iPhone SE (2022) battery life: Everything you need to know

iPhone SE (2022) battery life: Everything you need to know
The third generation of the iPhone SE line aims to bring an affordable iPhone to people unfazed by the latest advancements of Apple's main flagship lineups. Indeed, the third-gen iPhone SE keeps the good old design of the iPhone 8 but improves what matters the most - the hardware inside, resulting in an improved camera experience.

The Apple iPhone 14 series is already here, and this will spell the end of regular compact flagships as the iPhone mini gets the short stick in favor of the large iPhone 14 Plus. This would make the iPhone SE (2022) the last and only compact phone in Apple's portfolio at the moment. 

So, what's the battery life of the iPhone SE (2022)?

Traditionally, due to the small form factor, previous iPhone SE models have arrived with modest batteries as far as battery capacity comes. Both the original iPhone SE and iPhone SE (2020) didn't employ large batteries, as they arrived with 1821mAh and 2406mAh batteries, respectively, which sounds paltry when compared with the larger iPhones out there.

However, these 'modest' batteries paired with the super-efficient chips inside allowed members of the iPhone SE lineup to punch well above their weight.

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iPhone SE (2022) battery size

Although Apple doesn't usually reveal official battery sizes, subsequent device teardowns usually reveal the prized information. The iPhone SE (2022) was no different in this regard—it was revealed that the battery inside this one is a 2,018mAh one, an improvement over the iPhone SE (2020)'s 1,821mAh battery. This was accomplished without changing the design or increasing the thickness of the device.

This bodes well in comparison with all previous iPhone SE phones. Here's a comparison:

What about real-time battery life benchmarks, though?

iPhone SE (2022) battery life

Before we tell you how the latest iPhone SE fares in terms of battery life, let us divulge how we conduct our battery tests. First and foremost, we use special third-party equipment to set the screen brightness of each phone at 200 nits, which is paramount to all our tests. 

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Our first test mimics a fairly typical web browsing scenario on Wi-Fi, where the same set of webpages are continuously cycled through and automatically scrolled up and down to imitate real-world use.

Our second battery life test measures the battery endurance during video streaming by auto-playing a certain video playlist. Finally, our gaming test uses the very same 3D gaming environment on all phones, which aims to measure the battery life hit during gaming sessions. 

PhoneArena Battery Test Results

Browsing test 60Hz(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone SE(2022)11h 53 min
Apple iPhone SE(2020)9h 5 min
Samsung Galaxy A5216h 48 min
Google Pixel 6a13h 51 min
Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone SE(2022)4h 28 min
Apple iPhone SE(2020)4h 45 min
Samsung Galaxy A528h 30 min
Google Pixel 6a8h 51 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone SE(2022)4h 28 min
Apple iPhone SE(2020)4h 59 min
Samsung Galaxy A529h 42 min
Google Pixel 6a6h 48 min

With the iPhone SE (2022), we get a slight increase in web browsing battery life in comparison with the iPhone SE (2020), which can probably be traced back to the new chipset, whereas video streaming is mostly comparable between the new and the old phone.

Thanks to the new hardware, the new iPhone SE can now benefit from the Smart Data mode, which intelligently conserves battery life by automatically shifting iPhone to LTE when 5G speeds are not needed.

In our experience, the battery of the SE 2022 remains one of its big downsides. With mostly social media use, the phone lasted from 8am to about 8pm - 9pm when it dropped to single digits. Of course, using the camera, and playing back more video or gaming would drain the battery much faster. And with less use, it would last even a long day on a single charge, but never more than that.

iPhone SE (2022) charging speeds

The iPhone SE (2022) comes with no charger in the box, as is now a tradition for Apple's phones.

The phone will charge up to 50% in 30 minutes, with a 20W charging adapter or higher. Of course, you will have to get one separately if you don't have one already. There's Qi wireless charging capability on the iPhone SE (2022), but don't expect dramatically faster speeds than its wired counterpart.

The maximum charging speeds this new iPhone SE supports are up to 20 watts, basically the same as on last year's model (pick a charger accordingly).

According to our measurements, with an official Apple charger, a 15-minute top-up gives you some 30% battery life back, charging for 30 minutes tops you up to 55% battery, and finally, a full charge takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes. That's not incredibly fast, for sure, but in the ballpark of what we expected.

There's also classic Qi wireless charging on deck, but no MagSafe support, as the phone is so thin that there's physically no space for the magnets.

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