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News hardware & software 22 October 2020, 15:38

author: Arkadiusz Strzala

5G on iPhone 12 Makes Short Work of Battery

The first tests of iPhone 12 prove that the battery is not among its strong points. As if that wasn't enough, active 5G mode has a significant effect on battery depletion speed. It grows by almost 20%.

  • Active 5G mode on the new iPhone 12 reduces battery life by 20%.

Some tech websites have received iPhone 12 for testing, and the weakness of the device was quickly discovered. Enabled 5G mode significantly reduces battery life. And even without it, power efficiency is less than impressive. Even using only 4G, iPhone 12 will drain the battery faster than iPhone 11.

That's what Tom's Guide tests show. The new Apple iPhone 12 was running at 150 nits brightness. The browser loaded a new page every 30 seconds. It worked until the battery ran out. That's how the editors measured the lifetime on a single charge. The new iPhone 12 lasted 10 hours and 23 minutes. That's almost an hour less than iPhone 11. Of course, it's 4G mode. When we turn on 5G, the smartphone last only 8 hours and 25 minutes.

5G on iPhone 12 Makes Short Work of Battery - picture #1
iPhone 12 comes in several colors. Source: Apple

The iPhone 12 Pro lasted 11 hours and 24 minutes in 4G mode and just over half an hour longer in 5G than a regular iPhone 12. The results are quite interesting because both versions of Apple's smartphone have the same battery capacity. In both cases, you could say that the next-generation network reduces the time of operation by 20%. The competition is doing a little better in this field. While there's a visible impact of active 5G on power consumption in all cases, smartphones from many other manufacturers run a little longer in this mode than Apple devices. For example, Google Pixel 5 will give us one more hour of surfing time using the new technology, and One Plus 8T as much as two hours.

When it comes to the sheer impact of 5G modems on battery life, we shouldn't be surprised, because their higher power requirements have been telegraphed for a long time. This is an obvious consequence of much higher performance. Probably continuous development of the devices will reduce this problem a little. Apple's new smartphones have a Smart mode that automatically switches to 4G when we are not actively using your browser and/or the screen is turned off. This helps to extend the operating time, but if it is a priority, it is better to manually switch to 4G mode permanently.

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