Just as the rumors and leaks predicted, Apple has officially unveiled the iPhone SE 3 as its latest budget iPhone. For quite a few years, the terms ‘budget’ and ‘iPhone’ went together like oil and water. iPhones were well known for being popular, powerful, and — most importantly — expensive.
But that’s changed in the last few years as Apple‘s mainline iPhones have gradually come down in price. Apple wowed everyone when it announced the $749 iPhone XR, and even more so when it launched the iPhone 11 a year later for just $699. Apple‘s also had huge success with its iPhone SE lineup. The first iPhone SE debuted in March 2016 for just $399. Touting the iconic iPhone 5 design and modern specs for its time, the iPhone SE became an instant hit. It was fast, familiar, and the most affordable iPhone by a considerable margin. Four long years later, Apple‘s 2nd generation iPhone SE launched in April 2020. With improved specs across the board, a sleeker and larger iPhone 7-like body, and the same $399 MSRP, the iPhone SE 2 was better in every way.
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Now, in March 2022, Apple’s doing it all over again with the iPhone SE 3. At first glance, this third generation of the iPhone SE looks very familiar. Its design is practically unchanged from the previous SE, which means it looks just like the iPhone 7. The iPhone SE 3 has a 4.7-inch display, glass back, metal frame, and big bezels. Some people may be disappointed that there’s no big design overhaul. Others will likely be happy to see a new iPhone in 2022 that still has a small screen and a physical home button. Also, while the iPhone SE 3 doesn’t look any physically different compared to the iPhone SE 2, it’s touting quite a few upgrades under the hood.
Everything Else That’s New With The iPhone SE 3
Perhaps the biggest new feature of the iPhone SE 3 is its A15 Bionic processor. This is the same chip used in the iPhone 13/13 Pro and two generations newer compared to the A13 Bionic in the iPhone SE 2. Along with a faster CPU, better GPU, and a more power-efficient design, the A15 Bionic also makes the iPhone SE 3 the first iPhone SE that supports 5G connectivity. Apple’s also touting better battery life than the iPhone SE 2. It doesn’t say how much better, but you should expect longer endurance than the previous model.
Furthermore, Apple’s touting a ‘new camera system’ for the iPhone SE 3. It’s still a single 12MP rear camera, but the quality of photos and videos from it should be better. The SE 3 gets features like Deep Fusion, Photographic Styles, better HDR processing, and better video quality with less noise and more natural skin tones.
The iPhone SE 3 isn’t a revolutionary upgrade over the SE 2, but for someone who hasn’t upgraded their iPhone in a few years, there is a lot to like here. The iPhone SE 3 will be available starting at $429, which is a $30 price hike over the previous versions. Pre-orders open Friday, March 11, and regular sales begin on March 18.