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iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs. Galaxy S22

Iphone Se 3 Vs Galaxy S22 Picturres
Iphone Se 3 Vs Galaxy S22 Picturres (Image credit: iMore)

When you're looking at the iPhone SE 3 versus the Galaxy S22, you're looking at a lower-tier model versus a flagship smartphone, so you can expect that the flagship phone is going to come with more bells and whistles — along with a higher price tag. The Apple iPhone SE 3 is certainly no device to scoff at, however. This is, in my opinion, the best smartphone you can get for the price. Even though it has a simpler build, this little handset does come with a monster processor and a much-improved battery life. Don't be so quick to dismiss the SE! First I'll break it down by specs.

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Galaxy S22: Key Differences

When you line up these two handsets side by side, there aren't too many similarities. Both are made of glass and aluminum with fast-charging and wireless-charging capabilities. Other than that, they don't share a single spec in common.

iPhone SE 3Galaxy S22
DesignCeramic Shield front + back and aluminum frameCorning Gorilla Glass Victus+ front and back, aluminum frame
ColorsMidnight, Starlight, and (PRODUCT)REDPhantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold
Display4.7‑inch LED display6.1-inch Amoled 2X display, 120Hz refresh rate
ProcessorA15 BionicSnapdragon 8 Gen 1
Camera12MP Wide rear, 7MP frontTriple lens 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto lens
Storage64GB, 128GB, 256GB + 4GB RAM128GB, 256GB + 8GB RAM
BatteryFast charging (20W charger sold separately), Qi wireless charging3,700mAh, Fast charging (charger sold separately), Qi wireless charging
IP ratingIP67IP68
Headphone jackNoneNone
Size and weight5.45x2.65x0.29 inches, 144 g5.75x2.78x0.30 inches, 167 g
SoftwareiOS 15Android 12
PriceFrom $429From $799

Here you can see that the S22 is bigger and heavier in general, with a more advanced display and a much better-equipped camera. As you go down the list, the iPhone doesn't seem to have much going for it except for the A15 bionic processor and the much lower price tag. But how do these differences play out during everyday use? Let us count the ways.

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Galaxy S22 Design: Display versus durability

Iphone Se 3 2022 Vs Galaxy S22 Design

Iphone Se 3 2022 Vs Galaxy S22 Design (Image credit: iMore)

It's apparent upon first glance that the Galaxy S22 is the more advanced of these two handsets, especially when it comes to hardware and design. The S22 has a much bigger screen and a beautiful AMOLED display that can produce a shocking 1,300 nits of brightness. Compared to the SE's 625 nits of brightness, this will make all the difference on a sunny day. But what the iPhone SE 3 lacks in display, it makes up for in durability.

It's apparent upon first glance that the Galaxy S22 is the more advanced of these two handsets, especially when it comes to hardware and design.

The 2022 edition of the iPhone SE comes with a ceramic shield screen and backplate. That makes it much more resistant to cracking and breaking than previous versions. The Corning Gorilla Glass Victus+ on the Galaxy is more prone to cracks than the ceramic shield screen on the iPhone, but it is slightly more resistant to scratches. Either way, both of these devices are well-built and tough.

One thing I really like about the Galaxy S22 lineup is the color availability. I like to change things up and often buy each new smartphone in a new and interesting color. In total, the S22 offers eight unique colors to choose from, which allows for a slightly more personalized choice. The three colors in the SE lineup seem a bit humdrum to me, but if you're one of those that has always and will always have a black phone, this may not matter at all.

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Galaxy S22 Performance: A15 bionic can't be beat

Iphone Se 3 Vs Galaxy S22 Performance

Iphone Se 3 Vs Galaxy S22 Performance (Image credit: iMore)

When it comes to performance, you may assume that the fancy, more expensive handset will win the day, but not so fast. The iPhone SE 3 steps into the ring with the super speedy A15 bionic chip that blows every other smartphone processor out of the water. In every benchmarking test there ever was, the A15 bionic outperforms the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 in both speed and overall performance. This advanced chipset also lends to improved graphics and computational photography on the iPhone SE, making for a surprisingly powerful combination in such a simple smartphone.

