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iPhone 11 phones have better battery life and faster charging – here’s what you need to know

Published Sep 12th, 2019 7:31AM EDT
iPhone 11 Pro Max Battery

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The newly announced iPhone 11 phones have several standout features that make them great upgrades, especially if you own older iPhone or Android hardware. One of them is battery life, which received a major boost this year, compared to what we’ve been expecting from Apple. We’re looking at a massive improvement compared to last year’s models, as well as a new default battery charger for the Pro models that supports faster speeds than before.

The iPhone XR turned out to be the best 2018 iPhone when it comes to battery life. Naturally, its successor gets even better battery life this year, with Apple estimating that the iPhone 11 lasts one hour longer.

Image source: Apple Inc.

The real surprise concerns the iPhone 11 Pro versions. The smaller 5.8-inch Pro lasts up to four hours longer than the iPhone XS, while the 6.5-inch Pro Max gets five hours of extra battery life compared to its predecessor, the XS Max.

Here’s how battery life compares between the three 2019 iPhones.

Image source: Apple Inc.

And here are the battery estimates for last year’s models.

Image source: Apple Inc.

All that is possible thanks to Apple’s new A13 Bionic, which got one of the more interesting segments of the keynote. Not only is the chip built on second-gen 7nm technology that will make it slightly faster than its predecessor, but it’s also more efficient. Apple explained on stage that it’s now able to only turn on those sectors of the chip that are required for any given tasks, which means even less power consumption than before.

One other thing that helped Apple improve battery life was the actual size of the battery. The new iPhones are slightly thicker than before, so we expect better all three iPhone 11 models to pack even bigger battery packs than the iPhone XS series. We’ll learn exactly how large these new batteries are next week when the iPhone 11 phones hit stores, and teardown tables.

Finally, there’s one more thing, the 18W USB-C power adapter that’s now bundled with the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, replacing the old 5W charger that shipped with all iPhones to date. As an added benefit, the Pro models come with USB-C-to-Lightning cables, which lets you connect them directly to USB-C MacBooks and other laptops.

Image source: Apple Inc.

Mind you, the $699 iPhone 11 also supports 18W charging, but you have to buy the USB-C charger separately for $29, with the cheapest cable option priced at $19. Last year’s phones can also work with the new charger, but, again, you need to purchase it separately.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.