The new iPhone SE is equipped with an impressive 2,018 mAh battery

The new iPhone SE provides the highest battery capacity of all the models released so far, and that fact also happens to translate into the longest battery life.

A still from Apple's video commercial showing a woman holding the third-generation iPhone SE in her hands in landscape orientation, looking intently at the screen, with the tagline "Love the Power" printed in white text
Image credit: Apple / YouTube
  • First teardown videos of the just-launched Phone SE reveal a bigger battery inside, rated at 2,018 mAh—which is notably higher than its predecessor.
  • This makes the new iPhone SE the model with the longest-lasting battery of all iPhone SE generations so far, even with 5G taken into account.
  • Aside from having a more capacious battery, the new iPhone SE also features a more power-sipping CPU and 4GB of RAM, up from 3GB in the previous model.

The new iPhone SE is equipped with a 2,018 mAh battery

Early reviews of the new iPhone SE were impressed by notable battery life improvement despite the phone having a power-hungry 5G modem that its predecessor lacks. And with the phone now shipping, YouTubers have begun posting their teardown videos, with Nikkei xTech able to confirm that the new iPhone SE is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X57 modem. Read: The definitive iPhone SE 3 FAQ

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

This modem does not appear to be listed on Qualcomm’s website, so it may be a custom model designed for Apple, but no further details are known. The modem enables 5G on the iPhone SE, but support is limited to sub-6GHz bands, whereas iPhone 13 models also support faster mmWave bands in the United States.

And therein lies your answer to the question of why the new iPhone SE starts at $30 more ($429 vs. $399) than its predecessor, because those 5G-enabled models from Qualcomm obviously don’t come cheap. And that’s why Apple’s been working on its own modem for years now, which could make its debut in iPhones arriving in 2023.

Compared: iPhone batteries

iPhone SE batteries so far:

  • First-generation iPhone SE: 1,821 mAh lithium-ion battery
  • Second-generation iPhone SE: 1,642 mAh battery lithium-ion battery
  • Third-generation iPhone SE: 2,018 mAh lithium-ion battery

Apple provides the following battery claims for the iPhone SE 3:

  • Video playback: Up to 15 hours
  • Video playback (streamed): Up to 10 hours
  • Audio playback: Up to 50 hours

Compared with its predecessor, the iPhone SE 3 offers an additional two hours of video playback and a whopping extra 10 hours of audio playback on a full charge, according to the iPhone SE technical specifications on the Apple website.

Which iPhone SE has the longest battery life?

That would be the third-generation iPhone SE. While battery capacity is an important factor in considering a smartphone, you should look beyond just the numbers. That’s because Apple typically designs both the hardware and the software for its devices under the same roof, which allows the company to optimize mobile products such as iPhones and iPads for efficient energy performance better than its rivals.

This is why some iPhone models manage to match the battery life of some of their Android counterparts without using massive batteries. In the case of the new iPhone SE, improved battery performance was achieved by upgrading the CPU to the more power-efficient Apple A15 Bionic chip. Read: Tips for saving battery life on iPhone

Compared with the A13 chip powering the previous iPhone SE, which was fabbed using TSMC’s 7nm process, the A15 in the new iPhone SE uses a smaller 5nm node. This means the transistor and other components on the chip are even smaller than before. Signals travel faster and heat dissipation is reduced, resulting in both increased performance and energy savings that translate into longer battery life.