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The best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives: 6 phones to consider before you buy

From Google and Samsung to Apple itself, there are quite a few iPhone SE 2022 alternatives out there.
March 25, 2023
Google Pixel 6a
By Google
Check price
Powerful Tensor chip
Easy to use in one hand
Excellent image processing
Great software
Long-term update commitment
Worse than average battery life
Slow charging
Only 60Hz display
Tensor runs hot
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
By Samsung
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Galaxy S23-inspired design
Color-rich, fluid display
Strong primary camera
Solid everyday performance
Good battery life
Excellent update commitment
Prone to extreme camera saturation
Cheap plastic frame
No wireless charging
No 4K/60fps video
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2022)
By Motorola
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Built-in stylus
Decent budget cameras
Excellent battery life
Smooth 120Hz refresh rate
Very affordable
Slow 10W charging
Downgraded processor
Poor software upgrade promise
Poco X5 Pro
By Poco
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Slim and light design
Great main camera
Long battery life
High-quality screen
Powerful chip for the price
Poor secondary cameras
Plenty of bloatware
Ships with Android 12
No update commitment
Asus Zenfone 9
By Asus
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Pocket-sized design
Lightweight yet customizable software
Blazing fast fingerprint scanner
Customizable gestures
Solid battery life
Hot while gaming
No wireless charging
Limited camera package
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
By Apple
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Powerful processor
Compact form factor
Solid cameras and video
May be smaller than anticipated
iphone se rear upright - Best budget camera phones
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

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 6a

Google Pixel 6aGoogle Pixel 6a
AA Recommended
Google Pixel 6a
Powerful Tensor chip • Excellent cameras • Great software
The cameras and software make the Pixel 6a stand out
This affordable phone has everything most people need: A great design, fantastic cameras, an outstanding software experience, and a long-term update commitment.

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 6a. 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 6a, you have a Google Tensor processor and 6GB of RAM. That is a potent processor that powered the Pixel 6 and Pixel 6 Pro before it. And 6GB of RAM is plenty for most users, especially at a $449 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. There is no wireless charging, and you get a slightly downgraded IP67 rating. Fast charging isn’t also as great, as it can only handle 18W.

Google Pixel 6a in Sage color, seen from the back, next to Pixel Buds Pro, on a turquoise background
Rita El Khoury / Android Authority


  • Great performance
  • Good design
  • Fast Android updates
  • Stunning camera


  • Pixels don’t age very well
  • No wireless charging
  • Slow 18W charging

Check out our full review to learn more about Google Pixel 6a.

Samsung Galaxy A54

Samsung Galaxy A54 5GSamsung Galaxy A54 5G
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Galaxy S23-inspired design • Color-rich, fluid display • Excellent update commitment
The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G packs a Galaxy S23-like experience into an affordable shell
The Galaxy A54 5G bridges the gap between Samsung's mid-range phones to its flagships. It rocks a premium design with a flexible camera setup and one of the best software commitments in the Android game, all while hanging onto its affordable $449 price tag for yet another generation.

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. 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 6a.

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G Awesome Green
Robert Triggs / Android Authority


  • Really good performance for the price
  • Gorgeous design
  • Really 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

Moto G Stylus 5g (2022)

Motorola has long been known for its value offerings, and it’s not stopping anytime soon. The Moto G Stylus 5G (2022) 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 at any 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 695 and 6-8GB of RAM, as well as up to 256GB of storage. The battery is large at 5,000mAh, even if charging is slow at 10W. You’ll also love this phone if you prefer larger screens, as this one comes with a 6.8-inch panel, which also happens to feature a Full HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate.

The best news is that, while the phone has a $499.99 MSRP, you can often find it heavily discounted. We’ve seen it go for as low as $249.99!

Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G 2022 rear rotated on box - iPhone SE 2022 alternatives
Eric Zeman / Android Authority


  • Comes with a stylus!
  • Decent budget cameras
  • Clean Android UI
  • Amazing battery life


  • Has no NFC
  • Slow wired charging
  • Processor could be better
  • Bad software update commitment

Check out our full review to learn more about Moto G Stylus 5g (2022).


Poco X5 ProPoco X5 Pro
AA Recommended
Poco X5 Pro
Great main camera • Long battery life • Powerful for the price
The Poco X5 Pro sticks to a successful formula to deliver a reasonably well-rounded budget phone that ticks loads of boxes for the price.

POCO has become famous for offering top bang per buck, and the POCO X5 Pro has all it needs to be one of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives. What’s best, it accomplishes this at a significantly lower price point.

We loved its slim and light design. It also has a very neat 6.67-inch AMOLED screen with a Full HD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. The main camera is pretty good. Battery life is also outstanding, thanks to its 5,000mAh unit, which can actually charge at 67W. That is a serious accomplishment in this price range.

The IP53 rating is pretty bad, it has plenty of bloatware, and there is no update commitment. It’s also hard to get in the USA. If you can look past those downsides, though, this is one heck of a deal.

POCO X5 Pro face down on ledge resized - iPhone SE 2022 alternatives
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority


  • Slim and light design
  • Great main camera
  • Long battery life
  • Pretty good performance for the price
  • Very affordable


  • Harder to get in the USA
  • Too much bloatware
  • No update commitment

Check out our full review to learn more about POCO X5 Pro.

ASUS Zenfone 9

Asus Zenfone 9Asus Zenfone 9
Asus Zenfone 9
Pocket-sized design • High peak performance • Customizable gestures
A compact device with more than enough power
The Asus Zenfone 9 is a compact device that still packs more than enough power under the hood. It also features a stock-like software experience, customizable gestures, and a lot more.

The ASUS Zenfone 9 doesn’t really compete with the iPhone SE in terms of pricing. It’s more expensive at an MSRP of $699.99. That said, it is one of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives if you’re looking for another small phone.

While it doesn’t compare to the 4.7-inch screen on the iPhone SE, the ASUS Zenbfone 9 has a pretty small 5.9-inch screen. The whole phone is only slightly larger, though, because the iPhone SE has some significantly large bezels.

By the way, this phone also happens to come with specs that compete with the best of the best. These include a powerful Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1, up to 16GB of RAM, as much as 256GB of storage, and 30W charging. The battery is pretty small at 4,300mAh, but that can be justified given the phone’s size.

ASUS Zenfone 9 back standing on desk - iPhone SE 2022 alternatives
Robert Triggs / Android Authority


  • Small form factor
  • Nicely designed
  • Great audio
  • High performance
  • Great fingerprint reader


  • Much more expensive
  • No wireless charging
  • So-so camera quality

Check out our full review to learn more about ASUS Zenfone 9.

iPhone 13 Mini

Apple iPhone 13 MiniApple iPhone 13 Mini
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
Powerful processor • Compact form factor • Solid cameras and video
The small boi gets a second edition
The smallest of the iPhone 13 models delivers all the basic power of the vanilla iPhone 13 but in a very compact form factor.

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.

iPhone 13 Mini in red - iPhone SE 2022 alternatives


  • 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.

Apple iPhone SE (2022)Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Apple iPhone SE (2022)
Guaranteed long-term software updates • Improved battery life • Powerful A15 Bionic chipset
One of the most affordable iPhones you can get
The latest iPhone SE has the same body as its predecessor but sports a faster chipset, more RAM, and a bigger battery.