iphone se vs iphone 12

Refurbished iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12 - Which One is Better?

Are you looking to purchase a new Apple smartphone but need clarification on the wide range of options available? Considering the iPhone SE 2022 and iPhone 12 as your top choices would be best. Both devices have advanced technology, but they have different features. These differences help you decide which one to buy. Do you value compactness and speed, or do you prefer a device with a larger screen and longer battery life for enjoying your favorite media? Keep reading to discover the intriguing differences between these two remarkable devices.


iPhone SE (3rd Gen)

iPhone 12


4.7" Retina IPS LCD, 750 x 1334 pixels (~326 ppi density), 625 nits (typ)

6.1" Super Retina XDR OLED, 1170 x 2532 pixels (~460 ppi density), 625 nits (typ)


A15 Bionic (same as iPhone 13)

A14 Bionic (5 nm)


Hexa-core (2x2.65 GHz + 4x1.8 GHz)

Hexa-core (2x3.1 GHz + 4x1.8 GHz)

Rear Cameras

12 MP wide-angle camera with Smart HDR 4

Dual-camera system:

12 MP wide-angle (f/1.6)

12 MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)

Front Camera

7 MP

12 MP (f/2.2)

5G Connectivity



Water Resistance

IP67 (splash-proof)

IP68 (water-resistant) up to 6m for 30 min

Biometric Security

Touch ID

Face ID

Battery Life

Improved efficiency and battery life

Up to 17 hours of video playback (smart data mode enabled)


Classic design with Home button

Flat-edge design, ceramic shield front and glass back

Fast Charging

Yes, up to 50% in 30 minutes

Yes, up to 50% in 30 minutes (20W charger)

4K Dolby Vision



Display HDR Support



Wireless Charging

Yes (Qi-compatible)

Yes (MagSafe support)


138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm


1) Design: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12

a) iPhone SE: Classic Appeal

The iPhone SE is the perfect choice if you appreciate previous iPhones' exterior design and look. The device has the iconic home button found on earlier iPhones. Some consumers are attracted to this phone due to its throwback design, which features rounded corners and thick bezels.

Although some may find the appearance of the iPhone SE outdated, its compact size is a notable characteristic. This compact and portable device is ideal for individuals who are frequently on the go.

iPhone SE Camera & Back Design

Check out : iPhone 13 vs. 14: Which one is better?

b) iPhone 12: A Sleek and Modern Look

The iPhone 12 boasts a significant design upgrade compared to previous versions. The device has been redesigned with sleek, flat edges, giving it a more contemporary appearance. Now, the main attention is on the display that covers the entire screen. As a result, the home button is no longer important. 

The iPhone 12 features a well-designed notch that perfectly accommodates the selfie camera and Face ID sensors. That enhances the smooth and immersive screen experience. The phone is available in five different colors. That makes it a stylish accessory for individuals who enjoy coordinating their phones with their outfits.

iPhone 12: Sleek and Modern Look

2) Screen Size: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12

a) iPhone SE: Compact but Powerful

The iPhone SE has a smaller 4.7-inch HD screen than other Apple devices. However, it still performs impressively. It has a high-definition screen with True Tone, a Wide color display (P3), and a resolution of 1334×750 at 326ppi. The main difference is that it features Haptic Touch instead of 3D Touch and has a more durable glass front. 

While the phone may not be optimal for movie-watching, its compact size makes it ideal for convenient one-handed usage. The screen on this phone may not be as vibrant and clear as the iPhone 12, but it is still a great choice for browsing and texting.

iPhone SE Screen Size

b) iPhone 12: Improved and Enhanced

The iPhone 12 has a beautiful 6.1-inch OLED screen. It is famous for showing deep blacks and vivid colors. It is ideal for browsing social media, streaming movies, and playing games. The screen is not just beautiful, but it is also durable. Its OLED screen has a higher resolution (2,532 x 1,170) than the iPhone SE's (1,334 x 750). 

That means that the OLED screen provides a sharper visual experience. The iPhone SE has a smaller screen, but it still maintains the level of screen sharpness. The Ceramic Shield makes the iPhone four times more durable than older models. That reduces the possibility of cracks and scratches.

iPhone 12 Screen Size

3) Performance: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12

a) iPhone SE: Powerful and Long-Lasting Performance

The A15 Bionic chip powers the iPhone SE 2022. The chip is also found in the iPhone 13 series. You can easily do challenging tasks like editing photos or playing 3D games. The ability to multitask and swiftly switch between applications is greatly enhanced by its 4GB of RAM. There will be at least five major iOS updates for the gadget. That means it will last until 2027.

b) iPhone 12: Reliable Performance 

The iPhone 12 excels in almost every aspect compared to the iPhone SE, except for the processor. It features the A14 Bionic chip, which was released in September 2020. However, this processor is still quite powerful despite being just one generation behind the iPhone SE and iPhone 14 processors. 

