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The best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives: 6 phones to consider before you buy
The iPhone SE (2022) continues to be one of the best budget phones you can buy, but here at Android Authority, we know iOS is not everyone’s cup of tea. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from, especially on the Android side of things. In this list, we will show you some of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives.
The best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives
The iPhone SE is a very competitive phone at its $429 MSRP. It comes with pretty powerful specs that even compare to some iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 models. The competition is harsh, but there are some great alternatives out there.
Editor’s note: We will regularly update this list of the best iPhone SE alternatives as new phones launch and older ones are phased out.
Google Pixel 7a
It’s always a Google vs Apple fight around here, and if there is a direct competitor to the iPhone SE, it has to be the Google Pixel 7a. These devices target the same demographic, featuring a near-high-end experience at much more accessible price points than premium flagships.
In the case of the Pixel 7a, you have a Google Tensor G2 processor and 8GB of RAM. That is a potent processor that also powers the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro. And 8GB of RAM is plenty for most users, especially at a $499 MSRP.
The OLED screen has a good size of 6.1 inches, and the Full HD+ resolution is plenty good at this size. Google is known for its cameras, and while the hardware in this phone doesn’t match the best camera phones out there, the system is backed by Google’s computational photography smarts. This means it will take amazing shots, even putting itself up there with some of the top dogs.
Of course, no price cut comes without some sacrifices. The design is mostly plastic, even if it actually looks and feels great. You get a slightly downgraded IP67 rating. Fast charging isn’t also as great, as it can only handle 18W. At least you get wireless charging now, but it is limited to 7.5W.
- Great performance
- Good design
- Fast Android updates
- Great cameras
- Pixels don’t age very well
- Has a tendency to get hot
- Slow 18W charging
Check out our full review to learn more about Google Pixel 7a.
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Samsung fans don’t have to feel left behind. The Korean giant has a great mid-tier option that will bring a great experience for a fair price, and it’s the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G. It actually looks much like a Galaxy S23, but it switches the materials to more wallet-friendly ones. It is made of Gorilla Glass 5 and sports a polycarbonate mid-frame. You can also pick from a few fun, colorful options: Lime, Graphite, Violet, and White.
Packed inside, you’ll find an Exynos 1380 processor and 6-8GB of RAM, as well as up to 256GB of internal storage. The 6.4-inch display is fairly sized, but it has a Full HD+ resolution, 120Hz refresh rate, and Super AMOLED panel. You’ll also get a sizeable 5,000mAh battery and 25W charging. It also lacks wireless charging, though, something the iPhone SE touts proudly. And just like the Pixel 6a, this one has a lesser IP67 rating.
The Samsung Galaxy A54 has a $449 MSRP, which competes very closely with the iPhone SE and Pixel 7a.
- Really good performance for the price
- Gorgeous design
- Nice display
- Large battery and 25W charging
- Great update promise of four Android upgrades and five years of security patches
- No wireless charging
- IP67 rating
Check out our full review to learn more about Samsung Galaxy A54 5G.
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023)
Motorola has long been known for its value offerings, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. The Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) is one of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives. As its name entails, it has a stylus, which you won’t often find in devices anywhere close to this price point, and adds an extra layer of functionality many of you will love.
It’s a pretty good phone elsewhere, too. Specs include a Snapdragon 6 Gen 1 and 6GB of RAM, as well as up to 256GB of storage. The battery is large at 5,000mAh, and it charges pretty fast at 20W. You’ll also love this phone if you prefer larger screens, as this one comes with a 6.6-inch panel, which also happens to feature a Full HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.
The best news is that it costs only $399.99! And without discounts, which Motorola is known for frequently having. It is cheaper than the iPhone SE, even if by a bit.
- It comes with a stylus!
- Over a day of battery life.
- Nice design
- Decent performance for the price
- Bad software update commitment
- Mediocre cameras
Check out our full review to learn more about Moto G Stylus 5g (2023).
Motorola Moto G 5G
If you’re looking for an even more affordable iPhone SE (2022) alternative, it’s hard to beat something like the Motorola Moto G 5G. This is the cheapest device on this list at $249 MSRP, and casual users won’t be missing the slightly higher-end iPhone SE experience too much.
This phone still has a 6.5-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The primary camera is pretty nice, in our experience. We also managed to easily go through two days of battery life, which easily beats the iPhone SE’s full day of juice.
Of course, there are some compromises to be had. You must decide if you can live with no NFC, wireless charging, an HD+ resolution, and only a single major Android update promise.
- Nice 120Hz display
- Great main camera
- Long battery life
- Pretty good performance for the price
- Very affordable
- Only an HD+ resolution
- It has no NFC
- It lacks wireless charging
- Bad update commitment
Check out our full review to learn more about Motorola Moto 5G (2023).
ASUS Zenfone 10
The ASUS Zenfone 10 doesn’t really compete with the iPhone SE in terms of pricing. It’s more expensive at an MSRP of $699. That said, it is one of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives if you’re looking for another small phone, which there aren’t many of these days.
While it doesn’t compare to the 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone SE, the ASUS Zenbfone 10 has a pretty small 5.92-inch screen. The whole phone is only slightly larger, though, because the iPhone SE has some significantly large bezels. By the way, the Zenfone 10’s screen is gorgeous. It has a Super AMOLED panel with a Full HD+ resolution and an impressive 144Hz refresh rate.
This phone also happens to come with specs that compete with the best of the best. These include a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, up to 16GB of RAM, as much as 512GB of storage, and 30W charging. The battery is pretty small at 4,300mAh, but that can be justified given the phone’s size.
- Small form factor
- Gorgeous design
- High performance
- Full-day battery life
- It can get hot under heavy loads
- No telephoto camera
- Only two major OS updates promised
Check out our full review to learn more about ASUS Zenfone 10.
iPhone 13 Mini
Now, if you really want to stick with Apple devices and want one of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives within the ecosystem, the next best option is the iPhone 13 Mini.
They both come with an Apple A15 Bionic processor and 4GB of RAM, so performance should be very similar. It’s also actually shorter and narrower, and only a tiny bit thicker. This means that if you want a small phone, the 13 Mini is technically a better option.
It costs significantly more at $599, but you’ll get plenty of upgrades. The battery is bigger at 2,438mAh, the screen is also larger at 5.4 inches, and it has a better Super Retina XDR OLED panel. You also get a couple of 12MP rear cameras, as opposed to just one. It also supports 15W MagSafe charging, and happens to look much more modern.
- Shorter and narrower than the iPhone SE
- Great performance
- Improved design and build quality
- Better water resistance
- Faster charging and more battery
- Larger screen
- Much more expensive
These are the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives in our book. Are you not convinced by these picks? Then grab yourself an iPhone SE (2022) via the link below.