Apple iPhones ‘overstating battery life’, research claims

Credit: Apple

A new study has claimed Apple has been significantly overstating the amount of battery life users can expect to get from its iPhone models, with some devices inflating expected usage times by as much as half.

The research, conducted by consumer group Which?, looked at nine different models of iPhone and found all of them failed to meet the manufacturer's claims, with advertised average talk times being between 18 per cent and 51 per cent longer than the reality.

It found the iPhone XR has the biggest overestimate for battery life on full charge. In tests conducted by Which?, the battery lasted for 16 hours and 32 minutes, whereas Apple claimed it would last 25 hours – 51 per cent more.

Natalie Hitchins, head of home products and services at Which?, said that with smartphones now being an everyday part of our lives, it is important that buyers are able to trust the specifications claimed by manufacturers when choosing between devices.

"There are clearly questions here around how long some mobile phone batteries will last and so it’s important to make sure you find an independent source of reliable information when buying your next phone," she said.

Apple was one of five mobile manufacturers examined in the tests, with HTC devices also failing to measure up to the firm's claims. Smartphones from the Taiwanese firm were found to overstate their battery life by around five per cent.

However, devices from Nokia, Samsung and Sony were all found to actually underestimate talk time when compared with real-world usage. The best-performing model was Sony’s Xperia Z5 Compact, which delivered nine hours more talk time than expected. While Sony claimed that the device would last 17 hours, Which? found it actually lasted 25 hours and 52 minutes.
 
Responding to the claims, Apple stated that it "rigorously" tests its products and stands by its published claims for battery life. It also noted that as Which? has not revealed its methodology, it is difficult to clearly compare the two sets of results to see why they may differ.

The firm added: "With tight integration between hardware and software, iPhone is engineered to intelligently manage power usage to maximise battery life. Our testing methodology reflects that intelligence."