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Budget iPhone SE is dramatically new for 2022

Faster. Stronger. Powerful. Lowest-cost entry level 5G iPhone starts at $429

by Kurt Knutsson

If you’ve been holding out for a new phone there’s good news for you. The least expensive iPhone at $429 just got a lot faster and better.

Compact and sleek design with tough gorilla glass

The slimmest, most compact design called the iPhone SE now gets Apple‘s fastest chip on the inside and much stronger glass on the outside now comparable to strength on the more expensive iPhone Pro.

5G speed now matches iPhone 13 series

The budget-focused iPhone SE also jumps into the faster cellular 5G connection speed like its grown-up siblings the iPhone 13, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max.

But AT&T confirming the iPhone SE will not connect as fast on the soon the release faster version of 5G when the wireless carrier rolls out its 3.45GHz newer 5G band.  Let’s face it, 5G has not rocked my world yet so it’s a non-factor.

Faster performance, longer battery life, more capable

The A15 bionic chip also provides longer battery life and has the power to perform live text functions. Live text lets your iPhone read and copy text from handwriting and photos.  I love the idea of being able to see a phone number in a photo and making a call simply by tapping on the phone number in the picture.

Home Button with TouchID better than FaceID when wearing mask

The least expensive iPhone was previously priced lower starting at $30 less. The refreshed faster, stronger, more powerful iPhone SE keeps the classic physical home button on the face of the phone.

FaceID fanatics wished they still had the classic TouchID available from the home button during the pandemic as masks got in the way of unlocking iPhones everywhere.

On the back side, Apple stuck with an aluminum exterior.  The single-camera in the corner is made better with an ultra-wide lens and processor that can handle photos and video a lot better making them crisp and detailed.

1 Camera can be as good as 3

The most expensive iPhone 13 Pro is decked out with three cameras.  So how can this new single ultra-wide lens take such great photos that are far superior to the old days of single-lens phones?  The reason comes back to the workhorse A15 Bionic processor.  It’s got a neural engine that can help process photos and videos in a whole new way making them look incredible.

I’ve not shot with this new iPhone SE at night, but venture to bet the 3 cam iPhone 13 Pro will outperform in low light.  Still, the new iPhone SE really makes me think for the first time about calling it my primary phone.


I love the more compact slim design, TouchID and the real home button, updated performance and the overall price.  The latest iPhone SE improvements make this a worthy choice against any phone today.

iPhone SE was first introduced in 2016 with a second version for 2020 achieving record sales.  I always thought the first one was meh.  The second one was just okay.  Based on my initial impression of the newest iPhone for 2022, the third time is a charm.

The new and improved iPhone SE is available starting on March 18 in three colors starting at $429.  Pre-order the phone here.

In addition to the refreshed low-cost iPhone SE, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook used the company’s first 2022 launch event “Peak Performance” to showcase a faster iPad Air and a $3999+ powerhouse Mac Studio computer for deep-pocket creative professionals.

2022 may turn out to be the year of several more Apple product launches.   Many rumors are circulating about a major forthcoming Apple Watch redesign, a larger iMac desktop computer, and a potentially new category of products we’ve never seen.  Stay tuned.



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1 comment

Craig Sprinkle March 9, 2022 - 5:59 am

Thanks for the review! I like what I see and recognize that Apple is actively finding ways to offer quality lower priced electronics, except I don’t care for the Home Button. When “you” work with your hands and rarely wear gloves and with the home button, my “out side working in the element’s” phone is a 1st Gen SE, I find that I’m entering the PW more than the Home Button working!


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