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iPhone SE 3 Problems: 5 Things You Need to Know



Some iPhone SE 3 users are having a great experience, but others have run into a variety of problems.

We’ve heard about many of the issues plaguing Apple’s iPhone SE 3 and most of the issues are related to the iOS 16 (and iOS 15) software that powers the phone.

We haven’t heard about any serious widespread iPhone SE 3 issues, but that could change as more people buy the phone and as current owners put more milage on their devices.

In this guide we’ll take you through the most common iPhone SE 3 issues, potential fixes for these problems, places to find feedback about iPhone SE 3 performance, and a look at what’s in the iOS pipeline for the device.

iPhone SE 3 Problems

Unsurprisingly, we’ve seen complaints about iPhone SE 3 activation issues. This is a common issue and one that pops up every time Apple releases a new iPhone.

If you’re having issues activating your new device, check Apple’s System Status page. If you don’t see a green symbol next to iOS Device Activation, you’ll want to wait until it’s green and then try activating your phone again.

If the symbol is green and the activation process still isn’t working, make sure you have a SIM card inserted in your iPhone SE 3. If you’re receiving a “No Sim” or “Invalid SIM” error, you’ll want to head over to this guide for additional assistance.

In addition we’re also hearing about abnormal battery drain, Wi-Fi issues, Bluetooth issues, issues with various apps, Exchange problems, sound problems, Touch ID issues, UI lag, freezes, cellular data issues particularly with 5G connectivity, random crashes, iCloud issues, and login issues.

One thing to keep in mind is that 5G is new technology and coverage can still be inconsistent. Some of the frustrations with slow 5G performance should resolve over time as carriers like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon build out their 5G networks.

iPhone SE 3 Performance

If you’re thinking about buying the iPhone SE 3, or if you already own one, you’ll want to monitor feedback from other people using the device. This feedback will alert you to potential issues with Apple’s hardware and software.

We recommend keeping an eye on YouTube, Apple’s discussion forums, social media sites like Twitter, and sites like the MacRumors forums for ongoing feedback about the new budget model.

We’ve also released list that will take you through the best reasons to, and not to, install the latest version of iOS 15. The current version for the iPhone SE 3 is iOS 15.7.1.

Apple’s also pushed its iOS 16 operating system to the iPhone SE 3. If you’re debating a move from iOS 15 to iOS 16 or from one version of iOS 16 to another, have a look at our iOS 16 walkthrough. It will come in handy every time Apple releases new iOS 16 software.

How to Fix iPhone SE 3 Problems

Some problems may require a fix from Apple in an upcoming iOS software update. On the other hand, you may be able to fix some issues on your own.

If you run into a problem on you iPhone SE 3, take a look at our list of fixes for the most common iOS problems. It will take you through fixes for issues with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and more.

We’ve also released some tips to improve your device’s performance and a guide that could help you improve battery life if you’re experiencing abnormal drain.

If you can’t find a fix in those guides, you’ll want to check Apple’s discussion forums for potential fixes for your problem(s).

If you can’t find anything of use on Apple’s forums, you might want to get in touch with Apple. You can do so via the company’s support account on Twitter or via the company’s website.

If you’d rather explain your issue in person, take your new phone into your local Apple Store. If you’ve got an Apple Store in your area, you’ll want to schedule a Genius Bar appointment.

If your problem is serious, Apple might offer you a replacement because your phone is currently under warranty.

iOS Downgrade Status

If you’re dealing with software issues on your iPhone SE 3, you can try downgrading your devices to the previous version of iOS 16 if the option is available.

If you’re unfamiliar with the iOS downgrade process our downgrade guide will walk you through everything you need to know before you make the move.

Next iPhone SE 3 Update

If your device is struggling, you’re on your own for now.

iOS 16.3 was the last known upgrade in Apple’s iOS 16 pipeline so it’s unclear when the next version will roll out to the iPhone SE 3 and the company’s other iOS 16-powered devices.

We should see a new beta soon, likely iOS 16.4, so keep an eye out for new software as we push through the month.

4 Reasons Not to Install iOS 16.3 & 11 Reasons You Should

Install iOS 16.3 for Better Security

Install iOS 16.3 for Better Security

If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.3 update right away.

iOS 16.3 brings 12 new security patches (including one for the Weather app) with it and you can learn more about all of those right here

In addition, the software comes with support for physical security keys for Apple ID. These will beef up your account security by requiring a physical security key as part of the two factor authentication sign in process. Learn more about the change right here.

If you skipped iOS 16.2, you'll get its changes with iOS 16.3. iOS 16.2 brought a ton of important security patches with it and you can dig into the details on Apple's security site

The update also brought end-to-end encryption to iCloud, iMessage, iPhone backups, Notes, Photos, and more. If you want to learn more about it, head over to Apple's guide

If you decided to hold off on installing iOS 16.1.2, you'll get its solitary security patch with your upgrade. Learn more about it right here.

If you skipped iOS 16.1.1, you'll get its security patches when you upgrade. You can learn more about them right here.

If you missed the iOS 16.1 update, it brought 19 security patches to the iPhone and you can learn about the particulars of those over on Apple's website.

If you failed to download iOS 16.0.3, it had one security patch on board, a fix for a potential exploit within the Mail app. For more about the fix, check out Apple's security site.

If you're still running iOS 15 your iPhone, you'll get a bunch of other patches when you upgrade.

iOS 16.0 brought a ton of security patches to the iPhone. If you're interested in the exact nature of these improvements, you can read about them over on Apple's security website.

In addition to those patches, iOS 16 brings some additional enhancements to privacy and security including Safety Check which, according to Apple, will help "people in domestic or intimate partner violence situations review and reset the access they’ve granted others." 

The feature also resets system privacy permissions for apps and restricts Messages and FaceTime to the device on hand.

Apple's also made some improvements to Passkeys in Safari. iOS 16 brings a brand new sign-in method that's end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks. 

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