Despite what you’ve heard about the 5G iPhone 12, here’s the battery truth

Chris Burns - Oct 22, 2020, 4:05pm CDT
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Despite what you’ve heard about the 5G iPhone 12, here’s the battery truth

An iPhone 12 teardown revealed the truth about the battery capacity of the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro. Early reviews of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro suggested issues with the battery life and/or potential capacity of the batteries inside. As we were to discover for the first time with some hard evidence in teardown form today, both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro have precisely the same size (capacity) battery inside.

The capacity of a battery in a smartphone in 2020 is not the only factor in play when predicting up-time for said phone. In the past – a decade ago – the size of the battery in a smartphone gave us a pretty good idea of how long the phone would last without a charge. Phones weren’t optimized nearly so well for the various power-hungry operations they were required to run.

Here in 2020, a small smartphone with a small battery might run longer than a larger phone with a larger battery. One might have two of the same model device, one with a larger battery, and run the one with a larger battery out quicker than the one with the smaller battery. The processes run and the optimizations enabled on each device can make all the difference.

With the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro, we’ve got two devices with nearly-identical logic boards inside, very similar (though not identical) displays, and nearly identical overall dimensions. Both devices are the same height, width, and depth, and have the same IP68 resistance to water and dust.

Both devices are claimed by Apple to feature the same battery life. Both devices support MagSafe wireless charging at 15W, and 7.5W wireless charging with any other Qi-standard wireless charger. Both devices have the same access to 5G connectivity with Qualcomm’s X55 modem, with both sub-6 and mmWave 5G.

As we learned from the teardown video shown below, both devices have the same battery inside, with the same battery capacity at 2,815 mAh. The iPhone 12 mini has a 2,227 mAh battery, while the iPhone 12 Pro Max has a battery capacity of 3687mAh.

Both the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have the same 4G/5G auto-switch feature that intelligently decides when it’s best to use 5G data speed. 5G data inevitably uses a bit more battery power (small, but measurable) than 4G. As such, the iPhone 12 family defaults to 4G for checking email or streaming low-fi music, or when locked, while 5G is employed only when actively required.

Stay tuned for our full reviews of both the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro. Then in the near future, we’ll also have reviews of the iPhone 12 Mini and the iPhone 12 Pro Max – all in due time!


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