With that being said, the Galaxy S22 has double the RAM of the iPhone SE and an impressive 120Hz refresh rate, so during everyday use, the difference in processors may not be immediately evident. The Galaxy is no slouch, but if you're planning on using your handset to perform extremely rigorous or heavy processes, the iPhone SE is going to beat the S22 when it comes to performance.

The iPhone SE 3 steps into the ring with the blazing-fast A15 bionic chip that blows every other smartphone processor out of the water.

On that same note, the iPhone SE 3 also pulls ahead in battery life. Due to the toned-down display and ultra-efficient processor, the iPhone SE's battery is going to put out 2-4 hours more of continuous use than the battery of the Samsung S22. Yes, the Samsung's battery is actually bigger, but the super bright high-performance display of the S22 comes at the cost of battery life. So surprisingly, despite its much lower price point, the iPhone SE 3 wins when it comes to overall performance and efficiency.

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Galaxy S22 Camera: Three is better than one

Iphone Se 3 Vs Galaxy S22 Camera

Iphone Se 3 Vs Galaxy S22 Camera (Image credit: iMore)

Now here's where the Galaxy S22 really shines. The triple-lens camera on the Galaxy produces 50MP ultra-wide shots and 12MP wide shots alongside a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom. Add to that a full 30x digital zoom as well. That's a whole lotta camera when you compare it to the iPhone SE's single 12MP wide lens. And the proof is in the photos.

The Galaxy S22 has more lenses with better sensors, so it creates better photos overall, especially in low-light situations. The iPhone SE just can't produce the same level of detail and exposure. But while the S22 creates better photos in general, the iPhone SE 3 does deliver better photos than any SE before it. That's because Apple's computational photography technology enhances the photos automatically, bringing out more vibrant colors, light, and details. So while the Galaxy S22 has the better camera by far, the iPhone SE can create high-quality photography as well.

The S22 creates better photos overall, but the iPhone SE 3 does deliver better photos than any SE before it.

Those same triples lenses on the Galaxy S22 also record 8K video, in contrast to the 4K recorded by the iPhone SE. I will say that the iPhone SE comes with the latest video features released in iOS 15, such as cinematic mode. The Galaxy has similar features, but it may not be as impressive as Apple's latest in the video arena. Once again, the iPhone SE's smart technology produces perfectly good video, but the Galaxy S22 does it better simply because it has much more advanced hardware.

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Galaxy S22 Price: A clear winner

Iphone Se 3 2022 Vs Galaxy S22 Form Factor

Iphone Se 3 2022 Vs Galaxy S22 Form Factor (Image credit: iMore)

It will come as no surprise that the iPhone SE 3 is the clear winner when it comes to value for the price. Yes, the Samsung Galaxy S22 is bigger and better in many ways, but the iPhone SE 3 is almost $400 cheaper! That's a very big price difference, especially for price-conscious shoppers. If you have the budget, then the Galaxy S22 does have a ton of added features that could be worth the difference, but with the iPhone SE 3, you're getting so much value for such a great low price.

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Galaxy S22: Which should you buy?

Iphone Se 3 2022 Vs Galaxy S22 Back

Iphone Se 3 2022 Vs Galaxy S22 Back (Image credit: iMore)

When it comes to choosing between the iPhone SE 3 and the Galaxy S22, this decision will likely come down to budget. The Galaxy S22 is going to be a more feature-laden device with a better display, a better camera, and lots of cool colors to choose from. This is clearly the better smartphone spec by spec, but it is also $370 more expensive.

If a fancy triple-lens camera and a bigger ultra-bright display are not necessary to your everyday life then the iPhone SE is the better deal for your money. Although it's a bit smaller and simpler, the SE still packs a lightning-fast processor, a long-lasting battery, and a durable ceramic shield screen. If budget is an issue, you should go for the iPhone SE 3 for sure.