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iPhone SE 2022: What we want to see

From Face ID to higher base storage, here's everything we want to see on the new compact iPhone.

Published onFebruary 20, 2022

iPhone SE back slight angle

The iPhone SE (2020) was a refreshingly compact phone in a sea of phablet-sized devices. Not only did it make one-handed usage a thing again, but it also brought with it a speedy processor and impressive imaging skills for a tough-to-beat $399 price. Two years hence, a lot has changed in the smartphone market. We’re seeing manufacturers bring top-of-the-line hardware down to budget and mid-range phones more than ever before. So can the iPhone SE (2022) pose a threat to affordable Android flagships this year? Here’s what we want to see on Apple’s third Special Edition iPhone.

Also see: The best budget Android phones you can currently buy

Bring on Face ID, please

Apple Face ID setup
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

As someone who went from using the iPhone 11 to the iPhone SE (2020), one thing I sorely missed was Face ID. While I was thankful for the phone’s Touch-ID enabled home button, especially during the course of the pandemic when face unlock systems were mostly unusable because of masks, having facial recognition as an option would have been nice.

For Apple to implement Face ID on the iPhone SE (2022), the phone would have to feature a TrueDepth camera system which is lacking in the current iPhone SE. It’s found in all of Apple’s recent iPhones, but the company probably skipped it on the SE to keep its price low. We hope Apple finds a way to add it to the new compact iPhone without changing the phone’s pricing too much. In fact, Bloomberg‘s Mark Gurman recently claimed that Apple is planning to bring Face ID to all of its relevant devices, possibly including the iPhone SE (2022).

OLED display with smaller bezels

iPhone SE home screen

The iPhone SE (2020) had a pretty decent LCD display. Yes, even with those huge bezels. However, two years down the line, the thing has started to look dated with all the borderless, high-contrast OLED panels floating around out there. The screen is difficult to use in bright outdoor conditions and the minimum brightness levels are also not as impressive as what an OLED panel can offer. In a nutshell, an OLED display would definitely increase the allure of the iPhone SE (2022), especially since it’s not uncommon to see OLED panels on phones in the $400 price range. Case in point, the Pixel 5a, and even the Pixel 4a before it.

Also see: The ultimate iPhone buying guide

Same compact size

iPhone SE in hand

The best part about using the iPhone SE (2020) was its size. The 4.7-inch footprint makes it perfect for single-handed use and that’s something rare to find in a smartphone these days. By going back to the size of the iPhone 8, Apple managed to appeal to fans of compact phones in a market flooded with large-screen devices, and that’s exactly what we hope remains unchanged in the iPhone SE (2022). That said, trimming those fat bezels should help make media consumption more pleasurable for those who want more screen real estate.

A camera upgrade

iPhone SE 2020 White Rear Camera Apple Logo

The iPhone SE (2020) borrowed its single 12MP camera from the iPhone 8. But thanks to the computational photography prowess of the A13 Bionic chip, the phone did a pretty good job of taking photos. There was even a portrait mode on the thing, thanks to Apple’s software magic.

However, it’s 2022, and that camera setup feels outdated now. The current iPhone SE’s portrait photography feature only works on humans, so you can’t take portraits of pets or objects. Apple’s Night Mode is also missing from the phone. We’d like to see the new iPhone SE correct these omissions. We’re hoping for at least a dual-camera setup — wide + ultrawide — on the upcoming phone, but even one great camera with a refreshed lens and good software optimization should do the trick.

Also see: The best camera phones you can buy right now

Higher base storage

iPhone SE 2020 vs iPhone 8

The iPhone SE (2020) launched with a 64GB base storage model, which felt much too tight back then and even more so two years down the line. We want Apple to start with at least 128GB of storage for the base iPhone SE (2022) model and not force users into buying extra iCloud storage because the 64GB internal storage runs out pretty quickly.

More battery juice

iPhone SE lightning port 1

At 1,821mAh, the battery of the 2020 iPhone SE barely lasts for an entire day. If you’re a heavy user, you’ll definitely be plugged into a charging cord a couple of times in the day. The iPhone SE (2022) is said to feature Apple’s A15 Bionic chip which should automatically improve power management on the phone, but a bump in the actual battery capacity wouldn’t hurt either.

Which of the following upgrades would you like to see the most on the iPhone SE (2022)?

969 votes

So those were all the things we want to see on the Apple iPhone SE (2022). What are some of your expectations and hopes from the phone? Drop us a line in the comments section. Also, take our poll above to tell us which upgrade matters to you the most.

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