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What we’d like to see from the iPhone SE 2022

The iPhone SE first appeared on the market in 2016, but didn’t get a second-gen upgrade up until 2020 — when it received upgraded internals in an iPhone 8 body. It is now rumored that a new iPhone SE will be announced at Apple’s March 8 Peek Performance event. While rumors suggest it will receive the internals of the iPhone 13, there’s a still lot to be desired. Here’s a wish list of features that we want to see from the iPhone 13 (2022).

A new design

A hand holds the iPhone 12 Mini.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Rumors suggest that the iPhone SE (2022) will feature the same design as before, which is half-a-decade old at this point. The last iPhone SE, launched in 2020, featured a design from the iPhone 8, announced in 2017. But it’s 2022 and we expect Apple to go back to the drawing board to give us a better-designed iPhone SE (2022).

There were rumors of the new iPhone SE sharing the iPhone X design language, but it was later dismissed, with claims that the 2022 iPhone SE won’t drop the current design. We’d like Apple to give us a more modern-looking budget iPhone — maybe trim down the bezels a bit and give us FaceID. Even if the company wants to stick with TouchID, please put it on the power button, and give us a big display upfront, since we already have an iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini appealing to the crowd that prefers compact phones with FaceID.

Latest processor

The iPhone SE 2020 was powered by the then-latest Apple processor for iPhones. We would expect Apple to go the same route and give us the A15 Bionic system on a chip under the hood on the iPhone SE (2022). While the A13 Bionic chip is enough for everyday tasks, a new processor would mean several new features and not just improvements on the benchmark numbers.

The A 15 Bionic chip also comes with an improved neural engine that will likely help the iPhone SE (2022) on the software front. It would allow the device to have more machine learning-powered software features like text predictions, language translation, app recommendations, and more.

Better cameras

A close-up look at the iPhone 12 Mini's camera module.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

We would like to see some of the latest camera innovations on the camera front, and it starts with offering better hardware. The current iPhone SE houses a 7-megapixel selfie shooter like the iPhone XS. The iPhone 11 and newer devices come with a 12MP front camera sensor. That not only improves the selfie qualities, but help with features like Center Stage, which keeps you in focus while you are moving.

We would also like to see at least two cameras on the back with a more elegant look than the current simplistic design language. It is the norm in the 2022 Android world to get multiple rear cameras, but when has Apple ever competed with Androids in the numbers game? Still, we would like to get an ultra-wide-angle lens alongside the regular wide-angle camera at the back. Combined with the A15 chipset, we expect the iPhone SE (2022) to deliver some of the best-quality images and videos in the segment.

A longer-lasting battery

The iPhone SE (2020) was underwhelming when it came to lasting a full workday. For heavy users like myself, the 2nd-gen iPhone SE didn’t even last an entire day. We expect Apple to deliver a better battery life on the iPhone SE (2022). While we can only hope to get a bigger cell under the hood, the presence of the A15 chipset (as suggested by multiple rumors) means better efficiency even if the company doesn’t opt for a bigger battery.

5G support

The previous iPhone SE was limited to 4G LTE connectivity. Since the launch of the iPhone SE (2020), the world has moved swiftly toward 5G adoption, and we expect the upcoming budget iPhone from Apple to have it. The inclusion of a new generation of connectivity will also mean that the iPhone SE (2022) wouldn’t feel dated in just two or three years. It could be the cheapest 5G phone on the market.

OLED display

An iPhone 12 Mini rests on a rail with the screen activated.
Andrew Martonik/Digital Trends

Apple shifted to OLED displays on its entire lineup with the iPhone 12 series in 2020. It continued to offer OLED screens on the iPhone 13 lineup. The inclusion of an OLED display on the iPhone SE (2022) makes it a much more exciting offering, especially considering the fact that the LCD panel on the current iPhone SE is hard to read in bright sunlight and doesn’t offer high contrast like OLED displays. Its direct competitors like the Pixel 5a and Pixel 4a already sport an OLED display.

More storage on the base model

The iPhone SE (2020) started at 64GB on the base model, which already felt limited two years ago. With more people staying at home, they need more storage for pictures of children, downloading favorite TV shows to watch later, or simply tweeting that TikTok video. We would like to see Apple shift to the same storage strategy as the iPhone 13 series by offering 128GB storage on the base model.

Wrapping it all up

While we recognize that we may not get all of these features, we should get some of them. The iPhone SE is supposed to be a great phone in a small package. Some people just don’t want big phones. Processing power isn’t everything; a phone is a combined experience of hardware, software, screen, and camera, and Apple of all companies should know this. Let’s just hope that Apple cuts the right corners to bring a quality experience at an affordable price.

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Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
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