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iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro's battery runtimes fail to impress when compared to the iPhone 11 Pro

The new iPhone 12 series doesn't really stand out in terms of battery life. (Image Source: Apple)
The new iPhone 12 series doesn't really stand out in terms of battery life. (Image Source: Apple)
A battery life test by Arun Maini of the YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss found that the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max had significant leads in battery runtimes compared to the newer iPhone 12 and 12 Pro. The iPhone 12 and 12 Pro have a 2,815 mAh battery, which is not only lower in terms of actual capacity than the previous generation but also powers larger and higher resolution displays leading to lower runtimes.
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Apple unveiled the iPhone 12 series recently with added functionality and a new A14 Bionic SoC. However, details of the battery capacities of these phones were not obvious from the official spec sheets apart from the usual video and audio playback runtimes.

Arun Maini of the YouTube channel Mrwhosetheboss compared the battery life of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro with older models such as the iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, and the 2020 iPhone SE. In his tests, which had all the test iPhones running at the same brightness, battery health, and other settings without the SIM card installed, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro fell behind the iPhone 11 Pro Max and iPhone 11 Pro in terms of offering long runtimes.

In Arun's testing, the iPhone 11 Pro still had about 18% battery remaining at the end of 6 hours and 35 minutes whereas the iPhone 12 Pro had already run out of juice by then. The phone that trailed behind all others was the iPhone SE 2020. His battery results ranked the iPhone models as follows:

  • iPhone 11 Pro Max: 8 hours 29 minutes
  • iPhone 11 Pro: 7 hours 36 minutes
  • iPhone 12: 6 hours 41 minutes
  • iPhone 12 Pro: 6 hours 35 minutes
  • iPhone 11: 5 hours 8 minutes
  • iPhone XR: 4 hours 31 minutes
  • iPhone SE (2020): 3 hours 59 minutes

A recent teardown revealed that the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro shared the same 2,815 mAh battery, which is smaller than what is available on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro models (3,110 mAh and 3,046 mAh, respectively). It is possible that Apple would have had to reduce physical battery size to make room for the added 5G components.

Further complicating matters is that the iPhone 12 series have bigger and higher resolution displays compared to last year's models, which further strains the battery. The only respite here is the new A14 Bionic chip, which is touted to be have much improved power efficiency owing to the 5 nm process.

The numbers can be expected to further go down by another 20% when the new iPhone 12 models are used on 5G networks. We will still need to see how the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the iPhone 12 Mini fare in these tests for a complete picture. Right now, it looks like users will have to compromise a bit on battery life in exchange for advanced hardware.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1353 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 10 > iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro's battery runtimes fail to impress when compared to the iPhone 11 Pro
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2020-10-25 (Update: 2020-10-25)