About the iPhone’s Battery

When did the iPhone battery get so good?

I’m just back from a leisurely week visiting family in Vancouver. I made the decision before I left to use my iPhone exclusively for taking pictures. I’m a heavy iPhone user on an average day. Leaving my camera at home and relying completely on my iPhone for picture taking meant I’d be using it a lot more.

Last Tuesday we planned to visit the light show at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. I knew the evening would be chilly and I’d want to take a lot of pictures, so I instinctively checked the battery on my iPhone. It was at a 75% charge level. I was astonished. Cole and I had been out most of the day and it was already late afternoon. I had expected to see a level of around 20%.

You see, over the years I’ve had terrible experiences with the batteries in my iPhones. I’d generally get to mid-afternoon every day before I had to plug the devices in to recharge them, often even earlier on cold days, since iPhones have always hated cold weather (and by “cold,” I mean Apple’s wussy California perspective of anything under 10ºC).

I hadn’t even noticed that I’d stopped doing this with my iPhone 6s Plus. And it only hit me that day last week: the battery in the iPhone 6s Plus kicks ass. I’m getting through entire days of heavy use without a need to recharge. And I’m talking about 15 to 17 hours of use, from about 5am to 9 or 10 at night, taking pictures, playing games, tracking runs, and doing tons of web browsing. My iPhone is my most-used device, so it doesn’t spend much time in my pocket. Over the past week I’ve noticed that when I plug the device in to power at night, it’s still rocking a 35% to 40% charge.

Somewhere between the iPhone 6 Plus and the iPhone 6s Plus, or maybe somewhere between iOS 8 and iOS 9, Apple made tremendous improvements to the way iOS devices manage power. The iPhone battery was for a long time the daily primary pain point for me. That’s gone away. The iPhone battery, at least in the 6s Plus, is astoundingly good now.

Photo credit: iFixIt