Apple has historically not had a great track record with device battery life, as its gadgets like the iPhone, iPad and especially the Apple Watch need charging much more often than some competitors.
However, the company has made efforts to change that in recent years (the iPhone 13 Pro Max’s battery life has offered the best score of any iPhone to date and has stood out among the best phones on offer), and with the iPhone 14 family, a risky bet is made.
While Apple doesn’t reveal the battery capacity of its devices, instead relying on estimates that often prove to be inaccurate, the milliamp-hour number (which we often use as a comparison source for phone reviews) often comes out. quickly.
This happened with the iPhone 14 series, as Apple listed the capabilities with a hazardous materials company called Chemtrec (opens in new tab)as verified by 9to5Mac (opens in new tab). Thanks to that, we know the ability of each family member.
Let’s start with the entry-level iPhone 14 – it has a 3,279mAh power pack, which is a small upgrade from the iPhone 13’s 3,227mAh, although it’s so small that it probably won’t lead to a noticeable difference in battery life.
The iPhone 14 Plus has a 4,325mAh battery, and while the lack of an iPhone 13 Plus means we can’t compare it to a year-old model, it’s noticeably just 2mAh the size of the 14 Pro Max, which is the same size. display.
Now on the iPhone 14 Pro, which has a 3,200mAh battery. The iPhone 13 Pro had a 3,095mAh power pack, so this is an upgrade and should convert to a more noticeable difference.
Finally, the iPhone 14 Pro Max gets a 4,323mAh component, a touch smaller than last year’s 4,352mAh unit. That 29mAh decrease is so small that it really isn’t worth talking about as an impactful change.
Analysis: Apple betting on itself
So what is this bet we are talking about?
Well, Apple has upped its battery life estimates for the new iPhones, despite the fact that the capabilities themselves have seen a negligible change (and a downgrade, in the case of the Pro Max).
This shows that it is counting on two key factors to lead to better battery life in addition to actual capacity: the software and the chipset.
Optimizations in the software – in this case iOS 16 – and in the chipset – Apple’s A15 Bionic for the Standard and Plus models and the A16 Bionic for the Pro and Pro Max – can generate extra juice for phones.
By raising battery estimates for its new phones, Apple is sending the message that it’s confident in the chipset and software to carry the torch where battery boosts aren’t.
But will the bet pay off? Well, this is Apple, and by controlling its own silicon and software, it’s betting it can gain more than it loses by reducing battery capacity.
In the case of the iPhone 14 Pro, it is almost certain that it will last longer than its predecessor as it has more than 100mAh (3.4%) in there. The iPhone 14 Plus should also perform well, with lower power components combined with one of the biggest battery capacities – although it doesn’t use the latest chipset.
The iPhone 14 should offer compatible battery life, based on software improvements, but again, with the older chip, we shouldn’t expect an increase.
The iPhone 14 Pro Max is where the biggest question mark resides: this reduction in battery size, however small, puts more strain on the phone’s software ability to make things better, as well as the improved A16 chipset.
But as battery life decreases over time, will that make a bigger difference in performance? We expect to have reviews of the phones in the near future to find out if they’re lasting even longer than before – this will be a great indicator of whether Apple was right to sacrifice battery size for more features.