iPhone XS and XS Max battery life fall short of Apple’s claims

Although there are several ways to test a smartphone’s battery life, the best benchmark will always be how long the screen manages to stay on. While many sites and YouTube channels have put the phone through rigorous testing environments such as gaming, or leaving an HD video playing on loop until the battery dies, we are going to look at the comparison done by Tom’s Guide. The website compared iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max against flagship Android competitors to see which ones lasts the longest.

The iPhone XS and XS Max Pit Against Android Phones

Image Courtesy of Tom’s Guides

Tom’s Guide utilized the following testing conditions for all smartphones in the comparison:

We put the iPhone XS and XS Max through the Tom’s Guide Battery Test, which involves continuous web surfing at 150 nits of screen brightness. For this test, we turn Auto-Brightness off and True Tone off in the display settings.

To ensure consistency, we run all of our phone battery tests on T-Mobile’s network, and we ensure that the phones have full signal strength by using a signal booster called the T-Mobile 4G LTE CellSpot. In other words, this is as close to ideal conditions as we can get while keeping everything repeatable.

You can see from the results that the iPhones managed to maintain some remarkable battery timings considering the smaller battery capacities, compared with other devices. In comparison, the top phone in this list, Huawei’s P20 Pro, has a battery capacity of 4,000mAh.

While Apple hasn’t officially shared 2018 iPhone’s battery capacities, a recent iFixit tear-down shed some light on them. iPhone XS and XS Max has battery capacities of 2,659 mAh and 3,179 mAh, respectively. While the size of the battery is a key factor in the battery life, there are also other factors such as the SoC, and display. The 7nm A12 Bionic delivers superior efficiency compared to other devices.

However, if we compare these battery tests to Apple’s own claims that the new iPhones have more battery life than older iPhones, things get interesting. During the same web browsing test, iPhone 8 Plus lasted 11 hours 16 minutes, despite having a battery capacity of 2,675mAh, which is less than iPhone XS Max’ battery capacity. iPhone X lasted 10 hours and 48 minutes in the same tests. As per Apple, iPhone XS is supposed to last 30 minutes longer, and iPhone XS Max is supposed to last 1.5 hours longer than iPhone X.

We should take these results with a grain of salt as different test criteria might results in different results. Apple also shares how they do battery life testing, which should help users understand how they come up with the numbers.