iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs. 2nd Gen: What’s the Difference?

Satyendu Mohapatra
Appleosophy | iPhone SE 3rd Gen vs. 2nd Gen: What's the Difference?
SE2 SE3 scaled

Apple announced the third generation of its SE lineup at yesterday‘s “Peek Performance” event. It is the cheapest iPhone in Apple’s portfolio and comes with a price tag of $429. It packs excellent features and performance in an iconic iPhone 8 design. Here are the differences between the SE 3rd generation and 2nd Generation:


Apple integrated its latest A15 Bionic chip (used in iPhone 13 series) into its most affordable iPhone. It now features a 16-core Neural Engine instead of an 8-core Neural Engine on the SE 2. It now comes with a 256GB option for users who want more storage. The new chip enables features like Live Text, which intelligently recognizes text in a photo and allows users to take action. iPhone SE 3 now comes with 4GB of RAM, instead of 3GB on SE 2, according to GeekBench.


The iPhone SE 3rd generation has the same design as the 2nd Generation. But it comes in two new colors, Midnight and Starlight, instead of Black and White, as seen in the previous model. An interesting fact to note is that the SE 3 is 4 grams lighter than the SE 2. It now comes with the toughest glass in a smartphone on the front and back.


With the power of the new A15 Bionic chip, the iPhone SE 2022 can now shoot videos and capture pictures better than ever before. It has a new camera system with advanced features like Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles, and Deep Fusion introduced with the iPhone 13 series, which are not available on iPhone SE 2.

  • Smart HDR 4 uses intelligent segmentation to apply color, contrast, and noise adjustments to the main subject compared to the background.
  • Photographic Styles allows users to bring their personal photo preferences to every image while still benefitting from Apple’s multi-frame image processing.
  • Deep Fusion uses advanced machine learning to do pixel-by-pixel processing, optimizing for texture, details, and noise in every part of the photo.

It has introduced Slo-mo video support on the front camera for 1080p at 120 fps (i.e., Slofie). Unfortunately, the SE 3 does not support Night mode or Cinematic mode.


With the addition of 5G on its budget iPhone SE, Apple’s entire iPhone lineup is now supported by 5G. It supports sub-6 GHz but no mmWave. One thing to note here is that the iPhone SE 3 does not support Gigabit-class LTE, but the previous SE 2 did. It supports new GPS features like Galileo, QZSS, and BeiDou, which the SE 2 didn’t.


Apple claims that the new SE 3rd generation gives two more hours of Video Playback and 10 hours more Audio Playback than the SE 2nd Generation. It might be possible due to the power efficiency of the A15 Bionic chip. The SE 3 still doesn’t support MagSafe charging.

Anything More?

Apple streamed its first event of this year on March 8. The Cupertino-based giant announced the new iPhone SE 3rd generation, 5th generation iPad Air, Mac Studio, which features the all-new M1 Ultra chip and a 27-inch 5K Studio Display. It also teased about an upcoming Mac Pro.

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Judy Pantling
Judy Pantling
1 year ago

Not happy about this SE 3rd generation SE iPhone as I brought my SE 2nd generation only a couple of months ago. If I had known iPhone was bringing this out I would have got it instead. I have always brought iPhones so I feel a bit cheated by Apple feel very frustrated about it

Chris Grainger
1 year ago
Reply to  Judy Pantling

Hey Judy, I see where you’re coming on this – I would suggest that for the future, look to buy between the most common release times (Usually in September and March/April). However I would say that you’re at no real disadvantage given that the 2nd Gen iPhone SE is still a powerful device and will have continued support, meaning that your investment hasn’t completely gone down the drain.

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