The iPhone XR is Apple’s latest attempt at a more ‘budget’ oriented smartphone and as such, the OLED screen used in last year’s iPhone X has been swapped for a cheaper (and lower resolution) LCD panel. The LCD screens will, in theory, draw more power than an OLED screen of a similar size, but how will this translate in our battery test?
We put the iPhone XR’s 2942mAh battery to the test with our standard YouTube video test. This comprises of setting the screen to 100% brightness and streaming HD YouTube videos over WiFi until the battery runs out. Taking measurements at approximately 1-hour intervals gave us the following results:
- 13:28 - 98% (test begins)
- 14:30 - 85%
- 15:34 - 64%
- 16:29 - 46%
- 17:31 - 26%
- 18:30 - 6%
- 19:03 - 1% (test ends)
The iPhone XR was at 98% when the test started and throughout the test, we saw a consistent drain of 15-20% per hour, except towards the end when it dropped just 5% in 30 minutes. Overall, the iPhone XR managed 5 hours and 35 minutes which is fairly average for a smartphone in 2018, but remember that the screen was on full brightness.
iPhone XR vs iPhone X
While the iPhone XR lasted 5 hours and 35 minutes in the battery test, last year’s iPhone X surprisingly lasted a little over 11 hours. Conversely, iPhone X has a slightly smaller battery at 2716mAh, but perhaps the more power-efficient OLED display in the iPhone X accounts for the difference.
iPhone XR vs iPhone XS Max
The iPhone XS Max has a slightly bigger battery at 3174mAh which, combined with the OLED display, resulted in 8 hours and 31 minutes in the same battery test. If you use your smartphone a lot, you may find the extra 3 hours offered by the XS Max beneficial.
iPhone XR vs Samsung Galaxy S9+
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ has a 3500mAh battery which is much bigger than any of the aforementioned iPhones and, consequently, it lasted just under 10 hours in the YouTube battery test. Once again, the Galaxy S9+ uses an OLED display which is partly responsible for its strong performance.
Overall, the results of the iPhone XR battery test are a little disappointing from Apple, but perhaps justifies the price jump to the iPhone XS and XS Max. At the same time, if you do buy an iPhone XR, remember that keeping the brightness slightly lower will make the battery last much longer. In my time with using the iPhone XR, I have found that the overall battery life is still very strong given that the phone uses very little battery when the screen is off.