I think the 5G iPhone SE will be the best iPhone for most people – here's why

The 2022 5G iPhone SE is shaping up to be the best affordable iPhone yet

iPhone SE 2020
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone SE (2020) is a brilliant budget buy and one of the best budget smartphones, but it isn't perfect – not least because it doesn't have 5G. It looks like the iPhone SE (2022) will, alongside some other worthwhile features. 

With the iPhone 13 mini rumoured to be the last small mainstream iPhone, the iPhone SE (2022) could be the best iPhone for most people to buy. And according to Gizmodo, its launch could be here in the spring alongside a new iMac, Mac mini and iPad Pro.

For the iPhone SE, is 3 the magic number?

The iPhone SE will be priced to sell, coming in considerably cheaper than the iPhone 14. Although some reports say it'll be called the iPhone SE 3, that's believed to be a larger model due in 2024: this SE may be called the iPhone SE Plus, because Apple's naming strategy doesn't make sense any more.

Inside it's effectively an iPhone 13: an Apple A15 processor with 5G and the same performance. But the outside is expected to remain the same as the current generation, thick bezels and all: the panel is expected to remain 4.7 inches and LCD rather than the OLED displays of other iPhones. Don't expect a mini-LED iPhone SE any time soon.

So it's not the greatest display and nobody's going to think it's as exciting as a Samsung Galaxy S21. But it doesn't need to be. It just needs to be a really good phone, and if you're not wedded to big displays – or actively dislike them; if you do, check out our guide to the best small phones – getting what's effectively an iPhone 13 mini for considerably less cash ticks all the right boxes.

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written thirteen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote another seven books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (havrmusic.com (opens in new tab)).