Apple’s new iPhone SE vs Android phones: Specs comparison


The new iPhone SE may look oddly familiar to anyone who’s seen an iPhone in the past eight years, but as Apple showed us with its budget line, it’s what’s inside that matters. The latest entry-level iPhone is slated for release on March 18, with pre-orders going live Friday, March 11, and when it does it’ll pack a beefy A15 Bionic processor and a slightly higher starting price of $429 with 64 GB of storage. It’s the same processor found in the iPhone 13 lineup, making the SE nearly as good as other current iPhones. What if you weren’t just shopping in the world of Apple? How does a “budget” iPhone compare to Android phones in a comparable price range?

First, let’s eliminate the most obvious determining factor. If you use an Apple Watch, AirPods, AirPlay, or are a blue bubble in iMessage, you’ll probably want to go back now. Yes, there are alternatives to all of this in the realm of Android, but each will present a level of friction that may be too much for many. However, if you’re considering a change, there’s a lot to love outside of Apple’s walled garden.

The highlights of the iPhone SE (2022)

The 2022 iPhone SE may use a dated design with large bezels, but what this lineup from Apple generally does best is deliver a massive headroom of performance at a relatively affordable price. You can’t get another phone for less than $500 with as fast a processor or as many years of expected updates as an iPhone SE. Apple doesn’t say how many years of OS updates its phones will receive, but the first-generation iPhone SE from 2016 is capable of running the latest iOS 15. Most phones that get three or four years of software updates are considered a triumph in the Android world, but it still pales in comparison.

This year, Apple promises the performance gains of the A15 processor as well as a bigger battery to accommodate that power-hungry 5G modem that’s now onboard. The cost of everything comes in at a starting price of $429 – a $30 increase over the 2020 model – but you’re still stuck with the same old design with its 4.7-inch Retina display. That said, if you like a good home button, fingerprint reader and non-MagSafe Qi wireless charging, then there’s reason to cheer.

The iPhone SE 2022 continues to prove that it’s what’s inside that matters. Namely, a beefy processor.
Image: Apple

The iPhone SE 2022 against Samsung, Google and Motorola

This design might feel warm and cozy to longtime iPhone owners who haven’t upgraded their phones in years, but compared to Android phones, it feels like it’s pulled from a long-forgotten past. For around the same price as the iPhone SE, there are all kinds of great Android phones out there with bigger screens, bigger batteries, more RAM, and extra cameras. The iPhone SE might offer higher performance thanks to its processor, but phones like the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, Galaxy A42 5G, Google Pixel 5A, and Motorola Moto Edge 5G UW (2021) offer more modern features and fair thing in general.

Samsung is known for hitting just about any price point, and its Galaxy A52 and A42 both offer strong battery life. We don’t yet know the mAh spec of the new iPhone SE, but it’s safe to assume that while it’s a bigger battery than 2020’s SE, it’s still going to be smaller than its Android competition. The Galaxy A52 and Moto Edge also offer higher refresh rate displays, hitting 120Hz and 144Hz respectively. They may cost a bit more than the iPhone, but those speeds make scrolling and animations much smoother. than the 60 Hz that the SE achieves.

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G, along with most phones in the Android world, makes the iPhone SE look quite dated in comparison.
Photo by Allison Johnson/The Edge

Perhaps one of the most competitive options to compare against the iPhone SE is Google’s Pixel 5A, as its price is the closest. For just $20 more, you get more storage, a larger OLED screen, excellent camera quality, and an ultra-wide lens option. Although it lacks wireless charging, the Pixel 5A is a valid option for cross-purchasing with the SE.

Finally, there’s the Motorola Moto Edge 5G UW, which boasts some of the greatest specs and features of all these phones, including a 6.8-inch display with 144Hz refresh, 5,000mAh battery, 8GB of RAM and 256 GB of storage. While it also comes with an asking price of $699.99, it’s often discounted to the much more competitive $499.99. As is the case with Android phones, there are often discounts to be had that are much rarer, or downright rare, on iPhones.

