Apple iPhone 12 Pro $999 at Apple
Apple iPhone 12 $829 at Apple

iPhone 12 Pro battery life test complete: bad news for gamers!

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iPhone 12 Pro battery life test complete: bad news for gamers!
Apple's new iPhone 12 Pro comes with a beautiful flat-edge design, reminiscent of the widely beloved iPhone 5. But things are also interesting on the inside, as internally, the iPhone 12 Pro has 5G support and is powered by the A14 Bionic chip, with Apple promising up to 50% higher CPU and GPU performance over last year's iPhones. And last, but definitely not least, the new iPhone 12 Pro has an even smaller battery than last year's iPhone 11 Pro – with a capacity of 2815 mAh.

In our iPhone 12 Pro review we already pointed out that this phone may not be quite a 2-day battery champ, but could last moderate users a day and a half on a single charge. In any case, let's see what our battery tests will show us. And just how well the new iPhone 12 Pro fares against earlier iPhones, and some of its Android competition in terms of battery life.

Note that the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 have the exact same battery capacity – 2815 mAh, both phones are also powered by the same A14 Bionic chip, so their results will be about equal.

PhoneArena Browsing Battery Test Results


hours Higher is better
Apple iPhone 12
12h 33 min
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
12h 35 min
Apple iPhone 11
11h 26 min
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
8h 41 min
Samsung Galaxy S20
12h 12 min
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
12h 28 min
Google Pixel 5
12h 40 min
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
9h 5 min

In our browsing test, the iPhone 12 Pro in particular lasted way longer than last year's iPhone 11 Pro – nearly four hours. The new iPhone 12 is also ahead of last year's iPhone 11, lasting about an hour longer.

But compared to the competition, the new iPhones aren't too impressive, or leaps ahead in their battery life. If anything, it's impressive that they're keeping up with Android phones that pack way bigger batteries.

PhoneArena YouTube Video Playback Battery Test Results


hours Higher is better
Apple iPhone 12
6h 38 min
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
6h 48 min
Apple iPhone 11
7h 13 min
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
6h 27 min
Samsung Galaxy S20
10h 20 min
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
9h 9 min
Google Pixel 5
8h 49 min
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
4h 45 min

Now this is where things get interesting. Samsung phones usually excel in YouTube video streaming battery life, and in this case, outlast the new iPhone 12 and 12 Pro significantly. And while the iPhone 12 Pro is a bit ahead of last year's iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 12 is actually behind its predecessor.

Still, about six and a half hours of continuous YouTube playback isn't too bad, considering the battery capacity we're dealing with, but we should expect better.

PhoneArena 3D Gaming Battery Test Results


hours Higher is better
Apple iPhone 12
3h 1 min
Apple iPhone 12 Pro
3h 1 min
Apple iPhone 11
7h 37 min
Apple iPhone 11 Pro
6h 38 min
Samsung Galaxy S20
7h 43 min
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
8h 29 min
Google Pixel 5
5h 6 min
Apple iPhone SE (2020)
4h 59 min

Perhaps the biggest surprise is how poorly the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 did in our 3D gaming test. Both lasted about a mere three hours, which is way, way behind the competition, and even way behind last year's iPhones.

To verify the shockingly bad results of this test, we double-checked by playing various games like Call of Duty Mobile and Minecraft, and in both cases the iPhones got quite warm and the battery just started melting incredibly quickly. The moment we stopped playing and returned to regular use, the phones went back to their normal operating temperature and the battery drain normalized. Currently, it seems that there is something seriously wrong with many popular 3D games and the Apple A14 Bionic chip used on the latest iPhones.

If you're a non-stop gamer, you'll probably want to stick with the iPhone 11 Pro for now, because the iPhone 12 Pro is clearly not suited to be a gaming phone in terms of its battery life, even if it has all the power.

Conclusion


There we have it, the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 battery life test results. The sad reality is that those phones aren't exactly battery champs when it comes to media consumption, and even less when it comes to gaming. But if you're light on those tasks, and mostly do browsing and social media, or don't mind charging them overnight, they're okay.

Let us know in the comments how you feel about those results.


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