New benchmarks show Dark Mode significantly improves iPhone battery life

If you’re a fan of Dark Mode in iOS 13, the chances are that your battery is, too.

One of the biggest features of this year’s iOS release, Dark Mode is now rolling out to many third-party apps and websites, including Instagram and Facebook Messenger, helping users to reduce the blue light and browse the web on an evening in a more comfortable fashion.

And although Dark Mode was primarily released for aesthetic reasons, a new benchmark from PhoneBuff has revealed that Dark Mode can have a significant impact on battery life.

The team used an iPhone XS to test devices, using robotic arms to conduct various tasks on both Light Mode and Dark Mode, including Google Maps, YouTube, and iMessage.


According to their findings, the iPhone XS with Dark Mode enabled drained battery at a much slower pace than the model using Light Mode – in fact, when the Light Mode iPhone’s battery had died, the iPhone with Dark Mode enabled still had 30% of its battery remaining.

Of course, there are many factors to take into account when comparing Light Mode vs. Dark Mode, such as the age of the iPhone and the display brightness, but these two devices were both new and had their displays set to 200 nits brightness.

It’s also worth noting that Dark Mode will have a bigger impact on OLED displays, as the areas of the screen with black content can effectively “turn off” rather than display a black pixel.

The iPhone X, XS, XS Max, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max will benefit the most here.

The new iPhone 11 and last year’s XR do not feature an OLED display, so don’t benefit.

What are your thoughts on Dark Mode? Is it your new go-to in iOS? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter @AppleMagazine and check back soon for more news and rumors.

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