the truth behind the “disappointing” autonomy of Apple’s new smartphones

Apple has just unveiled its new iPhone 15 range, with battery life similar to last year’s models. However, we expected a significant increase in autonomy, thanks to a battery of immense capacity on each model. But that’s not the case. An official document from China sheds light on the situation.

In the heart of summer, a rumor made the rounds on the web: the future iPhone 15s would have monstrous battery life, thanks to gigantic batteries. There was talk of a record capacity of 3,877 mAh for the base iPhone 15, up 18% compared to the iPhone 14. But, during the presentation of this new range of iPhones, Apple revealed autonomy figures. These are totally similar to those of the different iPhone 14s.

Battery life similar to previous iPhone 14s

Thus, the iPhone 15 announces 26 hours of battery life in video playback, 20 hours in video streaming and 100 hours in audio playback. Figures precisely similar to those of the iPhone 14. It’s the same situation for the iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max. But where have the record autonomy levels gone that we were supposed to see arrive?

An iPhone 15 Pro connected to an external SSD

The answer is simple: the iPhone 15s have just been seen in the Chinese regulator’s database, information relayed by Macrumors. The opportunity to learn a little more about their technical sheet, particularly for the battery. This has seen an increase in its capacity by moving from the iPhone 14 to the iPhone 15but we are far from the 18% envisaged!

In detail, the iPhone 15 includes a battery with a capacity of 3,349 mAh, compared to 4,383 mAh for the iPhone 15 Plus, 3,274 mAh for the iPhone 15 Pro and finally 4,422 mAh for the iPhone 15 Pro Max. So, iPhone 15 battery capacity increased by just 2% ! Probably to avoid making the new iPhones too thick.

You can find the values ​​of the iPhone 14 for comparison in the table below.

Battery capacity (mAh)
iPhone 15 3,349 (+2%)
iPhone 14 3,279
iPhone 15 Plus 4,383 (+1.3%)
iPhone 14 Plus 4,325
iPhone 15 Pro 3,274 (+2.3%)
iPhone 14 Pro 3,200
iPhone 15 Pro Max 4,422 (+2.2%)
iPhone 14 Pro Max 4,323

The autonomy of the iPhone 15 according to Apple

And in reality, what does that mean in terms of autonomy? Apple announces to us the different scenarios which we have summarized in this other table. It is necessary to count between 16 to 100 hours of autonomy depending on use (video streaming or audio playback) and depending on the model.

Video playback Video streaming Audio playback
iPhone 15 8 p.m. 4 p.m. 80 hours
iPhone 14 8 p.m. 4 p.m. 80 hours
iPhone 15 Plus 26 hours 8 p.m. 100 hrs
iPhone 14 Plus 26 hours 8 p.m. 100 hrs
iPhone 15 Pro 11 p.m. 8 p.m. 75 hours
iPhone 14 Pro 11 p.m. 8 p.m. 75 hours
iPhone 15 Pro Max 29 p.m. 25 p.m. 95 hours
iPhone 14 Pro Max 29 p.m. 25 p.m. 95 hours

Why has the increase in battery capacity not increased autonomy? Quite simply because the new iPhones integrate new components, which consume a little more energy, whether it is the Apple A17 Pro chip, or Dynamic Island which is appearing on the iPhone 15 and 15 Plus.

We will have to wait for the first tests to get a more precise idea of ​​the real autonomy of the new iPhones. In recent generations, the autonomy of iPhones has taken a real leap forward, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max could, for example, last 2 days without problem, depending on usage. But some Android smartphones do better, like the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

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