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iPhone SE 3 is more powerful than a Galaxy S22, and it also wins in drop tests

iPhone SE 3 color options.

The newly released iPhone SE 3 selling out during preorders wasn’t a surprise to anyone who remembers the success of its predecessor. Like the second-gen model, the iPhone SE 3 offers unrivaled value. At $429, you get the iPhone 13 experience in an iPhone 8 body, complete with Touch ID. That means the old iPhone SE 2 can go head to head against the Galaxy S22 flagships that launched a few weeks earlier.

Meanwhile, the new iPhone SE 3 actually beats Samsung’s Galaxy S22 when it comes to performance. Even the $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra.

The handset uses the same A15 Bionic chipset as the iPhone 13, matching the flagship iPhone’s speed in benchmarks. And the Galaxy S22 can’t outperform the iPhone 13 in benchmark or speed tests. Not to mention the fact that Samsung phones were revealed to secretly throttle app speeds.

Performance isn’t the only area where the iPhone SE3 beats the Galaxy S22. The latest iPhone also handles drops better than Samsung’s Galaxy S22 models. That’s according to drop tests that were performed recently.

Galaxy S22 durability

Comparing the iPhone SE 3 and Galaxy S22 might not sound reasonable. The former isn’t a flagship, after all. But we already established that the $429 iPhone SE 3 packs better performance than the best phone Samsung makes.

Of course, the Galaxy S22 does offer a significantly better display experience. It’s not just the design and size, but also the support for 120Hz refresh rates. And it has a more complex camera system on the back.

That said, the Galaxy S22 isn’t more durable than a phone that starts at $429. Tests from Allstate Protection Plans showed that the Galaxy S22 can’t handle accidents very well. The displays of all three devices shattered on the first impact in a 6-foot drop on a rough sidewalk.

The conclusion is simple: you need a screen protector and a case for all Galaxy S22 phones. Despite the use of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus on the front and back, these new Samsung phones won’t survive drops. Moreover, the Galaxy S22 Ultra’s curved display edges seem to be especially prone to cracking.

iPhone SE 3 drop test

Like the Galaxy S22, the iPhone SE 3 should be more durable than its predecessors. The phone features the “toughest glass in a smartphone,” according to Apple.

Allstate put Apple’s claim to the test… and found it to be true.

The iPhone SE 3 survived a face-down drop test onto a sidewalk from six feet. The screen only got minor scuffs, but it didn’t break like the Galaxy S22 phones. The iPhone SE 3 drop test performance is similar to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12, Allstate said.

However, unlike the iPhone 13 and iPhone 12, the iPhone SE 3 failed a drop test with the back facing down. The glass panel cracked on the first drop.

Allstate Protection Plans' iPhone SE 3 drop test results
Allstate Protection Plans’ iPhone SE 3 drop test results. Image source: Allstate Protection Plans

Finally, the iPhone SE 3 also survived the side drop, with the aluminum case only showing minor scuffing.

The moral of the story is clear. Any phone made of glass can shatter after certain impacts. The iPhone SE 3 won’t survive all drops, as various factors will influence the outcome.

But Allstate performs the same drop tests for all phones. And this shows the iPhone SE 3 is more likely to survive an impact with a sidewalk than the Galaxy S22 phones.

You should still consider purchasing protective gear for the iPhone SE 3 despite these findings. The rear panel appears to be more fragile, so it’ll require a case for most people.


More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.