Apple’s recent adjustment to the iPhone lineup means that the comparison between the iPhone SE (2022) and the iPhone 13 is particularly apt. If you are discussing any of the best iPhones that you can buy, you will likely notice that both phones have the same processor. This means that you can expect similar performance no matter which model you get.
This is a big sign in favor of the newly announced iPhone SE (2022). After all, the iPhone SE’s follow-up cost as of 2020 still costs hundreds of dollars less than Apple’s flagship phone, even with slight price hikes. For as little as $450, you can get an iPhone with the latest processor as well as 5G compatibility. What do you not like?
However, the iPhone 13 has few more complete features than the iPhone SE (2022). This higher price tag buys you an additional rear camera, bigger and better screen, and MagSafe compatibility, among other features.
Choosing a winning iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 13 confrontation comes down to whether you want an expensive Apple device or one with more capabilities. Here’s a closer look at how the two phones compare to help you decide which one is right for you.
Comparing iPhone SE (2022) to iPhone 13 specifications
|iPhone SE (2022)||iPhone 13|
|Screen Size||4.7 inch LCD (1334 x 750)||6.1 inch OLED (2532 x 1170)|
|CPU||A13 Bionic||A13 Bionic|
|storage||64 GB, 128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB|
|rear cameras||12 MP (f/1.8)||12 MP (f / 1.6) main; 12MP (f/2.4) Ultra Wide|
|front camera||7 MP (f/2.2)||12 MP (f/2.2)|
|Battery size||Unknown||3227 mAh|
|size||5.5 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches||5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches|
|Weight||5.09 oz||6.14 oz|
|Colors||black, white, red||Green, Pink, Blue, Black, White, Red|
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 13 price and availability
As we noted above, the iPhone SE (2022) got a slight increase in price over the previous model. It now costs $429, which is $30 more than the iPhone SE (2020). iPhone SE pre-orders are ongoing, with the phone shipping on Friday, March 18th. Our collection of the best iPhone SE deals can show you where to save.
Even with the slightly higher price tag, the iPhone SE 2022 still costs $270 less than the iPhone 13 mini’s $699 price tag. The full-size iPhone 13 comes in at $799, although the best iPhone 13 deals can bring that price down somewhat.
The iPhone SE 2020 may not cost the same as the iPhone 13, but you don’t get as much storage space for your money with the less expensive iPhone. The base model of the iPhone SE features 64GB of storage, compared to 128GB for the iPhone 13. To match storage on this model, you’ll have to pay $479 for a 128GB iPhone SE (2022). There is also a 256GB version for $579, while the iPhone 13 has 512GB of storage.
iPhone SE (2022) compared to iPhone 13 design
Apple takes two very different approaches when it comes to the design of the iPhone 13 and iPhone SE (2022). The previous phone featured Apple’s latest design, with a notch screen that extends from one end of the phone to the other. Meanwhile, the iPhone SE (2022) harkens back to the days of the iPhone 8. There is no notch, but the phone does feature some notable bezels on the top and bottom of the screen.
This also means that the iPhone SE has room for a fingerprint sensor, allowing the new Apple phone to support Touch ID. The iPhone 13 has no such capability, as it depends entirely on Face ID to unlock your phone and verify mobile payments. This was a flaw back in the days when we wore face masks all the time, but iOS 15.4 improves Face ID to recognize your face when you’re wearing a mask. So Touch ID won’t be as much of a feature for the iPhone SE as it would have been this time last year.
In terms of materials, the iPhone SE and iPhone 13 use the same glass and aluminum construction. Neither phone offers a headphone jack, and both support wireless charging. Only iPhone 13 has magnets to support MagSafe connectivity.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 13 شاشة screen
Besides the lack of a notch in the iPhone SE (2022), the biggest noticeable difference between these two phones lies in the size of their screens. The iPhone SE has a 4.7-inch panel, which is the smallest screen you can get on an iPhone – the iPhone 13 mini has a 5.4-inch screen – which would make this an attractive option for fans of the best small phones. The iPhone 13 is positively giant when compared to its 6.1-inch screen.
However, it is not only the size of the screens that differ. Apple switched to OLED panels with the iPhone 12 family, so the iPhone 13 continues to use OLED for its screen. The iPhone SE (2022) features an LCD panel, which means the blacks will be blacker and have better contrast than the iPhone 13.
Both screens refresh at 60Hz. Apple keeps fast-refreshing displays for its Pro phones.
