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 (Poor)
LG G2
6h 48 min (Average)
HTC One
5h 45 min (Poor)
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 inches
    1136 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    1.2 MP front
  • Hardware Apple A7, 1GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, not expandable
  • Battery 1570 mAh
  • OS iOS 12.x

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84 Comments

85. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Surprised this was listed as a tip for the iPhone: "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." Because when this is mentioned by users with Android phones for helping battery live on Android devices....you hear "Android suxxors for battery life", "I dont have time to micro manage my phone" I guess now its a legitimate tip...On Android phones some apps have settings where you can disable it completely or change the refresh time.

83. mrblah

Posts: 577; Member since: Jan 22, 2013

S4 has many battery fails compared to iPhone, for example, it charges much slower and under moderate to heavy use while plugged in to the wall with an oem charger, the battery will still decrease! I just got rid of my S4(Not even rooting and custom rom's saved this dog turd.), I'll be waiting for 2014 phones!

82. Mian.Shahzad

Posts: 23; Member since: Dec 08, 2013

i m shocked to see tge results of note3.. as its hugend have more usage of hardware, the timing is awesome

79. getothepoint

Posts: 4; Member since: Dec 27, 2013

Depending on how you recharge and use your battery your battery will deteriorate at different rates so minor differences in "new" battery life are irrelevant. Keeping the battery away from heat and keeping it cool especially during recharge is most important to extending battery life. Also, unlike the ni-cads, lithium batteries do not benefit from complete discharge and shouldn't be discharged less than 20% before recharge.

78. MAG33

Posts: 13; Member since: Feb 23, 2013

Incredibile performance for g2

77. TonyStark

Posts: 9; Member since: Oct 10, 2012

A Phone with a Lady screen, with a Lady Processor and a Lady GPU will logically last longer than almost any other phone.

76. kabhijeet.16

Posts: 895; Member since: Dec 05, 2012

What an iFAN article..!!! See how happy the author (an iFan) is when he wrote the article's title.. But when you read the article it shows a totally different story.. This story is about battery life of LG G2 and Note 3, not iPhone5S

75. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

The 5S didn't beat the Galaxy S 4 and here is why. Based on YOUR times, there was a less than 3 minute difference, which is within tolerance that means there is no difference. It basically means from a full charge both phones would last 5 hour give for take a minute or 2. The comparison is moot because the S4 has a full HD screen, not a sub-HD one. The fact that the iPhone 5S has a smaller screen with 1/3 the resolution and it only beat the S4 by less than 3 minutes is lame. You guys always fine a way to make sure the iPhone stands out even if the gap is so close it can even be called. I could care less about batterylife. The S4 has a longer standby time, better specs and more software features. And since the S4 battery is removable, if I am on a flight long enough to be concerned, I can carry a spare. Also, most planes have charging ports at the seats, well at least on the airline I fly on. My car has a charger too. You can also buy one for longer trips.

74. Professor

Posts: 223; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

The battery life on Androids phone also depends on the version of the software that they have installed... I have a Nexus 4 and I made the big mistake to upgrade to Kit Kat (ver 4.4.2) and even when Google was claiming improved battery life in reality my battery life has being drastically REDUCED. Now my phone battery last less than half of the time used to last. And I has done everything possible (even turning off Wi-Fi, bluetooth and the GPS) and still my phone drains the battery in a few hours. Used to last the full day with 4.3. Now even just on stand by just last a few hours... And that's without counting all the programs that used to work perfectly with 4.3 and were screwed (no longer working at all) by version 4.4.2. Version 4.4.2 even eliminated the Navigation program. And the new version of the Play movies and TV's program is 200% useless. And the new Phone dialer... the worst. If there was any way to go back to the old programs I due it in one second. I found no real advantage to the new 4.4.2 version, and all the disadvantages outweight any advantage (if there is any)...

68. nate358

Posts: 63; Member since: Dec 24, 2013

Every phone should be tested for how long it lasts playing plants vs zombies 2 or candy crush. My Note 3 is dead in 3 or 4 hours. I haven't officially timed it but I'd be really surprised if it lasted the 6 hours you say it does.

53. zig8100

Posts: 244; Member since: Dec 13, 2012

Its supposed to be the best at everything. Not satisfactory. How are all these Apple people happy with the battery life when its like in 20th place.

52. Killertech2099

Posts: 148; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

Put Oppo N1 and see the results :)

51. SAYED-EJAZ

Posts: 225; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

Thats not bad !

50. rbasky61

Posts: 34; Member since: Jan 21, 2012

Interesting topic about Apple.. anyways..MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL!!

45. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Why wasn't the DROID MAXX tested? Didn't want to hurt Samsung and Apple's feelings?

46. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Would he interesting but I think they went for phones that people actually bought. Just a guess though.

64. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

You're right, Verizon buys 1000's of Motorola Devices every time new ones launch because no one buys any. Real smart way to think it through.

70. SupermanayrB

Posts: 1188; Member since: Mar 20, 2012

The people that buy DROIDs by Motorola are not the typical followers that buy what everyone else has/wants. Or, OR, maybe that's just why I buy them. And show a link that's proof that Verizon buys them.

73. JerryTime

Posts: 468; Member since: Nov 09, 2013

Verizon is the only provider that sells them moron. Droids are a Verizon exclusive. There's my proof.

27. Troysyx

Posts: 181; Member since: Jul 30, 2012

The second I saw that the HTC one had the third best battery life, the entire article lost its value. I had that phone and the battery life is really bad

33. Pancholo

Posts: 380; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

I kinda agree. My girlfriend had it for 4 months (August - December, before I got her an i5S) and the only way she enjoyed it was with its battery saver mode ON all day. Anyway, within 2 weeks of having the i5S, she is already saying it sucks up battery badly, and that her "little boombox" (HTC One) used to last her all day and more (of course, with battery saving ON). She's a medium-heavy texter, and is always browsing the net when in the car - now that's what I consider "average" usage. Still, HTC One (battery saver ON) > i5S.

47. dratomic

Posts: 483; Member since: Oct 09, 2013

if you want REAL tests check out gsmarena

62. Hyperreal

Posts: 363; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

I have it and the battery life is not great but not bad. Its more or less the same as s4 despite smaller battery. Of course its hard to compare it with note or g2 but overall it has average results. Xperia z1 despite a huge battery has relatively bad results.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Normally gets me thru the day, with about 30% left when go to bed.

22. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

And that right there is realistically all I need. Heavy usage and still 30% to go

34. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yep it's good to go. Love my 5S bro, for me it's a very good device.

35. bucky

Posts: 3797; Member since: Sep 30, 2009

Yep me too. There is nothing I can complain about. Ios 7 and the 5s has been outstanding for me. First time ever I'm toying with the idea of getting a Mac computer too

36. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's on my list too. My friend raves about hers.

39. Furbal unregistered

Test it thoroughly before you spend the money. I'll be trying to sell mine shortly... Good computers if they fit your style though.

48. darkkjedii

Posts: 31805; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

What don't you like?

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

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