iOS 12 on iPhone SE: is performance/battery life worse?

baryon

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Oct 3, 2009
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I have an iPhone SE that I bought a year ago and I love it. It's fast, small, has very good battery life and runs iOS 11 and all its features perfectly well.

I'm a big fan of the saying: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". This is particularly relevant now, when the Safari 12 update removed all my extensions which I have been relying on for years, without warning or even an option to say "no thanks".

I have had iPhones and iPod Touches and iPads completely ruined by an iOS update in the past and I have learnt from my mistakes: once you update, not even God himself can help you downgrade. Your only option is to sell your phone or live with the performance issues for the rest of your device's life.

So my question is: compared to iOS 11, how is iOS 12 on the iPhone SE? I'm specifically interested in things like animations, keyboard responsiveness, scrolling, opening apps, and general responsiveness. If all of this is as good or better than iOS 11, then I see no reason to avoid updating. But if it's any worse, then I'm sticking with iOS 11 for good.
 
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Populus

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Aug 24, 2012
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Valencia, Spain.
Okay, I wish this was the official thread, because we are going to need a lot of experiences to say it is worth, or it's not worht the upgrade on the iPhone SE. Both from iOS 11, and from iOS 10.

And I say iOS 10 because a lot of us (including me) fortunately didn't update to iOS 11 back in the day. Actually I'm on iOS 10.2, so the battery gate (the slow performance with a degraded battery) didn't affect me, as it was introduced on 10.2.1

So... I am willing to upgrade from iOS 10.2 to iOS 12, for security, performance, compatibility with my mac ecosystem, and the new features like the measures app. Is it worth it? Will it cost me half of my battery life? Thank you.

PS: My SE is nearly 2 years old. When new, it had 11-12 hours of screen time. Now it has 7-8 hours which is still neat. Probably with the upgrade to iOS 11 this would have gone to 4-5 hours, like my cousin's SE.
 
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AlecEdworthy

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May 1, 2007
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So my question is: compared to iOS 11, how is iOS 12 on the iPhone SE? I'm specifically interested in things like animations, keyboard responsiveness, scrolling, opening apps, and general responsiveness. If all of this is as good or better than iOS 11, then I see no reason to avoid updating. But if it's any worse, then I'm sticking with iOS 11 for good.
I've been running it in my iPhone SE for approximately 24 hours and I'd say battery life is as good or perhaps a tiny bit better than in iOS 11 and the phone seems as fluid and responsive as ever. No major pauses, no visual glitching, all the animations seem as smooth as they were before upgrading. The slightly different looking keyboard takes a little getting used to but seems to be as quick and responsive as before. I am just one voice among many and I'd wait for others to reply too if you are that concerned but I'd certainly say go for it IMHO.

A
 

wmdunn

macrumors member
Dec 13, 2012
46
26
Phoenix, AZ
I stayed with 10.3.3 for the last year, continuing to read report after report of how iOS 11 was not an improvement. The conversations about iOS 12 were much more positive, so with great fear, I finally decided to join the beta about a week ago.

In actual experience, there was nothing to fear. IOS 12 is the real deal! My SE is a little quicker, but the big difference is in smoothness. Scrolling is so good, it feels like a new phone ... really! As for battery, I can't tell any difference from 10.3.3. Overall, a very nice step forward!
 

Populus

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Aug 24, 2012
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According to iAppleBytes, and the battery test he made across 4 generations of iPhone (5s, 6, 6s, 7) and both iOS versions, iOS 12 dies nearly 20% faster than iOS 11.4.1 on 3 of those devices. The only one that didn't apparently suffer significant autonomy drop was the iPhone 7

I suspect he didn't leave the iPhones index the new operating system, although I'm not sure how that may affect. Or maybe he did the test after a day, I don't know.

What's clear is that I'm probably going to have a significant battery loss compared to iOS 10.2

Here's the video, in case I misunderstood something:

 

pkts

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2007
96
9
I'd wait. I wish I'd stayed on 10. Love my SE for it's speed and great battery life. Battery health is 90% yet battery life is 30-40% worse on 12 vs 10. And I've been having weird issues like it restarting the phone and telling me it had to do it due to peak performance caused by battery.
 
