The new 3rd generation iPhone SE is finally unveiled and it looks virtually the same as the previous model. It retains the same classic iPhone 8 design with a home button and Apple has given it a significant upgrade in terms of processor. So what’s new for the 2022 model? Read on to find out.
Apple A15 Bionic chip
The biggest upgrade of course is its processor. Similar to the previous iPhone SE, this is Apple’s entry-level phone that packs the power of its latest mobile chip. For the 2022 iPhone SE, it gets an Apple A15 Bionic chip with a 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine. This is the same configuration as the iPhone 13 models.
According to Apple, the new iPhone SE has 1.8x faster CPU performance and 2.2x faster GPU performance than the iPhone 8 which ran on an older A11 Bionic chip. Comparing with the previous 2nd gen iPhone SE, the new model claims to offer 1.2x faster graphics.
With the upgraded processor, the new phone has greater machine learning capabilities which enable new experiences such as Live Text on the camera app. The feature recognises characters and text, allowing you to select, copy, click to open a website, email or call a phone number.
Longer battery life than the iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X
The iPhone SE features a 4.7″ Retina HD display in a classic compact body but Apple has yet to reveal its actual battery capacity. Typically, the iPhone 8 and iPhone SE aren’t that great when it comes to battery life as the capacity is usually less than 1,900mAh. Surprisingly, the new iPhone SE spec sheet boasts 15 hours of video playback, which is 2 hours more than the previous model.
If you compare the battery life figures, the 3rd gen iPhone SE has the same rated battery life for video playback as the iPhone 12 mini and it is longer than the iPhone 8 Plus (14 hours) and the iPhone X (13 hours). This is probably due to its more efficient processor and Apple might have given the new SE a slight bump in battery capacity.
New camera features despite same hardware
In the camera department, the hardware appears unchanged as the new iPhone SE still gets a single 12MP f/1.8 main camera with OIS that can shoot 4K videos and a front-facing 7MP camera that can do FaceTime in HD. Thanks to the new processor, the iPhone SE supports Smart HDR 4 and Deep Fusion for greater details and clarity. It also gets Photographic Styles presets which made its debut on the iPhone 13 series. Unfortunately, the new iPhone SE still lacks Night Mode and it doesn’t support HDR video recording with Dolby Vision.
Toughest glass on a smartphone but no mention of ceramic shield
During the keynote, it was mentioned that the new iPhone SE features the toughest glass on a smartphone for both front and back, and it’s the same glass used on the iPhone 13. However, on the product page and spec sheet, there’s no mention of Ceramic Shield for the front. In terms of build quality, you can still expect a premium feel in the hands with the mixture of aerospace-grade aluminium and glass.
Similar to the iPhone SE from 2020, there are 3 colours – Black, White and Red, which are now called Midnight, Starlight and Product(RED). It still gets IP67-rated water resistance which means it can be submerged up to 1 metre deep for up to 30 minutes.
5G connectivity but no UWB
Keeping up with the times, the new iPhone SE gets 5G support for sub-6GHz bands. It also supports 802.11ax WiFi 6 with MIMO and Bluetooth 5.0. However, there’s no Ultra-Wideband (UWB) which is used to provide greater precision when using Apple’s Airtag. Another feature that’s missing is support for MagSafe but it still supports Qi wireless charging as standard.
Home button with Touch ID lives on
Last but not least, the iPhone SE is currently the only new iPhone to retain a home button with a Touch ID fingerprint sensor. While Apple is trying to make Face ID to work while wearing a face mask, having Touch ID is still the most convenient way to unlock your phone or to authenticate payments in the new normal. It still uses a second-generation fingerprint sensor that came with the iPhone 6s.
iPhone SE 5G pricing and availability
The 3rd gen iPhone SE with 5G is available for pre-order in Malaysia from 9am on the 18th March 2022. It costs RM100 more than the previous model and here’s the official pricing in Malaysia:
- iPhone SE 64GB – RM2,099
- iPhone SE 128GB – RM2,299
- iPhone SE 256GB – RM2,799
You can pre-order from Apple’s online store as well as authorised Apple resellers nationwide. Stocks are available on the following Friday, from the 25th March 2022. As part of its efforts to go green, the power adapter is not included and you’re only getting the phone and a USB-C to lightning cable in the box.