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iPhone SE 2022 vs. 2020: Which Budget Phone is a Better Deal?

Apple's newest budget phone is now available. Here's how the 2022 iPhone SE compares to the 2020 model.

The 2022 iPhone SE is here. Apple's new affordable iPhone made its debut at the company's event last week, alongside the updated iPad Air. It's a new-and-improved model of the last iPhone SE, which launched in 2020 and features the iPhone 11's A13 processor and an iPhone 8-like body for $399. 

Apple's new SE is the same concept, retaining an iPhone 8 shell and a Touch ID home button, except it's outfitted with the iPhone 13's A15 Bionic processor and 5G support. It's now available starting at $429 -- a slight price hike from its 2020 predecessor.

Now playing: Watch this: Review: The iPhone SE Is an Incredible Value
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Apple's new iPhone SE for 2022 is a mix of an older design with the latest smartphone features, including Apple's latest A15 Bionic chip and 5G support, for $429. It's also one of the few phones on the market that includes a smaller, 4.7-inch screen.

Yet it's that throwback design, which continues the general shape that Apple has used since 2014, that could be what you will love or dislike most about this phone. If you want a larger iPhone in this price range, you can also consider the iPhone 11 at $499 in order to get a bigger screen and Face ID. But that phone, first released in 2019, does not include 5G connectivity.

Read our iPhone SE (2022) review.

 

John Kim/CNET

Apple's $399 iPhone SE, released in 2020, looks like an iPhone 8 but works like Apple's newer iPhone 11 Pro. Note that Apple no longer sells this model and most models you'll find online are preowned or refurbished.

Here's how the specs for the new 2022 iPhone SE compare to those of the previous iPhone SE.

iPhone SE 2022 specs vs. iPhone SE 2020 specs


iPhone SE 2022 iPhone SE 2020
Display size, resolution 4.7-inch 4.7-inch
Material Glass and aluminum, same durable glass used on the back of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro Glass and aluminum
Colors Midnight (black), starlight (white), red Black, white, red
Mobile software iOS 15 iOS 13
Cameras Back: 12-megapixel with feature upgrades (Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles, and Deep Fusion) Back: 12-megapixel; front: 7-megapixel; video capture: 4K
Processor Apple A15 Bionic Apple A13 Bionic
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB 64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Special features Home button with Touch ID, water-resistant and dust-resistant (IP67), wireless charging, fast charging, 5G support, longer battery life Home button with Touch ID, Water-resistant (IP67); dual-SIM capabilities (nano-SIM, e-SIM); wireless charging
Price off-contract (USD) Starting at $429 $399 (64GB), $449 (128GB), $549 (256GB)
Price (GBP) Starting at £419 £419 (64GB), £469 (128GB), £569 (256GB)
Price (AUD) Starting at AU$719 AU$749 (64GB), AU$829 (128GB), AU$999 (256GB)

Read more: Best Apple SE Case for 2022

For more on Apple's latest, check out our roundup of all the features iOS 15.4 will bring to your iPhone. Here's everything announced at Apple's recent event, including the new iPad Air and the new green color options for iPhone 13 models. Plus, is the iPhone SE 2020 still a good buy in 2022?