iPhone SE 2024 Review: A Good Pocket-Sized Budget iPhone

I see many people being sick and tired of smartphones with huge 6.5” + screens. Many say that they are unwieldy (like the LG Stylo 6), preferring to use smaller phones. If you fall under this segment of customers – then Apple has made the iPhone SE 2024 for you.

With a smaller and compact design sporting a 4.7” screen with the super powerful A15 Bionic processor, this phone seems to be a good one. But is it worth buying this “budget iPhone” for under $500? Read this review till the end to find out!

iPhone SE 2024: Price & Availability

iPhone SE 2023 Price & Availability

The iPhone SE 2024 is also known as the iPhone SE 3 (for 3rd Gen). The original iPhone SE was first released back in 2021. Since then, a new version of the phone has been launched every year, owing to its popularity.

The iPhone SE 2023 release date was on May 31, 2023. The current iPhone SE 2023 price is between $429 (base 64 GB storage model) to $579 (256 GB variant).

However, since the 64 GB internal memory is a bit too low in 2024, it’s recommended that you ignore that model and go to the 128 GB variant with a price tag of $499.

You will get this phone easily on all major Apple outlets. Plus, you will also get them in stores like Walmart, BestBuy, and more!

iPhone SE 2024 Specifications

iPhone SE 2023 Specifications

The primary iPhone SE 2024 specs are:

OSiOS 15 (can be upgraded to iOS 16)
Display4.7” Retina HD LCD Display (1134 x 750 resolution)
ProcessorApple A15 Bionic (6 cores CPU + 4 cores GPU)
Storage64 GB / 128 GB / 256 GB
Rear Camera12 MP wide camera
Front Camera7 MP FaceTime HD selfie camera
Battery 2018 mAh (Non-Removable)
Ports1x USB Lightning Connector
ColorsCherry Red (Product Red), Midnight Black, Starlight White
Dimensions138.4 mm (Height) x 67.3 mm (Width) x 7.3 mm (Depth)
Weight144 g (0.4 pounds)

iPhone SE 2024 Review

iPhone SE 2023 Review

After getting my big and bony hand on this super small 4.7” iPhone SE 2024, I immediately started tinkering with it to check out how good it is. Here are my impressions regarding various parts of this iPhone.

Design & Build Quality

When it comes to the looks of this mini smartphone, it looks almost the same as the iPhone 7. Dubbed by people to be the “most iconic iPhone design,” – it has become quite outdated in 2024.

Therefore, since all the iPhone SE models follow the same design, they all have the home button below the display. This gives it the “classic” iPhone look, which is pretty outdated at this point in 2024. We now have buttonless full-screen phones – that too with bigger 6” screens.

However, the build quality is still pretty solid. It’s still hard and seems to be pretty durable. Its weight is pretty light. Plus, it now has an aerospace-grade aluminum body. 

In addition, both the front and back of the phone have a glass finish – which still looks pretty smooth, even though I am a fan of a matte finish. Plus, getting your fingerprints smudged on the back is easier now.

Plus, one of the biggest additions to the iPhone SE 3rd Generation is the IP67 water-resistance rating. Therefore, you can actually take it underwater (up to 1 meter), where you can keep it submerged for a maximum of 30 minutes. This allowed me to click some great underwater videos and photos.



The iPhone SE 2024 display remains the same as the iPhone SE 2020 and iPhone SE 2022 variants. It still retains its signature 4.7” Retina FullHD display. The screen has a resolution of 1134 x 750 pixels resolution with a 326 ppi. Plus, it also features a brightness of 625 nits.

Overall, the screen is pretty good – apart from its size. It’s pretty bright, with a sharp and crisp display thanks to its HD+ resolution and 326 ppi Retina HD screen.

However, even though the small 4.7” display is the main highlight of this phone, it still stands to be one of my least-liked features. I am a sucker for big and bright displays, mainly because I love playing mobile games. Gaming on this phone felt pretty unintuitive to me, which decreased its perceived value, in my opinion.

This can also be attributed to the fact that I recently tested out the giant 6.8” display of the Moto Razr.



Everyone knows that an iPhone camera will be super good since they are what this brand is known for. Here, the camera of the iPhone SE 2024 is no exception, even though it doesn’t live up to the mark.

The main drawback of the iPhone SE 3 camera is its reliance on one single lens on the back. Most modern smartphone cameras have two to three lenses for different types of pictures – wide, ultrawide, macro, etc.

Here, you only get one 13 MP wide-angle camera on the back. While it’s still a pretty good camera, most phones in this price range will overshadow it.

It has 5x digital zoom, with six different effects  – Natural, Stage, Stage Mono, High-Key Mono, Studio, and Contour. Plus, it also includes Smart HDR4, allowing you to take some really high-quality images.

