The iPhone SE (2022)’s small 4.7-inch display should make it fairly unhealthy for enjoying video games like Diablo Immortal, proper? In any case, the recreation’s display is busy most of the time, and when there’s a lot going on, the whole lot seems fairly small — even on a big-screen telephone like the Asus ROG Cellphone 6.

Is Apple’s smallest, least expensive model new iPhone too compromised to actually get pleasure from video games like Diablo Immortal?

What’s inside counts

The iPhone SE isn’t the first telephone you consider in case you’re planning to play a whole lot of video games, however at $429, it’s very tempting in case you’re in search of an affordable means into Apple telephone possession (or aren’t eager on very giant telephones). The specification doesn’t make any resolution a lot simpler, as this is a significantly highly effective system.

Diablo Immortal on the iPhone SE (2022)
Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The iPhone SE (2022) makes use of Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which has plenty of energy and is additionally discovered inside the firm’s prime iPhone 13 fashions. It’s simply able to operating the newest, most hardcore video games like Diablo Immortal. That bodes effectively for the iPhone SE (2022) to play the recreation, proper? It does, however you’ll be doing so on a 4.7-inch display, which is mini by trendy requirements, and holding a telephone with precise bezels at both aspect of the display.

The display’s measurement means it has a modest decision of 1334 x 750 pixels, which equates to a 326 pixel-per-inch (PPI) density, far decrease than the roughly 460 PPI of an iPhone 13 Professional. Whereas it does include Apple’s True Tone expertise, it’s an LCD (Apple calls it a Retina HD display) panel and never an OLED Tremendous Retina XDR panel like the iPhone 13 Professional fashions.

With its prime processor, small LCD display, and massive bezels, the iPhone SE (2022) is a mixture of cutting-edge and old-school cellular gaming. How would it not have an effect on our enjoyment of Diablo Immortal?

A fantastic, tiny handset for Diablo Immortal

Sure, the display is small. It’s not fairly “get-your-magnifying-glass-out small”, but it surely’s not far-off from it, and my myopic eyes didn’t get pleasure from it from a distance in any respect. Nevertheless, this apart, I used to be shocked at how rapidly I adjusted to enjoying on the 4.7-inch display. And that’s after getting used to enjoying on my latest array of day by day telephones, from the ROG Cellphone 6 Professional to the iPhone 13 Professional. Even the Asus Zenfone 9, a compact Android telephone, is greater than the iPhone SE.

Diablo Immortal on the iPhone SE (2022)
Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

What helps is the surprisingly excessive stage of sharpness, the 60fps assist, and the unbelievable efficiency of the A15 Bionic and ensuing in-game smoothness. There’s nothing fatiguing about Diablo Immortal on the iPhone SE in any respect. It runs so superbly with no hesitation, or apparent body fee drops, that you simply’re by no means snatched away from enjoying the recreation because of technical points. You rapidly neglect the measurement of the display. Simply keep in mind to reduce the quest data and the chat window to make the finest use of the house obtainable.

What about these bezels? There’s a cause some cellular avid gamers don’t like bezel-less screens or curved chassis on telephones, and it’s as a result of there’s no apparent place to grip the telephone with out obscuring at the least a part of the display. The iPhone SE’s throwback design means there’s a severe chunk of bezel on both aspect of the show, and it’s excellent for grip. It’s one other contributing issue to the display not feeling restrictive, as you’re not protecting a lot of it up along with your arms, not like you do with a full, bezel-less display.

The telephone’s form — with its curved chassis and glass — makes it very snug to carry for lengthy intervals of time in panorama orientation. And since it solely weighs 144 grams, it by no means turns into bothersome. It’s a really completely different in-hand expertise to the squared-off, flat-sided iPhone 13 Professional. I by no means unintentionally pressed the Contact ID sensor, however do keep in mind to show off Silent mode utilizing the aspect change if you wish to hear what’s going on in the recreation.

What holds the iPhone SE back

Diablo Immortal performs at 60fps and with all graphics settings at Excessive. Though there’s an on-screen warning about warmth buildup when you choose 60fps, the telephone remained solely heat even after enjoying for an hour. The A15 Bionic provides the recreation an exquisite smoothness that’s not all the time there on all Android telephones, even with high-performance chips inside. Get previous the display measurement, and enjoying on the iPhone SE (2022) is principally the similar as enjoying on an iPhone 13 Professional Max — for a 3rd of the monetary outlay.

Diablo Immortal on the iPhone SE (2022)
Andy Boxall/Digital Tendencies

The one huge draw back of this efficiency is the calls for positioned on the battery. The iPhone SE (2022) is not an enormous smartphone, and the battery inside doesn’t have the capability of the cells inside the iPhone 13 Professional or Professional Max. It actually begins to point out whenever you push the telephone laborious with a recreation like Diablo Immortal, notably when you choose 60fps.

Over my longest gameplay periods of about an hour, operating it at 60 fps, a 25% discount in battery life was widespread, however anticipate this to vanish in lower than half-hour throughout a few of the fiercer battles the place an incredible deal is occurring. For those who play for greater than an hour in a day, don’t anticipate the telephone’s battery to maintain up in case you additionally use a mobile connection, the digicam, and different apps. The iPhone SE (2022) doesn’t respect being pushed to this extent, and also you’ll return it to the charger earlier than the finish of the night time.

It’s not the display — it’s the battery

Initially, I anticipated the iPhone SE (2022) to impress technically, however disappoint when it got here to the visible and ergonomic expertise. Having been spoiled by big-screen telephones with hyped-up flagship processors, I hadn’t anticipated the little iPhone SE to not solely compete, however in some methods, present a higher gaming expertise than greater telephones that price twice as a lot.

Higher? Sure, the ergonomic form and low weight imply you possibly can play for hours with out the telephone changing into annoying or uncomfortable to carry. It doesn’t get scorching both, even throughout a few of Diablo Immortal’s most difficult battles, and even the ROG Cellphone 6 — with all its cooling expertise — will get significantly heat below load. The iPhone SE (2022) simply shrugged the stress of the recreation off.

Sadly, the battery doesn’t shrug off the pressure. It’s the iPhone SE’s weakest hyperlink. You’ll be able to fairly simply strip 50% of the battery away in the morning, and that doesn’t go away a lot left for doing different issues for lengthy. It seems the iPhone SE (2022)’s display, when you’re used to it, is advantageous for Diablo Immortal, and the processor’s energy encourages you to play so much. However the battery simply doesn’t have the guts to maintain up for quite a lot of hours.

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