The iPhone 13 series rolled off the production line in September 2021, followed by the iPhone SE (third generation), released in March 2022, just six months later. While the iPhone SE (3rd generation) is the latest model, it’s very different from the iPhone 13 lineup.
Read on to learn more about the differences between the iPhone 13 and the iPhone SE and decide which is the best option for you.
As we all know, the popularity of the iPhone SE depends mainly on its low price, and it is popular as one of the best iPhones on a budget. Let’s take a look at how big the price difference really is.
The iPhone 13 currently sells for $799, while the iPhone SE sells for $429. There is a full $370 gap between the two, which is quite a feat. You can invest another $60 and buy two iPhone SEs for the price of one iPhone 13.
However, this lower price is related to the compromise of several features.
The difference in design follows a basic rule of thumb: Buy the iPhone 13 if you want a bigger, sleeker, and more modern iPhone; if you want a smaller, iPhone-6-style iPhone, choose the iPhone SE, which will erase your nostalgia for the older iPhone.
First, put these two iPhones side by side, and you’ll notice some notable changes between them, both front and back. At first glance, you’ll see a slight change in size, the iPhone 13 is the larger device at 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches, and the iPhone SE is slightly smaller at 5.5 x 2.7 x 0.3 inches. Another major change is the appearance of a home button on the iPhone SE.
The iPhone 13 follows the latest trends of the iPhone, with a notch, no home button, and the screen extends across the device. The iPhone SE is an old-school product, has a Home button, has no notch (because it’s not compatible with Face ID), and has a smaller screen.
Turn these two iPhones over and you’ll see that both phones have different cameras on the back. The iPhone 13 has a pair of lenses, while the iPhone SE has only one. In addition, both models have a glass back shell and a metal shell, so the material is the same. Both have Lightning ports for charging and neither has a headphone jack.
The iPhone SE has three basic color options:
The iPhone 13 has a slightly larger variety, with five color options available:
The difference in the size of the display is quite obvious. The iPhone 13 has a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone SE scales it down to 4.7 inches.
Since the iPhone 13 has a higher budget, it’s clear that it will have a better resolution than the iPhone SE. The resolution of the iPhone 13 is 1170×2532 pixels, while the latter is 750×1334 pixels. This means that the iPhone 13 also has a higher resolution. Add to that the fact that the iPhone 13 offers HDR, and it’s clear how much of an advantage its display is.
Starting with the front camera, the iPhone SE has a 7-megapixel camera and the iPhone 13 has a 12-megapixel camera. This basically means that the iPhone 13’s front camera has a better resolution, allowing you to enjoy smooth HD video chat.
The rear camera also has physical changes in functionality. The iPhone 13 has two lenses: a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide lens. The iPhone 13’s wide-angle lens is superior to the iPhone SE’s lens in some small ways, bringing a significant difference in quality. The iPhone SE doesn’t have an ultra-wide-angle lens, which also means you can’t have too many backgrounds in your photos and videos.
The iPhone 13’s camera also boasts night mode and movie mode, which the iPhone SE lacks. All in all, the front and back of the iPhone 13 have generally better image resolution and quality, so if you’re someone who likes to take photos and videos of the best quality, you might want to invest in the iPhone 13.
Storage and Performance
While both offer three different storage options, the iPhone 13 has a higher maximum limit of up to 512GB, compared to the iPhone SE’s 256GB. The base model of the iPhone 13 also starts at a higher price, offering 128GB, compared to the iPhone SE at 64GB.
The 256GB iPhone SE sells for $579, which is still cheaper than the iPhone 13’s starting price, though the 128GB starts at $799.
Both phones offer an A15 bionic chip and 5G connectivity, putting them on an equal footing in performance. The A15 Bionic chip is quite powerful, so you won’t have any complaints about the performance of these two phones.
Neither phone comes with a power brick in its packaging, so you’ll have to get your own if you don’t have one already. Moreover, MagSafe on the iPhone is only supported by iPhone 13 and not the iPhone SE.
That said, the iPhone 13’s battery life is so good that it makes it one of the best features of the iPhone 13. Due to the larger charging power and battery capacity, the iPhone 13 has the highest battery life compared to all previous models. The iPhone SE offers 15 hours of video playback, while the iPhone 13 has a 19-hour playtime.
Numerous comparisons suggest that the iPhone SE takes an average of an hour to reach 50% charge, while the iPhone 13 takes half the time to reach the same battery level.
Questions about price and features
With a larger display, Face ID, better camera resolution, longer battery life, and more color options, the iPhone 13 is definitely the better iPhone on paper. If there’s one place where the iPhone SE has the upper hand, it’s the price, as the iPhone SE is more than $350 cheaper than the iPhone 13 on average.
However, if your budget isn’t tight, why not go all out?