Apple iPhone 5s battery life test completed: beats Galaxy S4 and Nexus 5, but far from perfect

Apple iPhone 5s battery life test completed: beats Galaxy S4 and Nexus 5, but far from perfect
The Apple iPhone 5s battery life is a topic of heated debate, but how good is it really? Is the iPhone 5s battery better than that of the iPhone 5, or has it actually gotten worse? We at PhoneArena have developed a custom-designed battery life test that puts a device through its paces in a way similar to the way an average real person would use it.

Good news is that the iPhone 5s has a slightly but noticeably improved battery life compared to last year's iPhone 5. The iPhone 5s scored a respectable 5 hours and 2 minutes. That’s exactly the time you should expect your phone to last if you use it non-stop, the way you usually would.

However, in real life - thank god - we don’t stay glued to our phone screen all the time and when you are not using your phone it’s using much less energy. In our personal experience with the iPhone 5s we have noticed that under heavy use and on a 4G LTE network, the phone manages to last a full day even under heavier use. This means you have to charge it daily. If however you use your device very scarcely, have strong signal and are not on a 4G LTE network, you could easily get two days between charges.

How does that compare to other devices? Interestingly, the iPhone 5s lasts more than some of its direct rivals like the Samsung Galaxy S4. It falls short of other competitors, though, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the LG G2 and the HTC One, all of which last longer. We’d say that Apple has nailed a good balance with a phone that keeps reasonably good looks and a small battery, yet lasts an above average (but not outstanding) amount of time.

Here are some basic facts about the iPhone 5s Li-Ion battery and how it compares to the batteries in earlier generations of iPhones.

As for our battery test, we use a simulation of real-life usage. A smartphone nowadays is used for much more than calling and texting, so we had to take this into account. The average smartphone user actually spends most of the time on the web and social media, and you might be surprised that this average Joe of a user actually listens to music and plays games more than he talks! To get a better understanding of that average use, feel free to take a look at the top activities we do on our smartphones.

Finally, here are two tips to help you get the most juice out of your iPhone. First and most influential tip is to try and keep brightness at the lowest possible level. It’s the screen that consumes the most power! And second, make sure to go to Settings > General > Background App Refresh and disable apps there as they may run in the background without you noticing and drain your battery. For more battery advices, check out our smartphone battery life tips and tricks.

We measure battery life by running a custom web-script, designed to replicate the power consumption of typical real-life usage. All devices that go through the test have their displays set at 200-nit brightness.

hours Higher is better
Sony Xperia Z1
4h 43 min (Poor)
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
6h 8 min (Average)
6h 48 min (Average)
5h 45 min (Average)
Samsung Galaxy S4
4h 59 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 4s
5h 4 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 5
4h 22 min (Poor)
Apple iPhone 5s
5h 2 min (Poor)

Story timeline

Related phones

iPhone 5s
  • Display 4.0" 640 x 1136 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP / 1.2 MP front
  • Processor Apple A7, Dual-core, 1300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB
  • Battery 1570 mAh(10h 3G talk time)



1. N-fanboy

Posts: 543; Member since: Jan 12, 2013

I do wish the lumia 1520 gets in such comparisons. But how weired that the 5s out lasts the s4.

9. MojoDojo

Posts: 102; Member since: Jul 11, 2013

Me too, Gsmarena said about the Lumia 1520s battery life "Yes, it is the best score we’ve encountered so far"

12. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Wow the phones with huge screens get better battery life than the very, very small iPhone 4s...

17. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

They have also huge batteries...

60. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

They also charge you less than Apple does for the bigger batteries...... So not only is the battery life worse on Apple products, they give you a smaller screen and battery for a much higher price. I don't give a s**t if they have a smaller battery. They also have a less power hungry screen and OS and they charge you more. But who cares about the details. Bottom line is that those phones have better battery life and they cost less. Who cares if they had to use a bigger battery to achieve it? They are charging you less.

80. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

if that is how you measure a phone I feel sorry for you.. if you are going to talk s&^t about a company at least do minor research so you wont look like a fool...

