The least expensive end of Apple’s iPhone lineup is expected to receive a shake-up in the coming months. The iPhone SE 3 is reportedly in the works, possibly arriving in April, giving us a low-cost 5G-capable device from Apple.
For that reason, it’s probably best to hold off on any iPhone SE purchases for now, with rumors of a new version doing the rounds. But the iPhone SE isn’t the only low-cost option available from Apple. There is also the theme of the iPhone 11.
First released in 2019 as a flagship device, the iPhone 11 has remained a part of Apple’s lineup through the release of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13. Every time a new iPhone comes out, Apple lowers the price of the iPhone 11 It’s currently available for $499, just $100 more than the iPhone SE, but $200 cheaper than the iPhone 13 mini.
Don’t let the iPhone 11 2019 release date fool you into thinking it’s an outdated phone. We still think enough about the iPhone 11 to include it in our list of the best iPhones. The A13 processor in iPhone 11 is still quite powerful and the phone can easily run iOS 15, which supports almost all the features of iOS 15 that require a recent Apple processor.
Still, the iPhone 11 lacks 5G support: Apple didn’t add it until the iPhone 12 lineup. So if you want your next phone to have 5G support but don’t want to pay more than $500 for the privilege, ditch the iPhone 11. from your list and wait until the iPhone SE 3 arrives.
While having one of the best 5G phones certainly means your phone will serve you well for years to come, 5G isn’t a must-have for everyone. Networks are still expanding, speeds are still improving, and compelling use cases have yet to materialize. If you don’t consider 5G a must-have, the iPhone 11 remains a compelling alternative for bargain hunters, as there are plenty of other reasons why the iPhone 11 is worth buying, even once the iPhone SE arrives.
Still buy the iPhone 11 if… you want a big screen
The current iPhone SE may be one of the best small phones you can still get your hands on, but the vast majority of smartphone buyers prefer larger screens. The iPhone 11 offers exactly that: a 6.1-inch LCD panel that towers over the 4.7-inch screen of the iPhone SE.
Don’t expect the iPhone SE 3 to change that equation. While early rumors suggested that Apple was considering a larger model for its budget 5G phone, more recent reports claim that the iPhone SE 3 will have the same 4.7-inch form factor as the current model. A big-screen iPhone SE isn’t expected until 2023 at the earliest.
Still buy the iPhone 11 if… you want a second camera
If the iPhone SE 3 keeps the phone’s current design, that doesn’t just mean it’ll offer the same screen size. It is also expected to offer only one rear camera.
That’s not a deal breaker for some people, as Apple’s prowess with computational photography means even a single-lens iPhone SE should produce excellent images. But having a second rear shooter opens up more possibilities, and the iPhone 11’s ultra-wide lens means you can opt for shots that squeeze more detail when the situation calls for it.
Still buy the iPhone 11 if… you want more colors
We don’t know if Apple plans to add more colors to the iPhone SE 3, but the company’s history with its cheapest phone doesn’t suggest that’s the case. The current iPhone SE is available in only three options: white, black and [Product] Red. Again, that doesn’t necessarily mean the new iPhone SE will follow suit, but I wouldn’t expect any big changes here.
The iPhone 11 features the same three colors as the current iPhone SE, but adds a few other options to the mix. You can also choose between purple, green, and yellow, giving you the opportunity to choose an iPhone 11 model that best suits your tastes.
iPhone 11 Outlook
There should be reasons to consider the iPhone SE 3 beyond 5G support. The newer phone is rumored to pack an A15 processor, the same one Apple uses in the iPhone 13. As strong as the iPhone 11 remains, that would certainly be an upgrade. The chip should also provide better image quality from the camera. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed that Apple will hold the line on the iPhone SE price, meaning the newer phone would cost less than the $499 iPhone 11.
With the expected arrival of the iPhone SE 3 still a couple of months away, it might be hard to hold out until then if you need a new low-cost iPhone now. If that’s the case, you can buy the iPhone 11 with confidence, knowing that it will still offer some features that Apple’s rumored device probably won’t.