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iPhone SE 3 just shown off in first alleged real-life images

iPhone SE 2020 back in front of water and rocks
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone SE 3 has been spotted in the flesh — actually glass and metal — giving us the strongest indication yet that Apple's done a copy-paste job with its design from the current iPhone SE.

The images come from a source speaking to Jon Prosser (opens in new tab) of Front Page Tech (via AppleTrack (opens in new tab)), and were revealed on the Genius Bar podcast (opens in new tab). Go to 45:35 in if you want to see the images without watching the whole show.

Prosser showed the audience and co-host Sam Kohl apparent images of the iPhone SE 3 via the screen of his iPad mini rather than editing them into the video, so the quality isn't great. It's still noteworthy as the first alleged leak of real-life shots of the new budget iPhone, and we can still make out some details.

As has been rumored previously, the new iPhone SE looks a lot like the old iPhone SE, even down to the black color. The iPhone 8-based design is expected to remain intact while Apple updates some of the interior components. So that means thick bezels around a small 4.7-inch display and a Touch ID button. 

Leaked iPhone SE 3 image shown on iPad mini

(Image credit: Genius Bar Podcast/Jon Prosser)

It's believed that the SE 3 will get an A15 Bionic chipset, the same chip in the iPhone 13 series. This will not only provide flagship phone-grade performance to the SE, but give it 5G connectivity, a big missing feature from the iPhone SE 2020. This chip will presumably also offer better computational photography features for the camera. 

iPhone SE 3 shown on iPad mini

(Image credit: Genius Bar Podcast/Jon Prosser)

But 5G is the key ingredient here, as basically all new Android phones come with 5G. That should include the upcoming Google Pixel 6a, which promises a similarly high-powered chip in the form of the Pixel 6's Google Tensor.

It's believed Apple will show off the iPhone SE in just a couple of months at the first Apple Event of 2022 this Spring, rather than alongside the iPhone 14 line this fall. It'll possibly be joined by a new iPad Pro 2022, an iPad Air 5 and maybe an iMac Pro or new Mac Mini, making for a nice diverse lineup of devices to look forward to.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.

  • sgodsell
    I have a hard time calling this iPhone SE 3 new. It's more like the iPhone RE (Recycled Edition). In other words it's like putting Lipstick on a Pig. It has the same single camera, same low resolution 4.7" LCD display from the iPhone 6 (back in 2014), same small capacity wall hugging battery, same casing. Apple could probably sell this recycled iPhone for $199 and still make a profit.
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