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Apple iPhone SE 2022: Everything you need to know

iPhone SE 2022 range_Supplied_1800x1000

Apple's most affordable iPhone has been refreshed with added power, better cameras and 5G.

As expected, one of the highlights of Apple's "Peek Performance" event was a new version of its more affordable iPhone SE range. It's still called the iPhone SE, so you'll need to be careful when buying online not to be sold the older, slower model.

The iPhone SE 2022 is available in a range of colours with pricing starting at $719. So what should you consider when ordering an iPhone SE 2022? We've got you covered with comparisons, early impressions and all the details you really need.

When will the iPhone SE 2022 be available in Australia?

Apple has announced that the iPhone SE 2022 will go on pre-order in Australia from 12:00 am AEDT on 12 March 2022, with actual availability from 18 March 2022.

How much does the iPhone SE 2022 cost in Australia?

Pricing sits at $719 for the 64GB model, $799 for the 128GB model or $969 for the 256GB model.

How does that compare against the 2020 model it's replacing? Apple's last listed price for that model was $679 for a 64GB variant or $759 for the 128GB model, so we've seen a slight price jump at the baseline for the iPhone SE, which is not surprising given the current value of the Australian dollar.

The next model in the queue is the iPhone 11, available with 64GB of storage for $849 or $929 for a 128GB model, but that's now quite a bad value proposition unless you desperately need dual cameras.

Apple doesn't tend to change its prices up much until a new model comes along, so we can expect those prices to hold in the long term. It's also rare to see actual discounts on Apple's iPhone hardware for new-in-box phones, so if you do see a good deal, snap it up – it won't last long.

The iPhone SE has always been offered by Australia's big carriers on contract terms if you do want to split up its cost into monthly payment chunks.

Telstra logo


Telstra is now offering the iPhone SE (3rd gen) on 12-, 24- and 36-month repayment periods:

  • Prices start from $75/month
  • Free 12-month Disney+ subscription included with most plans
  • Data-free streaming of selected live sports
Go to Telstra

Optus logo


You can grab the iPhone SE (3rd gen) from Optus too:

  • Prices start from $64.96/month
  • Includes access to Optus Sport to watch the Premier League and more
  • No excess charges for data on all mobile plans (speeds slowed to 1.5Mbps instead)
Go to Optus

Vodafone logo


Vodafone offers the cheapest iPhone SE plans from the 3 major telcos:

  • Prices start from $59.97/month
  • 3 month Apple TV+ subscription included
  • All plans come with arguably the best international roaming add-on in Australia
Go to Vodafone

You can view the full breakdown of iPhone SE plan costs from Telstra, Optus and Vodafone here.

What's new in the iPhone SE 2022?

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The big new feature in the iPhone SE 2022 isn't the design, because it's still built on the chassis of the iPhone 8. You get a choice of 3 colours, with Midnight (black), Starlight (Silver/White) or (PRODUCT) RED finishes to pick from. One of the advantages of using a classic design like this is that there are a lot of case choices to pick from if those 3 colours aren't to your liking.

The iPhone SE 2022 replaces the iPhone SE 2020, and it's interesting to see where Apple has made changes. Based on Apple's specification sheets for both phones, here's how they compare:

ModelApple iPhone SE 2020Apple iPhone SE 5G
Display4.7 inches4.7 inches
Rear camera12MP12MP
Front camera7MP7MP
ProcessorA13 BionicA15 Bionic
Battery capacity1821mAhTBC
Stated battery lifeUp to 13 hoursUp to 13 hours
Network4G LTE5G
ColoursBlack, White, PRODUCT (RED)Midnight, Starlight, PRODUCT (RED)
Water resistanceIP67IP67

The big changes here are clearly in storage and the underlying processor. We've been nothing but impressed with the A15 Bionic as already present in the iPhone 13 Mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, so bringing it to a more affordable iPhone, relatively speaking, is a big plus. If you're upgrading from prior iPhone generations, and especially the older 2020 iPhone SE, you'll see a huge and clearly perceptible boost in phone responsiveness and performance.

Where it does raise concerns is in battery life terms.

Because Apple has built the iPhone SE 2022 on the body of the iPhone 8 – making it the longest design in phones Apple has ever had, fact fans – there is some question around battery endurance.

Simply put, the iPhone SE 2020's battery life was lousy for a phone in its price bracket, even though it was one of the most powerful phones in a processing sense.

Officially, the older model was stated to have a battery life of up to 13 hours of video playback locally, or 8 hours of streamed video. Our own experience suggests that those are highly optimistic figures.

Apple's figures for the new model suggest up to 15 hours of local and 10 hours of streamed video. That's an improvement, which is pleasing if (and only if) it plays out in real world scenarios. Stay tuned for our full review.

Does the iPhone SE 2022 have a good camera?

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This is a relative position. Apple's camera hardware has historically been decent, but there's no doubt that if you're keen on fine photography, you're going to hit the limits of what the 12MP sensor on the iPhone SE 2022 can manage pretty quickly.

Apple does talk up the image signal processing capabilities of the A15 Bionic here, and that does raise the prospect of it perhaps having the best single lens camera performance of any phone in its class.

The problem is that in this price bracket, there aren't any other single lens cameras. If you want more flexibility in your shots, it's trivially easy to get a dual or triple lens camera phone for the asking price of the iPhone SE 2022. Then again, that's why Apple has its "Pro" line of phones, right now headed up by the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Will Apple stop selling the older iPhone SE?

It's already gone from the Apple store, so the answer to that question is at least partially yes.

However, there will still be some stock with third party retailers out there, as well as "refurbished" models on sale for some years to come. Those models will really only make sense if you can score a decent discount on them, because the price point means that if you can afford a "new" boxed model of the older iPhone SE, you could get the newer, faster model instead.

Apple iPhone deals

The 2022 iPhone SE isn't out yet, but you can snap up some decent bargains on previous iPhone models at the moment. Here are a few online deals for those who don't want to wait.

$102 off iPhone 13 on Amazon
$102 off iPhone 13 on Amazon

The iPhone 13 boasts an intricate 12MP camera system, Ceramic Shield design, 5G capability and almost unparalleled performance. Don't let all the rumours distract you from one of the best smartphones ever made.

Buy now for $1,247 (was $1,349)
$102 off iPhone 13 mini on Amazon
$102 off iPhone 13 mini on Amazon

All too soon, the iPhone mini may become a relic of an ancient time. Amazon is offering big savings on this comfortable and convenient model with all the power of an iPhone.

Buy now for $1,097 (was $1,199)
$201 off iPhone 12 on Amazon
$201 off iPhone 12 on Amazon

If you want to save a little more money, the iPhone 12 is still an excellent option. Sharing many features with the 13, this is a classic phone that won't have you feeling left behind.

Buy now for $1,078 (was $1,279)
$372 off iPhone XR (renewed)
$372 off iPhone XR (renewed)

This phone was a great deal when it was released, and it's an even better one now. As exciting as the Apple release cycle is, you can get a shocking amount of functionality on older, more affordable models such as the XR. Face ID, Qi wireless charging and more are available for this great deal. (Works and looks like new. Backed by a 180-day supplier warranty.)

Buy now for $447 (was $819)

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