large image

Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

iPhone SE 3: Everything you need to know about the next cheap iPhone

The 2020 iPhone SE offered incredible value at launch. Packing the same Apple A13 chip as the iPhone 11. In terms of raw speed it’s a phone that still gives the best Android handsets a run for their money a year after release. So what might Apple have up its sleeves with the iPhone SE 3?

While all eyes are on the upcoming iPhone 13, it’s safe to assume that Apple’s flagship iOS handsets are going to start at around £700, and easily reach four figures for the Pro models. Those on a budget will be inclined to hold out for the iPhone SE 3 – assuming the wait isn’t too long.

Good news! While the gap between the original iPhone SE and the 2020 version was a painful four years, thankfully it doesn’t look like Apple is going to keep us waiting this time around. Here’s everything you need to know about the iPhone SE 3.

Release date – when will the iPhone SE 3 launch?

According to sources on Apple’s supply chain leaking to Digitimes, the iPhone SE 3 will arrive in the first half of 2022, reducing the time between SE models from four years to two.

Obviously, that still leaves a pretty wide six-month window, but we can probably narrow that down by examining the release dates of the previous two models. The original iPhone SE arrived on March 31 2016, while the second generation came out on April 24 2020. 

While it’s hard to draw firm conclusions from such a small sample size, a Spring release date seems likely, then. That said, there’s always the chance that Apple could hold it back until its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) which typically is held in June.

iPhone SE 3 Specs and features – flagship SoC, but still no Face ID

The original iPhone SE was billed as “the most powerful four-inch phone ever”, and while the size has increased, it doesn’t sound like Apple will be reducing the core power.

According to Nikkei Asia’s sources, the iPhone SE 3 will pack the same A15 Bionic chip that’s set to power the iPhone 13 family of handsets. Given the current A14 SoC in the iPhone 12 and iPad Air is about as fast as mobile chips get, it’s safe to assume that the iPhone SE 3 will comfortably be the speediest phone in its price bracket – unless Apple ups the cost significantly.

Of course, Apple has to make savings somewhere and it sounds like the phone won’t be making the upgrade to Face ID this time around. Expect the Home button and Touch ID to remain for now, and apparently the device will also retain the same 4.7-inch LCD screen – it won’t be OLED like its more expensive siblings.

iPhone SE 3 design – expect more of the same

The fact that the iPhone SE 3 will reportedly retain the same 4.7-inch LCD screen and Touch ID Home button suggests the handset will look virtually unchanged from the current generation, which uses a very similar shell to 2017’s iPhone 8. 

That means relatively thick bezels on the side, and even thicker bars at the top and bottom for the front-facing camera and Home button. A somewhat dated look for a 2022 smartphone, but ultimately the price of keeping the overall costs down.

Trusted Take

There are still a whole lot of gaps in what we know about the iPhone SE 3. So far, nothing has been said about the camera array, for example, which is an area that could certainly do with an upgrade, as photography feels a bit lackluster when compared to mid-range rivals like the Google Pixel 4a. 

But even if the iPhone SE 3 simply offers the same experience as the current generation with a faster processor, it will still provide a way of getting a speedy new iPhone for a relatively low price. And that will likely be more than enough to see it fly off store shelves.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have 9 million users a month around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.