iPhone SE 4 could revive this design — here’s what we know

A photo of showing the various angles of the iPhone XR, rumored to be the inspiration for the iPhone SE 4.
(Image credit: Apple)

Update: There could be one big change to the iPhone SE 4 from the iPhone XR - the display.

The iPhone SE 2022 could be the last small phone from Apple, and the new iPhone SE 4 could grow to 6.1 inches. 

According to rumors from the Geared Up Podcast via Apple Track on Twitter, analyst Jon Prosser expects that the iPhone SE 4 will come out in 2023. However, it could be ditching its current mini form factor for a larger size.

Currently, the iPhone SE 2022 has a 4.7-inch screen, making it the smallest best Phone available. However, Prosser expects the new iPhone SE 4 to steal a lot from the now discontinued iPhone XR — including its 6.1-inch screen. Face ID is also expected to finally make it onto the SE model, something that has been noticeably absent from previous iterations. 

iPhone SE 2022 vs iPhone XR 

iphone SE 2020 vs iPhone XR

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If Apple plans to just drop the new iPhone SE 4 into the iPhone XR’s body, then it will be important to know what features could change — and what could stay the same.

First, the biggest changes. The screen will definitely get bigger. The iPhone SE 2022 ‘s already minuscule 4.7-inch screen is dwarfed by the 6.1-inch screen from the iPhone XR. This seems to be a trend for Apple, which already has reportedly cut sales forecasts for the SE 2022 and is killing a potential iPhone 14 mini for a rumored iPhone 14 Max. Going with the XR’s 6.1-inch screen would all but confirm the end of small-screen iPhones.

The next big change would be introducing Face ID to the SE model. The iPhone SE 2022 and the SE 2020 only featured Touch ID. However, the XR got Face ID from the start, so hopefully Prosser’s rumor is true and Apple brings the beloved feature from the XR in addition to the bigger screen. 

Finally, the battery life — could — improve. The SE has had comparatively poor battery life to the other iPhone models. The iPhone XR already had over two hours of battery life more than the SE 2020. Unfortunately, the SE 2022 failed to live up to expectations and had similarly poor battery life. 

iPhone SE 4 outlook 

If the iPhone SE 4 borrows heavily from the iPhone XR, a lot of the other features should remain the same compared to the current iPhone SE 2022. The SE 2022 and XR both already featured similar camera sensors and an IP67 water resistance rating. 

The only other feature that is guaranteed to change in the SE4 is the silicon. The SE 2020 already had a better processor than the XR and 2022 had an (at the time) flagship CPU in the A15 Bionic chip. The SE 4 should at the minimum use the A15 Bionic chip and may even get an upgrade to the rumored A16 Bionic chip expected to debut with the iPhone 14 Pro but we doubt that as the regular iPhone 14 is tipped to feature last year's A15 chip

Overall, it sounds like the iPhone SE 4 could be a significant improvement over the SE 2022. A bigger screen, better battery life and Face ID would be considered major wins for a lot of users and would give Apple a budget phone that could go toe to toe with the value provided by the Google Pixel 6a. Google’s budget phone provides a ton of value and is the No. 1 pick on our best cheap phones list.

The only losers here? Apple fans that love a small phone. Once the iPhone SE 2022 is discontinued — possibly with the release of the rumored SE 4 —  the smallest iPhone could have a 6.1-inch screen. But that seems to be what shoppers want. 

Malcolm McMillan
Senior Streaming Writer

Malcolm McMillan is a senior writer for Tom's Guide, covering all the latest in streaming TV shows and movies. That means news, analysis, recommendations, reviews and more for just about anything you can watch, including sports! If it can be seen on a screen, he can write about it. Previously, Malcolm had been a staff writer for Tom's Guide for over a year, with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), A/V tech and VR headsets.

Before writing for Tom's Guide, Malcolm worked as a fantasy football analyst writing for several sites and also had a brief stint working for Microsoft selling laptops, Xbox products and even the ill-fated Windows phone. He is passionate about video games and sports, though both cause him to yell at the TV frequently. He proudly sports many tattoos, including an Arsenal tattoo, in honor of the team that causes him to yell at the TV the most.