
256GB
iPhone SE (2022)$719$799$969
iPhone 13N/A$1,349$1,519

iPhone SE 2022 plans

Much like the previous model, the new iPhone SE is likely to beavailable 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 vs iPhone 13: Specs

Our full analysis is just beyond this table, but the table below offers an at-a-glance side-by-side breakdown of how the iPhone SE 2022 and the iPhone 13 compare when it comes to specs.

Specs
iPhone SE (2022)
iPhone 13
Price (RRP)From $679From $1,349
Display4.7-inch LCD Multi‑Touch 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED, HDR10
Resolution1334x7501170×2532
Pixels-per-inch (ppi)326460
Refresh rate (max)60Hz60Hz
Max brightness (nits)6251200
Weight148g174g
Battery capacity1,821mAh3,227 mAh
ChargingFast Charging 20W, Qi 7.5WFast Charging 20W, MagSafe 15W Qi 7.5W
Front (selfie) camera7-MP (f/2.2)12MP (f/2.2)
Rear cameras12MP, f/1.8 (wide)12MP, f/1.6 (wide), 12MP, f2.4 (ultra-wide)
Memory (RAM)4GB RAM4GB RAM
Internal storage64 GB / 128 GB 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Expandable storageNoNo
ProcessorApple A15 BionicApple A15 Bionic
Operating SystemiOS 15iOS 15
Network5G5G
WirelessWiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
Water and dust resistanceIP67IP68

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: Performance

Both the iPhone 13 and the iPhone SE 2022 feature the same A15 Bionic processor and the same 4GB of RAM. On a surface level, this means that the baseline performance of the two devices shouldn't vary all that much. 

Winner: Draw

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.

Fergus Halliday
Written by
Fergus Halliday
Fergus Halliday is a Digital Content Editor for Reviews.org who specialises in technology, entertainment, gaming and pop culture. His work has been published in Gizmodo, Kotaku, Press Start Australia, The AU Review, Screen Rant, Superjump and more. You can follow him on Twitter.

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