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iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 8: four massive differences you need to know

Apple iPhone SE 2022 (or SE 3) vs iPhone 8 – Apple just unveiled its newest refresh of the iPhone SE and there are some impressive new features to note if you’re looking to upgrade from the iPhone 8.

Owed to the fact that the iPhone SE 2 uses a very similar chassis to the iPhone 8, Apple’s affordable handset and its eighth generation smartphone were always going to be ripe for comparison, and the same goes for the latest iteration of the SE, revealed during Apple’s Peek Performance event.

Bear in mind, the iPhone SE 3 isn’t the major upgrade over the SE 2 that some fans may have been expecting, but at this point the differences against the iPhone 8 are quite surmountable. If you’re thinking about taking the plunge and plumping for the new iPhone SE then these are the major differences that you should be aware of.

5G and connectivity

Access to 5G networks has been locked behind Apple’s most premium smartphones since the iPhone 12, but the increasingly popular feature has now finally made its way to the iPhone SE range. This means that if you’re in a 5G area (and tied to a network that supports it), you can enjoy super fast download and upload speeds on the iPhone SE 3.

The iPhone 8 on the other hand, having been released prior to the popularisation of 5G, is stuck utilising the older 4G network.


One of the big selling points of the iPhone SE 3 is that it comes bundled with the same A15 Bionic chipset that features in the iPhone 13 range. This allows the SE 3 to benefit from flagship level processing which, when compared to the A11 chip of the iPhone 8, more than doubles the speed of graphics performance.

The newer chip will no doubt guarantee that the iPhone SE 3 will outlive the iPhone 8 where software updates are concerned, being able to make the most of iOS 15 right from the get-go. This includes features like Live Text, which immediately highlights and extracts text from a scene via the camera app.

All three colours of the iPhone SE
iPhone SE 3

Battery Life

Even though the iPhone SE 3 utilises the same amount of space as the iPhone 8, it’s the inclusion of the aforementioned A15 chipset that will allow it to make significant battery gains. According to Apple, the iPhone SE 3 can pump out up to extra two hours of video playback over the iPhone 8.

This will no doubt be a tempting feature to anyone who’s seen the longevity of their iPhone 8 wane since it was purchased.


While Apple didn’t drop the “Ceramic Shield” descriptor that it has in the past, the company did acknowledge that the iPhone SE 3 uses the same tougher glass that features on the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro.

If you’ve been unlucky enough to see the screen or the backing of your iPhone 8 crack due to an accidental drop, then the improved durability will be a huge boon.

Early verdict

As always, no definitive conclusions can be made until we get our hands on the iPhone SE 3 but based on what we’ve seen so far, it’s hard to imagine that iPhone 8 users aren’t feeling the urge to upgrade right about now.

The jump to 5G will be a tempting prospect for many, and for any users who may have spotted instances of the A11 chipset struggling to keep up with the latest apps and updates, the prowess of the A15 Bionic will feel like a much needed boost in power.

Trusted Take

Apple’s done right by iPhone 8 users thus far, keeping them in the loop so far as security updates are concerned, but if I were among those users then I’d be seriously tempted to upgrade. Particularly if you decided to pass on the iPhone SE 2020, the fact that the price hasn’t gone up for the 2022 edition means that any hold outs have only been rewarded for doing so. Anyone hoping for groundbreaking changes like an end-to-end display might be tempted to abstain yet again, but it’s worth mentioning that we might not see another SE refresh until 2024 if Apple decides to make the two-year cycle the norm.

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