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iPhone SE 4 vs iPhone 14: Will The Upcoming Apple Device Be Better Than Its Predecessor?

The iPhone SE has been a popular name in the midrange smartphone segment since its origin in 2016. Conceived as Apple’s idea of an entry-level device to give new iOS users a taste of the ‘walled garden’, the iPhone SE has always prioritised a speedy experience over other luxuries mandated by the midrange/flagship phones of the era. The 3rd Gen iPhone SE has long been due for a replacement and thanks to a bunch of rumours, we now know that the next-gen iPhone SE 4 is likely to be based largely on the iPhone 14 and even borrow its battery.

This isn’t an alien concept to Apple fans, considering the entry-level iPhone has always been made out of whatever’s left in Apple’s parts bin. The 2016 iPhone SE was essentially an iPhone 5S from 2013 with an iPhone 6S chipset whereas the second and third-generation iPhone SE variants are based on the iPhone 8, featuring newer chipsets.

With the iPhone SE 4 though, things are going to be different. Apple is in a different space right now with its older-gen smartphones like the iPhone 14 and iPhone 13, both of which are likely to be axed due to the European Union’s USB-C regulations. A new iPhone SE developed from scratch could just be the right offering for the Cupertino giant.

But will it be right for you? Our quick comparison between the iPhone SE 4 vs the iPhone 14 will help you find an answer.

iPhone SE 4 vs iPhone 14: Should you wait for the upcoming device?

Before our comparison, there’s something we want to clarify regarding the iPhone SE 4. Apple hasn’t confirmed a fourth-generation iPhone SE and hence, our comparison will be based on all the iPhone SE 4 rumours and leaks we have gathered so far.

iPhone SE 4’s rumoured specs

  • Display: 6.1-inch 60Hz OLED panel

  • Chipset: A16 Bionic

  • Battery: 3,279mAh

  • Rear camera: 12-megapixel wide-angle lens

  • Front camera: 12-megapixel TrueDepth camera with Face ID

  • Charging: 20W wired, 15W wireless

  • Miscellaneous features: USB-C port, Action Button

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iPhone SE 4 vs iPhone 14 specs comparison

Design

iPhone SE 4 iPhone 14
Image Credits: Apple (Representational)

The iPhone 14 may now look dated with its display notch but elsewhere, it continues to show how Apple’s obsession with minute design details helps it age well. If the iPhone SE 4 borrows the design of the iPhone 14, it would make its case better against the increasingly futuristic-looking Android midrange/flagship killer smartphones. The display notch may be used as a factor of differentiation between the more premium iPhone 15 and the relatively affordable iPhone SE 4. Apple is likely to retain just a single camera lens on the back to keep the price low.

That said, the newer iPhone SE 4 will feature a USB-C charging port and if some of the rumours are to be taken seriously, it will also feature an Action Button. Yes, an Action Button that’s not present even on the base iPhone 15!

Winner: iPhone SE 4

Display

The iPhone SE 4 is rumoured to have the same display as the iPhone 14 and while that may not sound exciting for people coming from the iPhone 13 or newer, it is a huge upgrade for people using the iPhone SE 2nd and 3rd Gen variants. The 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display will not only be larger but offer a much better viewing experience. The design is also likely to feature a notch for housing the Face ID sensors.

The lack of a high refresh panel is missed on the iPhone 14 as well as the more expensive iPhone 15 and we doubt if Apple will show any mercy for the iPhone SE crowd.

Winner: Tie

Performance

This is one aspect where the iPhone SE 4 could be offering a massive improvement over the iPhone 14. The iPhone 14 uses an older A15 Bionic chip and while that’s still fast enough to handle regular smartphone stuff, it will always be inferior to the newer A16 Bionic chip (or even the A17 chip, if Apple decides to let it all loose). The iPhone SE 4’s newer chip is going to offer a marginal improvement in processing performance and power efficiency, thereby letting iOS run at its best.

Winner: iPhone SE 4

Cameras

iphone se 4 iphone 14
Image Credit: Thai Nguyen/Unsplash

Historically, the iPhone SE has always had a single rear camera system and if Apple continues the tradition, the iPhone SE 4 may end up with a single 12-megapixel camera system. If you know your way around cameras, this single 12-megapixel rear camera could help you possibly shoot great pictures. However, the lack of an ultrawide camera is often missed while taking pictures of a landscape. With just 12 megapixels to play, we doubt Apple could offer any reasonable lossless digital zoom feature on this phone.

Hence, despite being over a year old, the iPhone 14’s dual 12-megapixel rear camera setup will be a better choice for shutterbugs. Its sensor-shift stabilisation along with the Action Mode and Cinematic Mode are great tools for mobile videography.

Winner: iPhone 14

Battery

The rumours suggest that the iPhone SE 4 will essentially feature the same 3,279mAh battery as the iPhone 14. If true, this will make a huge difference for those coming from the iPhone SE second and third generation, which has been notorious for offering unreliable battery life. The iPhone 14 easily lasts over an entire day with moderate usage and if you consider the efficiency of the newer A16 Bionic chip, it could offer even better stamina.

Another advantage for the iPhone SE 4 will come from its charging port that trades the iconic Lightning connector with the universally accepted USB-C connector. This means that iPhone SE users will also be able to charge anywhere using commonly available USB-C chargers. The addition of MagSafe charging is also expected to add an extra layer of convenience.

Winner: iPhone SE 4

iPhone SE 4 vs iPhone 14: Our verdict

iphone se 4 iphone 14
Image Credits: Courtesy AB via Unsplash

Our winner: iPhone SE 4

While we still don’t have an official release date for the iPhone SE, for the first time, an iPhone SE has an advantage over the older generation iPhone; not only in terms of performance but also other key aspects. Despite it being based on the iPhone 14, the iPhone SE is expected to offer key improvements in areas that dictate the user experience. It will have a faster chipset that could also lead to slightly better battery life, something which has been an Achilles heel for older generation iPhone SE. The USB-C charging connector will make it more practical to live with than the Lightning port-toting iPhone 14.

The only aspect where the iPhone 14 still has an advantage is its camera system, which not only has two lenses but offers lots of video modes to exploit. However, the iPhone SE 4’s single rear camera system could be more than enough for casual photography and videography.

On the whole, the upcoming iPhone SE 4 with all its enhancements will be a better bet for most people over the ageing iPhone 14.

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(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Edited by Augustman)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– What are the rumoured specs of the iPhone SE 4?
The iPhone SE 4 is rumoured to feature a 6.1-inch OLED display, an A16 Bionic chip, a 3,279mAh battery with 20W wired charging, a 12-megapixel rear camera, a USB-C port and an Action Button.

– What are the similarities between the iPhone SE 4 and the iPhone 14?
The iPhone SE 4 is expected to be based on the iPhone 14 but use a newer A16 Bionic chip.