Comparison of iPhone SE (2022) and iPhone 13 cameras
Another noticeable difference between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 13 is when you flip the phones over. While the iPhone 13 features a pair of cameras – one with a wide-angle lens and one with an ultra-wide one – you can only get one with the iPhone SE. This feature is pending from iPhone SE (2020). This means that you won’t be able to switch to Ultra Wide on iPhone SE if you want to include more background in the image.
There is another feature missing from the iPhone SE (2022), but it is not visible to the naked eye. There is no night mode support on the new phone – an important omission given that other phones in the SE’s price range offer this capability. So does the iPhone 13, so if you love taking photos in low light, the iPhone SE (2022) shouldn’t be your first choice.
However, the processing power that Apple brings with the iPhone SE – more on that in a moment – underpins other computing imaging features that help iPhones rank among the best camera phones. iPhone SE supports Smart HDR 4 for better results in challenging lighting, as well as Deep Fusion for recalling details in shots. The Photographic Styles feature Apple introduced with the iPhone 13 — think these are real-time filters — also appears on the iPhone SE (2022).
Up front, the iPhone 13’s 12MP TrueDepth camera has better resolution than the 7MP front camera on the iPhone SE. This likely means clearer video chats if you’re using an iPhone 13.
iPhone SE performance (2022) vs. iPhone 13
When Apple releases a new iPhone SE model, it usually uses the same chipset that powers the flagship phones that arrived last fall. For the iPhone SE (2022), that means the same Bionic A15 silicon found in the iPhone 13. For that reason, we don’t expect to see a huge performance gap, when we measure the new iPhone.
Both phones offer 5G connectivity – a new development for the iPhone SE. However, Verizon customers should note that the iPhone SE (2022) does not support mmWave-based 5G. As Verizon rolls out the high-speed C-Band 5G to more regions, early 5G efforts centered around mmWave. According to other reports, the iPhone SE (2022) will also not work with AT&T’s upcoming 3.45GHz 5G spectrum. iPhone 13 owners don’t have to worry about these caveats.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 13 battery life and charging
Apple doesn’t disclose battery sizes, so we don’t know the battery size in the iPhone SE (2022). We’re assuming it’s smaller than the iPhone 13’s 3,227mAh battery, according to that phone’s takedowns. After all, the iPhone 13 is larger than the iPhone SE, so there’s only so much room for the battery.
However, Apple promises improved battery life for the iPhone SE (2022) compared to the 2020 model. This is a good thing given that this iPhone turned out in less time than average in our battery test. Apple has a proven track record of boosting battery performance in recent models, with the iPhone 13 seeing battery life rise to 10 hours and 33 minutes in our testing — a two-hour improvement over the iPhone 12’s time.
The iPhone SE (2022) supports 20W charging, which is the same speed as the iPhone 13. However, neither phone comes with a charger.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 13 Software and Special Features
Beyond performance, here’s an area where the iPhone SE and iPhone 13 should be about equal. That’s because both phones run iOS 15 – the iPhone SE ships with iOS 15.4, in fact, which iPhone 13 users will be able to upgrade this week.
This means that the same features enjoyed by iPhone 13 users will be available to iPhone SE (2022) owners, especially since both phones feature the A15 Bionic processor. One exception is the cinematic mode capabilities of iPhone 13 users, where the focus shift feature will likely require a second camera lens.
The identical chipset in both phones also means that the iPhone SE will likely remain supported by Apple even though the iPhone 13 is receiving software updates. Normally, that’s been for about five years, although it’s worth noting that the original iPhone SE released in 2016 is still capable of running Apple’s latest iPhone software.
Comparison of iPhone SE (2022) with iPhone 13
We’re still testing the latest iPhones, which makes it difficult to make a final judgment on the iPhone SE (2022) versus the iPhone 13. However, which iPhone is right for you depends on your budget and how important mobile photography is to you.
If you refuse to spend big bucks on a phone, the iPhone SE (2022) is the perfect Apple phone. You won’t find a cheaper model in Apple’s lineup. And you don’t have to sacrifice performance or 5G connectivity for the low price. The phone will also appeal to anyone who likes to keep their devices small.
But iPhone 13 with dual rear cameras would be a better choice for a camera phone. We’ll also assume it has a longer battery life and a 6.1-inch screen that’s not only bigger but probably of better quality. All of these factors tip the scales toward the iPhone 13, but the iPhone SE’s low cost gives it a distinct appeal.