Google Pixel 5a vs iPhone SE 2022: Picking a budget winner


Apple’s first major event of 2022 has just concluded, and the company had quite a few announcements to make. The Peek Performance event included the introduction of the iPhone SE 2022, which is seeing its first refresh in two years. But how well does Apple’s latest “budget” iPhone stack up to the Pixel 5a? Let’s dive a bit deeper to help you make a decision.

Pixel 5a vs iPhone SE 2022: Spec Comparison

Pixel 5a iPhone SE 2022
Price $449 $429
Screen size 6.34-inches 4.7-inches
Resolution 2400 x 1080 1334 x 750
Pixel Density &
Refresh Rate
413 ppi
326 ppi
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 765G Apple A15 Bionic
RAM 6GB Unknown
Storage 128GB 64GB / 128GB / 256GB
Battery 4680 mAh Up to 15 hours Video Playback
OS Android 11 iOS 15
Rear camera Dual cameras: 12.2 MP, f/1.7, 27mm (wide), 1/2.55″, 1.4µm, dual pixel PDAF, OIS,
16 MP, f/2.2, 107˚ (ultrawide), 1.0µm
Single-camera: 12MP (wide), f/1.8, OIS, 5x Digital Zoom, Smart HDR 4
Front camera 8 MP, f/2.0, 24mm (wide), 1/4.0″, 1.12µm 7MP, f/2.2 (wide)
Bluetooth v5.0 v5.0
NFC Yes Yes
Dimensions 156.2 x 73.2 x 8.8mm 138.4 x 67.3 x 7.3 mm
Weight 183g 144g
Water Resistance IP67 IP67
Wireless Charging No Yes
Special features 18W fast charging, Wi-Fi 6, stereo speakers, 3.5mm headphone jack 20W fast charging, 5G connectivity, Touch ID Fingerprint Scanner

Reasons To Pick Pixel 5a

There are plenty of reasons why you would want to pick the Pixel 5a over the iPhone SE 2022, but it’s more than just picking Android over iOS. Here are a few of the bigger reasons why you should look at the Pixel 5a.

Display & Cameras

Starting with the display, the Pixel 5a’s screen is simply larger, measuring in at 6.43-inches compared to the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch screen. This larger display also offers a higher resolution (2400 x 1080), which means a higher pixel density for crisper images and content playback. If you’re wondering about refresh rates, both of these phones max out at 60Hz, so you won’t see any differences on that front.


Perhaps even more importantly, is the camera versatility offered by the Pixel 5a compared to the latest iPhone. Google’s continued use of the dual-camera system is a testament to the old “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” adage. These are the same cameras from the Pixel 5, which provided incredible results, along with additional features such as Night Sight. Not only are you getting a better wide-angle lens, but the 16MP ultrawide shooter ensures that you’ll be able to get everyone in the picture.


The Pixel 5a is only available in a single 128GB configuration, with a price of $449. At first glance, that’s $20 more than the cheapest iPhone SE 2022, but there’s a catch. The entry-level configuration only features 64GB of storage, meaning that if you want to go pound-for-pound, the 128GB iPhone SE ends up being the more expensive choice at $479.

Reasons To Pick iPhone SE 2022

While not everyone will be considering an iPhone SE (or any iPhone for that matter), there are a few compelling reasons why you might want to get one.

iOS Updates

The biggest reason to consider the iPhone SE 2022 over the Pixel 5a is because of iOS. We’re not talking about the stagnant interface and design, but instead, Apple is the absolute best when it comes to software updates. Apple’s latest phone ships with iOS 15 out of the box, and you can expect to see major software releases available for at least the next five years, barring any changes. Comparatively, the Pixel 5a shipped with Android 11, and will “only” be updated to Android 14, again, barring any changes.

Smaller Form-factor

There’s definitely a market for compact smartphones, and the iPhone SE 2022 fits quite nicely into that niche. For some, the 6.43-inch screen of the Pixel 5a is still too large, whereas the iPhone SE’s 4.7-inch display could be viewed as the more comfortable option. Of course, you’ll have to sacrifice screen size for enormous bezels and the Home Button, but those could be trade-offs worth dealing with.

Faster Charging

Both the Pixel 5a and iPhone SE 2022 offer Qi charging, along with fast(ish) wired charging. The Pixel 5a tops out at 18W, while the iPhone is slightly faster with 20W charging speeds. Apple even claims that when using a 20W charger, you’ll be able to go from 0-50% in about 30 minutes. So if you constantly find yourself needing to top off your battery, the iPhone is the way to go.

Pixel 5a vs iPhone SE 2022: Conclusion

In our opinion, the Pixel 5a offers the better bang-for-the-buck when compared to the iPhone SE 2022. You’re getting a bigger and better display, along with an incredible camera system, and the latest Android updates as soon as they are available.

But the iPhone SE 2022 strikes back with longer software support, a more compact form-factor, and faster charging. Plus, you’ll have to pay more if you want to match the storage offered by Google’s Pixel 5a, as the $429 model only features 64GB of storage.

No matter which phone you end up deciding on, these both offer incredible value and are some of the best budget-friendly devices on the market.


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