The video recording is also pretty good. I was surprised to see this phone retains the 4K 60 fps+ video recording capabilities, thanks to the A15 chipset. Plus, you can now take photos while recording a 4K video – which is pretty amazing!

The front selfie camera is pretty good. While it’s only 7 MP, it still clicks decent pictures. This is because of features like depth control and advanced bokeh.

However, both the front and rear cameras suffered from one major disadvantage – the night mode. All the images I clicked at night time were pretty grainy, compared negatively to the likes of the Nothing Phone 2.

Battery Life

Battery Life

If you have used the iPhone SE 2020 (or still do), you will know how weak its battery life is. However, that is not the case here with the iPhone SE 2024.

This latest-gen version of the iPhone SE sports a 2018 mAh battery. While it still might be a far cry from the 4000 mAh to 5000 mAh batteries we get in the latest Android phones, it’s still pretty decent enough.

If you use the phone normally without playing any games, then your battery will last the entire day. When I say normally, I mean using it mostly for calls, WhatsApp, some social media, and some YouTube.

However, if you start binge-watching Netflix or you are a heavy gamer, then you can expect the battery to drain in half that time. I once played games and watched the new episodes of The Witcher (Netflix) on my Sunday off from work. Here, the battery lasted around 12 to 13 hours – which is still not bad.

Since most mobile gamers will not even consider buying this phone, therefore it’s pretty decent for the customer segment Apple is targeting here.



Let me start out by saying that the performance of the iPhone SE 2024 is phenomenal. Since it has been upgraded to include the A15 Bionic processor from iPhone 13 and 14, it works smoothly as silk.

Not once did I face any lag or slowdown of any kind while using this phone. All my normal day-to-day tasks ran smoothly. Even while playing higher-end games like Call Of Duty Mobile and Asphalt 9, they ran pretty smoothly at their highest settings.

Overall, I’m pretty satisfied with the performance of the iPhone SE 3.

Best iPhone SE 2024 Alternatives

Best iPhone SE 2023 Alternatives

If you wish to know about the best iPhone SE 2024 competitors to increase your buying options, here are the best alternatives in my opinion:

1. iPhone 13 Mini

Price: $599 – $899

The iPhone 13 Mini is the closest alternative to the iPhone SE3. It has a bigger 5.4” screen with a better 12 MP camera. It also has the same A15 bionic chip, making this a far better option for $100 – $200 more.

2. Asus Zenfone 9 5G

Price: $599

This phone also sports a compact design with a 5.9” screen powered by the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. Along with 50 MP cameras and a 4,300 mAh battery, this is the best Android alternative you can get.

3. iPhone 14 Pro Max

Price: $1,099 – $1,499

If you think that small smartphones like the iPhone SE 2023 are not worth it and you wish to get the best iPhone experience, you cannot go wrong with the iPhone 4 Pro Max. Before Apple launched its GOAT iPhone 15 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Pro Max was the best there was. Now, you may consider buying it since its price will go down a lot in the first few months of 2024 now that 15 Pro Max is here.

This smartphone has an amazing 6.7” Super retina XDR OLED display with a 120 Hz refresh rate. Therefore, be it watching movies or playing games – everything will look amazing on this screen.

Moreover, its A16 Bionic processor is fast, making everything on this phone super smooth. In addition, this smartphone has a 4,323 mAh battery (almost double the iPhone SE 2023). Therefore, with such great features, an amazing 48 MP camera that takes Hollywood-quality videos, and an IP68 water and dust-resistant rating, what’s not to like here? This is a smartphone that I would request all my readers buy if they can pay $1,000 for it. Therefore, if you can, what are you waiting for?

Final Verdict: Is The iPhone SE 2024 Worth Buying In 2024?

Whether or not the iPhone SE 2024 is worth buying in 2024 depends on your usage.

If you are a gamer and content creator (graphic designer, video editor, etc.), then I will not recommend this phone. Its small screen and 2018 mAh battery will not live up to your needs. 

For everything else, if you want a budget iPhone, then I will recommend this phone. It’s the best mini-sized phone you can get below $500. However, if you can shell out $100 more, I highly recommend purchasing the iPhone 123 Mini instead. 

• Lightweight and compact design
• Good camera
• IP67 water resistance rating
• Small screen
• No face unlock
• Not meant for gaming and creative designers
• The battery is not as good as other 2024 phones
• Poor Night mode or low-light photos

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Debamalya Mukherjee

Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.

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      Debamalya Mukherjee

      Debamalya Mukherjee

      Debamalya is a professional content writer from Kolkata, India. Constantly improving himself in this industry for more than three years, he has amassed immense knowledge regarding his niches of writing tech and gaming articles. He loves spending time with his cats, along with playing every new PC action game as soon as possible.