iPhone SE 3 is here! Old design with new power

With the iPhone SE 3, Apple has expanded its smartphone range with an inexpensive yet powerful model. The old casing houses the A15 processor and a 5G module.

Two years after the iPhone SE 2020, Apple has presented a successor. The iPhone SE 3 has hardly changed externally, but it comes with the latest technology. atechbook reveals what Apple’s latest budget iPhone has to offer.

Old design with new inner workings

Externally, the iPhone SE 3 is somewhat disappointing. This is because, as expected, it comes with the case of the iPhone 8 from 2017, which Apple has already recycled in the iPhone SE 2020. Thus, the design is already five years old and looks pretty old-fashioned by now.

The Home button with Touch ID for unlocking is located underneath the 4.7-inch Retina display with clear edges. The LCD screen has a resolution of 1334 x 750 pixels, which is HD. The contrast ratio of 1400:1 and the maximum brightness of 625 nits have also not changed much, and the rear still only has a camera with a 12 megapixel wide-angle. Standard fare that was already present in the iPhone SE 2020. However, Apple emphasizes that a more stable glass is now used on the front and back.

iPhone SE 3 from the side
iPhone SE 3 in the case of the iPhone 8, but with up-to-date hardware Photo: Apple

The innovations of the iPhone SE 3 are hidden inside. Apple’s current A15 Bionic is now used here. The chip has a total of six cores, which are divided into two performance cores and four efficiency cores. In addition, there is a Neural Engine that has been doubled to 16 cores for an even more powerful artificial intelligence, a quad-core GPU and a 5G modem. Users of the iPhone SE series had to do without 5G support until now. However, Apple only installed a modem with support for frequencies below 6 gigahertz (Sub6) in the iPhone SE 3. Faster speeds are thus reserved for the more expensive iPhone Pro models. The smartphone also supports WLAN 6 (ax) and Bluetooth 5.0.

iPhone SE (2020) in the test – probably the most affordable Apple entry-level model

iPhone SE 3 with better camera software

Although Apple has not changed anything in the camera hardware itself, adjustments in the software bring new features and modes. For example, the budget iPhone now supports the “Photographic Styles” feature, which was previously reserved for more expensive models. It allows the setting of predefined styles such as “High Contrast”, “Bright”, “Warm” or “Cold”. However, the iPhone SE 3 also offers portrait lighting and Smart HDR 4 for higher-contrast pictures. In addition, the new processor now ensures better video quality by minimizing noise, for example.

According to Apple, the battery of the iPhone SE 3 lasts longer than that of its predecessor. The manufacturer claims up to 15 hours of video playback and up to 50 hours of audio playback. The predecessor’s figures were 13 and 40 hours, respectively. However, hardly anything has changed in terms of charging time and technology. Although the iPhone SE 3 now supports charging with 20 instead of just 18 watts, Apple still specifies half an hour for a half-full charge. Wireless charging is also possible.

Models and prices

Like previous versions, the current iPhone SE 3 is available in 64 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB storage sizes. In terms of colors, buyers can choose between Midnight (Black), Polaris (White) and (Product)RED.

However, Apple has increased the price. Instead of 479 Euros, the cheapest model now costs 519 Euros – a surcharge of 40 Euros. Apple charges 569 Euros (previously 529 Euros) for the 128 GB storage version and 689 Euros (previously 649 Euros) for the 256 GB variant. The iPhone SE 3 will be available from March 18, 2022.