The best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives: 5 phones to consider


iPhone SE 2022 official showing the rear of three phones in different colors.

We heard about the iPhone SE (2022) for months, and the rumors were indeed mostly correct. Apple launched its latest compact phone on March 8, alongside a new iPad Air and the Mac Studio.

The new budget phone looks like a solid offering at $430, but it isn’t the only game in town at all. We take a look at some of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives.

The best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives

1. Samsung Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22 display on cushion

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s phones are the closest rivals to the iPhone range, and the Galaxy S22 series is no different. There may be a massive price delta, but the standard Galaxy S22 is still a fair rival to the iPhone SE (2022), as it too adopts a more compact form factor.

What we thought: Galaxy S22 review

The vanilla Galaxy S22 serves up a 6.1-inch screen that’s pretty small for Android, while also offering OLED tech and a 120Hz refresh rate which are both missing from the latest iPhone. Unfortunately, the size does come with a big reduction in battery life, as we discovered in our review.

Samsung’s phone is still a great device in many other ways, offering an IP68 rating, wireless charging, and a more versatile triple rear camera system. Throw in four years of OS updates and it’s clearly one of the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives around — though you’ll of course need to spend quite a bit more than Apple’s asking price.

2. Apple iPhone 13 and 13 Mini

Apple iPhone 13 right rear profile in hand against brick wall

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Like the idea of the iPhone SE (2022) but wish it offered more? That’s where the non-Pro iPhone 13 devices come in. The iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Mini, and iPhone SE (2022) all share the same beefy processor and wireless charging capability, but the iPhone 13 devices also bring a better IP rating, dual 12MP rear cameras, and OLED panels.

Our verdict: iPhone 13 review

The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini also bring five or more years of software support and access to Apple’s ecosystem. So those looking for an iPhone with a better screen and more versatile camera experience than the more wallet-friendly iPhone SE (2022) should give these two phones a look.

3. Google Pixel 5a

the Google Pixel 5a on a bench with water splashed droplets

Tayo Onabule / Android Authority

The Pixel 6 series might be Google’s flagship line, but the Pixel 5a is arguably a better match for the iPhone SE (2022). Google’s $450 mid-ranger doesn’t have the iPhone’s wireless charging capabilities or flagship silicon, but it’s still got plenty going for it.

Our verdict: Google Pixel 5a review

The Pixel 5a brings an upper mid-range Snapdragon 765G 5G chipset, a 6.34-inch OLED screen (60Hz), and an IP67 design with a metal back. You’re also getting a dual rear camera system (12MP main, 16MP ultrawide), making for a more flexible shooting platform than Apple’s device.

Other noteworthy features include a 4,680mAh battery enabling long endurance, three years of OS updates, and a rear fingerprint scanner.

For those who are willing to spend a bit extra, there’s also the Google Pixel 6 ($599) which packs in a lot of flagship features at a still affordable price.

4. Asus Zenfone 8

Asus Zenfone 8 rear against tree

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The $700 Zenfone 8 is worth a look if you don’t mind spending some extra cash and want a smaller phone. You’re getting a 5.9-inch 120Hz OLED screen here, making for a more pocket-friendly experience.

Asus’ 2021 flagship also sports a powerful Snapdragon 888 SoC, a 4,000mAh battery, an IP68 rating, a 3.5mm port, and a dual rear camera system (64MP main, 12MP ultrawide). There are two downsides though, namely the lack of wireless charging and the company’s historically mediocre update record.

5. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung Galaxy A52 5G in the sun

Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Another Samsung phone makes the list in the form of the mid-range Galaxy A52 5G. The Galaxy A53 is coming soon too, but the 2021 model is still a great purchase for $500.

Related: Samsung Galaxy A52 5G review

The Galaxy A52 5G doesn’t have the most powerful chipset or wireless charging, but there are still plenty of reasons to hop on the bandwagon. It serves up an IP67 rating, a quad rear camera system (64MP+12MP+5MP+5MP), 128GB of base storage, microSD expansion, and a 120Hz OLED panel.

Other additions like excellent battery life, three years of OS updates, and four years of security updates only sweeten the deal even more.

These are the best iPhone SE (2022) alternatives in our book. Not convinced by these picks? Then grab yourself an iPhone SE (2022) via the link below.

iPhone SE 2022 official

Apple iPhone SE (2022)

Apple’s most affordable iPhone is back. You should have no problems keeping up thanks to the A15 Bionic chip onboard, and the familiar design brings back Touch ID once more.

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