As a result, the device will have a short lifespan. The iPhone 12 could encounter difficulties handling demanding tasks and new applications. With 4GB of RAM, this device enables seamless multitasking without any issues.

4) Camera: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12

a) iPhone SE : Standard Camera

The iPhone SE 2022 features a 12-megapixel standard camera on its back. It can be utilized to capture clear and crisp photographs in well-lit environments. Your photos may appear pixelated in dark or low-light conditions. The flash can provide a partial solution, but its effectiveness is limited to certain situations. The iPhone features a single camera, but it does offer portrait mode, which enables you to capture photos with a stunning depth-of-field effect. The function is also available on the iPhone 12.

iPhone SE Camera

b) iPhone 12: Advanced Camera and Wide-Angle Lens

The back of the iPhone 12 features a dual camera setup. The camera on the iPhone SE is the same as the standard camera. The wide-angle lens is ideal for capturing expansive landscapes or high buildings. Night mode is supported by both the rear lenses and the front selfie camera. That implies you can capture clear and focused images even in conditions with limited lighting.

iPhone 12: Camera

5) iPhone SE vs iPhone 12: A Comparison of Connectivity

a) iPhone SE (2022): 5G Connectivity 

The iPhone SE (2022) can deliver incredibly fast speeds for downloading and uploading, thanks to its 5G connectivity. However, it is important to remember that the SE supports only sub-6 bands, which are slower than the faster mmWave. 

It also indicates that the SE restricts your ability to fully utilize mmWave connectivity, even if your network provider offers it. In addition to 5G, the iPhone SE has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5 connectivity, GPS, and NFC. These capabilities ensure you can maintain a strong and uninterrupted connection across all your devices while traveling.

b) iPhone 12: Advanced Connectivity

The iPhone 12th-generation model supports 5G connectivity. The iPhone 12 differs from the SE because it can connect to both sub-6 bands and the faster mmWave. If your network provider has mmWave connectivity, you can use this phone to make the most of it. Both the SE and the iPhone 12 have 5G. GPS, NFC, Bluetooth 5, and Wi-Fi 6 are also included. 

Battery: iPhone SE vs iPhone 12

a) iPhone SE: Standard Battery Time

The iPhone SE is renowned for its small size and affordable price. However, in terms of battery life, it fails to stand up to other iPhones. The device has a relatively small 1,821 mAh battery compared to other Apple models. We observed that the iPhone SE maintained a continuous web surfing session over LTE for 9 hours and 18 minutes during our testing. It falls short of the average duration of approximately 10-12 hours for a typical smartphone. iPhone SE users can easily charge their devices with a 20W USB-C charger.

b) iPhone 12: Extended Entertainment 

The iPhone 12 is one of Apple's newest and most popular models, renowned for its exceptional camera capabilities and impressive performance. The battery capacity of the iPhone 12 is 2,815 mAh, which is more advanced than its predecessor. 

With average use, the iPhone 12 has a battery life that can endure an entire day, while its video playback capability extends up to 17 hours. It is two hours longer than the iPhone SE. Although streaming videos online can harm battery life, the iPhone 12 still provides outstanding battery performance.

c) Charging Options

Apple's fast charging facility is compatible with the iPhone SE and the iPhone 12 when using a charger that is 20 watts or above. Within 30 minutes, you may charge them up to 50%. However, the iPhone 12 includes MagSafe, which simplifies using MagSafe accessories like cardholders and wireless chargers. The iPhone SE 2022 features a glass back that allows wireless charging but isn't compatible with MagSafe chargers. The iPhone 12 has a longer battery life compared to the iPhone SE. It has a bigger battery and can last a day with normal use.

Check Out: iPhone 14 vs Samsung S22: Which Smartphone is Better?

6) Storage Capacities and Color: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12

a) iPhone SE: Standard Colors and Storage Capacity

The iPhone SE 2022 offers limited storage capacities and shades of color. This device has three storage capacities: 64GB, 128GB, and 256 GB. If you wish to store all your pictures, videos, series, and other files on your device, having more than 256GB of storage may be necessary. The device is available in black, gold, white, or red. Moreover, you can connect to both 4G and 5G networks.

iPhone SE Colors

b) iPhone 12 Storage: Greater Color Options and Expanded Storage Capacity

Would you like to have a variety of options for color and capacity? Purchase the iPhone 12 immediately. You have many color options to choose from. Some available colors are black, green, blue, pink, white, and purple. In addition to the 64GB, 128GB, and 256GB options, there is also a 512GB option available for those who require even more storage space. This device is designed to be compatible with the lightning-fast 5G network. 

iPhone 12 Colors

7) Special Features: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12

The iPhone SE and iPhone 12 have unique features that set them apart from other devices available in the market: 

a )iPhone SE:

