The mysterious device we have in mind is the iPhone 11, with a retail price of $500 in 2022, only slightly above the $430 price on the iPhone SE 3.
So, let’s waste no time and take a closer look…
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 11 differences:
- SE is more compact and has lighter weight
- iPhone 11 has larger screen
- iPhone 11 has Face ID, SE 3 has Touch ID
- iPhone 11 has an ultra-wide camera
- iPhone 11 has swipe nav, iPhone SE has a button
- SE is cheaper
- SE is newer, will receive software updates longer
Design and Display Quality
Small and compact, the SE is easier to carry in a pocket, but its smaller screen makes it less practical
The first and probably most notable difference is just in the size of these two: the iPhone SE with its 4.7-inch screen looks tiny in comparison to the bigger, thicker and overall bulkier iPhone 11 with its 6.1-inch display.
Just take a look at our size comparison tool:
That’s quite the difference in size and weight, don’t you think? Compact phone lovers would be super pleased with the SE!
In terms of practicality, though, both have water and dust protection, but the iPhone 11 actually has a higher IP68 certification vs IP67 rating on the SE (meaning the 11 can survive a drop in deeper water, theoretically).
If you don’t mind a bigger phone, the iPhone 11 rewards you with a far more useful 6.1-inch screen compared to the smallish, 4.7-inch one on the SE.
Unfortunately, both phones use LCD screens, one compromise of budget iPhones. Both are also quite low-res, so if you look closer you’d notice a bit of pixelation. And of course, don’t expect anything beyond the traditional 60Hz refresh rate here.
On the biometrics front, having the older Touch ID technology on the SE might actually prove more popular in these Covid times when wearing a mask is still a must in many places, while the iPhone 11 relies on Face ID.
Performance and Software
Strangely, the SE has faster performance than the bigger iPhone 11
Apple has a bit of an obsession with speed and performance, and that’s great as the iPhone SE 3 actually has faster performance than the iPhone 11!
That of course is because of the age of the phones: the SE is fresh out of 2022, while the iPhone 11 was launched way back in 2019.
Under the hood, the SE is powered by the latest Apple A15 Bionic processor, and this A15 chip is no joke. It will be relevant for years to come. At the same time, if you don’t obsess over benchmarks, the reality is that for regular, everyday tasks, both phones seem to perform just fine and you probably won’t notice the difference in processors right away. It takes more challenging tasks to appreciate the faster chip on the SE.
When it comes to software, the SE has the advantage of being the newer phone, while the iPhone 11 is now a few years old. Practically, this means the SE will keep on getting updates for a couple of years longer than the iPhone 11.
How much do you care about that ultra-wide camera?
The SE sticks with a single rear camera compared to a dual camera system on the iPhone 11, where the second one is an ultra-wide shooter which often comes in handy for tight spaces.
However, with a faster A15 chip inside the SE, it has some tricks that the iPhone 11 lacks like Photographic Styles for example, as well as the Smart HDR 4 engine that also enhances color, contrast and noise.
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 11 camera samples
The differences are definitely very minor when it comes to photos captured during the day, but what about night photos?
iPhone SE (2022) vs iPhone 11 night photos
While you can notice a difference in color reproduction on the iPhone 11 which has more saturated tonalities, there aren’t any major differences in daytime video recording and both phones do a good job.
Audio Quality and Haptics
The smaller form factor of the SE does limit how loud it can get, though. We would say that sound quality is quite comparable between the two, and neither of them is the top performer that would wow you.
No headphone jack is present on either phone, again, not a surprise.
Battery Life and Charging
iPhone 11 has the edge
One of the main limitations of the iPhone SE design is that it is just so slim and miniature that you cannot fit a giant battery inside.
No such issue on the iPhone 11!
We have conducted our three standard battery tests, where phones are set at an equal brightness level and these are the results we got:
PhoneArena Battery Test Results
Apple officially measures battery life in hours of continuous video playback, and here are the battery numbers for the new iPhone SE vs the iPhone 11.
*all values above are measured in hours.
As you can see, the SE is not that far behind the 11, but it is behind. And especially so with audio playback time, which usually corresponds with casual use too.
The maximum charging speeds on both phones are at about 18 watts, and we’d recommend getting the 20W official Apple charger. It’s always wise to stick with official charger or proven alternatives.
Both the SE and the 11 also support wireless charging, and neither has the newer magnetic MagSafe standard.
Summary and Final Verdict
So… which one would it be: the iPhone SE (2022) or the iPhone 11?
For someone who spends a lot of time on their phone, the iPhone 11 seems like the more reasonable choice, if only for the longer battery life, but it also has other advantages like a larger screen, gesture nav and the ultra-wide camera.
So… which one would you pick?