5 things I learned about the iPhone SE after switching to it
Going from the $1,000 iPhone 13 Pro to the $430 iPhone SE (2022) would surely be a serious culture shock, right? After all, there are considerable hardware differences between the two, not to mention that one costs more than twice the price of the other. After using the iPhone SE for testing and review purposes for a while, and being impressed, I decided to use it as my main iPhone to see what a compromise it really would be.
In doing so, I learned five things about the smaller iPhone that should help anyone wondering if it’s worth saving up for a more expensive iPhone, or saving the cash and just getting the SE. .
The exchange was effortless
I swap between Android phones regularly and use various backup and restore services (Google, WhatsApp, and Line, as well as apps like SMS Backup & Restore) to do this. But setting up the app is required every time, and although the process is not difficult, it does require some time and effort. Upgrading to the iPhone SE (2022) was effortless thanks to Apple’s excellent iCloud service. I logged in, went through the basic setup process, then left the phone. Within an hour it was ready to use and only some apps required me to log in again.
Also, the iPhone SE looked and worked exactly the same as my iPhone 13 Pro. Apps were in the same place on home screens, settings carried over, and my photos filled the gallery app. It even remembered all of my Apple Bluetooth headphones, and they connected with no additional setup. Simplicity made it easy to switch phones.
The seamless transition between a new and old device is a huge benefit of sticking with iOS, as is staying in the Apple ecosystem for your accessories. The phone wouldn’t remember all my headphones and non-Apple smartwatches, for example. The only Apple accessory that needed attention was my Apple Watch, which had to be disconnected from the old phone and paired again.
I was missing the brighter, smoother 120Hz display
The iPhone SE (2022)’s 4.7-inch screen wasn’t as restrictive as expected, and I quickly got used to the smaller size. Watching YouTube isn’t as satisfying, but you get used to it, and even playing games was fun and immersive. However, while I got used to the size, I missed the iPhone 13 Pro‘s higher refresh rate and brighter screen.
The iPhone 13 Pro features Apple’s 120Hz ProMotion technology, while the iPhone SE (2022) makes do with a 60Hz refresh rate. Android phones today, and while they may divide opinion – see the Pixel 6a for proof – once your eyes get used to the higher refresh rate, the differences are instantly noticeable when you step back . I had already seen this in action when I upgraded from the 120Hz iPad Pro to the 60Hz iPad Air.
However, unlike the iPad, the iPhone SE’s smaller screen mitigates the spec downgrade slightly, as scrolling and less smooth animations aren’t as shocking as on a larger screen. Either way, I can’t wait to get back to the 120Hz display of the iPhone 13 Pro. The other immediately noticeable difference occurred on the exterior. Even with the iPhone SE (2022) at maximum brightness, the dimmer screen wasn’t as easy to read as the iPhone 13 Pro.
Battery life is an issue
The iPhone 13 Pro battery is a superstar. It lasts two days even with heavy use of apps and music streaming, and it’s only when I’m using GPS in the car that the battery takes a hit. The small size of the iPhone SE (2022) means it has a smaller battery inside, and it really shows when you use the phone even moderately loudly.
I repeated my daily use of the iPhone 13 Pro on the iPhone SE (2022), and it had to be charged every day without fail. Even the simple act of taking photos puts a strain on the battery and plays Diablo Immortal can rob it of more than 25% in as little as 30 minutes, which means I probably wouldn’t get far without a power bank if I needed the iPhone SE (2022) to do all the iPhone 13 Pro does without giving up.
Camera is basic but good
To look at almost any phone camera today, you imagine having more cameras is by far the best situation. While that’s true to some degree, ignoring the iPhone SE (2022) single camera is a mistake, as it takes very attractive photos in most conditions and manages to display plenty of other hardware with multiple cameras.
Daytime shots with good lighting have a nice tonality and strong colors. While exposure can be an issue when the lighting isn’t ideal, low-light photos are atmospheric. It can take some great close-ups, but you have to be lucky because it will quickly stop focusing if you get too close. But most of the time, the iPhone SE takes good photos.
The lack of features makes it less appealing to me in the long run. There’s no wide-angle camera, no optical zoom, and even portrait mode is hampered because it only works when it sees a face. All photos of the phone in this article were taken with an iPhone 13 Pro and could not be reproduced by the iPhone SE. Provided you’re just taking simple, normal photos on a regular basis – and don’t care at all about having creative fun – the quality and capability of the iPhone SE’s single camera will be perfectly fine. .
Buy lots of storage space
This won’t be a problem for everyone, but the internal storage space is important to me. I buy and download a lot of music and podcasts, rather than just relying on streaming services. I used 154GB of my 256GB iPhone 13 Pro, of which 72GB is taken up by the Music and Podcasts apps. This means that the 64GB and 128GB iPhone SE would not have enough storage space and I would have to buy the higher 256GB model to do a direct swap.
While my exact situation may not apply to everyone, there are many queries regarding internal phone storage aside from audio. The best games can be very heavy on storage, with Diablo Immortal alone taking up a gigantic 9.5GB on iOS when you’ve downloaded all the extra files. When storage space nears its maximum on the iPhone SE, battery life also seems to be affected, which isn’t good at the best of times. Even if your storage needs are currently less than 64 GB, paying for the 128 GB version will have many advantages.
What did I learn?
The iPhone SE (2022) is a very capable, reasonably priced, stylish and well-designed everyday smartphone. But if you’re a “power user” or someone who really wants to take advantage of the camera, it’s probably worth saving up and buying a more expensive iPhone. It will have longer battery life, more storage in cheaper models, a better camera and a brighter screen.
However, just because the iPhone SE (2022) is small and (reasonably) cheap, don’t think less. Battery life aside, it’s really, really good. Just be sure to think carefully about how much storage space you need now and in the near future, and buy accordingly.