The battery life of the iPhone 6 should be a lot better, as it comes with a 25% longer lasting battery and, according to Apple’s literature, the A8 processor at the heart of thing is a much more efficient engine, drawing 50% less power than the A7 iteration in the last iPhone.
The good news is battery life in the iPhone 6 is definitely an improvement on what came before, offering a much more stable experience even if you’re not doing much with the phone, which was one of my major gripes with the iPhone 5S.
There’s a notion that what Apple offered with that device was ‘good enough’, according to the owners I spoke to, but all wished that something could be done to make it better.
When informed that the current crop of Android phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 or HTC One M8, were capable of lasting well over a day even on harder usage, most realised that Apple needed to do something to improve the time they could keep away from a charger.
Well, at least that’s happened with the iPhone 6. In light-to-medium use, by which I mean email being fetched at intervals, the screen at medium brightness, recording a few minutes’ worth of video, snapping seven photos, and an hour or two spent listening to offline tracks on Spotify, I managed to go 13 hours with the battery only dropping to 33%.
From then though I played Real Racing 3 for 15 minutes and lost 10% of the battery life, showing it’s very easy to slip through power when playing graphically intensive games.
Also, try and do anything like downloading music (which needs the screen to stay on as apps like Spotify can’t manage downloading in the background) and the battery will just fall away, meaning you’ll be back to playing the charger hunt game.
It should be noted that this is generally a problem with most smartphones; however, some are more adept at it than others (the fact Android phones can download in the background, for instance, is a great boon) and there’s no Ultra Power Saving mode as seen on Samsung or HTC’s challengers.
That said, the chances are most users will be upgrading to the iPhone 6 from the iPhone 5 or even iPhone 4S, and as such they’ll be cock-a-hoop with the massive jump in battery life.
Even running apps like WhatsApp in the background didn’t seem to harm the battery life too much.
Our battery test did show something slightly worrying, and likely down to the increased pixel count: where the iPhone 5S lost 16% from a looped 90 minute Full HD video, the iPhone 6 lost 26%, with the iPhone 6 Plus dropping a similar 27%. Apple’s extra pixel management clearly isn’t as good as it could be, so anything with the screen on is going to be an issue.
In summary, the battery life of the iPhone 6 is something I’d call more than adequate, which isn’t a compliment I’d pay previous versions of this phone.
That said, given the lower-res screen and improvement in battery size, I was hoping for something a little more efficient, especially as the iPhone 6 can’t quite compete with other phones on the market at the moment.
It’s not miles behind, but there’s still some work to be done by Apple. And especially given the iPhone 6 Plus is so much better at lasting with the screen off (thanks to the much larger power pack) this is going to lead to a tricky decision for prospective buyers.