25. flynfree

Posts: 374; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

Just three minutes, and to know that you have removable battery, and sd expansion, how about that!?

29. sprockkets

Posts: 1612; Member since: Jan 16, 2012

Huh? Nokia 1520 doesn't have a removable battery. In fact, the only lumia I know of that does is the cheap 520/521 and prob by ext the 525.

30. flynfree

Posts: 374; Member since: Jun 09, 2013

I'm talking about sgs4, not Nokia,and that comment belong to n-fanboy. Merry Christmas to all!!!

59. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

I believe the 710, 810, 820, 822, 620, and 625 also feature removable batteries. The 9xx and 1xxx series do not, and I believe the 720 also does not.

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Not bad at all.

3. alterecho

Posts: 1106; Member since: Feb 23, 2012

Wow @ G2 Also, the iPhone 5S' improvement over 5 is great.

43. Lauticol

Posts: 404; Member since: Jun 25, 2011

Add the HTC One Max and see

71. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Well most of that is from cheating since the iPhone 5 had a screen about 10% brighter than the 5s. So that is at least how they get most of the difference. People don't test the phone at the same brightness level but percentage and so both phones at 50% brightness would have the 5 doing for work than the 5s.

86. bigstrudel

Posts: 602; Member since: Aug 20, 2012

Like the Galaxy S brands insanely dim AMOLED screens?

4. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

fake ,,,,pls correct

6. nerdylish

Posts: 51; Member since: Apr 13, 2013

How do you know it's fake?

5. enthasuium

Posts: 150; Member since: Nov 21, 2013

PLS, this script is not correct. Add galaxy core(midrange device) ,, it scores more than 5s and others. this test is a fake

7. saurik

Posts: 86; Member since: May 13, 2013

I know that feel, bro..

14. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

The Galaxy Core has a much lower resolution display, a much less energy consuming processor (Cortex A5), and a larger battery, of course it's going to score higher.

28. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

those old processors actually use MORE juice than the new ones for many tasks because they are built on much bigger die casts. Bigger = more power consuming.

31. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011 "The ARM Cortex-A5 processor is the smallest, lowest cost and lowest power ARMv7 application processor" The A7 is using a 28nm process, but the Cyclone cores consume a lot more power despite that.

55. taikucing unregistered

It depends on the design of transistors too. If there's a flaw in the design, it can cause "leak current" which leads to higher power consumption.

56. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

I'm getting really tired of this : someone invents a story just to bash Apple and many fans simply want to believe this. CA5 and CA7 aren't the older ones but heavily toned down ones of their counterparts CA9/15 in favor of smaller size, reduced power consumption, and much lower costs. They all lack the most advanced enhancements like superscalar and out-of-order execution. They behave just like the 10 years old ARMv5 with the ISA of ARMv7.

57. JakeLee

Posts: 1021; Member since: Nov 02, 2013

And a much lower review score as well - IF it gets reviewed at all. Let's focus on flagships and sorts like, because phones like Galaxy Core are simply in a wrong place here.

63. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I know that. I wasn't directly comparing the Core and the 5S, I was explaining why it would have better battery life. Just because it has better battery life doesn't make it a better device, though, they're in completely different classes. I would rather have a 5S than any low end or mid range Android device (even some of the high end ones), despite battery life.

66. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

You can say almost the same thing about the 5s vs the G2 and the Note 3. But you can also add IOS being a much less power hungry OS to the much lower resolution display.

69. Berzerk000

Posts: 4275; Member since: Jun 26, 2011

I wish Apple didn't set their standard for thinness at 7.6mm. They could have kept it at a little bit over 8mm and fit a much bigger battery into it, which would solve the biggest complaint about the 5/5S, while still being thinner than the 4S.

81. gallitoking

Posts: 4721; Member since: May 17, 2011

in that case, ad my old Samsung flip phone that lasted days wthout charge...

23. bucky

Posts: 3782; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

I'm pretty sure this is for top end devices...

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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