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iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs iPhone 11

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs iPhone 11

IF you’re after a budget iPhone, there should be two handsets on your radar: the third-generation iPhone SE 3 and iPhone 11.

These two smartphones are similar, but with a few key differences – read on to find out more.


The iPhone SE and iPhone 11 are both excellent smartphones – but which is right for you?

Buying a new phone is a tough choice at the best of times, but in many ways it’s much tougher at the affordable end of the market. 

You’ve no doubt said adios to all the top-end features of pricy flagship options, but at the same time, you want to make sure you get as much for your cash as possible.

Both the iPhone SE 3 and the iPhone 11 are excellent choice for buyers shopping on a tight leash – but deciding between them can be difficult.

One is a former flagship; one is squarely pitched as Apple’s closest-to-budget option. One was released in 2019, one in 2022. There’s an almost non-existent price difference.

So which is right for you? Read on for an in-depth iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11 guide – we’ll talk you through each phone’s features, design, camera, battery life and price.

For our tech editor Sean Keach’s hands-on verdicts, don’t miss our iPhone SE 3 review and iPhone 11 review.

If you pick the newer handset, head to our best iPhone SE deals page. 

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: at a glance


These two iPhones have much in common. Both have Retina HD displays and 4GB of memory. The rear cameras of both handsets offer 4K, 60fps recording (although camera similarities end there). 

Design-wise, both the iPhone SE 3 and iPhone 11 have a glass build across their fronts and backs. On top of that, both phones offer wireless charging.


In terms of size and weight, the iPhone 11 is substantially larger than the iPhone SE 3 (read on for full detail), and has a more advanced array of camera features.

The 11 also has Face ID function, while the SE 3 uses the older Touch ID. But the iPhone SE 3 has something that wasn’t added to smartphones when the iPhone 11 was launched in 2019, which is 5G.

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: Camera

A number of differences mark the camera setup across either device and it’s well worth looking through the details if snapping pics is a top priority for you.

The iPhone 11 has a dual-camera setup, in comparison to the iPhone SE 3’s single-camera build. Dual cameras like this offer an extra level of sophistication to pictures, like the blurred ‘bokeh’ backgrounds that are now so popular.

The iPhone 11 has a better front-facing camera, which is 12MP and can record 4K, in comparison to the iPhone SE 3’s 7MP HD equivalent.

However the iPhone SE 3 still holds its own when it comes to cameras: don’t forget it’s the newer phone, and the advanced A15 Bionic chip will certainly lend a hand behind the scenes/ It also has a newer version of Smart HDR.

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: Design

In terms of pure size, the iPhone 11 is the far larger of the two smartphones, measuring  150.9mm in length, 75.7mm in width and 8.3mm in thickness. By contrast, the iPhone SE 3 measures 138.4mm by 67.3 mm by 7.3mm.

Obviously, the merits of size are pretty subjective – long gone are the days of super-small Noughties flip-phones, but many people still appreciate a convenient, pocket-sized handset.

However, these days the benefits of a bigger smartphone are obvious: the display. The iPhone 11’s has a 6.1-inch screen , whereas the iPhone SE 3 measures 4.7 inches.

Looks-wise, the iPhone SE 3 most closely resembles the iPhone 8, so very much has an ‘older iPhone’ aesthetic, with the old-school home button.

The iPhone 11 is very much in the newer vein: longer, slimmer and with a notch at the top of the screen instead of the concave home button.

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: Features

There are a number of key features that differentiate these two iPhones.

Firstly, the iPhone 11 uses Face ID, whereas the iPhone SE 3 uses the older Touch ID, for access to the phone.

Being honest, we don’t think this is particularly important: while Face ID is, according to Apple, 20 times more secure than Touch ID, it’s usually slower to activate  too. Don’t treat this as a deal-breaker.

The two handsets have different levels of water-resistance: the iPhone SE 3 has an IP67 rating, the iPhone 11 an IP68 rating.

The former can survive in a metre’s depth of water for 30 minutes; the latter can do the same but for two metres. Unless you’re an avid watersports fan, we doubt this will sway your decision much.

Here’s where things get more important though: the iPhone 11 boasts some camera features that aren’t present in the SE 3.

The 11 has an Audio Zoom function that isolates sound in any zoomed-in subject you’re filming, along with a Night Mode setting. These are more peripheral camera features, perhaps, but worth keeping in mind.

The iPhone SE 3’s ace in the hole, though, is that it sports 5G – something that the 11 does not (it was first introduced in its successor the iPhone 12).

Whether you live in a 5G area or not, this added level of connection speed shouldn’t be dismissed lightly, especially if you’re after a phone that will serve you for several years to come.

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: Battery life

There isn’t much difference in the battery life of these two phones, but the iPhone 11 just comes out top.

According to Apple’s official technical specs, the 2019 release can deliver 17 hours of continuous video playback, while the iPhone SE 3 can deliver 15 hours.

These are of course just ballpark figures – whichever you use, both phones should serve you for a good of ordinary usage without need to be charged again.

In a nice touch, both offer QI wireless charging, making plugs a thing of the past.

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: Price

The SE 3 and 11 are very close – but not quite the same – in price.

At the moment, there’s just a £40 price difference in the SIM-free handsets

Of course, you might be more interested in picking up a pay-monthly plan. If so, prices are similarly neck-and-neck – at Buymobiles, an iPhone 11 from Three with 100GB of data cost £24 per month, while an iPhone SE 3 plan with the same data cost £25 per month.

Here’s a list of phone retailers that stock both handsets:

iPhone SE 3 vs iPhone 11: Which to choose 

Ultimately, there’s no definitely better phone between the iPhone SE 3 and the iPhone 11. All prospective buyers have different sets of criteria – we hope this explainer has clued you up.

Choose the iPhone SE 3 if…

  • You want a phone with a more powerful internal processor that’s got a longer shelf life
  • You want 5G connectivity
  • You like genuinely pocket-sized phones
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Choose the iPhone 11 if…

  • You want a bigger display for streaming and gaming
  • You’re all about those high-quality selfies 
  • You want a ‘modern’-looking iPhone with a notch instead of a home button

Discover more top deals and savings at your favourite tech retailers by heading to Sun Vouchers. Sun Vouchers is the one-stop shop where you can find hundreds of discount codes for top chains including Currys, Argos, AliExpress, and more.

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