iPhone 16 leaks have exposed several key details about Apple’s new iPhones, but now one more detail has been reported that will disappoint many.
Apple commentator Majin Bu has posted details on the new battery capacities. They write that the iPhone 16 will ship with a 3561 mAh battery and the 16 Plus with 4006 mAh. The iPhone 16 Pro Max—the largest phone in the range—tops out the capacity with a 4676 mAh battery.
There are no details yet on the iPhone 16 Pro, which will likely be the most popular model.
One number that stands out is the capacity of the iPhone 16 Plus. While the iPhone 16 and the iPhone 16 Pro Max offer a small increase in capacity over the iPhone 15 and 15 Pro Max, Apple looks to have cut the capacity of the iPhone 16 Plus by around nine per cent, from 4383 mAh on the 15 Plus to the aforementioned 4006 mAh.
Apple rarely lists battery capacity in the specifications of iOS-powered smartphones, instead leaning into descriptive terms on endurance; the iPhone 15 Plus lists “Power and Battery” as Video playback up to 26 hours and Audio playback up to 100 hours… exactly the same as the iPhone 14 Plus.
I’d expect Apple to be able to maintain these numbers in this year’s iPhone 16 Plus even if the battery capacity is cut, but it does leave questions about how long you can expect the iPhone to run under day-to-day usage, playing games, or staying connected to your company intranet.
Irrespective of the capacities claimed, there is a wider issue around battery capacity in Apple’s iconic smartphone.
The iPhone has long had a reputation that iOS is more efficient and can offer the same performance and endurance with less battery power than Android devices. That rule of thumb rarely holds in the modern smartphone market. Yahoo’s Tech Labs have tested the battery endurance on the current flagships (the Galaxy S24 Ultra, the OnePlus 12, the Asus ROG Phone 8 Pro, and the iPhone 15 Pro Max… with all three Android devices beating the Apple devices.
Apple’s Android competition has generally settled into the 4500 mAh range, with some of the larger mid-range phones pushing 5000 mAh, some twenty per cent higher than the projected capacity of the iPhone 16 Plus. Without a standard mAh measurement, it also makes direct comparisons with the Android-powered competition difficult.
That lack of standardisation is a disservice to consumers who would rather compare smartphones using hard numbers over emotional phrases such as “up to 26 hours.”
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