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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.
By

Published onAugust 27, 2023

Google Pixel 7a
MSRP: $499.00
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Positives
The best sub-$500 camera phone
Solid performance and plenty of RAM
Neat size and design
Smooth, feature-rich software
Improved 90Hz display
Great upgrade commitment
Negatives
Slow wired charging, even slower wireless charging
Mediocre battery life
Tensor G2 runs hot
Pixel 7 and Pixel 6a are better value
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
MSRP: $449.99
Check price
Positives
Galaxy S23-inspired design
Color-rich, fluid display
Strong primary camera
Solid everyday performance
Good battery life
Excellent update commitment
Negatives
Prone to extreme camera saturation
Cheap plastic frame
No wireless charging
No 4K/60fps video
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023)
MSRP: $399.99
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Positives
Sturdy, attractive design
Sharp 1080p LCD with 120Hz refresh rate
Decent performance
Built-in stylus
Negatives
Too much bloatware
Only one OS update
Stylus sticks out and can get in the way
Mediocre cameras
Motorola Moto G 5G (2023)
MSRP: $249.00
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Positives
Crisp 120Hz refresh rate
Solid main camera
Great battery life
Loud stereo speakers
Significant price drop
Negatives
Weak update commitment
Limited camera flexibility
Poor video settings
Only HD+ display
No NFC
Asus ZenFone 10
MSRP: $699.00
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Positives
Compact design
Great build quality
Robust performance and battery
Useful software gestures
Wireless charging support
Negatives
Update pledge could be better
No telephoto camera
Hot while gaming
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
MSRP: $629.99
Check price
Positives
Powerful processor
Compact form factor
Solid cameras and video
Negatives
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 7a

Google Pixel 7aGoogle Pixel 7a
AA Editors Choice
Google Pixel 7a
The best sub-$500 camera phone • Solid performance and plenty of RAM • Improved 90Hz display
MSRP: $499.00
The essential Pixel experience
The Pixel 7a delivers more premium features than ever for under $500, such as wireless charging support, a 90Hz refresh rate display, and a 64MP camera.

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.

Google Pixel 7a front with box
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Pros:

  • Great performance
  • Good design
  • Fast Android updates
  • Great cameras

Cons:

  • 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 Galaxy A54 5GSamsung Galaxy A54 5G
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Galaxy S23-inspired design • Color-rich, fluid display • Excellent update commitment
MSRP: $449.99
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 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.

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

Pros:

  • 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

Cons:

  • 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 Moto G Stylus 5G (2023)Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023)
Motorola Moto G Stylus 5G (2023)
Sturdy, attractive design • Sharp 1080p LCD with 120Hz refresh rate • Built-in stylus
MSRP: $399.99
A stylus-equipped phone with 5G
If you want a stylus and 5G support without spending an arm and a leg, the Moto G Stylus 5G (2023) is a decent option with solid performance and a good display.

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.

motorola moto g stylus 5g with stylus
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Pros:

  • It comes with a stylus!
  • Over a day of battery life.
  • Nice design
  • Decent performance for the price

Cons:

  • Bad software update commitment
  • Mediocre cameras

Check out our full review to learn more about Moto G Stylus 5g (2023).


Motorola Moto G 5G

Motorola Moto G 5G (2023)Motorola Moto G 5G (2023)
Motorola Moto G 5G (2023)
Crisp 120Hz refresh rate • Great battery life • Significant price drop
MSRP: $249.00
Moto G for less.
The Motorola Moto G 5G (2023) delivers a $150 price cut that brings new value to the budget device. With near-stock Android, a solid primary camera, and two-day battery life, the Moto G 5G (2023) is easy to recommend as a starter smartphone.

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.

motorola moto g 5g 2023 flat hero - Budget camera phones
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Pros:

  • Nice 120Hz display
  • Great main camera
  • Long battery life
  • Pretty good performance for the price
  • Very affordable

Cons:

  • 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

Asus ZenFone 10Asus ZenFone 10
AA Editors Choice
Asus ZenFone 10
Compact design • Great build quality • Robust performance and battery
MSRP: $699.00
Small phone, big gains.
ASUS raises the bar for compact flagships with the Zenfone 10. Brilliant gestures, solid build quality, and the addition of wireless charging make this a tough little phone to beat.

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.

ASUS Zenfone 10 red back standing on table
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Pros:

  • Small form factor
  • Gorgeous design
  • High performance
  • Full-day battery life

Cons:

  • 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

Apple iPhone 13 MiniApple iPhone 13 Mini
Apple iPhone 13 Mini
Powerful processor • Compact form factor • Solid cameras and video
MSRP: $629.99
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

Pros:

  • Shorter and narrower than the iPhone SE
  • Great performance
  • Improved design and build quality
  • Better water resistance
  • Faster charging and more battery
  • Larger screen

Cons:

  • 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
MSRP: $429.00
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.

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