It’s hard to buy a bad phone these days, however, mid-range phones continue to offer more value while flagships from companies such as Apple and Samsung tend to become more and more more expensive. If you’re curious how the upcoming iPhone SE compares directly to some of its budget-based rivals, check out the side-by-side comparison below. We’ll be putting the new iPhone SE through its paces very soon in our full review, where specs and software experience collide to see just how good this phone really is.

iPhone SE (2022) vs mid-range Android phones

specification iPhone SE (2022) Samsung Galaxy A52 5G Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Google Pixel 5A Motorola Moto Edge 5G UW (2021)
specification iPhone SE (2022) Samsung Galaxy A52 5G Samsung Galaxy A42 5G Google Pixel 5A Motorola Moto Edge 5G UW (2021)
SE iOS 15 Update to Android 12 Update to Android 12 Update to Android 12 Android 11, planned update to Android 12 in early 2022
To display 4.7 inch LCD screen 6.5 inch OLED 6.6 inch OLED 6.34 inch OLED 6.8 inch LCD
Resolution 1334×750 2400×1080 1600×720 2400×1080 2460×1080
Max. refresh rate 60Hz Up to 120Hz 60Hz 60Hz up to 144Hz
Size(mm) 67.3 x 138.4 x 7.3 75.1×159.9×8.4 75.9 x 164.4 x 8.6 73.2 x 156.2 x 8.8 75.6 x 169 x 8.99
Weight 144g 189g 193 grams 183 grams 200g
Battery capacity To be determined 4500mAh 5000mAh 4680mAh 5000mAh
Processor A15 bionic Snapdragon 750G Snapdragon 750G Snapdragon 765G Snapdragon 778G
RAM 4GB 6 GB 4GB 6 GB 8 GB
Storage room 64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB 128 GB 128 GB 128 GB 256 GB
Ports Lightning Port USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack USB-C charging port
Rear camera 12MP (f/1.8, OIS) wide 64MP (f/1.8, OIS) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 5MP macro (f/2.4), 5MP depth camera (f/2.4) 48MP (f/1.8) wide, 8MP (f/2.2) wide, 2MP (f/2.4) deep camera 12.2 MP wide-angle (f/1.7, Dual Pixel AF), 16 MP ultra-wide (f/2.2) 108MP wide-angle (f/1.9), 8MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 2MP depth sensor (f/2.4)
Front camera 7MP (f/2.2) 32MP (f/2.2) 13MP (f/2.2) 8MP(f/2.0) 32MP (f/2.25)
Photo modes Smart HDR 4, portrait mode, portrait lighting, photography styles Macro, Night mode, Portrait mode, Fun mode (front camera) Night mode, portrait mode Night vision, portrait mode Macro, Ultra-Res Pro (with long exposure), night vision
Video Modes N / A Super Steady Video Mode Super Steady Video Mode Slow motion Macro, Super Slow Motion, Dual Capture, Video Snapshot
Video recording 4K at 24, 25, 30 or 60 fps. HD 1080p at 25, 30 or 60 fps with slow motion at 120 and 240 fps. 4K at 30 fps, 1080p HD at 30 fps in Super Steady video mode 4K at 30 fps, 1080p HD at 30 fps in Super Steady video mode 4K at 30 and 60 fps, 1080p HD at 30, 60, 120 and 240 fps 4K at 30 fps, 1080p HD at 60 and 30 fps or 120 fps with Slow-Mo
Biometrics Touch ID Digital print Digital print Digital print Fingerprint, facial recognition
Protection against water and dust IP67 IP67 N / A IP67 IP52
Wireless charging? Yes, Qi-compatible No No No No
5G support sub-6 GHz sub-6GHz sub-6GHz, mmWave sub-6GHz sub-6GHz, mmWave on Verizon
Starting price $429 $499.99 $399.99 $449 $499.99 (MSRP $699.99)


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