iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Which budget iPhone should you buy

Apple iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Which budget iPhone should you buy. Wondering which sub-$500 iPhone to buy? We’ve got you covered. Should you pay $429 for the latest iPhone SE or put out an extra $70 for the larger iPhone 11? Let’s compare the two and find out.

Here we compared two smartphones: the 4.7-inch Apple iPhone SE (2022) (with Apple A15 Bionic) that was released on March 8, 2022, against the Apple iPhone 11, which is powered by Apple A13 Bionic and came out 30 months before. On this page, you will find tests, full specs, strengths, and weaknesses of each of the gadgets.

The iPhone SE (2022) boasts a notable upgrade over the 11 — 5G support. But the iPhone 11 has some features the new iPhone SE lacks, including a larger screen and dual rear cameras.

And with such similar prices — $429 vs. $499 — you might be left wondering which Apple phone you should buy. That all comes down to how important 5G is to you because otherwise, the iPhone 11 might be the better buy among Apple’s cheapest devices.

Quick Note: The iPhone 11 is the better buy if you desire a large-screen phone, reliable battery life, and uncompromising camera system, and can do without 5G. The iPhone SE gets our recommendation for users in search of a compact smartphone that doesn’t hold back in performance and speed. It’s also a future-proofed investment that should fare well five or six years down the road. 

Read on for our iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11 comparison to see which cheap iPhone is best for you. 

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Quick specs and features

iPhone SE (2022) FeaturesiPhone 11 Features
Starting price$429$499
Display4.7-inch LCD (1344 x 750)6.1-inch LCD (1792 x 828)
CPUA15 BionicA13 Bionic
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
Rear cameras12MP (f/1.8)12MP (f/1.8) main, 12MP (f/2.4) ultrawide
Front camera7MP (f/2.2)12MP (f/2.2)
Size5.45 x 2.65 x 0.29 inches5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches
Weight5 ounces6.8 ounces
ColorsMidnight, Starlight, (PRODUCT)REDBlack, white, purple, green, yellow, PRODUCT(RED)

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Price and availability in the US

The iPhone SE (2022) is available to pre-order before shipping on March 18. It starts at $429 for the 64GB model, then goes up to $479 for the 128GB and $579 for the 256GB variants.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 11 came out in 2019 and is available for $499 for the 64GB model. You can bump up the storage to 128GB for a total cost of $549.

Both iPhones SE (2022) and 11 start at 64GB storage sizes, upgradeable to 128GB for an extra $50. The iPhone SE takes it a step further by offering a 256GB variant for those who seek extra space. In an ideal world, 128GB would be the base configuration of all iPhones, but if you’re tight on budget, there are plenty of free, high-quality cloud services worth considering.

Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022)Apple iPhone 11
Price in the US429 USD 499 USD 
Price in the UK325 GBP 379 GBP 
Price in Nigeria220,000 Naira270,000 Naira
Price in Australia571 AUD665 AUD

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Design review

iPhone SE (2022) DesigniPhone 11 Design
Display4.7-inch Retina HD6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD
Weight144 grams194 grams
BiometricsTouchID (fingerprint unlock)FaceID (face unlock)
ColorsMidnight, Starlight, Product RedPurple, Yellow, Green, Black, White, Product Red
CameraSingle 12-megapixel cameraDual 12-megapixel cameras
IP ratingIP67 (one meter deep for 30 minutes)IP68 (two meters deep for 30 minutes)

One of the major crossroads that you’ll encounter when deciding between the iPhone SE (2022) and the iPhone 11 is design. While the former was released in early 2022, its hardware is practically indistinguishable from the iPhone SE (2020), which shared the same design as the iPhone 8 of 2017. That’s not to say that this year’s iteration falls short in the performance side of things. Just don’t expect the near-bezeless figure that modern-day iPhones have embraced and, instead, look forward to the nostalgia that is 4.7-inch iPhones with physical home buttons.

Likewise, the iPhone 11 offers a recycled design of its predecessor, the iPhone XR. (Apple clearly likes to recycle things.) But unlike the SE, the iPhone 11 has a much more screen-dominant appearance, with a notch at the center for FaceID (face unlock) instead of the old and reliable fingerprint sensor. It’s also significantly larger than the SE, with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display. For entertainment lovers who desire the best viewing experience, the larger iPhone may be of greater use than the SE.

Both iPhones are equipped with a 12-megapixel wide camera at the back, but the 11 takes it a step further by tossing in a 12MP ultra-wide lens for those head-turning landscape shots. How the two perform in actuality will be broken down in the camera section later on.

The iPhone SE sports an IP67 rating, which certifies it as water-resistant of up to one meter deep for 30 minutes. Comparably, the iPhone 11 has an IP68 rating, protecting it from a swim of up to two meters deep for the same time. Both devices should hold up in the rain or shine in the grand scheme of things.

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Performance review

iPhone SE (2022) PerformanceiPhone 11 Performance
ProcessorA15 Bionic (6-core)A13 Bionic (6-core)
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB64GB, 128GB
Connectivity5G (sub-6 GHz)4G LTE
BatteryUp to 15 hours of video playbackUp to 17 hours of video playback

For how much smaller and cheaper it is, the iPhone SE packs enough firepower to rival that of Apple’s flagships. That’s largely due to the A15 Bionic chip — the same processor found in the iPhone 13 Pro — under the hood. When ZDNet’s Jason Cipriani benchmarked the iPhone SE, it scored 1,731 and 4,316 on the single and multi-core tests, respectively, doubling that of Google’s highest-end Pixel 6 Pro. From a real-world perspective, that basically means the iPhone SE can run apps games and multitask with little to no stutter.

Still, the iPhone 11 treads closely behind, with its A13 Bionic processor being just as reliable for social media browsing, movie streaming, and capturing 4K video. The older iPhone is also equipped with 4GB of RAM, and by operating on the same versions of iOS, all the software perks of one iPhone are ever so present on the other. It is worth noting, however, that Apple typically honors between five to seven-year software updates. Given the three-year gap between the 11 and new SE, you can expect the latter to receive longer support if purchased today.

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Camera review

For casual and professional use, both the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 do an exceptional job at capturing photos and videos in the day or night. The same 12MP wide lens can be found on the backside of the two devices and allows for 4K video recording, optical image stabilization, and all of Apple’s computational chaps — including Deep Fusion, Smart HDR, and Night Mode.

The biggest difference comes in the form of the iPhone 11’s 12MP ultra-wide lens. With a 120-degree field of view, the iPhone 11 can capture a wider range of subjects and provide more context than the default camera. The ultra-wide lens also allows for macro photography — or close-up shots — thanks to the smaller focal length. In general, the iPhone 11 offers more flexibility with your picture and video-taking.

On the camera front (literally), the iPhone SE houses a 7MP FaceTime camera for selfies and 1080p video, but nothing more. The front-facing camera does not support FaceID and, therefore, cannot be used to create Animojis, Memojis, and other facial-driven features. Like many of its other hardware limitations, this is mainly because the SE uses the older iPhone 8 design.

Relatively speaking, the iPhone 11 fields a 12MP TrueDepth camera for sharper video recording of up to 4K, FaceID, and the same picture capabilities as the SE. It also supports Apple’s slow-motion selfies.

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