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HarryWild

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2012
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Much better on both items! Performance is quick and my battery indicator is about 1/3 better from my estimates. Wow! It hard to believe that my SE is so fast and battery life is extended too! Like I purchased a new iPhone!
[doublepost=1537399261][/doublepost]
I'd wait. I wish I'd stayed on 10. Love my SE for it's speed and great battery life. Battery health is 90% yet battery life is 30-40% worse on 12 vs 10. And I've been having weird issues like it restarting the phone and telling me it had to do it due to peak performance caused by battery.
I think you are wrong about battery duration and the IOS 12 performance is faster then ever!
 

drewaz

macrumors 6502
Dec 4, 2012
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Phoenix
no issues for me on a 2+ year old SE.
everything works great ... can't say anything is better but nothing is worse.
 

jrdatrackstar1223

macrumors regular
Oct 31, 2017
159
64
Brownsburg, IN
Battery is noticeably worse for me compared to 11.4.1. I was on the betas and the GM beta made my battery tank. Beta 11 was fine, and my reminders no longer go off. Never had any problems until GM build/public build.
 
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GreyOS

macrumors 68040
Apr 12, 2012
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I'd wait. I wish I'd stayed on 10. Love my SE for it's speed and great battery life. Battery health is 90% yet battery life is 30-40% worse on 12 vs 10. And I've been having weird issues like it restarting the phone and telling me it had to do it due to peak performance caused by battery.
That suggests your battery is knackered and you should probably get it replaced before the end of the year while Apple battery replacements are discounted. It’s not caused by software / iOS 12.
 

iOZZY

macrumors regular
Mar 17, 2013
114
31
Stamford, England
My initial battery cycle on iOS 12 was horrendous, you could see the % drop minutes at a time. 100% battery health, the SE is only 10 months old.

After leaving it flat overnight I recharged it to 100% and fortunately it seems to have settled down and managed to get a full days usage before getting down to 10%. Today's cycle was 100% this morning, now at 9pm it is 46% so further improvement.

Not experienced any lag and is very responsive.
 

pkts

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2007
96
9
That suggests your battery is knackered and you should probably get it replaced before the end of the year while Apple battery replacements are discounted. It’s not caused by software / iOS 12.
Thanks, I'm definitely planning on that before end of year.

I did a DFU clean install but it hasn't made much difference. I do find that by leaving low power mode on all the time, I get to half as good performance as on 10 so perhaps the battery hit is caused by more background syncing in 12
 

Populus

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2012
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Valencia, Spain.
I did a DFU clean install but it hasn't made much difference. I do find that by leaving low power mode on all the time, I get to half as good performance as on 10 so perhaps the battery hit is caused by more background syncing in 12
This is important. Did you mean " I get to HAVE as good performance as on iOS 10"? Or did you actually mean "half of the performance than on iOS 10?

It may be a subtle typo but the consequences are huge. Please explain this, thank you.
 

pkts

macrumors member
Jun 29, 2007
96
9
This is important. Did you mean " I get to HAVE as good performance as on iOS 10"? Or did you actually mean "half of the performance than on iOS 10?

It may be a subtle typo but the consequences are huge. Please explain this, thank you.
I get 50% of the performance I had under ios 10. I used to comfortably get 2-3 days between charges. Now I get 1-2 days (with low power mode on). When I first installed 12 I was barely getting through the day and there would be big drops in battery % (from 90-85%) in a few minutes with light use. This continued even after first few days (allowing for indexing being the cause)

Perhaps battery % behaviour has changed and this is a part of it. On 10, % would drop consistently with time but on 12 it'll drop 1-3% all at once

I have installed 12 on my Ipad air 1 and iPhone 6 and neither have any battery issues
 

Populus

macrumors 65816
Aug 24, 2012
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Valencia, Spain.
Thank you @pkts , maybe I shouldn't base my actions on what a single person says on the Internet, but if what you're saying is truth (I don't say it's not), I should stay on iOS 10 forever -on my iPhone SE-.

It's sad. I truly wanted to update, but battery life is too important for me.
 
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myrtlebee

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Jul 9, 2011
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Yes, battery has been lasting 5-6 hours of on screen usage if I’m lucky. I also noticed that opening apps and scrolling seemed a bit slower than iOS 11.
 

Mac 128

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Apr 16, 2015
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The speed improvement was dramatic on iOS 12 on my 64GB SE.

I did notice a dramatic power drain this weekend, and intend to monitor that.

