Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Moto G Stylus 5G (2022): Which phone should you buy?

Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Moto G Stylus 5G (2022): Which phone should you buy?

Finding the right smartphone isn’t an always easy task. Should I buy an iPhone or go for an Android phone? Which model should I get? Is my budget enough to get a decent device? The list of questions goes on. If you’ve narrowed down your search to the iPhone SE 3 (2022) and Moto G Stylus 5G (2022), then we’re here to help. This is the battle between two very different, budget-friendly phones. If you decide to buy the iPhone SE 3, don’t forget to grab a charger and get a case for it.

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Apple iPhone SE 3 (2022) vs Moto G Stylus 5G (2022): Specifications

Apple iPhone SE 3 Moto G Stylus 5G
Processor
  • Apple A15 Bionic chip
  • Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G
Body
  • 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3mm
  • 144g
  • 168.9 x 75.8 x 9.3mm
  • 215g
Display
  • 4.7-inch Retina HD LCD display
  • 1334 x 750 pixels
  • True Tone and Haptic Touch support
  • 6.8-inch LCD display
  • 2470 x 1080 pixels
  • 120Hz support
Cameras
  • Rear: 12MP, ƒ/1.8
  • Front: 7MP, ƒ/2.2
  • Wide: 50MP, ƒ/1.9
  • Ultra Wide: 8MP, ƒ/2.2
  • Depth: 2MP, ƒ/2.4
  • Front: 16MP, ƒ/2.2
Memory
  • 4GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB/256GB Storage
  • 6GB/8GB RAM
  • 128GB/256GB Storage
Battery
  • Up to 50 hours of audio playback
  • 2-day battery life
Connectivity
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • 5G
  • Wi-Fi
  • Bluetooth 5.1
Water Resistance
  • IP67
  • Water Repellent
Security
  • Touch ID
  • Fingerprint scanner
OS
  • iOS 15
  • Android 12
Colors
  • Red
  • Starlight
  • Midnight
  • Steel Blue
  • Seafoam Green
Material
  • Glass back
  • Aluminum frame
  • Plastic back
  • Plastic frame
Price
  • Starts at $429
  • Starts at $349
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Design: The Moto G Stylus 5G is a plastic phone

Let’s talk design. The iPhone SE 3 (2022) features an ancient chassis that looks similar to that of the iPhone 6 (2014). Yes, it’s actually more like an iPhone 8 because of the glass back, but the overall design goes back to 2014. Despite that, the back side of the iPhone SE 3 looks cleaner and more premium than that of the Moto G Stylus 5G (2022).  That’s mostly because the Motorola phone has a plastic build, while the iPhone has a glass/aluminum one.

The Moto G Stylus 5G rests on a table with the stylus resting on the back of the phone.

Speaking of the build, the iPhone SE 3 comes with an IP67 rating. Meanwhile, Motorola mentions that the Moto G Stylus 5G is water repellent. So the latter phone might survive splashes and minor liquid accidents. However, it’s not as properly sealed as the iPhone. If that’s a big deal to you, you may want to take it into consideration.

Display: The iPhone SE 3 belongs in 2014

When we flip the iPhone SE 3 and Moto G Stylus 5G over, we’re both shocked and surprised respectively. How can two very distinct smartphones share the same release year? The iPhone, as we’ve mentioned, has the frontal design of an iPhone 6 (2014). I genuinely don’t understand how Apple gets away with it in 2022 — despite it being a mid-range phone. Those thick bezels and the ridiculously low resolution are simply unacceptable.

A man's hand hold the Moto G Stylus 5G over a table with a note pad on it.

Meanwhile, the Moto G Stylus 5G features an edge-to-edge display with thin bezels and a hole punch. It also includes a (dumb) stylus for your light note-taking and doodling. That’s not to mention that it’s 2 inches bigger than that of the iPhone SE 3. Lastly, it supports the fluid 120Hz refresh rate — which many mobile gamers and heavy scroll-ers will appreciate.

