iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Mid-range iPhone showdown

iPhone SE (2022) vs. iPhone 11: Mid-range iPhone showdown

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The caller iPhone SE is present and has erstwhile again stolen the spotlight for imaginable iPhone adopters connected a budget. Starting astatine $429, the 5G-enabled, A15 Bionic-powered handset is the astir affordable iPhone that Apple offers. But priced conscionable $70 much is the older, but larger, iPhone 11 -- besides disposable for acquisition via the Apple store.

Whether you're eyeing a caller iPhone for a household member, important other, oregon yourself, there's nary question that some the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 present exceptionally bully worth mobile experiences. To assistance you champion determine which of the 2 sub-$500 smartphones you should walk your hard-earned wealth on, we've compared the design, performance, cameras, and wide worth of some below.


iPhone SE (2022)

iPhone 11


4.7-inch Retina HD

6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD


144 grams

194 grams


TouchID (fingerprint unlock)

FaceID (face unlock)


Midnight, Starlight, Product Red

Purple, Yellow, Green, Black, White, Product Red


Single 12-megapixel camera

Dual 12-megapixel cameras

IP rating

IP67 (one metre heavy for 30 minutes)

IP68 (two meters heavy for 30 minutes)

One of the large crossroads that you'll brushwood erstwhile deciding betwixt the iPhone SE (2022) and iPhone 11 is design. While the erstwhile was released successful aboriginal 2022, its hardware is practically indistinguishable from the iPhone SE (2020), which shared the aforesaid plan arsenic the iPhone 8 of 2017. That's not to accidental that this year's iteration falls abbreviated successful the show broadside of things. Just don't expect the near-bezeless fig that modern time iPhones person embraced and, instead, look guardant to the nostalgia that is 4.7-inch iPhones with carnal location buttons.

Likewise, the iPhone 11 offers a recycled plan of its predecessor, the iPhone XR. (Apple intelligibly likes to recycle things.) But dissimilar the SE, the iPhone 11 has a overmuch much screen-dominant appearance, with a notch astatine the halfway for FaceID (face unlock) alternatively of the aged and reliable fingerprint sensor. It's besides importantly larger than the SE, with a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display. For amusement lovers who tendency the champion viewing experience, the larger iPhone whitethorn beryllium of greater usage than the SE.

More: Best iPhones successful 2022


The iPhone 11 successful White.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNet

Both iPhones are equipped with a 12-megapixel wide camera astatine the back, but the 11 takes it a measurement further by tossing successful a 12MP ultra wide lens for those head-turning scenery shots. How the 2 execute successful actuality volition beryllium breached down successful the camera conception aboriginal on.

The iPhone SE sports an IP67 rating, which certifies it arsenic h2o resistant of up to 1 metre heavy for 30 minutes. Comparably, the iPhone 11 has an IP68 rating, protecting it from a aquatics of up to 2 meters heavy for the aforesaid time. In the expansive strategy of things, some devices should clasp up successful the rainfall oregon shine.

In presumption of colour options, the iPhone SE comes successful Midnight (black), Starlight (white), and Product Red. The iPhone 11 tin beryllium purchased successful Purple, Yellow, Green, Black, White, and Product Red, though availability volition vary, fixed it's a three-year-old device.

Putting the iPhones broadside by side, plan unsocial whitethorn beryllium capable to sway you to 1 side. For a much modern consciousness and finish, the iPhone 11 is the telephone of choice. But if you agelong for the familiar, compact, and reliable iPhone 8 design, past the SE volition bash you nary wrong.


iPhone SE (2022)

iPhone 11


A15 Bionic (6-core)

A13 Bionic (6-core)





64GB, 128GB, 256GB

64GB, 128GB


5G (sub-6 Ghz)



Up to 15 hours video playback

Up to 17 hours video playback

For however overmuch smaller and cheaper it is, the iPhone SE packs capable firepower to rival that of Apple's flagships. That's mostly owed to the A15 Bionic spot -- the aforesaid processor recovered successful the iPhone 13 Pro -- nether the hood. When ZDNet's Jason Cirpriani benchmarked the iPhone SE, it scored 1,731 and 4,316 connected the azygous and multi-core tests respectively, doubling that of Google's highest-end Pixel 6 Pro . From a existent satellite perspective, that fundamentally means the iPhone SE tin tally apps, games, and multitask with small to nary stutter.

Apple March 8 iPhone SE aforesaid  solid  arsenic  iPhone 13

iPhone SE (2022) brings the carnal location fastener back.

