The iPhone SE 4 could get a big design change – but still look dated

iPhone SE 2022
An iPhone SE (2022) (Image credit: Future)

Apple could be planning big changes for the iPhone SE 4, with the phone reportedly set to sport a different design and have a much larger screen than the iPhone SE (2022).

That’s according to Ross Young – a leaker with a reasonable track record – who, speaking to MacRumors, claims that the iPhone SE 4 will have a 6.1-inch display. That’s up from 4.7 inches on the current model, so it’s a big size increase.

The overall size of the phone might not be much, if any bigger though, because the large bezels and physical home button are apparently going, to be replaced by a notch at the top and likely small bezels elsewhere.

There are some things Young isn’t clear on though, such as whether or not this notch will house Face ID. The iPhone SE (2022) uses Touch ID instead, but the removal of the home button and addition of the notch could mean a move to Face ID.

Then again, Face ID likely costs Apple more to incorporate, so the company might stick with Touch ID – perhaps housing the fingerprint sensor in a button on the side, much like some iPads. If this approach is taken then it’s also possible the iPhone SE 4 will have a smaller notch than other iPhones, since it won’t need to house as many components.

That’s just speculation though, and we don’t even know for sure that the next model will have a notch. If it does though, then that will be a much-needed visual upgrade from a design that currently looks incredibly old-fashioned.

Even a notch though will look dated, especially given that this phone won’t land before 2023 and may not arrive until 2024, according to some leaks.

Still, Apple is clearly happy sticking with dated designs on its phones – especially its cheap ones – so we can’t see the company skipping straight to a Dynamic Island on the iPhone SE 4, particularly as it will want to ensure the phone looks cheaper than the more expensive models to quickly set it apart, visually. So a move to a notch makes sense.

iPhone 14 Plus notch

The iPhone SE 4 might have a notch like the iPhone 14 Plus. It also might not. (Image credit: Future)

Analysis: don’t count on this

While this rumored change in design would make a lot of sense, it’s worth noting that Young has previously made different predictions about the iPhone SE 4.

In the past, Young has suggested that the iPhone SE 4 might have a punch-hole camera, rather than a notch, and also suggested that 5.7 inches was the most likely screen size.

That doesn’t necessarily mean Young was wrong before – it’s entirely possible that Apple was exploring those options but has now settled on a 6.1-inch phone with a notch. But whether Young was wrong or Apple’s plans changed, we can’t rule out the possibility that the same thing could happen again.

Whatever the case though, this is likely to end up being one of the best iPhones for buyers on a budget.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.