iPhone 11 Is this the most significant battery life increase ever in iPhone history?

JulianL

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Feb 2, 2010
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I posted something in the comments on a news item and thought it might be worth a thread here.

It occurred to me, if we only look at the more compact iPhone flagship models year on year since that is the model that is the only one that arguably can be traced back to the very first iPhone and then evolved through 3, 3G, 3GS, 4 and so on through to where we are now with iPhone 11 Pro 5.8", that this claimed increase in run time from the XS to the 11 Pro might represent the biggest ever step-change in battery life between generations in the entire history of the iPhone.

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong but has as any other iPhone release claimed anything that beats the almost 30% (28.6%) increase in run time vs the previous model claimed for the 11 Pro (18 hours wireless video playback for 11 Pro vs 14 hours for XS)?

I had a play with the Apple comparison tool (https://www.apple.com/uk/iphone/compare/) going back as far as I could with the data Apple has loaded into it and I couldn't see any other boost above 20%. The closest boost in run time between annual model upgrades that I could find, looking only at the non-Plus/Max models for the reason mentioned in my opening paragraph, was 6s to 7 where the 7 claimed a just over 18% increase vs the 6s (13 hours video for the 7 vs 11 hours for 6s).

I do realise that many people take Apple run time claims with a pinch of salt but even if all the run time numbers are equally inflated each year by about the same amount the generation-to-generation percentage increases would still hold at least approximately true.

The battery life increase was the one and only reason I chose to upgrade my XS to an 11 Pro this year.
 

JulianL

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Very likely. Most of the iPhones lifetime has been focused on making it thinner, and thus not improving battery life.
Agreed. It's striking on the comparison table sometimes you can put up 3 generations side by side and the run time, as measured by playing time for streaming video, is identical across those 3 years. As you say, it was mostly Apple reducing battery capacity to make the phones thinner and then using the power efficiency gains of the newer components to get the same run time out of that smaller battery. I suspect that Apple might well go back to that tactic in 2020 where it might reduce weight and thickness next year and simply maintain the current 11-series run time figures.
 

VertPin

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Nov 12, 2015
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I sure hope so! The claim of the 11 Pro Max lasting 5 hours longer than the XS Max is an insane claim.
 

JulianL

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I sure hope so! The claim of the 11 Pro Max lasting 5 hours longer than the XS Max is an insane claim.
I agree, and 4 hours increase for the non-Max is pretty great as well. I know that not everyone is as obsessed with battery life as I am but for me Apple did something really special with this update, so major as to make it a real standout update year for me despite it being the third year of using basically the same physical design hence all the howls of protest from lots of other people.

I'm really looking forward to seeing some real-life battery tests when the various reviews start coming out. Most of the major review sites have their own fairly well-defined set of battery tests that they run their review phones through so it's a good way to compare with the best that the competition can offer and get a better idea of where iPhone 11-whatever stands in the current league table.
 

Jeremy3292

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Dec 9, 2012
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According to the tech specs on Apple's website for video playback (wireless):

iPhone X - 13 hrs, baseline
iPhone XS - 14 hrs, 7.7% increase
iPhone 11 Pro - 18 hrs, 28.6% increase, 38.5% increase

That's a helluva increase for having the same form factor.