The iPhone SE 3 is widely expected to be Apple’s next version of the phone, as Apple seeks to refresh the cheapest iPhone you can buy with new features that are noticeably absent from the current version. .
With the current iPhone SE just months away from its second birthday, that might seem like a relatively short gap between updates, especially since Apple took four years between the launch of the original iPhone SE and the 2020 version. But trust us – it makes sense that Apple would release an update sooner rather than later if the low-cost iPhone is to retain its appeal.
Apple watchers expect an Apple event in March or April where the iPhone SE 3 could make its debut. When it does appear, expect these features to be on the new iPhone’s spec sheet.
1. 5G connectivity
Frankly, that’s probably why we’re getting an iPhone SE update now. When the iPhone SE 2020 arrived, 5G networks had been around for barely a year, with speeds barely faster than LTE in most cases. The next two years saw 5G spread rapidly across the country. T-Mobile’s nationwide network now reaches 308 million people, and 200 million of that total have access to the carrier’s fastest Ultra Capacity 5G speeds. By the time the iPhone SE 3 is supposed to launch, AT&T and Verizon will have activated their 5G extender based on the C-Band spectrum, bringing faster speeds to more of their customers.
In Apple’s current lineup, the iPhone SE and iPhone 11 are the only phones that don’t support 5G. They are also the two cheapest phones offered by Apple. At the same time, Android phone makers have added 5G connectivity to devices that cost $500 and under. Our list of the best 5G phones includes several low-cost models.
Apple has come to embrace a low-cost option among its smartphones as it extends the company’s appeal beyond high-end smartphones. (It also helps Apple’s overseas business in countries where people aren’t willing to pay top dollar for an iPhone 13 Pro Max.) To keep the iPhone SE an attractive option for hunters bargains, the phone will need to work with 5G.
2. A15 Bionic Chip
Apple is following a fairly recognizable playbook with its iPhone SE releases — take the chipset that powered last fall’s flagship iPhones and squeeze it into the low-cost model you’re introducing the following spring. That’s why the original iPhone SE ran on the same A9 system-on-chip as the iPhone 6s and why the 2020 iPhone SE used the A13 Bionic chipset from the iPhone 11.
If Apple stuck to the same pattern with the iPhone SE 3, we’re looking at the A15 Bionic chip that debuted with the iPhone 13 family last fall. That’s great news if you’re on the hunt for a new iPhone but don’t want to pay $699 or more for one of the iPhone 13 versions. The A15 Bionic remains the hottest mobile silicon performance that we have tested. Any phone powered by an A15 should keep pace with the competition for several years, even if the phone powered by this chip is a budget model like the iPhone SE.
3. Night shift support
It seems unlikely that Apple will increase the number of lenses from the single camera that has been a mainstay of the iPhone SE. It has to tell the difference between this phone and the iPhone 13 mini somehow, after all. But there are photography features that Apple could add without having to opt for a second lens.
The biggest thing missing from the current iPhone SE is support for Night Shift. Presumably, the iPhone SE will have enough power under the hood to support the computational photography needed to improve low-light shots. Google’s Pixel 5a has a night mode, which helps put this low-cost device among the best camera phones, so the iPhone SE 3 will have to keep up.
4. Better battery
As much as we appreciate the current iPhone SE, one area where Apple’s phone fails is in battery life. When we tested the iPhone two years ago, the iPhone SE lasted just over 9 hours, which is below average for a smartphone.
Apple can’t do much with battery life, given rumors suggesting the iPhone SE’s design won’t change for the new version. (More on that in a moment.) However, last fall’s iPhone 13 release gives us hope that Apple has found a way to boost battery life by his phones. After every iPhone 12 model except the iPhone 12 Pro Max took a step back in battery life, Apple boosted the longevity of each of the comparable iPhone 13 models. , and a few even landed on our list of best phone battery life.
Granted, the main way Apple did this was to opt for larger batteries for the iPhone 13, which isn’t necessarily an available option for the iPhone SE 3. Still, we hope Apple has learned something about power management that will make any new phone last longer on a charge.
5. Face ID for iPhone SE
All phones sold by Apple, except the current iPhone SE, support Apple’s Face Unlock feature. It is said that this will change for the iPhone SE 3, even if Apple keeps the current design of the phone. (And from what we’ve heard, it will.) The idea is that the next phone will still find a way to add the necessary sensors to support the feature while retaining the fingerprint sensor. Touch ID that occupies the bottom bezel. This could make the iPhone SE 3 the only current iPhone you can unlock with your mask still on.
6. A new name for the iPhone SE
The iPhone SE 2020 is officially just the iPhone SE – that “2020” part is added to it just so as not to confuse it with the original model. Now that a third iPhone SE is in the works, Apple might be motivated to come up with a more distinct name — and not just by sticking a “3” after the “iPhone SE” part.
At least one rumor suggests the new device will debut as the iPhone SE Plus — a potentially confusing name, given that Apple typically uses the Plus moniker to differentiate between devices with smaller screens. It’s also possible that Apple is naming its new phone the iPhone SE 5G as a way of calling the most important thing about this particular model.
What we’re not getting: A new iPhone SE design
When rumors of an iPhone SE 3 first surfaced, many assumed that Apple would take the opportunity to update the look of the phone from the iPhone 8-inspired design it currently uses. But that apparently isn’t happening – the latest rumors suggest that Apple is keeping the 2017 look right down to the 4.7-inch screen surrounded by wide bezels at the top and bottom of the screen.
In a sense, you can understand where Apple came from. Adopting a notched design, even if it meant a larger screen, would make it difficult to differentiate the iPhone SE 3 from other phones in its lineup – mainly the iPhone 11 or iPhone 13 mini, depending on size of the screen. using. Maintaining the current design separates the iPhone SE from the rest of the lineup. The fact that it’s likely to cut costs is another reason to stick with the current form factor.
Still, that doesn’t make the likely look of the iPhone SE any less dated. And it would have been nice to usher in a new design with a new phone.