Welcome to T3's guide to the best iPhone SE deals of 2023. This budget-friendly iPhone manages to fit in one of the world's best processors, crucial camera upgrades and of course, Apple's signature iOS operating systems.
While it's no longer the newest handset from Apple with the release of multiple iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 handsets, the iPhone SE still remains one of its latest devices. In essence it's going to appeal to both people who like small phones and those on a budget. While we can all agree that its design isn't exactly innovative – it's the body of an iPhone 8 after all! – we imagine most will quite happily look past that for the budget price tag on-board, especially with such a strong camera and fast, reliable performance.
It does arguably fall short in a few areas with a weaker battery, lower resolution display and an older design and body but when it comes in so much lower than other Apple handsets, it's hard to argue with the SE's value. We've also ranked it in our best cheap iPhone guide and just because it's more affordable than the latest versions, doesn't mean it's not worth buying!
P.S. If you're interested in the newer version of the iPhone SE, check out the best iPhone SE 2022 deals for more.
The iPhone SE: Our thoughts
The new iPhone SE nails the important stuff and gives you the build quality of an iPhone Pro for less than half the price
"The iPhone SE 2020 is the best cheap smartphone for most people – its camera, build quality and speed all match more expensive phones. Its smaller screen will also please those who feel left behind by ever-larger devices."
Read our full iPhone SE review for a detailed examination.
SIM-free iPhone SE deals: how much will it cost you?
Go for a SIM-free iPhone SE and the cheapest price you'll be landing is £419. Compare that to Apple's other recent releases and that is exceptionally cheap, one of the cheapest iPhones out there in fact.
Prices then go up for the more storage you get. With an 128GB model costing £469 and the 256GB model costing £569.
However, it is important to note that the price is starting to fall as retailers compete to drop the overall SIM-free price of the iPhone SE. Prices now frequently appear in the sub-£400 price point.
iPhone SE: specs at a glance
- Battery: 1821mAh
- Screen: 4.7-inch LCD display
- IP rating: IP67 rating
- RAM: 3GB Ram / Apple A13 bionic chipset
- Cameras: Back: 12MP / Front: 7MP
Is the iPhone SE a good value phone?
As it stands, the iPhone SE is one of Apple's best value devices yet. It comes with some exceptionally cheap bills but still manages to offer some top-notch specs. While it is obviously not going to match what Apple's other new handsets have, for the money you're paying, the iPhone SE is an excellent choice.
How does the iPhone SE compare to the iPhone 12 Mini?
Like Apple's and oranges, these two handsets are completely different. They are connected by just their size and lower price. Really, the iPhone SE is going to be for those on a budget, looking to keep their costs down as low as possible.
The iPhone 12 Mini on the other hand is for those that want Apple's top-tier specs at a lower cost or like the idea of a smaller phone but want to hold onto the likes of 5G, the A14 Bionic chip and more.
Really what it comes down to is how big you like your phone. If you want something small but powerful -it's the iPhone 12 Mini. Need something small...and also cheap, then its the iPhone SE.
Should I get the iPhone SE or the iPhone 8?
Considering they essentially have the exact same body and style, the iPhone 8 and SE are very similar devices. With that in mind, the iPhone SE has essentially rendered the 8 useless.
It will cost you a similar price tag but will offer up weaker specs in the exact same style. While iPhone 8 deals can be bought SIM-free for a lot less now, contracts will sit at a similar price point to the iPhone SE.
What 2020 specs does the iPhone SE have?
The iPhone SE has the body and style of a much older iPhone but Apple has sneaked a few impressive specs into the internals of the device. The most obvious and important is the A13 Bionic chip.
This is the same chipset that the iPhone 11 range uses making it Apple's most powerful yet and therefore, one of the most powerful across all phone manufactures.
Not only is that meaning a more powerful device void of lag and slow gaming but also a better performing camera, animations and more.
Looking past the chipset, Apple has added 4K video, wireless charging and a few other smart features to get excited about.
Does the iPhone SE have a good camera?
It's not a market-leading camera and therefore won't be able to compete with what you can get from the iPhone 11 range...however, it certainly will do the job. With the iPhone SE camera, you'll be able to take some solid photos without having to put too much work in.
When it comes to video, the iPhone SE is able to take 4K videos which for many people will be a big benefit, providing some HD shots.
The iPhone SE (2020) and the iPhone SE (2022)
On the 8th March 2022, Apple announced the release of the iPhone SE 2022 (3rd generation).
The iPhone SE 2022 (3rd generation) is the cheapest iPhone model on the market today. It’s the same size as the iPhone SE (2020) but has an Apple A15 chip for faster speeds and better battery life. The camera has also vastly improved, the glass is tougher and it comes with 5G connectivity.
Check out the best iPhone SE 2022 deals here for more.
iPhone SE deals retailer quick links
- Carphone Warehouse
- Affordable Mobiles
- Mobile Phones Direct
- Tesco Mobile