Otherwise I’d say this was a great upgrade for the SE.
 
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baryon

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Original poster
Oct 3, 2009
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If I make a rough average of what people are saying, it seems like the iPhone SE is noticeably more responsive on iOS 12, but it has noticeably worse battery life.

A hard choice to make! I'm very happy with both performance and battery life on iOS 11 on my SE. I feel like I would be stupid if I ruined that balance by upgrading. But if performance would be even better, without any degradation in battery life, I would be willing to upgrade. But it's hard to know what it will be like, as lots of people are experiencing different things.

My iPhone SE is a bit less than a year old, and battery health says it's 96% of its original capacity. But this was still on 100% just a few weeks ago.
Usually when I put it to charge at night, the battery is at around 60% charge level during a day of light use (a few iMessages, a phone call, checking the calendar a few times, and not much else), or at 40% during a day of heavy use (which usually means a few hours of GPS navigation, a few short phone calls, lots of messages, taking a few photos, etc). It's hardly ever less than that. I've never need to use a power bank during this entire year. I've really gotten used to how I don't have to think about the battery, I'd be sad if this were to change.
 

radubraharu

macrumors regular
Jan 20, 2018
117
66
Romania
Perhaps battery % behaviour has changed and this is a part of it. On 10, % would drop consistently with time but on 12 it'll drop 1-3% all at once
I suggest you to calibrate the battery.
[doublepost=1537870980][/doublepost]
If I make a rough average of what people are saying, it seems like the iPhone SE is noticeably more responsive on iOS 12, but it has noticeably worse battery life.
Not the case for me. Battery health 100% (4 months old phone), and I don't see differences between iOS 11 and 12. I've installed it exactly when it was released (via iTunes - phone set as new), so it had time to settle, and now I am very happy. Maybe iOS 10.3.3 is a little better in battery terms, I couldn't know because when I bought the phone it came with 11.4
 

myrtlebee

macrumors 68020
Jul 9, 2011
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Maryland
For everyone who stays on older iOS versions, do you not care about security updates? That’s why I update to the latest os regardless of whether it slows down the phone or causes other issues.
 

AlecEdworthy

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2007
339
74
Leicestershire, UK
I know people with older iOS versions and none of them had security issues. As long as you use trusted wifi networks you should be fine.
:eek:o_O

No, not this at all. Plenty of the fixes are for remote exploits which can be delivered via websites, emails, iMessages, WhatsApp etc. regardless of whether you're using open wifi, secured wifi, trusted wifi, 3G, 4G or whatever.

A
 

baryon

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Original poster
Oct 3, 2009
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For everyone who stays on older iOS versions, do you not care about security updates?
No, not really. I used an iPhone 4S until last year, running iOS 7. I refused to update iOS because it would have made it slower. It was a great phone and never had any issues with it whatsoever. Sometimes I still use it today and even being used to my new iPhone, I still find the 4S super pleasant to use. Some would say it's a huge security risk, but what exactly could happen? There wasn't anything that sensitive on that phone. If hackers want to steal my photos of IKEA furniture, or my friends' phone numbers, or read my emails in a language they don't even understand, go for it, they'll just be wasting their own time.

I'd rather have a phone that works well, and that I can use, than a phone that is deemed "secure" but that doesn't work and that I can't use for its sole purpose: to quickly get stuff done and then put it back in my pocket. Then again, any iOS version can have huge security flaws, not just the older ones. How many times per week do you read that a new software update brought a security flaw that wasn't there before? Just look at yesterday's Mojave update. It has a new security hole that wasn't there in High Sierra.

Past experiences have taught me that the most common, most likely way I can lose hours of my life is by installing an update that causes all sorts of problems and slowdowns. Not security issues. It's almost a daily occurrence in my life to help people who accidentally installed some update that messed their system up. If I could get paid for this, I would be making a lot of money. This is a much bigger and more common problem than viruses or security breaches, and it wastes much more of people's lives, since pretty much everyone is affected.

There's this obsession with "being secure" but people don't even know what that means. It's just another meaningless term like "sustainable" and "green" that sounds great but doesn't take into account a bunch of other factors.

All in all, if my phone is slow, sluggish, and drains the battery before the day's over, I'm simply not going to use that phone. So at that point, I won't be benefitting from its "secureness".
 
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