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iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 11: Which must you purchase?

iPhone SE and iPhone 11 held up alongside each other.

Picture: Apple

There is not any doubt that Apple’s iPhone SE is a strong smaller smartphone, priced for potential adopters on a price range. Beginning at $429, the 5G-enabled, A15 Bionic-powered handset is probably the most reasonably priced iPhone that Apple formally sells. However for rather less cash — and a few digging round at third-party retailers — the older however bigger iPhone 11 is simply as compelling of a tool to improve to.

Whether or not you are eyeing a brand new iPhone for a member of the family, vital different, or your self, there isn’t any query that each the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 ship exceptionally good worth cell experiences. Should you’re attempting to resolve which of the 2 sub-$450 smartphones it’s best to spend your hard-earned cash on, we have listed the important thing causes to purchase one over the opposite under.

Additionally: New iPhone fashions in contrast: Which one must you purchase?


iPhone SE (2022)

iPhone 11


4.7-inch Retina HD

6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD


144 grams

194 grams


Contact ID (fingerprint unlock)

Face ID (face unlock)


Midnight, Starlight, Product Purple

Purple, Yellow, Inexperienced, Black, White, Product Purple


Single 12-megapixel digital camera

Twin 12-megapixel cameras

IP ranking

IP67 (one meter deep for 30 minutes)

IP68 (two meters deep for 30 minutes)

Processor  A15 Bionic (6-core)  A13 Bionic (6-core)
Storage 64GB, 128GB, 256GB  64GB, 128GB, 256GB
Connectivity  5G (sub-6 GHz) 4G LTE 
Battery  As much as 15 hours of video playback As much as 17 hours of video playback
Value  $429 $399

You can purchase the iPhone SE if… 

1. You desire a sooner processor 

For the way a lot smaller and cheaper it’s, the iPhone SE packs sufficient firepower to rival an Apple flagship. That is largely as a result of A15 Bionic chip — the identical processor discovered within the iPhone 13 Professional — beneath the hood. When ZDNET’s Jason Cipriani benchmarked the iPhone SE, it scored 1,731 and 4,316 on the one and multicore assessments, respectively, doubling the outcomes of Google’s highest-end Pixel 6 Professional

From a real-world perspective, that mainly means the iPhone SE can run apps and video games, and multitask with little to no stutter. Whereas the iPhone 11’s A13 Bionic Chip treads carefully behind, it is nonetheless two generations older than the snappier SE on the finish of the day. 

iPhone SE screen with car driving on street.

iPhone SE (2022) brings the bodily dwelling button again.

Picture: Apple

2. You desire a long-term funding for a very good worth

The telephones’ an identical software program experiences make it value noting that Apple sometimes honors as much as seven years of iOS updates. Given the three-year hole between the iPhone 11 and SE (2022), you possibly can anticipate the latter to obtain longer software program help if bought at the moment. The SE is a future-proofed funding that ought to fare nicely for years down the highway. 

It is also value noting that with Apple’s fall launch of the iPhone 14 line, Apple’s in-person and on-line storefronts now not promote the iPhone 11, so you may need to buy the handset by a third-party supplier. 

3. You desire a compact iPhone

It is true, there isn’t any iPhone 14 Mini this 12 months, leaving the iPhone 13 Mini and the iPhone SE (2022) because the final of their miniature sort. Whereas it did not come as a shock to see Apple in the reduction of on its worst-performing iPhone line, the SE continues to be top-of-the-line value-first, compact handsets in the marketplace at the moment. Most prospects are most likely shopping for the SE for its affordability and nostalgic design, however the snug hand-feel actually helps, too.  

Additionally: The iPhone 14 Mini is lifeless. Lengthy dwell the iPhone 14 Plus

You can purchase the iPhone 11 if… 

1. You desire a newer iPhone design

Whereas the iPhone SE was launched in early 2022, when it comes to {hardware} it is virtually indistinguishable from the iPhone SE (2020), which shared the identical design because the iPhone eight of 2017. Likewise, the iPhone 11 presents a recycled design of its predecessor, the iPhone XR. However not like the SE, the iPhone 11 has a way more screen-dominant look, with a notch on the middle for Face ID (face unlock) as an alternative of the previous Contact ID fingerprint sensor. It is also considerably bigger than the SE, with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina show. For leisure lovers who need one of the best viewing expertise, the bigger iPhone could also be of higher use than the SE.

iPhone 11 in color blue.

James Martin/CNET

2. You need an ultrawide digital camera lens

For informal {and professional} use, each the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 do an distinctive job of capturing pictures and movies in the course of the day or at evening. The identical 12MP-wide lens might be discovered on the again of the 2 units and permits 4K video recording, optical picture stabilization, and all of Apple’s computational chaps — together with Deep Fusion, Sensible HDR, and Night time Mode. 

However the iPhone 11 takes the digital camera only a step additional by tossing in a 12MP ultrawide lens for these head-turning panorama pictures. With a 120-degree area of view, the iPhone 11 can seize a wider vary of topics and supply extra context than the default digital camera. The ultrawide lens additionally permits macro images — or close-up pictures — because of the smaller focal size. Generally, the iPhone 11 presents extra flexibility along with your image and video-taking.

Alternate options to contemplate 

Should you’re open to different smartphone prospects, think about these ZDNET-tested choices:

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