Performance: Don’t underestimate the iPhone SE 3

A15 Bionic

Performance is important on a smartphone. You wouldn’t want the whole device to become laggy when executing everyday tasks. In this round, we have a champion that wins by far — the iPhone SE 3. Yes, this iPhone looks ancient and is theoretically a middle-range phone. However, Apple has equipped it with the A15 Bionic chip — which powers the high-end iPhone 13 series. This chipset beats the Snapdragon one in GeekBench performance and power efficiency tests.

Qualcomm snapdragon logo on red background

It’s true that the Moto G Stylus 5G can have 2-4GB of additional RAM when compared to the iPhone SE 3. However, the latter runs iOS — which isn’t as memory-hungry as Android OS. Ultimately, the processor and operating system play a major role in performance. Higher RAM doesn’t always equate to a better-performing or faster device.

Cameras: The iPhone SE 3 is a joke

Let’s put it out bluntly — the iPhone SE 3 isn’t supposed to stand out in the photography department. Apple provided the bare minimum just for the sake of it. You can take decent shots on it, but don’t expect it to compete with high-end devices. After all, it’s not a flagship phone, and its camera is too basic. Yes, it does utilize the A15 Bionic chip to enhance the output. However, that’s not enough to provide shots similar to those taken through Pro camera systems, and in 2022, it just comes out as not enough.

The camera module of the Moto G Stylus 5G on a table.

Speaking of Pro camera systems, the Moto G Stylus 5G has three rear lenses, with the Wide/main one packing a 50MP resolution. Throw Ultra Wide and Depth lenses into the blend, and you’ve got a solid camera. Similarly, the front camera on the Motorola phone puts the iPhone one to shame. If photography is a priority to you, forget about the iPhone SE 3.

Battery: Finding Qi — Moto G Stylus 5G edition

One of the great aspects of the Moto G Stylus 5G is its battery life. This beast could last up to two days on a single charge with average use. The iPhone SE 3 can’t compete with that. Notably, though, the Motorola phone lacks Qi wireless charging capabilities. So you will be limited to wired charging only — through its USB Type-C port. If wireless charging is important to you, then get the iPhone SE 3. Though, said phone has a Lightning port, which is not as commonly used and as capable as USB Type-C.

The Moto G Stylus stands on a table between two plants.


Bottom Line: iPhone SE 3 is more future-proof — despite dated hardware

Now, let’s sum up! The Moto G Stylus 5G has a clearer and larger display, longer battery life, and a more advanced camera system. If any of the aforementioned points mean something to you, then go for the Motorola phone. On the other hand, the iPhone SE 3 has a more premium build (despite the outdated design), an unrivaled mobile processor, and long years of software support. You can expect it to receive major iOS updates for at least 5 years. Meanwhile, Motorola has only promised a single year of major Android OS updates.

With the Moto G Stylus 5G having a plastic build, no IP rating, and virtually no software support, you’re better off getting the iPhone SE 3. The shiny specs on the Motorola phone have a short lifespan. Unless the cameras, display, or battery really mean something to you, skip it.

    The mid-range iPhone SE 3 (2022) packs Apple's A15 Bionic chip, 5G support, and a classic design. It is available in three finishes to choose from.
    The Moto G Stylus 5G packs plenty of modern technologies for a reasonable price. It runs Android 12, and will receive major updates for a year.

Which of the two phones will you be buying, and why? Let us know in the comments section below.

About author

Mahmoud Itani
Mahmoud Itani

Mahmoud is an Istanbul-based Beiruti who has always sought freedom through writing. His hobbies include keeping up with tech news, writing articles about Apple devices & services, crocheting, meditating, and composing poetry. You’ll likely find him jogging with his dogs at a park, swimming in open water, brainstorming at a coffeehouse, or merely lost in nature. He can be reached on Twitter @Mahmoudzitani or via [email protected]

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