Image: Apple

Still, the iPhone 11 treads intimately behind, with its A13 Bionic processor being conscionable arsenic reliable for societal media browsing, movie streaming, and capturing 4K video. The older iPhone is besides equipped with 4GB of RAM, and by operating connected the aforesaid versions of iOS, each the bundle perks of 1 iPhone are ever truthful contiguous connected the other. It is worthy noting, however, that Apple typically honors betwixt 5 to 7 twelvemonth bundle updates. Given the 3 twelvemonth spread betwixt the 11 and caller SE, you tin expect the second to person longer enactment if purchased today.

To 5G oregon not to 5G? That is different question you'll person to reply erstwhile deciding betwixt the 2 iPhones. To simplify the process, the caller iPhone SE only supports sub-6 Ghz, not the considerably faster mmWave 5G. So not lone is the quality in  networking velocity little noticeable, but you'll person to opt into a 5G information program with your bearer of prime successful bid to instrumentality afloat vantage of the fifth-gen technology.

Both iPhones commencement astatine 64GB retention sizes, upgradeable to 128GB for an other $50. The iPhone SE takes it a measurement further by offering a 256GB variant for those who question the other space. In an perfect world, 128GB would beryllium the basal configuration of each iPhones, but if you're choky connected budget, determination are plentifulness of free, high-quality unreality services worthy considering.

Apple claims that the caller iPhone SE tin supply an further 2 hours of usage compared to its predecessor. From our investigating and full review, the SE got "over 3 hours of screen-on clip during a emblematic day," earlier needing a charge. As ZDNet's Jason Cipriani points out, "If you see yourself a powerfulness user, you'll apt find the iPhone SE's artillery beingness lacking." 

The aforesaid cannot beryllium said astir the iPhone 11, which garnered adjacent to 5 hours of screen-on clip erstwhile we archetypal tested the device. While Apple remains secretive astir artillery capacities, it wouldn't travel arsenic a astonishment to find a larger size housed successful the iPhone 11 than the SE. The 11 is the wide victor if artillery beingness and endurance is 1 of your main priorities.


For casual and nonrecreational use, some the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 bash an exceptional occupation astatine capturing photos and videos, successful the time oregon night. The aforesaid 12MP wide lens tin beryllium recovered connected the backside of the 2 devices, and allows for 4K video recording, optical representation stabilization, and each of Apple's computational chaps -- including Deep Fusion, Smart HDR, and Night Mode.

apple-event-091019-iphone-11-90161.jpg James Martin/CNET

The biggest quality comes successful the signifier of the iPhone 11's 12MP ultra wide lens. With a 120-degree tract of view, the iPhone 11 tin seizure a wider scope of subjects and supply much discourse than the default camera. The ultra wide lens besides allows for macro photography -- oregon close-up shots -- acknowledgment to the smaller focal length. In general, the iPhone 11 offers much flexibility with your representation and video-taking.

On the camera beforehand (literally), the iPhone SE houses a 7MP FaceTime camera for selfies and 1080p video, but thing more. The front-facing camera does not enactment FaceID and, therefore, cannot beryllium utilized to make Animojis, Memojis, and different facial-driven features. Like galore of its different hardware limitations, this is chiefly due to the fact that the SE uses the older iPhone 8 design.

Relatively speaking, the iPhone 11 fields a 12MP TrueDepth camera for sharper video signaling of up to 4K, FaceID, and the aforesaid representation capabilities arsenic the SE. It besides supports Apple's slow-motion selfies, oregon "slofies," for what that's worth.

More: iOS 15.4 lets you usage FaceID with a mask

In general, you can't spell incorrect with either camera systems, but if you walk a bully magnitude of clip capturing pictures and video with your smartphone, the iPhone 11 whitethorn beryllium the amended of the two. Not lone does it springiness you much flexibility with your shots, but has a longer lasting artillery to support the camera rolling.


While the iPhone 11 debuted with a $699 terms tag, the telephone has since dropped to conscionable $499 connected the Apple store. That puts it wrong arms scope of the newly-released iPhone SE, which starts astatine $429

The iPhone 11 is the amended bargain if you tendency a large-sceen phone, reliable artillery life, an uncompromising camera system, and tin bash without 5G. The iPhone SE gets our proposal for users successful hunt of a compact smartphone that doesn't clasp backmost successful show and speed. It's besides a future-proofed concern that should fare good 5 oregon six years down the road. 


If you're unfastened to different smartphone prospects, see these ZDNet-tested offerings:

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