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The third-generation iPhone SE and the iPhone 13 mini are Apple's smallest iPhone options, starting at $429 and $599 respectively. Apple released the iPhone 13 mini in late 2021, and has bumped it down in price since then to make it more accessible as new iPhone models have been released. On the other hand, the third-generation iPhone SE launched in early 2022, refreshing the most affordable iPhone option in the lineup.

iphone-se-2.jpg

With just $170 between them, should you get the new, smaller, entry-level iPhone or the slightly older, all-screen model that has come down in price? Our guide helps to answer the question of how to decide which of these two iPhones is best for you.

Differences

iPhone SE (third-generation)iPhone 13 mini
Glass front and backCeramic Shield front and glass back
4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display
625 nits max brightness (typical)800 nits max brightness (typical) and 1,200 nits peak brightness (HDR)
1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)2,000,000:1 contrast ratio (typical)
Home Button with Touch IDFace ID
15-hour battery life (during video playback)17-hour battery life (during video playback)
Single rear camera (ƒ/1.8 Main)Dual rear cameras with 2x optical zoom range (ƒ/1.6 Main and ƒ/2.4 Ultra Wide)
Optical image stabilization for videoSensor-shift optical image stabilization for video
Night mode
Cinematic mode for recording videos with shallow depth of field (1080p at 30 fps)
HDR video recording with Dolby Vision up to 4K at 30 fps
Audio zoom
Front-facing 7MP FaceTime HD camera with 1080p HD video recording and Smart HDR 4Front-facing 12MP TrueDepth camera with 4K video recording, Smart HDR 4, slo-mo video support, Animoji, and Memoji
Rated IP67 water-resistant to a depth of one meter for up to 30 minutesRated IP68 water-resistant to a depth of six meters for up to 30 minutes
U1 Ultra Wideband chip for spatial awareness
Supports Dolby Atmos audio playback
Compatible with MagSafe cases, wallets, wireless chargers, and more
Available with 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB storageAvailable with 128GB, 256GB, 256GB storage
Midnight, Starlight, and PRODUCT(RED) color optionsGreen, Pink, Blue, Mighnight, Starlight, and PRODUCT(RED) color options
$429$599


Overall, the iPhone SE is an excellent entry-level iPhone option for just $429. Some users may even value the more traditional design, Home Button, and size of the iPhone SE compared to the iPhone 13 mini.

For $170 more, the iPhone 13 mini offers a more modern design and a brighter, OLED display, as well as Face ID, an Ultra Wide camera, Cinematic mode, Night mode, considerably better front-facing and Main cameras, MagSafe, and longer battery life. There is also the benefit of improved water resistance, the U1 chip, and Dolby Atmos audio playback, and even additional color options to choose from. All of this makes for a significant upgrade over the iPhone SE if you value these features and can afford the $170 extra, but it is worth bearing in mind that they are not essential capabilities for many users.

Overall, it comes down to whether you value having a smaller, newer device, or can look past this to get the benefits of a device with Face ID and a larger, OLED display. If you prefer the iPhone 13 mini's set of features, then it is still a good option for $599, but generally most users looking for an affordable iPhone should opt for the iPhone SE.

Article Link: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 13 Mini Buyer's Guide
 
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classiciphone

macrumors newbie
Nov 13, 2022
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> Some users may even value the more traditional design, Home Button, and size of the ‌iPhone SE‌ compared to the ‌iPhone 13‌ mini.

If you put them side by side, the iPhone SE is actually BIGGER than the 13 Mini. It’s easy to look at the specs and think that the SE is smaller because it has a smaller display, but this would be wrong. So those who care about smaller size should actually go for the Mini.
 

Zorori

macrumors regular
Nov 26, 2017
246
325
For $170 more, the iPhone 13 mini offers a more modern design and a brighter, OLED display, as well as Face ID, an Ultra Wide camera, Cinematic mode, Night mode, considerably better front-facing and Main cameras, MagSafe, and longer battery life. There is also the benefit of improved water resistance, the U1 chip, and Dolby Atmos audio playback, and even additional color options to choose from. All of this makes for a significant upgrade over the iPhone SE if you value these features and can afford the $170 extra, but it is worth bearing in mind that they are not essential capabilities for many users.

Interesting that once the Mini has better battery life it’s not important for users.

The whole article might as well be a link to https://www.apple.com/iphone/compare
 
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saulinpa

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2008
1,255
712
I picked up a 13 mini and compared to a friend's SE the display is the big differentiator.

Other note is that it starts at 128GB and can go to 512GB but not most entry level users likely won't see the benefit.
 
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thisiskyleadams

macrumors newbie
Nov 6, 2020
8
18
Right there with you.
I have a 12 mini that needs a new battery (it's at 86% after almost 3 years) and I'm debating on getting a 13 mini or just getting my battery replaced.
I have no other complaints about the phone at all.
I will probably buy another 13 mini (if the SE hopes don't pan out) to have as a backup once my current one dies out haha
 
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saulinpa

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2008
1,255
712
The 13 mini is no longer showing for sale on the Apple site. Sad to see it go. The 3rd gen SE is still there as the small form factor phone.
 
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