Is iPhone se a 5G?

The iPhone SE is an affordable iPhone model that packs great performance into a compact design. However, one key question buyers have is whether the iPhone SE supports 5G connectivity.

Is iPhone se a 5G?

The short answer is no – the 2020 iPhone SE does not support 5G networks. However, it does support fast LTE networks, which may be sufficient depending on your needs.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about the iPhone SE and 5G, including:

Key Takeaways:

  • The iPhone SE 2020 model does not support 5G networks, only LTE networks.
  • For 5G connectivity at an affordable price, consider the iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini.
  • The A15 Bionic chip inside the iPhone SE provides excellent performance even without 5G speeds.
  • 5G networks are still rolling out globally, so LTE speeds may be adequate depending on coverage in your area.

Why Doesn’t the iPhone SE Have 5G Connectivity?

When the 2nd generation iPhone SE launched in 2020, 5G networks were still in the early stages of rolling out globally. As a lower-cost model, the iPhone SE focused on performance and affordability rather than adopting bleeding-edge features like 5G.

Apple equipped the iPhone SE with the same A13 Bionic processor used in the iPhone 11 series, enabling excellent app performance and camera capabilities. But the device contains older network radios that only support 4G LTE networks.

For buyers less concerned with 5G connectivity, the iPhone SE delivers phenomenal value. But for users wanting to future-proof for 5G networks, other iPhone models are required.

Should You Wait for A 5G iPhone SE?

There are rumors that Apple could release a refreshed 5G-enabled iPhone SE model as early as 2023 or 2024. However, nothing is confirmed yet by Apple.

If you need lots of storage or simply want the latest 5G-equipped iPhone, it may be worth paying a little more for at least the iPhone 12 mini. It features 5G connectivity along with the blazing-fast A14 Bionic chip.

However, the iPhone SE’s A13 Bionic processor still outpaces the performance of any Android phone. For LTE networks, you won’t notice much of a speed difference. Unless you specifically need 5G network access, the current iPhone SE packs tremendous capabilities given its low price.

What iPhone Models Do Support 5G?

While the iPhone SE caps at LTE support, many other iPhone models do have full 5G connectivity:

  • iPhone 12 Series – All iPhone 12 models (iPhone 12 mini, 12, 12 Pro, 12 Pro Max) support both sub-6GHz 5G and mmWave 5G networks
  • iPhone 13 Series – Like the iPhone 12 series, all iPhone 13 models (mini, 13, Pro, Pro Max) support all types of 5G networks
  • iPhone 14 Series – The latest iPhone 14 series (base model, Plus, Pro and Pro Max) have 5G connectivity. The iPhone 14 Plus has support for 5G LTE while the rest have mmWave.

So while the iPhone SE misses the 5G cutoff for now, numerous other iPhone options exist with full 5G and LTE support. The only question is determining your budget and required features before choosing the right model for your needs.

A15 Bionic Performance

Despite lacking 5G capabilities, the iPhone SE packs impressive performance prowess through its A15 Bionic chip.

Apple’s A15 system-on-a-chip design packs over 15 billion transistors. Fabricated on an enhanced 5nm process, the A15 Bionic delivers blazing fast CPU and GPU performance coupled with amazing machine learning capabilities.

Let’s examine the iPhone SE’s A15 performance more closely:


  • 6-core CPU with 2 high-power cores and 4 high-efficiency cores
  • Up to 15% faster performance vs competing chips


  • 4-core GPU delivering excellent graphics for gaming and applications
  • Up to 30% faster than competing mobile chips

Neural Engine

  • 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning
  • Capable of 15.8 trillion operations per second

Image Signal Processor

  • Next-generation ISP automatically enhances photos better than ever

Improved Battery Life

  • More efficient chip design improves battery life for longer endurance

Thanks to these massive performance gains, the iPhone SE still feels amazingly responsive and smooth despite lacking 5G connectivity. Apps open instantly, games handle immersive graphics easily, and the camera captures stunning photos not possible with past iPhone SE models.

So while 5G networks continue rolling out, the iPhone SE still delivers a standout experience – especially given its affordable pricing.

Should I Buy the 2022 iPhone SE?

Determining whether to buy the 2022 iPhone SE depends largely on your budget and required features like 5G connectivity support.

Here are some key considerations when deciding if the iPhone SE makes sense for you:


For budget-conscious buyers, the iPhone SE (starting at just $429) remains the most affordable iPhone by far. With heavy discounts from carriers and trade-in options, you can often buy it for very little upfront cost.

If your budget won’t stretch for pricier models, the iPhone SE delivers amazing capabilities despite its lower price.

Network Needs

Do you specifically require 5G connectivity? Or will LTE networks provide sufficient speeds for your needs? In most areas globally, LTE networks are still the norm. Unless 5G coverage has widely expanded in your region and you subscribe to a 5G data plan already, sticking with LTE on the iPhone SE may suit most users fine.

However, frequent travelers or urban residents may benefit from 5G-equipped models to future-proof as 5G networks expand.

Performance Needs

Thanks to the A15 Bionic processor inside the iPhone SE, it still beats the performance of even premium Android phones costing twice as much or more. App loading, gaming, augmented reality experiences, and the camera all operate smoothly.

Unless you require maximum extended reality (XR) capabilities like the Lidar scanner or ProMotion displays on iPhone 13 Pro/Pro Max devices, the iPhone SE’s performance shines given its affordability.

Overall, the iPhone SE makes sense for many buyers wanting an affordable but highly capable iPhone option. Unless you specifically require 5G connectivity now, the iPhone SE delivers tremendous value that still outpaces many premium smartphones costing much more.

