Looking to squeeze that extra bit of battery life from your OLED screen-equipped iPhone? Keep “Dark Mode” turned on all of the time.
When Dark Mode was unveiled as a new feature of iOS 13, Apple mostly promoted it as an eye-saving feature for using your iPhone in dark environments. Never mentioned though, were possible energy-saving benefits for OLED iPhones, since OLED pixels are individually powered, and true black pixels are inactive.
Now, in an experiment by PhoneBuff, shared on YouTube, shows that an iPhone XS Max using Dark Mode uses significantly less battery power than the same model using Light Mode. PhoeBuff used robotic arms to interact with two fully charged iPhones running iOS 13, one running Dark Mode and the other running Light Mode.
As seen in the video accompanying this article, the robots used various native and third-party apps, all of which support both iOS 13 modes. Robots continued until the iPhones ran out of battery power and died.
The test showed conclusively that an iPhone XS Max using Dark Mode uses up significantly less battery than an iPhone XS Max using Light Mode. When the Light Mode-using iPhone died, the Dark Mode device still had 30% battery life remaining.
It should be noted that both iPhones had their displays set to 200 nits brightness. When set to 100 nits, which is normal for indoor use, two hours on Twitter saved just 5% more battery in Dark Mode. The same test performed at 300 nits, which is closer to normal for outdoor use, saw Dark Mode save 12% battery.
No matter the amount saved, Dark Mode shows significantly less battery use on OLED iPhones. Models include the iPhone X, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max. So, keep that in mind if you’re looking to squeeze a bit more battery life out of your OLED iPhone.
For information about how to enable Dark Mode in iOS 13, take a look at our handy How to.