  • It has a small and affordable design.
  • The A13 Bionic chip is really fast and works efficiently.
  • Its Touch ID feature allows you to quickly and securely unlock your device. 
  • It has a single-lens camera of 12MP resolution and advanced technology for processing images.
  • Its portrait mode allows you to take photos with a blurred background, also known as the bokeh effect. 
  • It also has a feature called Depth Control, which lets you adjust the level of background blur in your photos.
  • You can record videos in 4K resolution at a maximum of 60 frames per second.

b) iPhone 12:

  • The display on the phone is better now, with brighter and more colorful visuals thanks to Super Retina XDR technology. 
  • The front cover of the phone is made of Ceramic Shield, which makes it stronger and better at protecting against drops.
  • The phone has a fast chip called A14 Bionic, the fastest chip ever used. 
  • You can use the Face ID feature to unlock the phone and make mobile payments securely with Face ID.
  • The camera has two lenses and takes 12MP photos. It has a Night mode and Deep Fusion technology.
  • Its LiDAR Scanner feature enhances the AR experience by providing more accurate information. 

Why Is Roobotech the Top Choice for Refurbished iPhone Lovers in Australia?

As we all know, the price tag of iPhones is quite high, and not all iPhone lovers can afford them. Due to this reason, Roobotech started selling refurbished versions of all the latest and previous models of iPhones in Australia. The professionals highly test all our products before selling. We make sure to present the highest quality of iPhones to our customers. Our refurbished iPhones' prices are very reasonable to attract budget-savvy buyers. You can also check out the iPhone 12 series and iPhone SE series. Besides the iPhone, we offer Samsung, Google, and OPPO smartphones and other gadgets. Our other range includes laptops, Tablets, Smartwatches, and various tech accessories. We also provide a warranty on our product for 6-12 months. So, have a safe shopping experience with Roobotech today!

Check Out the Detail About Refurbished Phones: What Is a Refurbished Phone and Why Do You Need One?

Final Verdict

Both devices possess impressive power and speed. The iPhone 12 models excel in various aspects, including design, performance, and camera capabilities. The iPhone SE stands out and excels primarily in the category of processors. It is equipped with the advanced A15 Bionic chip from 2021, which offers enhanced power and energy efficiency. You can effortlessly perform high-end tasks without any lagging.  

Despite running on an older processor, we still highly recommend the iPhone 12 as the superior choice. The experience is significantly enhanced by the improved design, screen size, battery endurance, and cameras. 


The iPhone SE 2022 continues to be an appealing option, particularly for budget-conscious buyers who prioritize savings over features such as Face ID and MagSafe charging. It is also the optimal choice for individuals seeking a more compact phone.

Are you a fan of watching movies and interested in capturing high-quality photos in any situation? We recommend selecting the iPhone 12. For those seeking a simple and efficient device with long-term security updates until 2027, the iPhone SE 3 is the optimal option. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the iPhone 12 better than the iPhone SE?

iPhone SE and iPhone 12 have a lot of differences. Regarding the iPhone SE, its processor and small size make it an excellent choice. It is best for the people who travel a lot. However, if we talk about the iPhone 12, it offers an excellent camera, a large screen, and a long-lasting battery. Whether users like the iPhone SE or the iPhone 12 depends on their needs.

How is the iPhone SE different from the iPhone 11?

The primary distinction between the iPhone SE and the iPhone 11 lies in their display and design. The iPhone SE features a design similar to older iPhone models. However, the iPhone 11 boasts a visually striking screen-centric design. The iPhone 11 features a central notch for Face ID (face unlock) instead of the previous Touch ID fingerprint sensor. It also boasts a larger size than the SE, featuring a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display.

Which Camera system is better: iPhone SE vs. iPhone 12 Pro?

The camera on the iPhone 12 Pro is better than the camera on the iPhone SE (2020). The back camera of the iPhone 12 Pro has a high-quality 12MP camera system. It has wide, ultra-wide, and telephoto lenses. The iPhone SE (2020) has a rear camera with only one lens with a resolution of 12 megapixels and captures wide-angle shots. Now you can understand how much better the shots can be taken from the iPhone 12 Pro than the iPhone SE.

What are the drawbacks of the iPhone SE?

The design of the iPhone SE requires an update and a limited selection of color options are available. The mmWave technology is not supported by 5G networking. Moreover, the camera quality is relatively lower when compared to the more expensive iPhone models. Lastly, the battery life of smaller iPhones is worse than that of bigger and more advanced iPhone models. 

Which iPhone offers more durability: the iPhone 12 or iPhone SE?

The iPhone SE has received negative feedback for its short battery life. Apple tried to address this issue in the 2022 model, but it still doesn't match up to the battery life of the iPhone 12. The iPhone 12 is much more durable than the iPhone SE. 

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