Comparison of iPhone SE vs Other Models

To help decide if the iPhone SE fits your needs, here’s a snapshot comparing the SE against Apple’s current iPhone lineup:

Phone iPhone SE iPhone 12/13 mini iPhone 14 iPhone 14 Pro
Price $429+ $599+ $799+ $999+
Screen Size 4.7 inches 5.4 inches 6.1 inches 6.1 inches
CPU A15 Bionic A14/A15 Bionic A15 Bionic A16 Bionic
5G No Yes Yes Yes
Cameras Single Dual lens Dual lens Triple lens + LiDAR

As this table illustrates, you can gain 5G connectivity and advanced camera capabilities by choosing iPhone 12 mini or higher models. However, starting price also rises accordingly.

The iPhone SE slots in as the most affordable choice while still packing immense performance and capabilities given its lower cost. Unless mobile photography or 5G networking are vital needs, the SE delivers tremendous daily experiences similar to pricier iPhones.

Which Carriers Support 5G for iPhone Models?

For iPhones featuring 5G connectivity, all major carriers globally support 5G access assuming coverage exists in your area.

However, specific 5G technologies supported may vary somewhat between carriers. Key details by carrier include:


  • 5G Nationwide: Included for free with all 5G iPhone models and Unlimited plans
  • 5G Ultra Wideband: Significantly faster speeds in select areas on premium Unlimited plans


  • 5G Extended Range: Broader nationwide 5G coverage
  • Ultra Capacity 5G: Faster mmWave-based 5G with capacity over 1 Gbps in some areas


  • 5G: Available on all compatible 5G iPhone models by default nationwide
  • 5G+: Next-generation mmWave 5G delivering multi-gigabit peak speeds in limited areas

Supported 5G technologies depend somewhat on your iPhone model’s antenna capabilities and local carrier infrastructure. But all three major U.S. carriers deliver full 5G access with compatible iPhone devices.

Check carrier site coverage maps to determine if 5G or 5G+ mmWave access exists in your frequently visited locations. But virtually all areas offer at least LTE coverage for supporting iPhone models to provide fast connectivity until 5G becomes more ubiquitous in coming years.

Key Takeaways

  • The iPhone SE 2020 model does not support 5G networks, only LTE networks.
  • For 5G connectivity at an affordable price, consider the iPhone 12 mini or iPhone 13 mini.
  • The A15 Bionic chip inside the iPhone SE provides excellent performance even without 5G speeds.
  • 5G networks are still rolling out globally, so LTE speeds may be adequate depending on coverage in your area.


While the iPhone SE misses the 5G connectivity offered on Apple’s higher-end iPhone models, it still delivers blazing fast LTE access and phenomenal performance thanks to its A15 Bionic chip.

Given its affordable pricing, excellent cameras, long battery life, durable design and ample storage options, the iPhone SE packs tremendous value. For budget-friendly access to iOS 16 and Apple’s latest innovations, the 2022 iPhone SE stands tall as an amazing choice for most buyers lacking specific needs for 5G network access now.

Unless you frequently travel or live in an area with widespread existing 5G coverage needing high-bandwidth applications, the capable iPhone SE should suit most buyer’s needs for years while saving significant dollars too.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is the iPhone SE 5G compatible?
    No, unfortunately the 2020 iPhone SE model does not support 5G networks. It only works on 4G LTE networks.

  2. Does iPhone SE support 5G networks?
    No, the current iPhone SE does not support any type of 5G network connectivity. You need an iPhone 12 or newer model to access 5G networks.

  3. What is the cheapest iPhone with 5G?
    Currently the most affordable iPhone model with full 5G support is the iPhone 12 Mini which starts at $599. The standard iPhone 12 also includes 5G support starting at $699.

  4. Should I buy iPhone SE 2022?
    The iPhone SE 2022 model offers tremendous value and performance given its affordability. Unless you specifically need 5G connectivity now, the iPhone SE can suit most buyer’s needs very well while costing much less than flagship iPhone models.

  5. Is iPhone SE outdated?
    While the iPhone SE lacks 5G support, its internal hardware like the blazing fast A15 Bionic processor makes it perform extremely well. It can easily handle modern apps, games, augmented reality, photography and most everyday tasks on par with far pricier iPhones.

  6. Does iPhone SE 2022 have 5G?
    No, unfortunately the latest 4th generation iPhone SE released in 2022 still does not include support for 5G networks. It remains limited to 4G LTE network connectivity only.

  7. What is the latest iPhone SE model?
    The most current iPhone SE launched in 2022. Often called the iPhone SE 3 or iPhone SE (2022), it features an A15 Bionic chip, improved camera, 5G LTE support, water resistance, wireless charging and more.

  8. Is iPhone SE worth buying in 2023?
    Thanks to frequent discounts and rebates available, the iPhone SE stands as an incredible value at around $429 unlocked. For budget-minded iOS fans wanting modern design and features without needing 5G networks, the iPhone SE easily justifies its cost.

  9. Should I upgrade from iPhone SE 2020 to 2022 model?
    The latest iPhone SE gains useful upgrades like more RAM, improved cameras, Ceramic Shield display and better battery life. However, core limitations like its small screen size and lack of 5G support remain. If those don’t bother you, upgrading brings nice improvements. But waiting for a future 5G-enabled iPhone SE may suit some longer-term users better.

  10. How much cellular data does iPhone use?
    Actual iPhone cellular data consumption depends heavily on your specific usage patterns. Streaming lots of video or music can use over 1GB per hour. General web browsing, messaging, emails and social media use tends to fall in the 1-4GB per month range on average for most users.

  11. Can I use eSIM with iPhone SE 2022?
    Yes, the latest iPhone SE fully supports digital eSIM activation. Simply purchase your nano-SIM and activate the iPhone SE normally through your carrier’s website or app to enable service without needing to install a physical SIM card.

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