iPhone SE (2022) Review: Why You Should Not Buy

iPhone SE (2022) Review: Why You Should Not Buy

Apple intends to bring nostalgia from the previous generations of iPhones before the iPhone X when it decided to introduce the iPhone Special Edition or the iPhone SE. Nonetheless, during the 8 March 2022 Apple Event, it introduced the third-generation iPhone SE or the iPhone SE (2022) with notable hardware upgrades and performance improvements.

Equipped with Apple A15 Bionic chip, this new device is leaps behind the processing capabilities of the previous SE model and even the iPhone 12 and iPhone 11. The fact sheet from Apple noted that it is graphics performance is up to 1.2x faster than the second-generation iPhone SE and 2.2x faster than the iPhone 8.

Note that the A15 system-on-a-chip is also found in the iPhone 13 line of smartphones, as well as in the iPad Mini 6. The specific chip on the SE has a 6-core CPU and 4-core integrated GPU, as well as a 6-core Neural Engine, and a dedicated image signal processor or ISP. This device is also the cheapest 5G iPhone from Apple.

Other selling points of this device include an IP67 rating that indicates resistance from water submission of up to 1 meter for 30 minutes, as well as from splashes and dust; and support for the advanced camera features found on the iPhone 13 with the improved camera systems such as Deep Fusion, Smart HDR 4, Portrait Mode, and Portrait Lighting.

However, despite the aforementioned upgrades which translate to advantages, the iPhone SE (2022) has notable drawbacks. The overall and specific features and characteristics of this device might be unsuitable for certain users and might even turn off those who are switching from popular mid-range Android smartphones to an iOS-based device.

The Problems with the iPhone SE (2022): 4 Reasons Why You Should Not Buy

1. Small Overall Physical Size and Small Screen Display

Phones with smaller form factors belong to a particular niche. Some individuals prefer using smaller devices because they are easier to carry around. The size of this new SE device is 5.45 inches in height and 2.65 in width. It also has a depth of 0.29 inches and a weight of 144 grams. The diagonal size of the entire screen is 4.7-inches.

However, bot the form factor and screen size are two of the notable disadvantages of the iPhone SE (2022). The small physical size means that it is not suitable for individuals with bigger hands. The same is true for the small Liquid Retina screen. Furthermore, the small screen means that it is unsuitable for individuals with vision problems.

Modern smartphones are sporting larger screens with smaller screen-to-body ratios for a more immersive user experience. Contents are easier to consume in larger displays. This is especially true for reading texts or writing messages and documents. Note that the design philosophy of the SE is obviously outdated based on modern trends and standards.

2. Liquid Crystal Display Based on In-Plane Switching

Several manufacturers of mid-range Android smartphones have moved from using in-plane switching or IPS LCD to OLED-based displays. This is true for Chinese manufacturers such as Xiaomi, Vivo, and Oppo, as well as other consumer electronic giants such as Samsung. The Samsung Galaxy A series of mid-range smartphones sport OLED screens.

Of course, an IPS screen has numerous advantages. These include lower susceptibility to screen burns and improved overall lifespan. However, OLED screens are superior in terms of contrast ratio due to their deep blacks, viewing angles, and color reproduction. The Retina-branded IPS LCD used on the SE does not have these advantages.

The 625 nits of maximum brightness are more than enough to use this device under direct light or sunlight. Note that devices with nits above 400 and 500 are the standard for them to be viewable in bright odor settings. But because an LCD screen uses backlighting to make display information visible to users, it means that it consumes more battery than OLEDs.

3. Unimpressive Battery Day-to-Day Battery Performance

Speaking of battery life, another problem with the iPhone SE (2022), and possibly a good reason why you should not buy this device from Apple is that it has a smaller battery. This is understandable because of its small form factor. The company does not publish the battery capacity of its devices but a teardown reveals that this new SE has 2018 mAh.

A battery capacity of below 3000 mAh is substandard compared to modern standards. Mid-range Android devices come at higher capacities. Some even sport as high as 4000 mAh to 5000 mAh. The clamor for longer-lasting batteries comes from the fact that people are more glued to their devices and hardware specifications demand more power.

The battery problem of this new-generation iPhone SE comes from the fact that it sports the A15 Bionic chip. Although it has four power-efficient cores and is based on a 5nm fabrication process, its battery would not last when the two performance cores kick in during intense use such as during mobile gaming or excessive use of the camera app.

Remember that this phone also connects to a 5G network via the sub-6 GHz or New Radio standard. This advance and faster cellular network technology strain the battery. The 5G radio in this device demands more power. Users would need to settle to LTE to conserve battery life and extend the life of their devices under a single charge.

4. Expensive Compared With Android Mid-Rangers

Budget is another reason why you should not buy the iPhone SE (2022). The base model of this device retails at USD 429.00 with a 64GB storage configuration. A 128GB variant retails at USD 479.00 while a 256GB variant is priced at 579.00. iPhone devices also do not have expandable storage unlike some Android smartphones.

A user can buy a decent mid-range Android smartphone around the same price point. Note that the Samsung A53 5G with 128GB storage retails at around USD 450.00 while the more advanced A73 5G has a starting price of around USD 566.00. The Google Pixel 5A with flagship-grade specifications is priced at USD 450.00.

Consumers who want the full iOS experience in a smaller form factor might be better off purchasing an iPhone 12 Mini or an iPhone 13 Mini. Note that the iPhone 13 Mini is a more powerful device than the SE. Of course, if they opt for this device, they will need to shell out more than a hundred dollars. The 128GB base model retails at USD 699.00.