Metropcs iPhone SE 2022 Review: is it still a good deal?

Apple is very fond of recycling, and we don’t talk about the aluminum in its products or its ecological commitments. But rather its latest iPhone SE and its look from another time. We’ve been using it daily for a few weeks, and here is our test of the iPhone SE 2022.

To fully understand this umpteenth Apple smartphone, you have to go back to the genesis of the iPhone SE. “SE” for Apple, means Special Edition. A special edition for special products. Special? At first, yes.

The manufacturer introduced its first iPhone SE in 2016 alongside the iPhone 6S. The principle was to refit the components of the latest model in an older generation chassis. With the promise, at the time, to offer a compact smartphone at a lower cost. And frankly, he left us with good memories.

Four years later, in 2020, Apple did it again with its second-generation iPhone SE. This time, we had the right to an A13 chip embedded in an iPhone 8 chassis. So a little evolution, for a still fairly low price.

So it’s still two years later that the brand is coming back with the third generation of its iPhone SE, in 2022. If we could hope that this new model would draw on the side of the iPhone XR for its chassis, unfortunately, it does not evolve… not!

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In 2022, the iPhone SE once again offers the chassis of the iPhone 8 (2017 version), a front cover with wide borders and a Home button, first introduced in the iPhone 6 of 2014. Yes, it’s starting to date.

However, are there still positive points to be drawn from it? Will this mid-range iPhone convince its audience? Without further ado, discover our written test below. For the undecided, you can also watch our test of the iPhone SE 2022 in the video below (or on our YouTube channel).

Design and screen of the iPhone SE 2022

The iPhone SE 2022 is entitled to a 4.7-inch LCD screen with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. A panel that remains quite correct today, with fair colors and sufficient brightness, without being exceptional. Note, however, that in the latest generation of iPhone 13, the American brand has put an end to LCD screens. Now all are equipped with OLED technology.

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Metropcs iPhone SE 2022 Review: is it still a good deal? 1

Under this screen, a physical Home button houses the Touch ID fingerprint sensor which is sometimes more practical and faster than Face ID. This is particularly the case when wearing a mask or sunglasses for example. However, now that iOS 15.4 has enabled Face ID to work with the mask, there is less of an advantage to it.

Otherwise, the device is quite thin, light, and resistant with its new reinforced glass and its IP67 certification. In our test, the iPhone SE 202 was pleasant to handle with its rounded edges that provide excellent grip and a glass back that allows it to afford wireless charging.

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Metropcs iPhone SE 2022 Review: is it still a good deal? 2

Unfortunately, Apple did not see fit to integrate its MagSafe magnetic charging system into this new iPhone SE 2022. It would have been a little extra novelty and an obvious financial windfall for Apple – which could have sold a few more accessories. But we will have to do without.

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Metropcs iPhone SE 2022 Review: is it still a good deal? 3

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Photo & Video

It is therefore on this glass back that we find the only photo sensor offered by this model.

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We are not going to dwell on it: during our test, we did not notice any revolution with this 2022 vintage of the iPhone SE. We find again and again this same small 12 MP sensor, which turns out to be rather correct and which produces satisfactory shots daily.

This iPhone can also film in 4K with extremely convincing quality for a phone. This is a strong argument that is found in all Apple smartphones and this “SE” version does not hesitate.

On the other hand, with a single sensor, the iPhone SE 2022 is not versatile in terms of photos. No ultra-wide-angle, no telephoto. You will have to settle for a single angle because the digital zoom does not work miracles.

The other criticism that we can make of this iPhone SE 2022 in our test and on its photo part is the absence of a night mode. It’s all the more unfortunate that this absence is not related to the photo sensor itself, but only to the software part.

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Apple has therefore not seen fit to integrate this model into its latest iPhone SE when it has been present on the iPhone since the iPhone 11, which nevertheless has an A13 Bionic chip. This iPhone SE 2022 is however entitled to a much more recent and more powerful chip, the A15 Bionic which also powers the latest iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro. There it is, the great (and only?) argument of this iPhone SE 2022.

Performance & Autonomy

With the A15 Bionic chip, this iPhone instantly ranks among the most powerful smartphones on the market. At only €529, it even exceeds other smartphones sold for over €1,200, such as Samsung’s latest Galaxy S22 Ultra for example.

However, the A15 may be particularly powerful, in the case of this iPhone SE 2022, this excess of power will probably not be used to run large mobile games or greedy applications. Here, we must rather see the presence of this chip as a guarantee of longevity in terms of updates. This iPhone SE may receive major updates for another 5, 6, or even 7 years and on that, it is clear that the iPhone SE of 2022 will do well.

The other argument for this chip is that it benefits from a 5G modem. This, therefore, allows the iPhone SE to be compatible with the latest generation of ultra-fast networks. If you don’t have a 5G plan yet, that’s okay: it will also work on the 4G network. In a few years, it will be practical to be able to count on him as soon as prices drop a little.

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The last major point is autonomy. In its conference, Apple underlined the fact that the Bionic A15 chip contained in this iPhone would allow it to be more autonomous. And in our test of the iPhone SE 2022, however, we did not note a spectacular leap forward. We could expect excellent autonomy while the latest iPhone 13 (and in particular the 13 Pro) are particularly enduring. On the iPhone SE 2022, the gain is much more contained.

Admittedly, it is still a small feat to manage to last the day with a smartphone that has a battery of around 2000 mAh. Yes, but with a battery of this size, Apple does not work miracles either and the iPhone SE offers just decent battery life.

A bargain?

Apart from its chip, this iPhone SE 2022 remains overall a bit disappointing. Already, its price increased compared to the previous iteration, going from 479€ to 529€.

What annoys me is above all this umpteenth recycling of design. In 2020, the 2017 version look could still pass, in a pinch. But in 2022, for that price, it’s exaggerated.

Admittedly, the quality of manufacture is always there and the chassis is solid, nothing sticks out. Everything is perfectly put together. The problem is that at 529€, we could have expected something more modern. At the competition, for a similar price, we have smartphones with edge-to-edge OLED screens with a better refresh rate, photo sensors in shambles, and lots of new features.

You still have to recognize it: this iPhone SE still has a huge advantage over all these Android smartphones. Precisely, it is an iPhone with therefore the famous access to iOS. For many users accustomed to this operating system (and who intend to stay there), this iPhone SE 2022 has finally become a phone of choice for a contained price.

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This is the case, for example, for companies that want to equip their employees with an iPhone; for elderly people who have nothing to do with the new features of the latest models and who prefer navigation with the physical button; or even for a child who will have his first smartphone and whose parents will be able to monitor his consumption thanks to family sharing.

This iPhone is very clearly intended for this type of profile. And finally, whether it’s yours truly who tests this iPhone SE 2022 or you who read high-tech tests all day long, we are not the target of this iPhone SE.

It’s a simple, powerful iPhone that will last. But for its price, there are much better alternatives elsewhere. And if you want to stay with Apple, there are also a lot of other possible choices: a refurbished iPhone 12 mini if ​​you like small formats or a new iPhone XR / iPhone 11, or even a new iPhone X… In short, this is not the choice that is missing and unless you want to buy a new smartphone, this iPhone SE 2022 is ultimately not that interesting.

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