The real iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max battery difference finally outed by Apple

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The real iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max battery capacity difference finally listed by Apple
After months of speculation about the iPhone 12 series battery sizes, with musings whether the leaked numbers are rated or typical capacity, Apple has finally included the iPhone 12, 12 Pro, 12 mini, and 12 Pro Max in its device battery size specs sheet (PDF).

Perhaps in order to accommodate all those 5G antennas, modems and filters, and fit larger camera sensor, Apple has slightly cut the size of the iPhone 12 batteries compared to the respective iPhone 11 models, indeed.

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Thanks to the next-gen, more frugal 5nm chipset and OLED display technologies, however, the power consumption of the new iPhones while performing everyday tasks like watching videos has been lowered, too. 

As a result, Apple lists an iPhone 12 series battery endurance identical to their iPhone 11 counterparts. With the exception of the 12 mini, of course, as this one doesn't have a 2019 doppelganger. Here's the scoop.

iPhone 12/Pro vs iPhone 11 battery life and battery capacity

  • 2815mAh vs 3110mAh
  • 10.78 Wh vs 11.91 Wh (about 10% decrease in battery capacity)
  • 17 hours of video, 65 hours of audio playback

As you can see, the iPhone 12 battery has about 10% smaller capacity than what's in the iPhone 11, and yet that hasn't affected Apple's battery life ratings between the 11 and its heir, indicating a commensurate drop in the overall iPhone 12 power consumption as well.

If we convert from the Wh metric for the 3.83V voltage that Apple lists on the iPhone 11, then the iPhone 12 battery would be 2815mAh, or exactly as rumored not long ago. Again, a roughly 10% drop from the 3110mAh unit in the iPhone 11.

The iPhone 12 Pro, on the other hand, has the same battery, display, and processor as the iPhone 12, so it's not surprising that Apple lists the same endurance numbers for it. As for the iPhone 12 Pro vs iPhone 11 Pro battery life and capacity, however, the list changes:

  • 10.78Wh vs 11.67Wh
  • 2815mAh vs 3046mAh (about 7.5% decrease in battery capacity)
  • 17 vs 18 hours of video playback, 65 hours of audio playback

iPhone 12 Pro Max vs iPhone 11 Pro Max battery life and battery capacity

  • 14.13Wh vs 15.04Wh (about a 6% decrease in battery capacity)
  • 20 hours of video, 80 hours of audio playback

Here the calculations get a bit trickier. While Apple lists 14.13Wh for the iPhone 12 Pro Max, a 6.45% drop from the 15.04Wh it cites for the battery in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, we won't know the voltage it uses before the first 12 Pro Max teardown. 

Going with last year's 3.79V on the 11 Pro Max would return a 3727mAh capacity, and going with the 3.83V used in the iPhone 11 would net us 3687mAh, or exactly the number that has been rumored about the 12 Pro Max for a good while now. 

Regardless of whether Apple chooses to list the typical or rated capacity on its iPhone batteries, it's evident that the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a smaller pack than what's in the iPhone 11 Pro Max, and yet Apple again lists the same battery life on a charge.

iPhone 12 mini vs iPhone SE vs iPhone 12 battery life and battery capacity

  • 8.57 Wh vs 6.21 Wh vs 11.67 Wh
  • 2227 mAh vs 1821 mAh vs 2815 mAh
  • 15 vs 17 vs 13 hours of video playback
  • 65 vs 40 vs 65 hours of audio playback

Unfortunately, the iPhone 12 mini has no place for a battery as large as the one in the iPhone 11, so its pack is more than a quarter lower in capacity. It still beats the battery that is in the iPhone SE, though, even though it managed to stay more compact. 

Moreover, due to the much smaller display size - 5.4" vs 6.1" - the iPhone 12 mini doesn't suffer nearly the drop in battery endurance one would expect looking at the battery size difference alone, as Apple lists just 15 hours vs 17 hours video playback session on a charge, and the same audio playback duration. Long story short, the smaller iPhone 12 vs iPhone 11 series batteries shouldn't necessarily translate to worse battery life outcomes.

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