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iPhone 13 reviews claim battery life has improved dramatically

Published Sep 21st, 2021 9:12PM EDT
iPhone 13 Review Battery
Image: Apple Inc.

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Many iPhone 13 leaks that preceded Apple’s launch event last week claimed all four new iPhones would feature larger battery capacities than their predecessors. Apple confirmed that on stage. The new batteries allow the smaller models in each iPhone 13 pair to last 1.5 hours longer than their predecessors. The bigger models last 2.5 hours longer than their predecessors. It was also apparent from the keynote that the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro will have different battery sizes and battery estimates, despite featuring the same design.

In the days that followed, we saw the actual battery capacities for all four iPhone 13s. Indeed, the iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro feature larger batteries. This brings us to the first iPhone 13 reviews, which confirm that battery life has received a noticeable upgrade.

iPhone 13 battery life upgrade beats the mini

The iPhone 13 lasted for almost two days on a charge in Engadget’s review. The iPhone 13 mini outlasted the iPhone 12 mini, surviving nearly a whole day on light use. Wired also pointed out the noticeable battery improvements on the regular iPhone 13. However, the review says the iPhone 13 mini battery is still disappointing, despite the upgrades.

Separately, The Verge said the battery life on the regular iPhone 13 is “excellent.” The blog noted that the iPhone 13 lasted from 7:00 AM to midnight in an intensive day that included 5 hours of screen time. The phone lasted until the second day on a day with lighter usage.

According to Tom’s Guide review, the iPhone 13 lasted 10 hours and 33 minutes in its standard test. The test involves forcing the phone to surf the web on 5G with the screen brightness set at 150 nits. The iPhone 12 scored 8 hours and 25 minutes in the same test. The Galaxy S21 reached 9 hours and 53 minutes.

iPhone 13 Battery
iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini internal design shows the battery size and shape. Image source: Apple Inc.

The iPhone 13 Pro Max is the absolute best

According to The Verge’s iPhone 13 Pro review, the battery life is incredible. The blog says the iPhone 13 Pro lasted “from early morning to 11:00 PM with 20 percent remaining.” That’s with more than 4 hours of screen time with very heavy use. Less intense usage resulted in the battery lasting for 7 hours of screen time.

Separately, The Wall Street Journal further confirms that claim, saying that battery life is “two days on the ginormous iPhone 13 Pro Max. Two. Days.” The Journal review said that all four models lasted for at least an hour longer than their predecessors. Further gains are possible after turning off 5G connectivity. But it’s the Pro Max that can go on for more than a day with ease.

Battery life is all the more impressive given the 120Hz display

These findings are all the more impressive, considering the iPhone 13 Pro phones feature 120Hz displays. These screens draw more power at higher refresh rates. But these are LTPO 120Hz panels, which means iOS 15 will automatically adapt the refresh rate to what’s displayed on the screen. This will help preserve battery life, as the screen refreshes anywhere between 10Hz and 120Hz, depending on content.

The same Tom’s Guide review helps put in perspective the iPhone 13 Pro battery life. The blog used its standard battery life test “where [they] force a phone to endlessly reload web pages on a cellular connection until it dies.” The iPhone 13 Pro battery lasted nearly 3 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro and 2 hours longer than the Galaxy S21 Plus — the total was 11 hours and 42 minutes. With that in mind, the iPhone 13 Pro Max should last even longer than that in the same test.

The fact these reviews don’t have scores for the iPhone 13 Pro Max further highlights how impressive battery life is on Apple’s largest new iPhone this year.

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.

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