The iPhone SE (2022)’s small 4.7-inch display screen should make it fairly unhealthy for enjoying video games like Diablo Immortal, proper? After all, the sport’s display screen is busy more often than not, and when there’s lots occurring, all the pieces seems fairly small — even on a big-screen cellphone just like the Asus ROG Phone 6.
Is Apple’s smallest, most cost-effective model new iPhone too compromised to essentially get pleasure from video games like Diablo Immortal?
What’s inside counts
The iPhone SE isn’t the primary cellphone you consider if you happen to’re planning to play a variety of video games, however at $429, it’s very tempting if you happen to’re searching for an affordable means into Apple cellphone possession (or aren’t eager on very giant telephones). The specification doesn’t make any choice a lot simpler, as it is a severely highly effective machine.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The iPhone SE (2022) makes use of Apple’s A15 Bionic processor, which has lots of energy and can be discovered inside the corporate’s prime iPhone 13 fashions. It’s simply able to working the newest, most hardcore video games like Diablo Immortal. That bodes nicely for the iPhone SE (2022) to play the sport, proper? It does, however you’ll be doing so on a 4.7-inch display screen, which is mini by trendy requirements, and holding a cellphone with precise bezels at both aspect of the display screen.
The display screen’s dimension 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 Pro. While it does include Apple’s True Tone know-how, it’s an LCD (Apple calls it a Retina HD display screen) panel and never an OLED Super Retina XDR panel just like the iPhone 13 Pro fashions.
With its prime processor, small LCD display screen, and large bezels, the iPhone SE (2022) is a mixture of cutting-edge and old-school cellular gaming. How wouldn’t it have an effect on our enjoyment of Diablo Immortal?
An awesome, tiny handset for Diablo Immortal
Yes, the display screen is small. It’s not fairly “get-your-magnifying-glass-out small”, however it’s not far-off from it, and my myopic eyes didn’t get pleasure from taking a look at it from a distance in any respect. However, this apart, I used to be shocked at how shortly I adjusted to enjoying on the 4.7-inch display screen. And that’s after getting used to enjoying on my latest array of day by day telephones, from the ROG Phone 6 Pro to the iPhone 13 Pro. Even the Asus Zenfone 9, a compact Android cellphone, is larger than the iPhone SE.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
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 fantastically with no hesitation, or apparent body charge drops, that you just’re by no means snatched away from enjoying the sport because of technical points. You shortly neglect the dimensions of the display screen. Just bear in mind to reduce the search data and the chat window to make the perfect use of the area obtainable.
What about these bezels? There’s a motive 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 cellphone with out obscuring a minimum of a part of the display screen. 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 screen not feeling restrictive, as you’re not protecting a lot of it up along with your fingers, not like you do with a full, bezel-less display screen.
The cellphone’s form — with its curved chassis and glass — makes it very snug to carry for lengthy durations of time in panorama orientation. And as a result of 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 Pro. I by no means unintentionally pressed the Touch ID sensor, however do bear in mind to show off Silent mode utilizing the aspect change if you wish to hear what’s occurring within the recreation.
What holds the iPhone SE again
Diablo Immortal performs at 60fps and with all graphics settings at High. Although there’s an on-screen warning about warmth buildup when you choose 60fps, the cellphone remained solely heat even after enjoying for an hour. The A15 Bionic offers the sport a beautiful smoothness that’s not at all times there on all Android telephones, even with high-performance chips inside. Get previous the display screen dimension, and enjoying on the iPhone SE (2022) is mainly the identical as enjoying on an iPhone 13 Pro Max — for a 3rd of the monetary outlay.
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends
The one large draw back of this efficiency is the calls for positioned on the battery. The iPhone SE (2022) shouldn’t be a giant smartphone, and the battery inside doesn’t have the capability of the cells contained in the iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max. It actually begins to indicate if you push the cellphone onerous with a recreation like Diablo Immortal, notably when you choose 60fps.
Over my longest gameplay periods of about an hour, working it at 60 fps, a 25% discount in battery life was widespread, however anticipate this to vanish in lower than 30 minutes throughout among the fiercer battles the place a fantastic deal is going on. If you play for greater than an hour in a day, don’t anticipate the cellphone’s battery to maintain up if you happen to additionally use a mobile connection, the digital camera, and different apps. The iPhone SE (2022) doesn’t admire being pushed to this extent, and also you’ll return it to the charger earlier than the tip of the night time.
It’s not the display screen — 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 greater gaming expertise than larger telephones that value twice as a lot.
Better? Yes, the ergonomic form and low weight imply you’ll be able to play for hours with out the cellphone 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 Phone 6 — with all its cooling know-how — will get severely heat beneath load. The iPhone SE (2022) simply shrugged the stress of the sport off.
Unfortunately, the battery doesn’t shrug off the pressure. It’s the iPhone SE’s weakest hyperlink. You can fairly simply strip 50% of the battery away within 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 screen, when you’re used to it, is okay for Diablo Immortal, and the processor’s energy encourages you to play so much. But the battery simply doesn’t have the center to maintain up for quite a lot of hours.