Apple’s March 8th event saw the launch of the iPhone SE 3, the newest entry to its budget-friendly range. While it’s not a flagship like the iPhone13, it delivers a pretty advanced iPhone experience while still keeping costs low. And like previous SE models, the third-generation iPhone SE is powered by the same processor as the iPhone 13 range (Apple’s current main line of flagships). Therefore, you can expect more-or-less the same level of performance from both phones. This begs the question, can the iPhone SE 3 fairly compete with the big guns? Let’s take a look at how the iPhone SE 3 compares to the iPhone 13.
Apple devices are often applauded for delivering excellent performance and capabilities. But rarely are they singled out for offering value for money. The iPhone SE 3 is, however, an exception, despite getting a slight price bump from the previous models. With both models, the pricing structure depends on the amount of storage space you get.
There’s nothing eccentric about the iPhone SE 3’s design. In fact, it looks a lot like its predecessor, sticking to the iPhone 8-era aesthetic. So for some, the phone might feel a bit outdated. It doesn’t have a notch, and the bezels at the top and bottom of the display are more prominent. This is to be expected since the iPhone SE 3 has the classic physical home button with Touch ID support. The iPhone 13, on the other hand, sports a more modern refined design. The notch at the top of the screen is slightly smaller compared to the one on the iPhone 12. Rather than Touch ID, the iPhone 13 relies entirely on Face ID. Both phones have the same glass rear build to allow for Qi-compatible wireless charging and an aluminum frame holding everything together.
As for color options, the iPhone SE 3 is available in three finishes: midnight black, starlight white, and product red. The iPhone 13 offers more variety. Aside from the three mentioned colors, the phone also comes in blue, green, and pink.
The third-generation iPhone SE is as compact as ever. It features the same 4.7-inch display as its predecessor, making it the ideal phone for those who dislike oversized handsets. However, given the size, consuming immersive content on the phone may feel a bit crampy. To cut costs, Apple fitted the phone with an LCD display rather than an OLED. Regardless, the screen is bright and fairly detailed. The iPhone 13 has a noticeably larger display. It features a 6.1-inch super retina XDR OLED screen with an 1170 x 2532 pixel resolution.
Battery And Performance
To iterate, the iPhone SE 3 and iPhone 13 share the same A15 Bionic chip. Despite its small build, the iPhone SE 3 has a bigger battery than the iPhone SE 2. With this phone, you get a non-removable 2018 mAh cell instead of an 1821 mAh battery. Specifically, Apple claims the phone can offer up to 15-hours of battery life. The iPhone 13 offers better battery life, at least on paper. It’s equipped with a 3240mAh that promises up to 19 hours of video playback. But as you all know, battery life will always depend on how you use your device. Generally, both phones should last you through a day with regular use.
On the photography front, the iPhone 13 certainly stands its own. The phone comes with two shooters at the back – a 12MP wide and 12MP Ultra-wide lens. In comparison, the iPhone SE 3 has a single 12MP wide lens. However, the A15 Bionic chip means that the phone takes better pictures compared to the second-generation model. Unfortunately, you still miss out on features such as Night mode, cinematic mode, HDR video recording with Dolby Vision, and audio zoom. While the iPhone SE (2022) supports optical image stabilization, the iPhone 13 comes with sensor-shift optical image stabilization.
The iPhone 13 is certainly the more powerful option of the two, but there’s also a lot to love about the iPhone SE 3. Ultimately, your choice comes down to whether you are looking for an inexpensive phone or one that’s more featured packed. If you have the budget and inclination to go for the iPhone 13, go right ahead. However, if you don’t necessarily need all the latest features or simply wish to enter the iOS ecosystem without spending too much, the iPhone SE 3 will serve you well.
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