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iPhone SE 2022 vs. iPhone 13: Should you buy the budget iPhone or splurge on the flagship Apple device?

By AYIE LICSI Published Mar 09, 2022 7:07 pm

At Apple's "Peek Performance" event, a new budget iPhone was introduced, adding another affordable smartphone for shoppers to choose from. And alongside it, a new green color option of the iPhone 13 line was announced.

Now, the two devices are vastly different—the SE 2022 comes at a cheaper price, usually under P30K, while the iPhone 13 starts at above P40K. However, the earlier holds a lot of promise as a bang-for-your-buck phone. It has 5G capabilities, a tougher rear glass body, and the same A15 Bionic chip that powers the latest flagship iPhones but for a lesser price.

If you're torn between the two, here are some things you should consider before you make your choice.

Design and display

Whether you like it or not, the new iPhone SE 2022 still sports the five-year-old design of the iPhone 8. The 4.7-inch retina display is still surrounded by thick bezels on the phone's forehead and chin.

iPhone SE 2022

Meanwhile, the smallest iPhone 13 Mini has a bigger 5.4-inch screen than this phone while still being a tinier device. If you're more comfortable watching videos and movies or viewing content on a bigger screen, any of the iPhone 13 line might be a better choice, especially the massive iPhone 13 Pro Max. But if you don't mind a phone with a classic look, the SE 2022 is a safe bet.

Touch ID

Since the iPhone SE 2022's display does not take up the entire face of the phone, there's room for a home button with Touch ID capabilities. This feature comes in handy for times when you want to unlock your phone in an instant while you're wearing a face mask. Unfortunately, Apple has still yet to roll out iOS 15.4, which would allow users to open their locked devices with Face ID even with half their face covered.

iPhone 13 line in green


Compared to the iPhone 13's two rear cameras and the Pro versions' triple cameras, the new budget contender only has a single 12MP shooter. However, it's nothing to scoff at—it inherited some of the 13's features like Photographic Styles, Smart HDR 4, Deep Fusion, and Portrait mode.

Cinematic video modes are notably missing, but if you mostly use your phone to snap pictures, the SE 2022 would suffice. Those who want to shoot film-like videos with the bokeh effect will have to shell out a bit more for the iPhone 13 Pro.

iPhone SE 2022 in use

Price and color options

At the end of the day, your choice will depend on your budget. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said during the March 8 event, this device is for existing users who want a "smaller iPhone and a great value."

According to the Apple website, the iPhone SE 2022 will be available at P28,990 while the cheapest of the iPhone 13 line, the Mini, starts at P44,990.

The cheapest version of the budget device also starts at a smaller storage option of 64GB while the Mini starts at 128GB. Color options for the earlier include midnight, starlight, and Product RED, while the 13 line comes in six hues of either Product RED, pink, blue, midnight, starlight, or green.