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iPhone 15 Pro Max beats Galaxy S23 Ultra in battery life test

Published Oct 10th, 2023 6:50AM EDT
iPhone 15 Pro on a table.
Image: Jonathan Geller, BGR

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The iPhone 15 series has been selling in stores for nearly three weeks. Some models are still sold out at the time of this writing. The handsets have gone through all sorts of real-life tests that put them through their paces, including benchmarks, real-life speed tests, and battery life measurements.

That the iPhone 15 Pro Max doesn’t have the best battery life out of the four new handsets is one of the things we learned along the way. The iPhone 15 Plus takes home that crown despite not rocking the most efficient chip. Also, the Plus model does have a larger battery for one simple reason. It has more storage that can be fitted for battery use, given that it lacks a zoom camera.

Since the iPhone 15 Pro Max is the best possible iPhone you can buy this year, how does its battery life compare to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, currently one of the best Android phones in town? A new real-life test shows what the two phones are capable of. The iPhone 15 Pro Max outlives Samsung’s best phone to date.

The recent iPhone 15 battery life test compared battery life on all the iPhones that Apple sells, not just the 2023 models. The test involved all handsets running the same suite of apps in the same order for the same amount of time. All parameters were identical across iPhones.

The test you’ll see below involves the same conditions but only for two handsets: The iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra. YouTube channel PhoneBuff performed the test using a robot. The machine opened the same sequence of apps on each phone, and then spent time interacting with apps. Just like a human would during day-to-day use.

iPhone 15 Pro Max outlasts Galaxy S23 Ultra in battery life test.
iPhone 15 Pro Max outlasts Galaxy S23 Ultra in battery life test. Image source: YouTube

Like the iPhone 15 Plus, the Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t rock a 3nm chip. That’s a component that can be responsible for improving battery life on a handset, as it’s more efficient. The iPhone 15 Pro and 15 Pro Max have one such chip on board, the A17 Pro.

But, as you’ll see in the video test, the iPhone 15 Pro Max doesn’t always come out as the most energy-efficient of the two handsets. The Galaxy S23 Ultra does take the lead here and there.

However, there’s one big detail to remember here. The test deals in battery percentages from start to finish. Say you see both the iPhone 15 Pro Max and the Galaxy S23 Ultra at 90% battery life after an amount of time has passed. The conclusion might be that the handsets consumed the same amount of power, but that’s wrong.

The iPhone 15 Pro Max rocks a 4,441 mAh battery compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s 5,000 mAh. So even when there’s parity between the two handsets, the Galaxy S23 Ultra actually consumes more energy.

The conclusion of the test further underscores the impressive battery life of the iPhone 15 Pro Max. Apple’s best iPhone lasts for 11 hours and 44 minutes (not counting the 16 hours of Standby time here). The Galaxy S23 Ultra dies after 11 hours and 6 minutes.

Therefore, the iPhone 15 Pro Max is more efficient than the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Considering last week’s iPhone battery test, it’s safe to say the iPhone 15 Plus would outlast Galaxy S23 Ultra.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Galaxy S24 Ultra does in a few months when the handset hits the market. After all, that will be the iPhone 15’s real rival. Until then, you can watch the full battery life test below.

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.