iPhone SE 3 isn't even out yet and we've already forgotten about it

iPhone SE 2022 in use on wooden background
(Image credit: TechRadar)

In any other month, the news of a new iPhone would likely dominate the airwaves for weeks on end. That's not the case with the iPhone SE 3 (2022) though - in fact, just a week after its unveiling, it's already decidedly old news.

It's a bad month to be an Apple fan, that's for sure - even though the month kicked off with gadgets from the company, we've been distracted by a deluge of newer (and more interesting) products. Now, we've already deleted the iPhone SE 3 and iPad Air 5 from our minds, because leaks and rumors suggest there are some way more interesting gadgets coming in March.

In fact, even though the iPhone SE 3 isn't even available to buy yet, we're already getting excited by its more interesting rivals (we've also been ignoring pleas from our editor to do more iPhone coverage, oops). Like these phones:

Xiaomi 12 series

The Xiaomi 12 Pro's camera viewfinder

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A week after the Apple event, the Xiaomi 12 series launched - this is the newest flagship phone from Chinese tech company Xiaomi. If you haven't heard of them - well, according to Counterpoint stats they spent all of 2021 jostling with Apple for the #2 spot in the market in terms of market share, and were even beating Apple for sales for a good portion of the year.

We thought these new phones wouldn't really rival the iPhone SE 3, since the Xiaomi 12 and the flashy Xiaomi 12 Pro are more premium offerings - but that was before the Xiaomi 12X was announced alongside them.

This, essentially, is a slightly-pared down version of the 12, with a more affordable price tag. In terms of price, it's a touch pricier than the iPhone still, but you get a lot more for your money - and in regions like the UK, which is massively disadvantaged by the pricing conversions that Apple opts for, it could end up a much better device.

Samsung Galaxy A launch

If you want to talk about direct rivals to the iPhone SE 3, we can talk about Samsung's Galaxy A series... and wouldn't-ya-know, but there's a launch for some new ones of these on March 17.

We don't officially know what's coming on this date, but a leak recently laid bare the upcoming Galaxy A53, and it looks so much more tempting for budget buyers than the iPhone.

This reportedly has a big, bright screen, a chunky battery, four impressive-sounding cameras and, if the price conversion is to be believed, a price that significantly undercuts the iPhone. Plus, it doesn't have a design so old that your grandparents would recognize it from their childhood.

But there's more!

An Oppo Find X5 Lite from the back in a black shade

(Image credit: Oppo)

Crickey, March is a busy month for phone fans.

Realme has confirmed that its GT Neo 3 is debuting on March 22. This will likely be the same price as, or a little bit more affordable than, the iPhone. We know it'll have a vibrant design inspired by racing cars, and 150W charging. Nope, that's not a typo, its charging is a tiny bit faster than the iPhone's 18W.

On March 23 we're hearing the first information about the Nothing Phone, the first smartphone from brand-new tech company Nothing which was created last year by an ex-OnePlus founder. We've got no idea if this will be mid-range like the iPhone, or a budget or premium handset, but we do like a good mystery.

The next day is when the Oppo Find X5 series goes on sale - we've tested the Find X5 Pro, but the real iPhone SE (2022) competitor is the Find X5 Lite with its three cameras, bigger screen, 65W fast charging and (likely) lower price.

We also know the OnePlus 10 Pro is going on sale by the end of March, but this isn't exactly an iPhone rival, as it'll likely cost at least twice as much as the new SE. We just thought we should list it so phone fans are aware.


The new iPhone has the same design, cameras and charging as its predecessor - and even that 2020 model was horribly dated. The limited improvements - a new chipset and 5G - will only be useful to a really select group of people, and we'd argue that the average consumer won't feel the benefits of them. 

Plus, the price has seen an increase from the SE 2. It's just bad value for money.

All in all, it's a 'nothing' phone (not a Nothing Phone, we mean a phone that has nothing to like). 

With such a busy month, full of interesting mobile innovations like Realme's 150W charging, OnePlus and Oppo's Hasselblad camera features and the giant enigma that is Nothing, it's hard to stay focused on the iPhone SE 3. In fact, like this article suggests, I simply haven't been.

I'm looking forward to not writing the words 'iPhone SE 3' for a while, while I focus on more interesting and quirky Android devices. And if I do have to write about the device, I hope it's a news story about Apple admitting that it accidentally aired the wrong live stream, and actually does have an interesting SE 3 coming. But that seems unlikely.

Tom Bedford

Tom Bedford was deputy phones editor on TechRadar until late 2022, having worked his way up from staff writer. Though he specialized in phones and tablets, he also took on other tech like electric scooters, smartwatches, fitness, mobile gaming and more. He is based in London, UK and now works for the entertainment site What To Watch.

He graduated in American Literature and Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia. Prior to working on TechRadar, he freelanced in tech, gaming and entertainment, and also spent many years working as a mixologist.