Budget-conscious iPhone fans are abuzz with the iPhone SE 2022, the third-generation update to Apple’s cheapest smartphone series. Priced a little over $420, the latest iteration borrows some features from its flagship siblings — an A15 Bionic chip, fast charging, and 5G connectivity. It’s an update that draws comparisons with the flagship-esque yet budget-friendly iPhone 13 mini. But are these comparisons warranted? Is there a place for a physical home button in a largely bezel-less smartphone world?
iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone 13 mini Comparison Chart
Design and Display
The iPhone SE 2022’s design looks outdated compared to the iPhone 13 mini.
Apple’s iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 13 mini sport completely different designs. With the iPhone SE 2022, you’re getting a phone that still rocks an iPhone 8 look. This means thick top and bottom bezels to accommodate the speakers and a physical home button. In contrast, the iPhone 13 mini follows the footsteps of its bezel-less predecessors. It’s sleek, stylish, and marked by the now-iconic iPhone notch.
While it looks outdated, the iPhone SE 2022 is durable. The phone’s front and back are made of glass, while the body uses aerospace-grade aluminum. However, the iPhone 13 mini is more drop-resistant, with its switch to a ceramic shield front. The mini also offers better water resistance than the SE, withstanding depths up to 6 meters for 30 minutes.
The iPhone 13 mini is the smaller phone of the two, but it features a larger display thanks to smaller bezels. You’re getting a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR display with a 2340 x 1080p resolution. Because of its design, you’re also getting a taller 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The iPhone SE 2022, on the other hand, sports a 4.7-inch Retina HD (LCD) display. It offers a lower 1334 x 750p resolution and the standard 16:9 aspect ratio.
Apple’s iPhone 13 mini has better cameras and video recording features than the iPhone SE 2022.
The quality of a smartphone’s camera is one of the top considerations of buyers. With Apple, this shouldn’t be a problem. iPhones are known for their top-notch cameras. Between the iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 23 mini, however, there’s a considerable gap in the camera hardware. Just looking at the back of the phones tells you the difference. The iPhone SE has a single rear camera, while the 13 mini boasts a dual-camera array.
Now, more cameras don’t always mean better cameras. But the SE 2022 finds itself in a market saturated by phones sporting multiple camera arrays. Apple’s latest budget device retains the 12MP Wide lens from the second-generation iPhone SE. It offers modest upgrades, too, limited to support for Deep Fusion, a smarter HDR, and the addition of photographic styles.
In contrast, the iPhone 13 mini uses a dual 12MP camera system — one wide, one ultra-wide. It comes with Night Mode and Deep Fusion and uses a more advanced sensor-shift optical image stabilization. Unlike the iPhone SE 2022, you’re getting 2x optical zoom from the iPhone 13 mini. There’s up to 5x digital zoom as well.
Even the front cameras tell the same story. Apple’s small phone delivers big with a 12MP front camera as opposed to the SE 2022’s 7MP. The 13 mini’s front lens also supports Cinematic Mode, arguably one of the top features of the latest iPhone series. Aside from this vlogger-friendly tech, the iPhone 13 mini boasts HDR video recording with Dolby Vision. Meanwhile, 4K and 1080p HD recordings for SE and mini are the same.
The iPhone SE 2022 comes with the same A15 Bionic chip as the iPhone 13 mini, although the latter offers a higher storage capacity for its base model.
But the biggest upgrade of the iPhone SE 2022 from its predecessor is found under the hood. The third-gen SE is equipped with an A15 Bionic chip, the same found on the iPhone 13 mini. On both devices, you’re benefiting from a 6-core CPU, 4-core GPU, and 16-core neural engine.
The result is 1.2x faster graphics performance on the iPhone SE 2022 than the iPhone SE second-gen. On the iPhone 13 mini, the A15 powers features like Cinematic Mode, Live Text, and Photographic Styles. The iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 13 mini have also been confirmed to have 4GB of RAM. This means performance between the two should be comparable.
In terms of storage, you’re getting higher configurations with the iPhone 13 mini. The phone comes in 128GB, 256GB, and 512GB storage capacities. Meanwhile, the base model of the new iPhone SE starts at 64GB. You can also opt for 128GB and 256GB capacities.
Software and Battery Life
Both devices come with iOS 15. In terms of battery life, the iPhone 13 mini wins over the iPhone SE 2022.
Out of the box, the iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 13 mini come with iOS 15. The latest software brings a plethora of features to these devices. For the iPhone 13 mini, you can use Face ID with a mask. On both phones, iOS 15 introduces SharePlay for FaceTime, allowing users to share and enjoy content together. Content sent to Messages is automatically added to a new Share With You section as well. You also get customized memojis and access to a new Focus mode.
In terms of power, the iPhone 13 mini has the edge, thanks to a 2438 mAh battery. On the other hand, the SE 2022 comes with a 2018 mAh battery. Apple shares the mini offers video playback for up to 17 hours, two hours more than the iPhone SE 2022. You’ll also enjoy longer audio playback on the iPhone mini 13.
Of course, support for wireless charging is present on both devices. If you want fast-charging, both iPhones are fast-charge capable, with up to 50% charge in 30 minutes when using a 20W charger. However, the iPhone SE 2022 is not MagSafe compatible.
If you’re on a budget, the iPhone SE 2022 is a still good yet slightly outdated phone to buy. For those who can splurge, the iPhone 13 mini offers a more flagship-esque performance.
For a smartphone as solid as the iPhone, the steep price range of the device can be a deterrent. Apple has tried to address this by continuing the production of its iPhone SE lineup. Its flagship series also includes ‘cheaper’ options like the iPhone 13 mini.
Now, the iPhone SE 2022 is by far the most affordable current model to get. Compared to its predecessor, you’re getting a better chip, improved battery life, and refined smartphone photography features. For a budget iPhone, however, there are some clear drawbacks. The iPhone SE 2022’s design remains unchanged, and with the physical home button, it looks a bit outdated.
If you want something closer to a flagship experience, you’ll have to shell out almost $300 more. But the returns are impressive. The iPhone 13 mini has more in common with the likes of the iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max. While smaller, the mini offers a larger and better display than the iPhone SE 2022, too. This makes it closer to a mid-range iPhone and should appeal to users who want enough flagship features in a smaller handset.
Yes. The iPhone SE 2022 comes with an IP67 rating. It’s water-resistant up to depths of 1 meter for 30 minutes.
No, it is not. The third-gen iPhone SE 2022 uses a Retina HD display.
For cinematic mode, the iPhone 13 mini records at 1080p at 30fps.
No, the iPhone 13 mini does not have Touch ID. For biometric log-in, the phone uses Face ID.