News iPhone 12 battery life results are in — and they’re not great

Oct 21, 2020
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By 5g do you mean iPhone was set to 5G only or with Smart Data?
Also, it’s important to take into account the battery sizes. The iPhones have much lower battery maH but perform far better due to advanced chipsets and hardware+software collaboration
 

djonbellis

Commendable
Aug 1, 2018
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By 5g do you mean iPhone was set to 5G only or with Smart Data?
Also, it’s important to take into account the battery sizes. The iPhones have much lower battery maH but perform far better due to advanced chipsets and hardware+software collaboration
Battery size indeed needs to be taken into consideration here. When it is, iPhones actually look a lot better than the rest. 2,775mAh in iPhones vs. 4,000-4,500mAh on the others. See Below:

Seconds of surfing per mAh of battery drain:
iPhone 12- 10.92 sec
iPhone 12 Pro- 11.81 sec
Galaxy S20- 8.57 sec
Galaxy S20 Plus- 8.41sec
OnePlus 8T- 8.65 sec
Pixel 5- 8.76 sec
 
Oct 21, 2020
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I'm sure when your iPhone battery runs out at 3:30pm, you'll be happy knowing that it performs better per mAh than other phones.

You'll just be wishing you had more of those mAh...
 
Oct 21, 2020
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I'm sure when your iPhone battery runs out at 3:30pm, you'll be happy knowing that it performs better per mAh than other phones.

You'll just be wishing you had more of those mAh...
Fair point but less mAh is what allows the phone to be thinner and lighter. That’s what Apple goes for—not saying it’s what is most important for me. As far as charge, they were able to add 5G reduce the battery size and keep battery performance (according to them) just like the previous gen iPhone 11 Pro, and that in it if itself is an accomplishment. I’d be more interested to see this report with Smart Data vs 5G only
 

ikjadoon

Distinguished
Feb 25, 2006
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5G battery life reductions were quite predictable. But, what actual settings did you use? There are six total options available for 5G vs 4G. You have no methodology in this article nor the iPhone 12 / 12 Pro reviews.

Question 1: Are your "5G" results with 5G On or 5G Auto?



Question 2: What data mode was used? Allow More Data on 5G, Standard, or Low Data Mode?



Question 3: Why on Earth were some iPhones on T-Mobile's 5G and others on AT&T's 5G?

The regular iPhone 12 lasted just 8 hours and 25 minutes over AT&T's 5G network.
The iPhone 12 Pro fared a bit better, lasting 9 hours and 6 minutes minutes over T-Mobile's 5G network.
This article is genuinely incomplete. You need a rigorous testing environment (and reviewer) to publish accurate battery life results. Hope to see these corrected in this article or in a follow-up.
 

Mark Spoonauer

Editor-in-Chief
Jan 21, 2014
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By 5g do you mean iPhone was set to 5G only or with Smart Data?
Also, it’s important to take into account the battery sizes. The iPhones have much lower battery maH but perform far better due to advanced chipsets and hardware+software collaboration
We used default settings with Smart Data on. Smart Data doesn't help with web surfing though. We have a separate story on performance and yes it's not close with Android.
 

Mark Spoonauer

Editor-in-Chief
Jan 21, 2014
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18,945
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By 5g do you mean iPhone was set to 5G only or with Smart Data?
Also, it’s important to take into account the battery sizes. The iPhones have much lower battery maH but perform far better due to advanced chipsets and hardware+software collaboration
Battery size is of course a factor, but Apple doesn't publish battery sizes because it does not believe that it is an important spec. We simply wanted to show how the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro stacked up to similarly priced smartphones. Once the battery sizes become official, we will add them.
 
Oct 21, 2020
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Was this mm-wave 5G (VZ, ATT) or sub-6 (T-Mo)?

If it's mm-wave, yes, it's powering a whole 2nd radio (well the RF portion anyway), so of course battery life will be worse.
If it's sub-6 like T-Mo, this is significant, because it's 1 radio, and it would be much less efficient.
 

2muaddib

Commendable
Aug 28, 2018
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how come iPhone 12 Pro lasted for about an hour longer than the regular iPhone 12?
I think it’s the testing methodology: probably reviewer was launching similar sites in circle, so some pages remained cached in memory (6gb in Pro’s), hence less CPU and radio usage -> less power drained.
 

2muaddib

Commendable
Aug 28, 2018
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Battery size is of course a factor, but Apple doesn't publish battery sizes because it does not believe that it is an important spec. We simply wanted to show how the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro stacked up to similarly priced smartphones. Once the battery sizes become official, we will add them.
Were you launching similar sites round and round, so some pages remained cached in memory (6gb in Pro’s vs 4 gb in regular)? Hence less CPU and radio usage -> less power drained.
 

djonbellis

Commendable
Aug 1, 2018
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I'm sure when your iPhone battery runs out at 3:30pm, you'll be happy knowing that it performs better per mAh than other phones.

You'll just be wishing you had more of those mAh...
If you spend 9 hours surfing the internet on your phone by 3:30pm then you deserve to have a dead phone. My iPhone 11 Pro is a year old and gets used between 4-6hrs a day and rarely goes below 50%. Used it for 4hrs yesterday and didn't plug it in overnight and it's still at 80%. I guess small batteries are made for me. Others night need more.

Either way their comparison is poor. Headline should have been "iPhone 12's battery doesn't last as long as competitors with 44-62% larger batteries."
 
Oct 23, 2020
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I just have one question:
Did you turn the wifi on?
Because in most cases we do have wifi access, the battery life with both wifi network and 4G/5G cellular connection in the background is more important.
 
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