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iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Google Pixel 6a

iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Google Pixel 6a

IF you are in the market for a new smartphone but want to keep your spending to a minimum, the iPhone SE 3 and Google Pixel 6a should be top of your list.

But, with both handsets coming in at similar price points which is for you? We put them head to head, so read on to find out more.


Which of these budget handsets is best for you?
  • Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) – £449 – buy here
  • Google Pixel 6a (2022) – £295 (save £100) – buy here

It’s hard to know where to turn when you’re shopping for a new phone on a budget, especially when you could be tied into a contract for years or paying full price.

Apple and Google are battling it out for the attention of the budget market with the iPhone SE 3 and the Pixel 6a, but which is the best fit for you?

Both come in at similar price points and were released in 2022, with Apple releasing the iPhone SE 3 way back in March, and the Google Pixel 6a hitting shelves come July.

To help you choose we’ve compared the design, camera, features, and battery life on both so you know what you are signing yourself up for before you make any commitments.

If you go for the budget option from Apple be sure to read our tech editor Sean Keach’s iPhone SE 3 review for a more in-depth technical round-up and verdict.

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: at a glance


On the surface, these two phones seem to be in different leagues, but they both feature a 60Hz refresh rate and come with high-speed 5G internet connectivity.

When it comes to performance both handsets also feature powerful processors – the iPhone SE 3 is packed with the A15 Bionic chip and the Pixel 6a is powered by Google Tensor technology.


You will also find there are differences to consider when buying. For instance, the Google Pixel 6a comes with 128GB of base storage, while the iPhone SE 3 comes with a much smaller 64GB, so if you need plenty of storage keep this in mind.

Both feature Touch ID security, but while the Pixel 6a features an on-screen sensor, the smaller iPhone SE 3 compromises screen space for a physical button home button to house its sensor on the bezel.

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: Camera

If you want a decent camera and it’s one of your top priorities there are some important factors you should consider, we’ve taken a look at both so you can decide what suits your needs best.

The SE 3 doesn’t come with the same features you may have seen on its flagship devices. But it does come with a 12MP rear camera and a 7MP selfie camera.

While you won’t find any wide-angle lenses on the SE 3, you will get features like Smart HDR 4 to deal with tricky lighting and Deep Fusion for more definition in your shots.

Google devices are also well known for their camera and editing features, and the Pixel 6a comes with a dual 12MP wide and 12MP ultrawide lens, as well as an 8MP front-facing camera.

The Google Pixel 6a may have an edge over the SE 3 as it retains some of the features seen on the Pixel 6 range, like the fan favourite Magic Eraser, which is able to remove unwanted items or people in photos.

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: Design

These devices take a turn down different paths when it comes to choices in design, which will impact you differently depending on your own preferences.

The iPhone SE 3 follows many of the same design choices seen on its predecessor, the SE from way back in 2020. You will find the same Touch ID sensor and home button, along with a large bezel for the front-facing camera on top of the device resulting in a modest 4.7-inch display.

The Pixel 6a takes a few unique design choices that distinguish it from its predecessors, like the horizontal camera bar on the rear of the device. But unlike the SE, the Pixel 6a comes with a smaller bezel with its front-facing camera and Touch ID incorporated into the screen, providing a more generous 6.1-inch display and a more modern feel.

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: Features

When you are weighing up which of these devices is for you, there are a few key feature differences buyers should consider.

While the Google Pixel 6a comes with a more modern feel and design, it features a plastic case whereas the iPhone SE 3 comes with a glass back that is also found on its premium devices.

Both are rated IP67 for water resistance to a maximum depth of 1 meter for up to 30 minutes, so if you plan on being around water often it’s worth noting.

Something to consider when purchasing any smartphone in 2023 is whether it supports 5G – something both the SE 3 and Pixel 6a sport, meaning either of these devices will last you for years.

There are some camera features present in the Google Pixel 6a that the iPhone SE 3 can’t compete with, one of the biggest being night-mode photography.

Google packs a punch with its cameras, and the same can be said of its budget-friendly devices. The Pixel 6a features AI tech that adapts to lighting levels to ensure you get the best shot you can.

The iPhone SE 3 lacks this feature and doesn’t include Night Mode, something present in the more expensive options in the Apple lineup.

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: Battery life

There is some disparity in the battery life between the iPhone SE 3 and Pixel 6a, but how much it affects you is based on your usage and needs.

Apple boasts the iPhone SE 3 comes with up to 15 hours of video playback, and up to 50 hours of audio playback, whereas the Pixel 6a boasts a battery life of over 24 hours.

Google features a nifty mode called Extreme Battery Saver with the Pixel 6a, which prolongs battery life up to 72 hours depending on your usage.

Both devices can Fast Charge but only the iPhone SE 3 offers QI wireless charging avoiding the need for wired chargers.

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: Price

The iPhone SE 3 and Pixel 6a entered the market at similar price points back in 2022 – but have since changed.

As it stands, there is currently a hefty £204 price difference between the SIM-free handsets.

  • Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) – £449 – buy here
  • Google Pixel 6a (2022) – £295 (save £100) – buy here

If you would prefer to pick up a pay-monthly plan there is also a small disparity between the two – at Buymobiles you can pick up the iPhone SE 3 from Three with 100GB data for £25 per month, while the same plan on the Google Pixel 6a comes in at £17 per month.

Here are the retailers that stock both handsets:

iPhone SE 3 vs Google Pixel 6a: Which to choose

All things considered, the iPhone SE 3 and Google Pixel 6a are close contenders for budget buyers, but which you opt for depends on your own needs.

This guide has hopefully helped you decide which criteria are important for you, and what perks you can forgo.

Choose the iPhone SE 3 if:

  • You want a smaller Apple handset with the same powerful internal processor found on its flagship devices.
  • You want QI wireless charging
  • You prefer a traditional home button

Choose the Google Pixel 6a if:

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  • You need a longer battery life that can be stretched over 24 hours.
  • You prefer a budget phone with a more premium feel.
  • You want a higher-spec camera and editing tools

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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