iPhone SE 3 Storage: Which Size Should You Buy?
Picking the right iPhone SE 3 storage size for your needs and budget could be tricky so we want to help you decide between the cheapest option, the middle-of-the-road option, and the most expensive version of Apple’s newest iPhone SE.
While you might be tempted to go with the cheapest iPhone SE 3, or perhaps the model with the most storage, a lot of people will be better off with something in between.
One thing to keep in mind is that you will probably end up paying for more storage one way or another. Either you’ll spend the money up front or you’ll pay a monthly fee for additional storage space via Apple’s iCloud service.
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There are several important factors to consider before you settle on an iPhone SE 3 model and we’ll break down all of the things you need to consider in this guide.
iPhone SE 3 Storage Options
Apple and its retail partners are currently selling three different iPhone SE 3 storage options at three different price points.
The cheapest iPhone SE 3 configuration is the 64GB model, the middle option is the 128GB variant, and the largest storage configuration is the company’s 256GB model.
While you can add additional storage to some Android phones, the iPhone SE 3 doesn’t come with a microSD card slot. So if you want to add additional storage you’ll need to utilize iCloud or buy a Lightning-compatible drive.
Pay for Storage Today or Pay Later
If you plan to shoot a lot of 4K video, download a bunch of content, or play a ton of games on your iPhone SE 3, you’ll need quite a bit of space.
While 64GB might seem like enough, there’s a good chance it’ll fill up quickly and you’ll be forced to either continuously delete files you no longer need, buy a compatible drive, or pay for iCloud storage.
Fortunately, iCloud is pretty inexpensive and you can get 50GB of additional cloud storage for as little as a dollar a month. Here’s how the current pricing breaks down:
- 50GB: $0.99
- 200GB: $2.99
- 2TB: $9.99
Remember, you can also share iCloud storage with your family members.
Why You Should Buy a 64GB iPhone SE 3
The 64GB iPhone SE 3 is definitely worth a look if you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a new iPhone.
Back when we reviewed the iPhone 8 we determined that 64GB of storage isn’t enough space for a lot people. If you go this route you’ll likely have to pay very close attention to your storage space and app usage as the months go on.
Here are a few reasons to consider going with the 64GB model:
- You’re on a budget.
- You stream most of your movies and music.
- You don’t plan to shoot a lot of 4K content.
- You plan to store your photos in iCloud Photo Library or on a computer.
- You come nowhere close to using 64GB of storage on your current devices.
Why You Should Buy a 128GB iPhone SE 3
Some of you might want to spend the cash for an extra 64GB of space. Even if it’s just for the peace of mind that comes with having the additional room. Here are a few reasons to go with the 128GB iPhone SE 3:
- You like to store some of movies and music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot some 4K content.
- You’re using more than 64GB of space on your current devices.
- You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your devices.
The 128GB iPhone SE 3 model is a solid middle-of-the-road option that can work with or without iCloud.
Why You Should Buy a 256GB iPhone SE 3
We’ve been using an iPhone 12 for awhile now. And during that time we’ve managed to use up a little more than 200GB of its internal storage. That’s well beyond the 64GB threshold, well over 128GB, and just under 256GB.
We’re not storing any huge movie files on the phone. Instead, storage is mostly taken up by apps, videos, iMessages, photos, and music.
We haven’t hit 256GB mark yet, but we like knowing that we can do virtually anything on the device without coming close to the device’s threshold.
Here’s who should think about buying the 256GB iPhone SE 3 model:
- You like to store lots of Movies and Music locally.
- You need or prefer to keep your photos stored locally.
- You plan to shoot lots of 4K video.
- You’re close to using 128GB (or more) of space on your current iPhone.
- You can’t stand having to constantly manage the data on your phone.
How to Check Your Current Storage
Before you pick one one of these storage options, you should check your current storage because you’ll be able to gather some great insight into your habits. Here’s how to do this:
- Tap on your Settings app.
- Tap on General.
- Tap on iPhone Storage.
This will show you how much free storage you currently have on your iPhone and how much you’re currently using. It’ll also tell you exactly what’s taking up the most storage. For many of you, it’ll be photos and videos, apps, and messages.
If you’re within 10-15% of its capacity, you probably need more storage on your next iPhone.
If you’re using iCloud, you should also check on your iCloud storage usage:
- Open Settings.
- Tap on your Name at the top of the screen.
- Tap on iCloud.
This screen shows your iCloud storage use and your current plan. If you tap on Manage Storage you’ll get a better breakdown of how you use cloud storage.
Install iOS 16.4 for Better Security
If security is important to you, think about installing Apple's iOS 16.4 update on your iPhone right away.
Apple's outlined the patches on board iOS 16.4 and the list is substantial. You can read about them in detail over on Apple's security site.
As for older software, the iOS 16.3.1 update had three security patches on board including one for an actively exploited vulnerability. For more on the security contents of iOS 16.3.1, check out Apple's security page.
iOS 16.3 brought 10+ new security patches with it and you can learn more about all of those right here.
In addition, the software came 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 16.4. 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 missed 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.