Apple's new iPhone 12
family is official, scoring some important upgrades in lots of key areas, like design, performance, display, camera, and connectivity, but one pretty important aspect of the devices was gently omitted from the keynote - battery life. And indeed, inspecting the iPhone 12 feature presentation on Apple
's site doesn't mention any spectacular battery life improvements, and that's mostly because there aren't any: the iPhone 12
series has comparable battery life to the previous generation.
One of the highlights of Apple's iPhone 11
family last year was the improved battery life that addressed one of the bigger criticism of 2018's iPhone XS
and XS Max. This was achieved thanks to employing a more energy-efficient chipset (the Apple A13) and generously bumping the battery capacity.
iPhone 12 battery life vs iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR vs iPhone X
Now, the iPhone 12, 12 mini, 12 Pro, and 12 Pro Max have an even more power-efficient Apple A14 chipset than the iPhone 11
-series, then why are the battery life figures similar? The most logical reason is that the batteries have all shrunk slightly. This can be traced to the added 5G support and refreshed design language, which have most likely taken their toll on the battery itself. Of course, don't get the wrong impression - scoring the same battery life as the iPhone 11-series while simultaneously scoring 5G and tons of other features sounds like a worthy compromise. No matter how you look at it, it's a win-win situation.
Here's a preliminary battery size comparison between the new iPhone 12 family and some of Apple's popular iPhones from previous years, like the iPhone X
, iPhone XS
, XS Max
, iPhone 11
, iPhone 11 Pro
, iPhone 11 Pro Max
. Have in mind that the battery life figures below are all based on official data from Apple and might differ from real-life usage.
|Battery Life||Battery Size||Talk time||Internet use||Video Playback||Audio Playback|
|iPhone 12 Pro Max (2020)||3687mAh*||x||x||20||80|
|iPhone 12 Pro (2020)||2775mAh*||x||x||17||65|
|iPhone 12 (2020)||2775mAh*||x||x||17||65|
|iPhone 12 mini (2020)||2227mah*||x||x||15||50|
|iPhone SE (2020)||1821 mAh||x||x||13||40|
|iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019)||3969 mAh||x||x||20||80|
|iPhone 11 Pro (2019)||3046 mAh||x||x||18||65|
|iPhone 11 (2019)||3110 mAh||x||x||17||65|
|iPhone XS Max (2018)||3179 mAh||25||13||15||65|
|iPhone XS (2018)||2659 mAh||20||12||14||60|
|iPhone XR (2018)||2942 mAh||25||15||16||65|
|iPhone X (2017)||2716 mAh||21||12||13||60|
* - rumored values
An intriguing tidbit is that the iPhone 12 mini is rated with a 20% better battery life than the iPhone SE
(2020) despite being a smaller device. The iPhone 12 mini will last you for 50 hours of combined usage according to Apple, while the iPhone SE (2020)
will only last you 40 hours or so.
Another thing to have in mind about the battery of the new iPhones is the fact that the new devices don't have charging bricks inside the boxes
. In order to fulfill its pledge to be exceptionally friendly to the environment by 2030, Apple is only supplying USB-C to Lighting cables with its new phones. So, while the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro
Max will last you as long as an iPhone 11 and an iPhone 11 Pro
Max, you will have to use your own charger or get one from Apple separately. Not that a big of a deal considering that we all have a couple of these laying around, and Apple's stock 5W chargers of old were not good enough anymore. On the other hand, this raises the cost of the device for the end-user, who will have to get themselves a fancy new fast charger if they don't own one. A somewhat controversial decision on Apple's part that we will have to learn to live with.