Apple releases new iPhones every year, advertising them as the best in the business with better battery life than ever before. A new report is now calling this into question by testing new iPhones, old iPhones, and a bunch of other Android handsets to determine just what’s happening with the lithium-ion batteries chugging away inside of each.
Turns out, they’re being severely overworked nowadays, to the point where they just can’t keep up with fancy flagship demands. Most of the older devices lasted much longer than their newer sequels. The Washington Post came to this conclusion after subjecting 13 smartphones to the same battery test over and over again.
iPhone XS vs iPhone X
It made sure each of them was set at the same brightness level and then scrolled through the same set of websites until they died. Surprise, surprise – the iPhone XS lasted 21 minutes lesser than the iPhone X. Even the Google Pixel 3 did badly compared to the Pixel 2, lasting 1.5 hours less than its predecessor.
The only exceptions were the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and iPhone XR. The former has a much bigger 4000mAh battery to thank for its 12-hour time. Bigger lithium-ion cells make phones heavier and thicker though, aspects which won’t suit everyone
On the other hand, the iPhone XR has an LCD screen which has less brightness and lower resolution than its OLED iPhone XS counterpart. This combination helped its battery life last for 12 hours and 25 minutes, a whopping 3 hours more than the XS.
While there’s no one factor which impacts battery life, the publication thinks the power-guzzling, high-resolution OLED screens found in new phones plays a big role in decreasing usage. LCD requires less energy, hence the iPhone XR’s superior performance.
The problem with lithium-ion batteries is that they decline with age and no one has been able to improve them to keep up with new technologies. This spells bad news for the future, since iPhones and Androids are going to adopt new wireless standards like 5G and more powerful processors.
Until someone comes up with a groundbreaking battery technology, consumers will just have to adjust via tricks like low power mode, lowering brightness, and utilizing Wi-Fi as much as possible.