Tom’s Guide performed the battery test where it made the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro load websites in 15-minute intervals at 150 nits of screen brightness using both 5G and 4G.
The results: iPhone 12’s battery died 1 hour 58 minutes earlier on 5G as compared to 4G. The iPhone 12 Pro’s battery died 2 hours 18 minutes earlier, which is even worse.
These numbers aren’t good, especially when compared to last year’s iPhone 11. According to the test, the iPhone 12 lasted for 10 hours and 23 minutes on 4G, and the iPhone 12 Pro lasted 11 hours and 24 minutes. The iPhone 11—which only runs 4G—lasted 11 hours and 16 minutes, and the iPhone 11 Pro lasted 10 hours and 24 minutes.
While the iPhone 12 Pro turned out to offer better battery endurance while running 4G as compared to iPhone 11 Pro, the iPhone 12 lags behind.
Tom’s Guide also compared the new iPhones’ 5G battery life to some 5G Android phones and the results were not good. But this was kind of a given considering that Android phones pack more battery juice than iPhones in the first place:
“The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus lasted 10:31 over 5G, which is nearly 1.5 hours longer than the iPhone 12 Pro. The runtime of Samsung’s phone dropped to 8:55 at 120Hz, which is slightly worse than the iPhone 12 Pro over 5G.
The OnePlus 8T is another Android phone that outlasts the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro. It turned in a runtime of 10:49 at 60Hz and 9:58 on 120Hz, both over 5G.
Google’s Pixel 5 was nearly an hour better than the iPhone 12 at 9:56; it dropped to 9:29 with the screen set to a faster 90Hz refresh rate. Both of those times are well ahead of the iPhone 12’s 8:25 result over 5G.”
Of course, the tests performed by Tom’s Guide are not exactly how you’d use the phone in day-to-day usage. There’s more to just browsing the web on 5G that you’d do in a day with your phone.
Thankfully, Apple knew that 5G would affect battery performance on the new iPhones and included a Smart Data Mode that automatically switches the network from 5G to 4G when it doesn’t receive enough coverage. However, Tom’s Guide suggests that it isn’t much effective as it only kicks in while streaming music with the screen turned off.
Battery life has always been one of the major issues plaguing iPhone users. Now that the iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro underperforms, according to the battery test, we’ll have to see how it does based on real-life usage.